Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Dispatch from the Brink of Change

Sitting down in seat 15 E on a Boeing seven hundred-something, tears rushed to overfill my eyes. I plunged my face into Carl’s chest, feeling a taste of relief and comfort as he wrapped his arm around my shoulder. “I don’t know why I’m crying,” I spluttered. But I do know. I cried today because this is my last flight into Tucson as an Arizona resident, at least for the next three years. As excited as I am for the years to come, I am equally saddened by what they mean. From where I’m standing, three years—and maybe then some—seems like a long time to be away from home.

I don’t remember the last time I wrote a blog post. I could go into all the details of what has changed and what has happened between now and then, but most of it seems irrelevant. I’d rather spend time on where I am now and where I’m going.

So, where am I? Physically, I am still in seat 15 E flying from St. Louis to San Diego, then on to Tucson. But beyond this uncomfortable navy blue airplane chair, I am waist-deep in transition. As of the end of May, my only income is derived from subbing yoga classes. The government has agreed (rather quickly and easily, I might add) to loan me more than $100,000 over the course of three years so that I can become a physical therapist. When we return to our little house in Tucson, I will begin sorting through my belongings, packing boxes, and attending a series of “going-way” events. I’ve been doing a lot of goodbye-ing lately. Although each of those farewells is given under the assumption that it is not goodbye forever, I can’t shake the feeling that it could be. It could be a very long time before I touch down in the desert and call it my place of residence again. Luckily, just because you don’t physically live somewhere doesn’t mean you can’t call it home.

I never thought I would leave Arizona for the Midwest. Sure— I thought I would leave, but not for Missouri! As I discovered this week during our visit-campus-and-find-an-apartment trip to St. Louis, it turns out that driving for 21 hours in the middle of summer to start a new life there isn’t a bad idea after all. In fact, I left feeling truly satisfied with my decision. St. Louis seems like the kind of place we can be happy. Most places are. But I know I will miss Arizona and everything it means to me. The mountains, painted in hues of purple across the horizon. The sky at sunset, ablaze with pinks and yellows and oranges. The cacti, erupting with splashes of color in the spring, as if someone dropped hundreds of paint balls across the desert floor. The monsoons, cascading down from sky to gutters to puddles in thick, impenetrable curtains.

The smell of wet creosote. That is, the smell of rain.

I remember the first time it rained in Paris during my year there. I was confused! “It’s raining?” I asked myself. “But it smells like…like old cigarettes and decaying leaves. This isn’t what rain smells like!” As I get ready to move to the great state of Missouri, one of my recurring concerns is the fact that when it rains, it won’t smell like rain.

A small thing to worry about, I suppose. I don’t worry about finding community or making friends or being happy. I’ve learned that if you want those things, you can make them happen anywhere. I am not afraid to start over. In fact, I’m relishing the idea of being anonymous, of leaving behind this familiar place that is haunted by so many ghosts and what-ifs. No more somersaults in my belly as I unexpectedly run into a person I once loved. No more anxiety bubbling to the top when I see a familiar silhouette in the distance, holding my breath, thinking, “Shit—could that be…”  It’s a unique opportunity to be able to start out with an untouched canvas, to be able to choose the paint and shapes and strokes anew, to be able to decide what a place means to me as a more confident, more complete version of myself. It’s a privilege that I appreciate more deeply with every passing day.

So where am I going, then? I’m going to St. Louis, MO to attend Washington University’s three-year doctor of physical therapy program. But I’m also going on a daunting adventure. And more importantly, I’m going down a path to personal fulfillment, chasing after that thing that fills my cup and brings meaning to my life. That’s what I’ve learned about living so far: you can’t wait for something better more fulfilling more exciting more challenging more meaningful to come along of its own volition and find you. You have to go get it.

Forest Park

A winding path in Forest Park, St. Louis, MO



Filed under Miscellaneous, Prose

Relearning an old lesson

Last week, in my five-month letter from Paris, I said Paris’s grim and grey day-to-day life had thrown me into melancholie. As I wrote that letter, I longed for blue skies and friendly faces, but I felt they would never come. Well, ask and you shall receive, my friends! These past few days have been some of the sunniest I’ve seen all winter.

My friend Matthieu snapped these photos a couple of days ago as we strolled through the Parc de Sceaux, which I blogged about  last year. The sun was teasing us as we walked, peeking out from behind the clouds just long enough for us to notice how beautiful the park looked in its rays.

parc de sceaux 1parc de sceaux 2parc de sceaux 3

Do you see the rainbow?

It snowed a day after Matthieu took those pictures, and he went back to the park to capture it under a light blanket of snow.

parc de sceaux snow 1parc de sceaux snow 3parc de sceaux snow 5parc de sceaux snow 4

 Hm, that château looks familiar

It’s amazing how when you ask for something and actively strive to bring it into your life, it appears. I’m not just talking about sun, here. I mean that optimism and happiness I thought I’d lost. I mean friends and family who take all the clouds away. Sometimes, all you need to do is reach out to people and empower yourself in order for the things you desire to appear in your life. I’ve learned that first-hand in the past week or so, and it’s a lesson I’ll be sure to never forget.

It’s funny, though— I’d already come across this life lesson before.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment.”

That quotation comes from Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I read over the summer. I shared this quote and many others from the book on the blog, but just like blessings, words of wisdom are things we need to continuously revisit, relearn and reapply.

As I continue to seek out positivity, now and throughout my entire life journey, I know this lesson will find me again and again. And thank goodness for it.

What are your favorite words of wisdom? Share them in the comments below, this girl can always use them! 

Smiles and all the best,


All photos are by Matthieu Surjous! Merci beaucoup! 


Filed under Miscellaneous, Paris, Photos

12 Months Untethered: A Year in Review

Bonne année, everybody! It’s amazing to think that I started blogging here at Untethered as a Cloud just over a year ago. This little blog has been a wonderful way to document all of the adventures 2012 brought, and I hope you’ve enjoyed following along. Here is a review of the past 12 months, your favorite posts and a few of mine. Click on the photos to read the posts you missed! Enjoy!


1. January:  The first ever “Photo of the Week.”

Arizona Sunset 2

2. February: Loving Tucson, Ariz. more and more.

Abby crossing

3. March: Abby and I roadtrip it to San Fran! 

4. April: I publish “So what I didn’t wear a bra today,” Untethered’s most popular poem, and post.

with the tractor 2

4. May: I make my second trip to Eureka, Calif., to see the bestie.

Under the Gardland

5. June: Untethered gets crafty with the DIY photo garland.

Hair Main

6. July: Mid-hair woes bring out some creativity.


8. August: I move to France!


9. September: Settle into the new place in Paris.

My Dress

10. October: Slut Walk Paris.

sceaux far 2

11. November: Good times and good friends in Sceaux, France.


12. December: La Manif pour Égalité

It’s been a great year, my friends. Full of transformation, learning and living life to the fullest.

What was your favorite part of 2012? 

May your New Year’s dreams come true…

Smiles and all the best,


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Filed under Miscellaneous, Most Popular

A holiday gram from me to you!


Just a little more than a year ago, my old roommate, Abby the incredible, and I shared our rendition of “Baby it’s Cold Outside” with you and the interwebs. Well, this year Abby is off galavanting through the Southern Hemisphere in a bikini while I am freezing my butt off in Paris. Typical. Still, even though I’m only one half of our dynamic duo, I decided to record a song for you all anyway! Voilà, my favorite song of the season, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin:

Like it? You can listen to it on Soundcloud, too:

What’s your favorite song of the holiday season? Leave a comment a let me know—I need new ideas for next year! 

Enjoy the music, and may the holidays bring you warmth, love and happiness!

Smiles and all the best,




Filed under Miscellaneous, Projects

Untethered’s First Award! Or “OMG I can’t believe I have followers who aren’t my parents!”

My dear Untethered friends, your favorite little blog, Untethered as Cloud, has received the Liebster Award! The lovely Liv from When Ideas Fail nominated me, and I am so thrilled to be a recipient! Thank you Liv, and thank you to everybody else who helps to make this blog what it is!

So what’s the Liebster anyway? 

The Liebster Blog award is given to up and coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. “Liebster” means “dearest” in German.

The Rules:

1. If you are tagged/nominated, you have to post 11 facts about yourself.
2. Then you answer the 11 questions the tagger has given you & make 11 questions for the people you are going to tag.
3. Tag 11 more bloggers, and let them know.
4. No tagging back.
5. The person you tag must have fewer than 200 followers.

So without further ado…

11 facts about me: 

  1. My favorite beverage is hot chocolate, and I consider myself a hot chocolate connoisseur.
  2. I clean my ears every morning. If I don’t, my ears bother me all day long.
  3. My favorite instrument is the piano, but I don’t know how to play it.
  4. I hate walnuts.
  5. When I was five years old, I dreamed of going to Harvard and becoming a chemist.
  6. My favorite movie is The Sandlot.
  7. I’ve read The Great Gatsby three times.
  8. I started writing my first novel when I was 11– The Articles of Nymph– and I started writing my second when I was 13– Summer at Aunt Ellie’s. 
  9. I’m currently living in Paris. It’s OK.
  10. I have a pet cactus named Luz.
  11. I’m a Virgo.

5 questions from Liv: 

  1. What book did you read most recently? The last book I read was Borderlands by Gloria Anzaldúa. The last book I finished was Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? If I could travel anywhere, I would go to the Amazon. There, I would build a tree house.
  3. Winter or summer? SUMMER. I’m an Arizona girl. This means I love the sun, and the cold scares me. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the change of seasons, the falling leaves, the sparkling snow. But if I have to choose, give me blue skies and warm nights.
  4. Coffee or tea? I may love coffee just as much as I love hot chocolate. I drink coffee every morning, without fail. Hence, I’ll take the coffee. Black.
  5. Sweet or sour? I am notorious for my sweet tooth! I love all things sweet. And I love all things sweet and salty even more.

My nominees!

Fit for a Femme

boy with a hat

Seeking Style

Young and Writerly

Chez Cerise

(I couldn’t make it to 11, either, and I have no idea how many followers these bloggers have. Oh well!)

My 11 questions for these fine bloggers:

  1. If you could be any music album, which album would you be?
  2. What is the first thing you do every morning? (After you pee.)
  3. Which book has impacted your life the most?
  4. Which cartoons/comics did you watch/read as a child?
  5. What is your favorite day of the week, and why?
  6. If you could be a city, which city would you be?
  7. Who is your favorite fictional protagonist?
  8. White, red or rosé?
  9. Why did you start blogging?
  10. What are your goals as a blogger?
  11. How did you spend your last birthday?

Once again, merci à tous, especially Liv for the nomination!

Happy Monday!

Smiles and all the best,


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Filed under Miscellaneous