University of Oregon

Beyond My Borders: Madeleine Dreyfuss

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When I was 21 years old, I left home rather innocently, with no intentions of relocating permanently. The 2010 World Cup buzz and a promising summer internship lured me to Cape Town, a slice of paradise in a country pulsing with a compelling history and a contagious energy.  I spent ten weeks in the art department of a small publishing company, designing layouts and desperately trying to keep up with the local banter. While my interning peers came home with stories about delivering babies and counseling AIDS survivors, my head was spinning to validate my passion of media, art, and design. Eight weeks into my stay, I met my reason for staying in South Africa,  packed up, moved back to Eugene, Oregon to graduate from the University of Oregon school of Journalism and Communication, and a week after graduation was on a plane back to Cape Town.

To feel most of what you know slip out from under you for someone you love is an experience that is as beautiful as it is difficult. I feel that now I have two homes, am so closely connected with the people and places in two different parts of the world that no matter where I am, I will always miss the other.  I’ve been fortunate enough to make steady advances in my career in graphic design as Cape Town is a bustling design capital. I’ve also met some of the most genuine and interesting people I’ve come across, some of which I’ve been able to travel across the country with.  I’ve also been able to evolve and explore the greatest friendship I’ve known with my other half.

I refused to be comfortable, to be stagnant, to rest on what I wasn’t content with and because of that leap, I’m here. 10,231 miles away from family and friends but surrounded by support and love and new friendships. It’s taken time to get settled and every day presents itself with something new, something uncomfortable, or something I’m not familiar with but I can’t get enough of the adventure. I don’t know how long I’ll stay, or what the distant future holds for me, but coming here has been one of the best decisions I’ve made and I’m eager to see where it takes me.

The only advice I have for those thinking about taking a leap is to trust yourself, have faith in your own strength, and remember that it’s okay to feel uncertain or uncomfortable because of what you will undoubtedly learn along the way.

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You can catch more of her travels here on her blog!

Hip-hip Hooray!

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"In the cookie dough of life sisters are the chocolate chips." Today, August 30th, is my sister’s birthday and oh how glad I am that God blessed me with that oh so special chocolate chip to call my own. I can’t begin to even describe how much I love her and how much she means to me. As I sit here at my keyboard and try to conjure up the right words to say all our memories, jokes, her bits of godly advice, and ways she’s shown her love time and time again come to mind. I won’t begin to reminisce over them all -don’t want to bore you all- but sissy you know what moments I mean. Our itchy walks, dear Dora, kissing dating goodbye, shady meadow, nysync dance moves, love comes softly part 10, mt. Olivet, etc, etc.

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Cheesy as it sounds, even though it’s your birthday it’s you who has given me the best gift -actually I should say gifts- of all. A best friend, mentor, protector, example-setter, and overall, a sister. Simioskotoskos! As the saying goes, it’s not the years in the life but the life in the years. This may be your last year in the 20s and the last time for a while that we are in the same decade but there is still A LOT more to come.

I’m so blessed by you and your presence in my life. I love you soooo very much.

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Happy Birthday.

The Doors

… on the streets around my campus are divine! I’ve been taking classes the the University of New South Wales for around a month now and everyday my walk to campus has introduced me to some colorful views. During my four years at the University of Oregon I don’t think I appreciated my beautiful campus until the last two terms of my senior year (womp, womp, womp). Well, I have definitely learned this time not to take beauty for granted.

The Doors

… on the streets around my campus are divine! I’ve been taking classes the the University of New South Wales for around a month now and everyday my walk to campus has introduced me to some colorful views. During my four years at the University of Oregon I don’t think I appreciated my beautiful campus until the last two terms of my senior year (womp, womp, womp). Well, I have definitely learned this time not to take beauty for granted.

The Doors

… on the streets around my campus are divine! I’ve been taking classes the the University of New South Wales for around a month now and everyday my walk to campus has introduced me to some colorful views. During my four years at the University of Oregon I don’t think I appreciated my beautiful campus until the last two terms of my senior year (womp, womp, womp). Well, I have definitely learned this time not to take beauty for granted.

The Doors

… on the streets around my campus are divine! I’ve been taking classes the the University of New South Wales for around a month now and everyday my walk to campus has introduced me to some colorful views. During my four years at the University of Oregon I don’t think I appreciated my beautiful campus until the last two terms of my senior year (womp, womp, womp). Well, I have definitely learned this time not to take beauty for granted.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

Here are the keys to my first apartment. I just moved out. Life is becoming all too real for me. However, it is with that that I say I accept the challenge. What’s the challenge you ask? Everything. I accept the challenge that leftover school funds will no longer be paying for my humble abode anymore so I now have to go out and search for a job. I accept the challenge that my next job should not be a cashier or waitress just so I can pay the bills. I accept the challenge that looking for my dream position will cause me to stress a bit but that it’s no reason to panic. Lastly, I accept the challenge that this is my life and no one else can live it out for me.

Here are the keys to my first apartment. I just moved out. Life is becoming all too real for me. However, it is with that that I say I accept the challenge. What’s the challenge you ask? Everything. I accept the challenge that leftover school funds will no longer be paying for my humble abode anymore so I now have to go out and search for a job. I accept the challenge that my next job should not be a cashier or waitress just so I can pay the bills. I accept the challenge that looking for my dream position will cause me to stress a bit but that it’s no reason to panic. Lastly, I accept the challenge that this is my life and no one else can live it out for me.

Here are the keys to my first apartment. I just moved out. Life is becoming all too real for me. However, it is with that that I say I accept the challenge. What’s the challenge you ask? Everything. I accept the challenge that leftover school funds will no longer be paying for my humble abode anymore so I now have to go out and search for a job. I accept the challenge that my next job should not be a cashier or waitress just so I can pay the bills. I accept the challenge that looking for my dream position will cause me to stress a bit but that it’s no reason to panic. Lastly, I accept the challenge that this is my life and no one else can live it out for me.

Here are the keys to my first apartment. I just moved out. Life is becoming all too real for me. However, it is with that that I say I accept the challenge. What’s the challenge you ask? Everything. I accept the challenge that leftover school funds will no longer be paying for my humble abode anymore so I now have to go out and search for a job. I accept the challenge that my next job should not be a cashier or waitress just so I can pay the bills. I accept the challenge that looking for my dream position will cause me to stress a bit but that it’s no reason to panic. Lastly, I accept the challenge that this is my life and no one else can live it out for me.