Opera Snobs

We went to an opera showcase tonight, and, as we commented on the style of box seats in the hall (or was it when I was listening to the host say something about Mozart?), I recalled the night I first saw “Die Zauberflöte” (“The Magic Flute”).

You see, it was a regular night in my life in Vienna, and I thought it would be nice to go see a show – that was kind of an incredibly easy thing to do while living there.  I arrived to the theatre and purchased my ticket for the show using the fabulous discount that Austria offers to young adults and students, and headed toward the coat check.  At this point, I recognized a friend of mine ahead of me, and called out his name.  Apparently, we had both spontaneously decided to come to the show that night, and, with my having bought my ticket directly after he’d bought his, our seats were together.  It was my first – and possibly only, actually – time in a box seat.  The show was truly spectacular, and it was wonderful having someone to share the experience with me.  When I later relayed the tale to my mom, we were utterly tickled by how crazy the whole thing was, especially with how snobby it could come across.  ‘Oh, yes.  I had spontaneously decided to attend an opera one night, ran into a friend upon arrival, and we enjoyed the wonderful show together from our box seats.’  😛

Post-a-day 2018


Rodeo has begun

Apparently I have little to comment and share this weekend… I guess the rodeo has me worn out like crazy already, leaving me with hardly any energy to write up more than a sentence of heartfelt nonsense by the time I make it home and to bed each night. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

Good Morning

A morning prayer can really save the day. ❤

Post-a-day 2018


Floor Hockey Rockstars

I had forgotten until recently that I used to play street hockey with one of my brothers.  We just would rollerblade together and pass the ball or puck to each other, or practice rollerblading with the sticks as fast as we could and then with the sticks and ball/puck.  It was fun.  And, you see, I remembered this, because I was trying to figure out how I had been so good at floor hockey in gym class in ninth grade, even though I had never done it in school before then.  And I thought of that memory, because I saw at the YMCA the other girl in that freshman gym/health class who was really good at floor hockey (and definitely more intense about it than anyone else), which had been our first sport of the school year.  Her name is Kristina.  It was really good having someone else in that class who enjoyed sports for the sport of them, and who was naturally good at most sports, and who didn’t get an attitude about any of it.  We didn’t really become friends outside of that class, but she’s always held a little sweet space in my heart and memory because of our initial floor hockey awesomeness bond.  😛

Post-a-day 2018


How do You shave?

One of my favorite memories from my childhood is the time my brother, sister, and I bonded over shaving legs in the living room.  You see, our dad’s house used to be a duplex, and so the upstairs and downstairs had the same floorpan, giving the girls – the upstairs lots – our very own living room.  It was normal circumstances for us girls and maybe a girlfriend of one of theirs to hang out on lazy afternoons and evenings there.  Occasionally, our bother would join us.  On one particular night, my eldest sister had decided to allow me to shave her legs for her, while we watched some television show.  I was around eight or ten years old.

In my panic of doing it, worried that I would slice open her leg or something, my brother joined in on the adventure, to show that it was definitely doable by me, since he had never shaved legs, but he was able to do it safely.  And so, he shaved her left leg, and I shaved her right, while she lay on the rug in the living room.  Such beautiful sibling bonding time.  😛

Post-a-day 2018


A letter from my past self

The following is the transcription of a letter I found this week.  (Yes, it was in one of the boxes of papers and folders and such.)  I wish I had found it months ago, when I’d first returned from Japan.  However, it still did me loads of good when I read it the other day.  While I missed out on some bits it mentions, I actually did a really good job of fulfilling most of the tasks prescribed in it… a version of them, anyway.

Anyway, it is a letter I wrote to myself when I was still on my college campus, about to leave to study abroad in Germany and Austria.  As per standards of our school’s study abroad program, we all had to write our future selves a letter, which would be mailed to us upon our return from our study abroad programs.  I fully acknowledge that mine is full of grammatical errors, but that was part of why I was going abroad anyway – to improve my language skills.  Also, the whole letter is written in cursive, because I do that.  The third sentence actually caused me to tear up, and the fourth had me crying.  It’s amazing how right I was, and I really didn’t know that I ever would be in the current situation in which I find myself.


10. April 2012

Hannah Leigh, chèrie,

Ich weiss nicht, was muss ich dir sagen.  Ich kenne dich nicht, weil du so viel gechanged hast.  Welcome home – may it still feel that way to you.  You are forever welcome here, so remember that – you might need it some day.  Okay, here’s what I want you to do:

1) Go record it.  Get on your computer, write up any questions
you would love for others to ask, & then record yourself
answering them.  Then you can do what you want with
it all, but you will have that satisfaction, that completeness,
wholeness of having shared what you needed, desired, wanted
to share.

2) Talk to people.  Make a quick list of what specifically you already
have wanted to share with whom.  Call each person & set up when
& where you will share what you have to share.  Share with them.

3) Talk to Opa.  No matter where he is, go visit him & talk with
him completely in German.

4) Find someone local with whom you can be open, close, & frank, & speak
only German (or completely German) together with ease.

5) Remember that it’s all right not to “know” who you are.  Knowing
makes no difference, anyway, so no good reason to bother with it.
Look yourself in the mirror & see all that has passed, & be open to
all that will come.

6) You are woman & you create the universe with your being.  Your
power is endless, & it is selfless love that feels it.  Love your
mother & your Mother.  Love your self wholly, & your next
step will become available and visible to you.

7) Be at peace.  Even if it was &/or is hard, it is all relative.
Take it for the beneficial experience that it is, & enjoy every
bit you have gotten & will get from it all.

8) Now & every time you see that it just might possibly help,
take a deep breath & close your eyes, letting your thoughts
run around & then calm naturally as you breathe deeply.

I love you & I wish you all the best.  I am here with you always, though I will now be transformed from the time I wrote this letter.  My understanding & my love have only increased & expanded, I promise.  You are wonderful.  You are beautiful.  You are mine.

I love you.  Love me, too.
❤ Peace       Hannah Leigh


P.S. Pretend I pressed a flower in here to give you a wholesome smile & kiss.  🙂 oxox


Post-a-day 2018


A found letter from Japan

I found this today.  It is from last August….  I suppose I sent it out in an e-mail to people… but I might have just considered sending it out, and never actually did it.  I have edited only the name of the town… just ’cause… you know, Japan.  😛


My dearest family (and my friends who are like family),
I write to you from my new home in T—, Japan.  It is a small suburb of Tokyo, with a whopping (supposedly, anyway) 100,000 people.  I am tasked with assisting English language teachers at two different high schools in the town, one of them an art school, with specialties in painting/drawing/arts of that sort and music, and the other school a sort of engineering-for-mechanics-esque school.  My vagueness is purely due to the fact that no one seems to be able to explain to me about the schools.  On that note, no one seems to be able to explain anything to me clearly.  Guess that’s why I’m here in the first place – to help them with English, and to learn Japanese.
Going along with the lack of understanding point, I literally have no idea what’s going on around me a good amount of the time.  I was sort of trapped in my apartment the night I moved into it – I had purchased a futon (Japanese version of  a mattress – not too sure if I’m fond of it yet, ‘cause I miss my bed, but I think I can handle the futon alright) and toilet paper and towels, but that’s it.  No one could give me a map of the area (and didn’t think of it except for when I specifically asked for one); I didn’t have a copy of my address; and I don’t speak Japanese to be able to ask people for directions to get home if I went out and got lost.  Oh, and I had no phone or internet to look up where on earth to go without a paper map.
And, the best part: My predecessor told me that she had a lot of things she was giving me, so I wouldn’t need to buy most things like a fridge, storage, dishes, “that kind of stuff,” she said.  Way-to-be vague… 😛  So I had to eat food from 7/11 until she delivered her stuff to me… three days later.  No way to cook anything, because she has the electric burner for me to use.  No way to keep anything cold, so I couldn’t have fresh food of any kind for lunch at work (slash at all, since 7/11 isn’t entirely in the category of ‘fresh food’).  No way to feel like I’m not just possibly going to die (Yes, I realize the drama here.).
On top of it all, I was super stressed that I kept asking about going at least to get me a phone number, so that I could use the internet to function (map, translation, where to buy what, etc.), and they, unconcerned, mentioned that someone could take me some time next week “probably”, but I had to know exactly what plan I wanted and from which company.  Thanks, dude.  And how exactly do you propose I figure out that information with no internet, no map of the town, and no Japanese skills?
How did I solve the problem?  I went to meet another ALT (Assistant Language Teacher (Terminology for my program)) in Tokyo.  We’d become friends during the brief orientation in Tokyo earlier in the week, and she was up for helping my get a phone, so I didn’t have to stand in the 7/11 parking lot for super slow, choppy internet anymore (which I’d only discovered the night before).  Plus, I just needed some love.(1)
So I spent the day in Tokyo.  After two hours in the phone store, and using a translator (real person) on the phone, I had a new phone and a decent phone plan for the next two years.  We then went to Starbucks for a break and free wifi (for my friend to use), and we each caught up on all of our e-mails, messages, etc. from a million different people.
We then walked around a bit, and visited the Tokyo Tower area.  I had this realization as we passed one part of a temple there, that still hasn’t fully hit me.  Back home (USA), we have houses, etc., designed to look like traditional Japanese architecture, yes?  When I was looking at the temple building, my background, passive thought was the same as when I see such styles back home… and then I realized that this building is not made to ‘look like those buildings in Japan.’  This building IS ‘those buildings in Japan.’  It’s still sinking in.
(1) I can note here that I’d actually gone down to Tokyo that Friday night, just after discovering that I had internet in the 7/11 parking lot, which is down the street from my apartment (so I was able to find it without getting lost or anything – FYI streets don’t exactly have names here).  I was absolutely ready to cry from the stress of sitting around, waiting for people to take forever to accomplish tasks – unfortunately, my supervisor has never done this sort of thing before, so she had to have everything explained to her multiple times – and not knowing how I was even going to get dinner (I only found the 7/11 that night).
A friend who already had a phone (because he speaks Japanese, and so figured it out while we’d all been at orientation), happened to be in Tokyo for a festival with a coworker and the coworker’s friend, and invited me to come down for the evening.  So, I managed to access train schedules (just barely with the internet connection there), screen shotted them, and set up a rescue plan, should things not work out (i.e. I knew 7/11 had internet, so I’d go find any 7/11, and the friend would come find me there), before rushing off to Tokyo.
I walked right into my friend when I arrived in Tokyo, and was given a nice, big hug.  Hugs are really one of the best medicines.  We watched the tail end of the festival (very cool with dancing performances and drums and bells all along this long street), and then all went to dinner.  Turns out I only live a town over from the coworker’s friend, and she and I decided to be friends.  (We’ve been in touch ever since.)
Post-a-day 2018