Liebster Award

Brace yourselves for a throwback- I finally got around to accepting my Liebster Award nomination! A huge and heartfelt thank you to the lovely author of for the nomination. For those of you who don’t know, the Liebster is an award passed on by bloggers to new blogs worth reading (blogs with less than 200 followers). Although Life Measured in Coffee Spoons has reached close to 700 followers in the interim months, at the time of the nomination (immediately following my first Freshly Pressed appearance back in May), I had less than 100 followers. If someone had told me that a year after beginning this almost self-addressing, incoherent sampling of thoughts, 677 people would be reading my writing on the regular, I probably would’ve choked on my coffee or exhibited some other incredibly graceful expression of skepticism. Now, in blogging terms, it may not sound like much. But internally, each time I receive notification of a new following, I just sit back and think “WHAT IS LIFE? I LOVE YOU ALL” and promptly commence an in-depth creeping on your websites.

The reasons for my untimely delay are numerous. For one, I became aware of this nomination back when I was literally copying and pasting my responses to comments from a Word document into WordPress due to wi-fi issues. For another, I read the questions and my mind went flatline with panic. In other words, an appropriate alternate title for this post would be “Shit just got real.” It’s not often someone asks me to soliloquize on happiness, potential reincarnation, death, and fear.  “How would you like to die?” isn’t exactly fodder for casual conversation brought up by acquaintances over coffee. So thank you, Arbitrary Press, for the unique opportunity to reflect more deeply on who I am, what I want, and what I believe. Challenge belatedly but enthusiastically accepted!


Recipients of the Liebster Award must:


11 Random Facts About Me:

1) I had a bit of a nomadic childhood, moving five times before reaching the ripe old age of middle-schooler. I don’t just adapt well to change- I crave it.

2) When I moved into my freshman dorm, I brought six boxes. Four and a half of them were filled to the brim with books.

3) In high school, I ran Cross Country and Track and Field. Throughout my life, I’ve also loved gymnastics and dance. I still love running, ballet, modern dance, and yoga. Basically, if I’m not sore, I’m not doing life right.

4) I often read more than one book at a time. I’m currently working on Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, Writing Beyond the Ending: Narrative Strategies of Twentieth-Century Women Writers by Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

5) I really want to go to South American rain forest and visit the sloths someday. Actually one of my life goals.

6) I love Dead Languages. I took eight years of Latin, three years of Ancient Greek, and I own translations of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in both languages.

7) I failed at Twitter. My account is listless and neglected. At this point, I honestly only use it to promote new posts on this blog, which is boring and disappointing to those who have mastered the art of the tweet.

8) I am a brother in a national service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega, and it is one of the best things in my life right now. Delta Kappa love!

9) I am obsessed with food trucks. ALL THE NOMS.

10) I pretend to be annoyed when people misspell with intent (read: memes, texting, the entire internet), but sometimes I get secret and inexplicable joy from typing ERMAGAWD instead of Oh My God. But only in the deepest, darkest recesses of my soul.

11) I rage occasionally, just to maintain the illusion that I am a young Millennial, but my ideal Friday night is sitting on the couch in sweatpants doing puzzles and watching movies with my roommate. I should just join a retirement home already. I’m going to be exceptionally good at retirement.

11 Questions from Nominator: 

1) What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I think the only way to be perfectly happy is to stop searching for perfection. Happiness for me derives from contentment in the present moment. Things like lamplight reflecting off wet pavement, a warm cup of chai tea in the morning with no where to go, the strain of violins, waking up in the morning still smelling like the person who kissed me goodnight, the smell of cinnamon and leather emitted by old books and the crackle of the pages as they’re turned, bacon, summer rain, suddenly seeing something I’ve seen thousands of times before from a new angle, plaid, those smooth stones found on the bank of a creek, platonic cuddling, getting a letter in the mail, driving down winding roads, and that feeling of completion I get when I insert the perfect title where I had typed “untitled.” I could go on, but I’m sure you get the general idea. Those things bring me happiness because they are complete in themselves, and there are no expectations that can be left unfulfilled. They are all inextricably bound with things I love, like other people or writing, but they don’t have to be anything other than what they are already. In short, they simply exist and that’s enough.

2) What is your greatest fear?

This is a complete cop-out, but I’m going to have to bandwagon with Winston Churchill and say fear itself. My greatest fear is that I will allow my fears to prevent me from experiencing and being all that I should. My second greatest fear is roller coasters. Just, no.

3) On what occasion do you lie?

I lie most often in my selective self-presentation to others. I intentionally avoid mentioning subjects and expressing opinions in a contrary environment. For example, in any political conversation with my conservative parents, I used to try introducing a few intelligent oppositional points. Two words: Unexploded minefield. Now I just smile, nod, and when pressed, completely and shamelessly agree.

I also tend to lie in the beginning of relationships about completely ludicrous and inconsequential things. For example, the guy will say “I’m allergic to peanuts” and I’ll be all “Totally, me too.” Why, you may ask. WHO KNOWS! It’s just a reflex, as if sharing a mutual allergy would automatically create some deep emotional connection. Suffice it to say, I always get caught eventually and **spoiler alert** it turns out that the success or failure of the relationship does not entirely depend on whether or not we both like burritos.

4) What is your motto? 

No regrets! More specifically, don’t regret the things you did, regret those that you didn’t. Sure, it gets me into trouble on the rare occasion, but even then, any residual regret is brief and I end up learning and experiencing so much more from those mistakes than from anything else in my life.

Fear is an infallible litmus test. If the idea of doing or saying something absolutely terrifies me, it’s usually a good indication that I should take the plunge. If it wasn’t important to me, I wouldn’t waste time obsessively worrying about it. The exception being common sense speaking through fear. There’s a huge difference between thinking “Maybe I should forget medicine and start following my passions, even though I’m risking x,y, and z” and “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t try cocaine, because I don’t want to screw with my cardiovascular system.”

5) When and where were you happiest?

I’m happiest when I’m productive. I enjoy investing my time and energy into things and people that I genuinely care about, and getting shit done. As to where, I have two extremely polarized happiness superlatives. When I’m in recharging mode, I’m happiest completely alone with a book, some good food, or just savoring the sweetness of doing nothing. I’m also happiest just talking to the various extraordinary and interesting people in my life.

6) Which talent would you most like to have?

Small talk. I marvel at those who can stretch a single inane remark into a lengthy conversation with a charismatic wave of their hand. I happen to be an extreme introvert who loves people, the result being a paradoxical, coexisting shyness and buoyancy. With those who know me well (such as my keyboard), I rarely shut up. With strangers, my ability to speak intelligible English requires more powerful fodder than the state of the sky or a delicious pastry.

Either that, or being able to play the banjo. Or really any musical instrument for that matter.

7) What is your current state of mind?

 I consistently have an inachievably and excessively long to-do list, so the fact that I’m writing a blog post automatically categorizes my state of mind as what I like to call the excited state, my most creative and insistent state, For some reason (most likely due to my fascination with science and one too many years of chemistry), I view inspiration on the molecular level of energized electrons. When forced to describe the inexplicable energy for a writing workshop, I summarized the feeling as “the held breath before the igniting spark.”

8) What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My decision to abandon 18 years of pre-med planning in order to declare an English major. See pretty much any post on this blog for elaboration.

9) If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

I’m not particularly well-versed in reincarnation traditions, so I don’t have an informed answer for this question. So I took this highly skewed internet quiz that told me I shall be reincarnated as a god: I mean, I won’t complain, but like anyone’s going to select the “I want to torture babies” option.

10) If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

This guy: The giant elephant shrew. I don’t really have a profound reason. I just think it would be cool to defy nature and scientific classification by existing.

11) How would you like to die?

I really don’t have a preference. As a general rule, I’d prefer that it be a surprise. However, there are definitely ways that I DON’T want to die (from bad to worst): stab wounds, a rape/murder combo, ebola. The first two are pretty self-explanatory. All I can say for the third is that taking biology classes evokes all sorts of irrational, paranoid fears regarding exotic diseases. I’m not picky, but please dear God, not ebola. Not like this.

11 Nominations:

1)      literarytaco: a guide to literary prizes and awards:

2)      WA A woman to world: Notes from an external expat:

3)     Overeducated and Unemployed: How a 20-something Stays Positive:

4) Politicomedy:

5) The Ghost Writer:

6) Bewitched by Books:

7) Beyond Enlightenment:

8) Confessions of a Prep School English Teacher:

9) This Nerding Life:

10) Ponderings of a Cinephile:

11) Words and Context:

11 Questions for Nominees: 

1) What book has changed your life and why?

2) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?

3) What is your favorite meal?

4) Why did you start blogging?

5) If your life had a soundtrack, what songs would it include?

6) What is your idea of perfect happiness?

7)  If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

8) What advice would you give to a new blogger?

9) What is your idea of a successful life?

10) What is your favorite movie that you’re afraid to admit is your favorite movie?

11) Do you have a bucket list? If so, list three items from it. If not, make something up!


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