Growing Roots

being rooted, growing roots, S.C Rhyne, starting over, new life

I’m marking the end of my third month in London by placing a holding deposit on a flat. This was a tough decision for me overall since the system is very different, and I had to not let the estate agent’s high pressure tactics, distract me from thinking through my options carefully.

For the last week I had two apartments in mind, in the same neighborhood with similar features except with a monthly difference of 25 GBP. I fell in love with the second flat since its layout was unique, and on the first impression was presented very well. (It is common to show an apartment or home in the U.K that hasn’t been cleaned. So imagine my surprise walking into a bathroom with a grayish bathtub inside). I placed offers on both places, and spent the week negotiating, the first one — the hungrier agent came back to me with a 10% markdown and asked for the deposit right away. The second one, the landlord (according to the agent) was a little wary about renting to someone without a history in the U.K and so the agent was spending a little more time negotiating with her.

I spent the last two or three days sending emails back and forth asking very specific questions about my deposit, when the cleaning will take place, and how it will be cleaned, my eligibility–since I have been in the U.K less than three months, etc…before I decided on Friday night to send my holding deposit and go through the referencing check. Heck, I was as open and forthcoming as possible — so if I fail referencing they will have to give my deposit back, right?

This wasn’t the apartment I “fell in love” with, but its still a great apartment! I have optimism about redecorating the space to make it my own.

The second agent came back with a positive acceptance on my dream home, but I will wait a couple days before telling her I will withdraw. Who knows what Monday or Tuesday will bring with these other guys?

So, you’d think that last night I went to bed all calm and peaceful with my decision, but I still had many scenarios running through my head. I haven’t seen the lease or tenancy agreement yet of course, but I kept wondering about what if certain key items are not stipulated?

The agency manages the flat, so what if they don’t make repairs in a timely manner? Is it legal in this country to go without heat and hot water for months, because the landlord “can’t afford to fix it”? This is what my landlady’s daughter said, although it sounds rubbish to me. It is a legitimate agency that’s based all over the U.K with a few overseas offices, so it makes me calm but yet suspicious that I will be treated like a number. What if the building burns down or becomes inhabitable for another reason — will the agency provide me with a place to stay temporarily and reimburse my deposit and the couple months that I put down in advance?

One always hopes for the best, but we need to be prepared for the worst case scenario; so I want to be sure that I have protection or recourse. But I have to admit, this worrying may stem from another place. Up until now, I still considered my situation here in the U.K temporary. It really seems like a long vacation, I think about my time in weeks and have a hard time picturing where or what I’ll be in a month or two. My room– in a quaint part of northern London was temporary, my job — collecting data for the finance sector in Central London was temporary and suppose to end next week, and I always joked that I’m just giving this “postgrad thing” a shot, but somewhere in the last week or two that has all changed.

My housing will not be temporary, as I asked for a 2 year lease. My HR person at work acted like I was crazy when I asked her to verify that my 8 weeks are up, “You have a temporary rolling contract, some of these employees have been here a year and only had two weeks off”. And I submitted my literature review which received positive feedback and am now networking with people who are working in the field that I want to be in, and are commending me for taking on this project.

Everything is taking place, in fact even in the beginning of this post I wrote “neighbourhood” automatically, but my American spellchecker caught it and I changed it quickly. It’s a strange panicky feeling in the pit of my gut as I think about how all this is routine now. Waking up, tea and porridge, read a little, shower, hop on the tube – not the subway, my slow computer at work,  grab a few things at Tesco or Sainsbury, come home type up some notes on the computer, check emails…, shower, another cup of tea, see what’s on the American news, text my friends on Facebook, and fall asleep before they can respond because many are on their way home from work.

And while I’m ranting, I could mention I’m almost through with a great novel called, Half of the Yellow Sun, that has been occupying my reading time this week, instead of dry academic writings for my project.

I’m not even looking forward to my Sunday softball game in a couple hours. My shoulder aches and I don’t understand how the temperature is reading higher than yesterday, but its cold and cloudy.

I’m growing roots, but I’m afraid I’ll be stuck again.



the british museum, syrian refugees, migrant crisis, eurropean migrants, cross, s.c. rhyne,

My eleventh day has passed in London, and I am not “counting the days” but nearing the end of my initial adjustment.

I know how to walk home from the two nearest “high streets” (what we would call main streets). I can ride the tubes and buses myself and understand the station stops or how to detour if there is service disruption, like what happened yesterday during my trip to the National British Museum:

Jubilee Line, Service Disruption, London Tube, S.C Rhyne, The Reporter and The Girl
No train home today!

I now know to check the website for weekend disruptions.

I wake up earlier in the mornings and jog most mornings on the high street or to a nearby park. Then I settle in and read or do more paperwork or research for permanent apartment, job, etc…I still feel like some of these things are happening waaayyy too slowly though.

My bank appointment is tomorrow, which was like the only appointment available in the London area of all January! So hopefully I can open an account, can’t believe it took so long!

I also finally figured out the difference between NI and NHS. I thought they were the same thing and have been going around telling folks that I paid for an NI number online and a card should be coming in the mail to me.

surprised horse, S.C Rhyne, The reporter and The girl
You paid how much?
OMG, isn’t that illegal?
You poor migrant!

These photos are a courtesy of

But then I actually called for it last week and applied for it, silly me.

Well, until my first seminar starts on Thursday, I decided to let my hair down just a little, and visit the British Museum. I have tons of photos that I will post separately, but wanted to share the featured image with you all first.

The makeshift wooden cross was the first piece I saw when I entered the museum. It was made from scraps of a boat that carried some Syrian refugees across the Mediterranean. Being a dangerous journey, its easy to see why someone would want a religious icon that would hopefully bring comfort and peace in the rough seas.

Even though I had a more comfortable trip to the U.K with “proper documents”; I’m reminded how lucky I am to be here and able to do this. I certainly did not choose my birthright and could have easily been born on an island in the Caribbean, if my parents weren’t fortunate or determine enough to come to the United States when immigration laws were different. My blue passport is the difference between waiting a couple of weeks for a visa, versus a couple of months, or maybe even a year.

Nonetheless, I feel some homesickness for the things I miss:

  • My YMCA back home, where I worked out everyday.
  • My normal sized car that always gave me a heart attack when the check engine light comes on.
  • My softball mitt.
  • My own bed. My own kitchen where I know where everything is, and can whip up a 5 course meal easy.

But then I remember why I decided to move abroad

  • Stuck in a rut with my job and career, I didn’t want to make a lateral move
  • I moved back home (’nuff said)
  • I needed something different, I have a routine there but nothing really keeping me here
  • No one keeping me here
  • I kept romanticizing the European lifestyle, I just had to see if I can come and live it out.

So in essence, we all come and go because of a dream or to live a better life. And by remembering these decisions, as well as the opportunity I have, it makes me feel determined again.

At least until I read the syllabus last night that contained 96 items that we are expected to read in the short 10 weeks of term.


I’m still fortunate.

Thank you to my readers and followers for sharing your ideas for places to visit and things to do, including solutions for jet lag!

So, have you ever been away from home for an extended period of time? How have you dealt with homesickness? Or even with friends and family members reaching out excessively or “upset” that you left?

Tweet me @ReporterandGirl

or tell me on Facebook or G+





Checking In, Before Checking Out


I hope everyone had a happy and (hopefully) stress-free holiday season! I had a full house on Christmas Friday, and thus spent most of the weekend resting and recuperating from being on my feet.

We are days away from the New Year, and for me — a week away from a transatlantic journey– this is the perfect time to think about upcoming goals and resolutions.

I started on some things for the New Year:

Being out of school for so long, I literally forgot how to study. So, for the past month I have been going to the library and printing papers related to the courses I will take. I also started an annotated bibliography so I can keep track of everything I have read.

I have also started saving my money…sort of. Well, let’s say I won’t be completely destitute on January 4th. I should still have enough for a commuter ticket when I arrive in London.

Although it is only two days away, there’s no reason to not start now on some of your goals! The sooner you embark on your journey, the sooner you get to where you’re going.

Trust me, especially for goal number two– I don’t know why I didn’t start in April!

Other than creating new goals, 2016 can also be a chance for a clean slate or a fresh start. Since last week, I have been saying my goodbyes, and telling friends and acquaintances of my upcoming departure date. One had remarked, “Its an excellent way to start the New Year!”

This semi-permanent move, which I have been thinking about for the better part of the year, has not been only about further education and career options. It has also been about pushing my independence, trying to make it on my own, and having a fresh start in a new place. A place where I will (initially) be anonymous and alone, and heck I’ll struggle.

This was really clear to me as I started packing and clearing out my drawers last night. I separated my clothing between the stuff I’d keep and what I will give away. Then I started organizing between the stuff I’d take and leave behind…and before I knew it, I was contemplating having boxes shipped to me since I couldn’t bring enough luggage (who can start over with only two bags?) on the plane and the anxiety started kicking in.


This is suppose to be a fresh start. Why do I want to bring so much baggage from my old life into my new one?

So I will only have two suitcases and a good excuse to go shopping in the Spring. Some people start a “new self” with a haircut or wardrobe, so I will be too.

Folks, what new journeys or goals will you be embarking on, in 2016? Tell me at:

Facebook or @ReporterandGirl or on G+

I’m also on Pinterest, follow me and I’ll follow your boards too! Please send me a message, so I can follow back!





Who Am I?

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Dear readers,

I want to introduce this anonymous submission from a friend of mine. He broke up with his girlfriend of two years, a couple months ago. And on my suggestion, wrote a piece today about his feelings. Please show him your support!

@ReporterandGirl or Facebook or G+.

What kind of fucked up, dark, twisted question is that? What does that even mean? I’m asking, seriously. What defines someone? Our actions? Thoughts? Beliefs? What I do when no one is around? Or better yet, what I do when everyone is around?

When you break up with someone, there’s this pressure to reinvent yourself. To find out who you are. But to me, having to deal with a breakup feels a lot like dealing with a loss of a loved one. But the loss of a loved is not the same. Your loved one is out there loving someone else and there’s nothing you can do about it. And you get to hear about the loved one often, and you want to ask but you hold back because you’re told it’s unhealthy to ask.

Losing someone brings out the worst in me.

sad guy, S.C RhyneI can’t sleep.

I can’t eat.

I can’t think.

Drinking helps.

It blurs out the shit feelings that have been following me like a 12 o’clock shadow. A 12 o’clock shadow is seen by no one except me. I’m standing on it. Very close to me, not very visible. Just enough to surround my feet and remind me that no matter where I go, it will follow.

Bad choice after bad choice after bad choice. Who gives a shit and why? Keep them coming, I’m in this for the long haul.

One drink

Two drinks

Six drinks

I wake up in my bed.

At least I got a night of sleep without waking up in the middle of the night. It’s the only way I can fall asleep without tossing and turning. It’s the only way I sleep without waking up every hour reminded of all the good times we shared together.

Women come and go too.

One woman

Two women

Six women

I wake up alone in my bed.

“I’m not like that” some weird fuck tells me. “I’m not?” I ask myself. Maybe that’s exactly who I am. Maybe it’s not. Maybe that question is simply too complex for me to answer. It’s an unfair question to begin with, because it assumes we can fully understand ourselves. Society keeps pressuring us to find ourselves. We need to know ourselves before we are able to be the best version of ourselves we can be.

Fuck.sad guy, lonely guy, break up, S.C Rhyne

One drink

Two drinks

Six drinks

I wake up in my bed. At least the hangover distracts me from the emptiness I feel in my chest. It’s like an anxiety ball that keeps moving just enough to remind me it’s there.



Never leaves.

It lives there, at the mouth of my stomach, and plays around the bottom of my rib cage.

“Focus on the pain.” “Embrace it”. “Experience it”. Fuck, just writing about it makes my hand shake. As I’m writing this, my hand is shaking. Right now- I’m feeling it. Just the thought of it drives me crazy.

Deep breaths.

In. Out.

In. Out.

I tried meditating yesterday. Fucking impossible. The recording kept telling me to relax and take deep breaths. It kept telling me to relax and release the tension in my body. Just let it go. I couldn’t do it. I simply could not let go. I slept three hours last night.

Again, one drink

Two drinks

Six drinks

I wake up in my bed. It’s the only way I get a full night’s sleep.

Everyone keeps telling me it will be OK. It will, I know it will. But it’s not right now and that reassurance doesn’t make the anxiety ball go away. I think about all the good times and my heart dies a little.

I’ve given up on me. When I lower my standards, things come easy to me. But comfort is not happiness and it’s definitely not the marker of success. I’m settling for less. Again and again. It’s just easier to cope this way. I want to settle for less and convince myself this is who I am. But I know I’ll never be happy this way.


It’s not because I know who I am, but because I know who I’m not. And maybe that’s the key to answering the question.

I have so much anger bottled up in my chest it makes me crazy. I miss her so much it hurts. I miss her companionship, I miss my safety net. I miss having someone to call at any time just to shoot the shit. Just to check in. To learn about what’s going on in her life and actually care about it more than what’s going on in mine.

Keep digging into me. I’ll get up and heal. At some point. A couple of years back I learned a valuable lesson in the army. We can give so much more than we think. We can push our bodies that much more. The secret is willing to let your body go. Caring more about giving it your all, than being able to get up again.

One more push up.

One more kilometer.

One more drink.

guy sit ups, guy working out, men exercising, fat guy exercising, S.C. RhyneThis mindset is a double edged sword. I can always push my liver. I can always push my brain into oblivion. How can I know my limits when I’m used to pushing the boundaries of my body. Another shot, another drink, another and another. Push, push, push and then I wake up in my bed.

One drink

Two drinks

Six drinks

I wake up in my bed.

And here I am, without being found. Just me- trying to figure it all out. And maybe this is the beauty in life. We don’t need to figure ourselves out. Just go out there and experience emotion. Love, laugh, be sad, get embarrassed. Appreciate all this because after all, I’d rather feel than not. Even if those feelings are negative, at least I know I’m alive.


Coping With a Breakup 101: Top Tips to Help Get Over The Ex

heartbreak, starting over, sewing a heart, broken heart, finding love

Breakups are hard to overcome, and moving on can feel nearly impossible. You may want to just stay in bed and eat, but the best way to move on from a breakup is to get up, get out and get active. Refocus your mind away from the emotional pain and start moving your life forward. The three things to remember: be social, be active, be open to possibilities. Here are a few tips in these areas:

Be Social

Surround yourself with friends and family, and make an effort to meet new people. Visit websites like to find clubs for like-minded people who get out socialize. Groups range from knitting circles, sports teams, hiking groups, motorcycle clubs and independent filmmaker workshops.

Social interaction is healthy and will help you stop thinking about your miserable ex. By joining new groups, you might even pick up an unexpected hobby and find new ways to express yourself:

Like blogging!

Be Active

Another outlet for those sorrowful feelings is exercise. Go for a hike or a run. Get out your aggression through cardio, boxing or weightlifting. Try Pilates, yoga or Zumba. The endorphins produced through physical activity can alleviate those sad, yucky feelings and get you to see things in a more positive light. Endorphins also help by improving self-esteem and positivity and reducing your perception of pain. So get up off the couch and go for a run—it will even be a sweet bonus if you happen to run into your ex and have the chance to show off your newly fit body!

Go out dancing. Get some friends together and take a beginners dance class. Chose from tap, swing, hip hop, ballet, or ballroom—the style doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you’re getting out, taking part in an upbeat activity and getting those endorphins flowing.

Even a night out dancing at a club can be a great time among friends. And remember: Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you dance goofy then dance goofy. Laughing and smiling will help you feel better.

Be Open to New Possibilities

Always be open-minded about new possibilities. Go to a museum. Attend a local food or culture festival. Listen to live music in your local area. Ever tried boating? Boating is a fun activity that gets you outdoors, and with the wind blowing through your hair, you’ll feel your troubles melt away. If you have never done it before, now is a great time to learn. Research the best boating spots in your area and go online to obtain your boating license if necessary.

Take advantage of the different seasons and choose activities that pique your interest. From sight-seeing right in your own backyard or learning something new, to hiking, dancing, boating and running—these are the healthful activities that will have you on your way to emotional healing in no time.

The key to moving on after breakups is staying active. While it may seem impossible to crawl out of bed, you will be happier when you do. Remember to try new things and to be social. There is hope after a breakup, you just have to believe it and go discover it.

So stop reading already, get up, and do something!

S.c Rhyne

Follow me @ReporterandGirl

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Top 4 American Cities for Starting Over

fresh start, moving on, letting go, the reporter and the girl, s.c rhyne, interracial relationships blog, arrow pointing

Life is a journey, and for many of us our journey takes us to new and vibrant places for a handful of reasons across the span of our lifetime such as landing a dream job, starting a family, or moving on to the next chapter in life. For those who are looking for a fresh place to hang their hats, the following four American cities are wonderful places to start over.

Anchorage, Alaska

From its awe-inspiring scenic beauty and relatively low unemployment rate to its strong local economy, Anchorage is a top city to live and work. For people looking to elevate their careers, consider that over a quarter of the companies in Anchorage are planning on hiring new workers, with job prospects in the financial, construction, education, leisure and health service industries being especially strong, according to MSN. Job seekers who are looking for a new career and a promising job market are sure to do well with a move way up north. Forget the all-work no-play mentality—Anchorage is a great for location for outdoor enthusiasts to play—hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, and other outdoor adventures wait outside of your door each day if you move to this city.

I lived in Anchorage for a short period and have thought about going back to get away from things.

Johnson City, Tennessee

For people who have had enough of sky-high rents and astronomical grocery bills, The Volunteer State offers a very low cost of living. Tennessee has no income tax and is second to only Oklahoma for its budget-friendly living expenses, according to Business Insider. Known as Tennessee’s Green City, Johnson City has earned top honors, receiving the state’s first Green City Leadership award for its environmental efforts. Eco-conscious folks who relocate to Tennessee will find that the rent or mortgage on their new home is so reasonable, they will have plenty of wiggle room in the budget for home improvement projects, such as adding green features like energy efficient windows, new roofing, and custom doors to their new abode.

Phoenix, Arizona

Although the capital of Arizona was hit especially hard during the recent recession, the city is bouncing back to be better than ever. Many homes are now available at extremely reasonable prices and people ages 20-29 are flocking to this city. Phoenix is also home to a number of major corporations, including Intel, PetSmart, Motorola, and top employers include Bank of America and Wal-Mart. Granted, Phoenix gets pretty toasty in the summer with temperatures that easily top 110 degrees on some days, but as former Northeasterners who now call Phoenix home like to say, “You don’t have to shovel sunshine.” The weather is gorgeous for the majority of the year, the employment outlook is positive, and there’s a plethora of fantastic restaurants and a rich culture—all of these things help make Phoenix a great place for young people to reinvent themselves.

Bethesda, Maryland

Moms and dads who hold education in high regard and wouldn’t mind switching careers should consider Bethesda, Maryland. The area has an exceptionally low unemployment rate of around 5 percent, which is over 2 points lower than the national average, according to Forbes. In addition, the housing market is very strong, and the state is listed as number one in the entire country for its school systems. Boasting a great quality of life, Bethesda often appears on on lists ranking the livability of top cities, making this town an excellent place to live.

Guest Post: 5 Reasons Your Relationship With Your Ex Was Not As Great As You Think

breaking up, getting back together, ex, interracial dating, relationships, Jon and Sabine dating, The Reporter and The Girl, moving on, hard letting go

By Kevin

Do you ever regret breaking up with your ex? Do you think the relationship with your ex was amazing and you messed it up?

If so, you are probably not thinking things thoroughly. Here is a list of reasons why your relationship with your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend was not as great as you think.

1. Emotions

Break-ups can really mess up your mind. You are feeling emotions left and right and it seems the easy way to stop feeling these emotions is to get back with your ex. You start trying to convince yourself that your relationship was pretty good and getting back together will be a good idea. But in reality, you are just trying to avoid the break-up pain and the grieving by going back to a relationship that gave you this pain in the first place. Studies have shown that breakup pain is very real, and your mind will try to avoid this pain at any cost; even if it means getting back into a bad relationship.

2. You Are Just Lonely

After a long day at work, you come home, you eat your dinner alone and you go to bed alone. While lying down in bed, you start remembering your ex. You start remembering the things you loved about your ex. How they cooked chili for you and watched those movies with you. How they cuddled you in bed and whispered good night in your ear. How they kissed you every morning before you went to work. And all this suddenly makes you feel that your relationship with your ex was pretty good. Actually, the thing that you really miss is a relationship, not your ex. And it’s completely OK to want a relationship, as long as you don’t return to a bad one.

3. Investment

You know how some people stay in a bad relationship just because they’ve already invested a lot of time in it? It’s hard to give up on something you’ve already put so much time and effort in. If your relationship with your ex lasted for a long time, you’ve probably made a lot of sacrifices, put in a lot of effort and gone through a lot together. After a break-up, it seems easier to continue that relationship instead of doing everything again. You try to convince yourself that because you’ve invested so much in the relationship, it must be worth holding on to. But in reality, it’s nothing like that. If you think about it, the relationship didn’t work even after you made so much investment. And that just means your relationship was broken.


After a failed relationship, your faith in the opposite sex and relationships in general tends to shake a bit. You start feeling like there is no one better than your ex out there. You start ignoring all the bad things about your ex and start concentrating on the good things. You try to convince yourself that he or she is more suitable to you than the rest of the world. This happens usually after a bad date: you meet someone who is completely out of whack, and you can’t help thinking about how great your relationship was with your ex-partner. But in reality, you are just convincing yourself to settle for someone who is less than what you deserve. There are tons of people out there who are much more suitable for you than your ex; you just haven’t met them yet. And when you do, you will realize that she or he was not the only one for you.

5. You Broke Up

You started a relationship with him or her. You loved, laughed, had great time together, fought, worked on your relationship, and tried to solve your problems. All these things are normal in any good relationship. But in the end, for whatever reasons, you broke up. That alone should be enough to realize that your relationship was broken; because if there wasn’t something majorly wrong with your relationship, you wouldn’t have broken up. If you think that you broke up because of a reason that is not a big deal, then you are kidding yourself. If you could’ve fixed it, you wouldn’t have broken up.

Kevin writes about breakups and getting your ex back at Thinking about getting back together with your ex? Make sure you read this first.

Follow Kevin more articles on break ups and moving on at:

Tweet him at (@thompkevin123)