i choose to stay.

Last year, I wrote a post about FOMO (read: the truth about fomo as a peace corps volunteer). I mentioned how being a Volunteer means missing out on birthdays and other significant milestones back home. But, there is one thing I left out.


Because the thought of death still makes me uncomfortable, although death is as natural as life.

On Sunday, February 11, my Gramps was placed in hospice care. He passed away early in the morning on Saturday, February 17, the day after my 31st birthday. He was 87 years old.

With only 3 months remaining of my service, I choose to stay in Namibia. This was not an easy decision to make.

Throughout the course of the week, my days were filled with what can only be described as signs from God. Signs of comfort and peace and understanding. This helped guide me through the grief of being away from home during such a significant time for my family.



I choose to stay.

Because I want to continue your legacy of service to others.
Because I want to remember your glances as if you already knew you were looking at me for the last time.
Because I want to remember your big white smile and gentle laugh.
Because I know you wanted me to remember your life and not your death.
Because no matter how far away I am in distance, you’ll always be in my heart.

Dedicating my Peace Corps Service to my Gramps
Cary Holland, Jr.
November 13, 1930 – February 17, 2018

❤ Krystal


While I was in the process of updating my blog about my life in Namibia, I received horrible news about yet another mass shooting in the US.

My heart is heavy. My stomach is in knots.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the terrible event that took place in Orlando but when irrational things like this occur there never seems to be an answer.

At least not immediately.

Today, prior to the news I felt an overwhelming sense of being a proud American. Proud to serve my country in a way some only dream of as a US Peace Corps volunteer. As the news broke, my American proud turned into a dark cloud of embarrassment, grief, and anger. This is not America. Not again.

My heart hurts because I feel helpless in Namibia.

My heart hurts because I don’t understand how someone can take away a life as if it doesn’t matter.

My heart hurts because I have LGBTQ friends.

My heart hurts because no one deserves to die in a nightclub.

My heart hurts because it could have been my friends.

My heart hurts because someone lost their friend.

I’m so tired of this hate.

Tonight, as I head to bed with tear-filled eyes, I just want to hug my friends back home. People no different than you or I. Friends with feelings and emotions much like mine. Friends who are afraid to grab dinner and go dancing to celebrate the end of weekend.

No matter your religion, color, sex, or sexual orientation. NO ONE SHOULD BE AFRAID TO LIVE.

Hug your friends and family tight.

To my friends back home and my new PC family, I love you and I’ve got your back. 

♡ Krystal

thank you for dumping me.

Thank you for dumping me.

Because when it comes down to it, I wasn’t brave enough to dump you.

We were great together. We had fun. We traveled. We loved. We started to dream and plan our future together.

In the end, you decided we were better off going our separate directions. And you know what?

Thank you.

I mean that in the most sincere and honest way ever.

It wasn’t fair of me to expect more than you could give.

I’m going to say this out loud. I have dad issues. They are buried so deep and instead of leaning on you as my partner in crime, friend, and lover, I relied on you to fix the hurt from a past that you couldn’t fix. That you shouldn’t fix.

It wasn’t fair to you. 

I gave up things that made me happy and expected you to do the same. Instead of uniting to make the best two people, I expected each of us to sacrifice everything. We slowly began to suffocate. Our aspirations became a thing of yesterdays.

Emotions aside, I held on to us so hard, because everything around me was crashing down. Instead of being the one by your side or leading the way. I was the one behind you pushing. Ignoring wants, needs, and desires. Pushing. Forcing things in a time and place that neither of us was ready for at the time. Not together, at least.

So, in the upcoming months, things are changing for both of us. Things that would have never come to fruition if we were together neither professionally and personally.

Sometimes there is no “closure”, you just move on. And you know what? That’s okay. To come out of this unchanged, would be a disservice to myself.

For the times we had together, I will cherish forever.

❤ Krystal


*Edited September 8, 2017*


>>–> follow your dreams <–<<


I am still coming back to reality from the last week. I guess I graduated last weekend. Milestones such as this sneak up on me so quickly. Plus, it has been a difficult concept for me to grasp, since 1) Commencement isn’t until May and 2) I still need to take my board exam.

Last Friday night, I was able to celebrate the marriage of two friends in Oklahoma City. Then, I rushed back to Texas on Saturday morning to take a cat nap, study a little, and head to my final exam for my Anatomy and Physiology II class.

When I finished my exam, I called my mom to tell her how it went. I cried in relief of it being over with. I also began to cry about all of the life events that have transpired in the month and days prior. It was finally a chance for me to be still(ish) and absorb the moment.

Once I approached my neighborhood, I told my mom I would have to call her back. I walked in and to my surprise, my mom was standing there waiting for me. However she pulled this off, I do not know. But, all that mattered was my mom was here. I gave her a huge hug as I cried like a big 28 year old baby.


I want to thank all of my friends and family who have supported me over the last two years:

Josie and Dennis D: Thank you for the room and board, delicious food, shoulders to cry on and listening ears. Thanks for checking my car for flats and making sure I bundled up when I weather got cold. Thanks for celebrating my promotions and giving me advice on approaching serious subjects. I love you both and thank God for you both.

Rachel W: Thank you for the text messages and phone calls throughout this time. You always lift my spirits. You are a great friend.

Libby D: Thank you for the beer and/or wine and pep talks. Thanks for helping me pronounce all those stupid medical words and visiting me on my coffee breaks. Thanks for telling me like it is and keeping me grounded.

Carrie H: Thank you for the continued encouragement throughout this entire journey and reminding me that not everyone can do this. Thanks for listening to my blubbering tears through the phone and letting me know that it was going to be okay. I love you so much, sis.

Stephany P: Thanks for being my voice of reason. You are always there to help me think out loud and really dig deep. Thank you for your support, emails, text, and calls.

Brent and Kyle: Thanks for being my study relief with good laughs and company. I needed that.

❤ Krystal