Our Followers, who art in Hyperspace

It’s funny how much we care about social media and the internet, but social media and the internet care so little about us.

I’ve always loved writing. I recently realized my absolute dream job is to become an essayist. Writing took me through my teenage angst, my formative years in college, and my emerging adulthood. The yearning to write consumes me at some point literally each and every day. But I always put it off, thinking I don’t have enough time to dedicate or there are more important things to do or I can’t do my thoughts/feelings/experiences justice. Or that my musings are simply not important enough for anyone to waste time reading. Continue reading

A Book Left Behind

I typically get to campus an hour before class starts. When I’m feeling responsible, I’ll start an assignment early or get a healthy(ish) dinner. Sometimes I grab a coffee to ensure full attention, or as much as possible, during a 3-hour class that I’m attending after a full day of work. 40 miles away from home.

But this week has been insane so I’ve been taking small, but important, steps to prioritize my self-care. The other day, a student left a book in my College & Career Center. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. It looked like a class copy and I had no idea who left it so the safest bet was to return it to the school library. Before doing so, I read the first couple of pages—easy to breeze through considering it is a Young Adult novel. The intro intrigued me, so I asked the library staff if they had a copy available for me to borrow. Sure enough, I left work with a taped-up, numbered copy in the fashion of a library on a public school budget wanting to preserve their precious wares.

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When I arrived at school last night, I gave myself permission to sit down and read for leisure. 23 pages into the book, I’ve already teared up twice, contemplated my blessings, and confronted my privileges. In the first-persion narrative, Junior descends into vivid details about life on an Indian reservation—poverty, hunger, alcoholism, child neglect/abuse, inaccessible healthcare, racist stereotypes, and the cycles that bind generation after generation to this life. All this among teenage angst, living with disabilities, the value of friendship, and quirky cartoons. After spiraling into such heavy issues within minutes, I reconsider my choice to read this YA book as a means of winding down. But at the same time, I am glad that a book with this type of content exists for young readers and proud that it’s being read as a class. I hope these students can find the same type of escape, perspective, and reality check that I encounter when I read.

A classmate walked up to my table and noticed the book, telling me she read it in high school. [Now I’m wondering if the book is older than I thought, if I am older than I thought, or if she is younger than I thought.] She tells me she enjoyed it and starts gushing about it. [And now I’m wondering if she has a really good memory or high school really wasn’t that long ago…] This increases my excitement for the book as some chance of fate brought us to the same grad program and classes so we must share some of our interests and taste in books. I could probably finish this book in one sitting, given that I find a chunk of time to do just that. But alas, work and school take up much of my day. Who’s to say I’ll even enjoy the way it pans out… but one thing is for sure–my short encounter with this lost-and-found item has given me such great pause to appreciate life’s seemingly small details.

 

Spinning Plates

Lately, I’ve been spinning a lot of plates, looking high and low for those elusive answers to mental health and spirituality.

I was raised Catholic and quite involved with church during high school. As is the trend for this religion, I fell off at age 18 when I started college. [Supposedly, I’m going to return around the age of 35 because I will need a structured way to teach my kids some morals and will be too lazy to formulate a new system.] Continue reading

Wondering and waiting.

I love watching friends and family take on life. We have a finite amount of days on this earth. To find joy and infuse meaning into some of that limited time is a beautiful privilege we cannot take for granted.

It seems like I am wistful on the daily, seeing people take on passion projects–casting aside fear, leaving behind judgment, and diving into what sets their souls on fire. Often times, these ventures align with my own desires. I feel bad for neglecting my writing for so long and wonder if I will ever commit to this dream. I get a tinge of jealousy that someone has managed to beat me to the punch. I ruminate on my experiences, qualifications, and skills. Where do I start and how can I start over?

And then I realize, preparation and aesthetics be damned, I must go for it.

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#GradSchoolGrind

Earlier this week, I entered another year of life on this beautiful earth. 2017 has been good to me so far.  I am focused on building better habits, taking steps towards my goals, banking memories with so many amazing people, and finding joy in the everyday. I’ve been acclimating and making moves in a new job that I absolutely love. In the 5 months since I started my position, I’ve attended multiple conferences revolving around high school/college success and the endless amount of related issues. Continue reading

The Road to Grad School

I’m really going to do this grad school thing. Against all my instincts and wishes coming out of college. I have never felt that my goals were clear and my dreams were attainable (with hard work, dedication, sacrifices, and passion) until now.

My GRE prep course recommended reading scholarly non-fiction books or articles. I subscribed to The New Yorker, mostly because there was a deal and I enjoy the articles and comics. (12 issues for $4, though.) I also purchased The Best American Essays of the Century. Just finished “Corn-pone Opinions” by Mark Twain and holy shit, it could not be more relevant during this election year. Can I just read all this interesting historic/notable/iconic stuff and be set for the test? Please?

Where has she been…? And who am I?

I’m in the business of seeing. At least I want to be.

Since senior year of college, I’ve been involved in the art world. As much as I’ve allowed myself to be. As much as the art world has allowed me to be. Creativity, expression, and art have always held an interesting place in my life. They have been my guiding lights, the tenets by which I live. Yet I have taken little action to assert myself in these ways. Without an artistic background or formal training, I have stood on the sidelines appreciating and wishing. It’s not that I am afraid of failure–it’s that sometimes it’s easier not to try. Sure, that’s not as gratifying. And there are always excuses to be made. But the point is I am now “doing me” as best as possible. As I’m rounding out my 25th year, I’m finding that not trying is getting harder than just doing the damn thing. This pent up energy must be put to good use. I still don’t have a clear picture of what this “thing” is, but I’m finally ready to start creating it. There is too much inspiration around me not to.

Consider this blog… why has it been 7 months since I have last written? It’s certainly not a lack of material. It might be hesitation to put myself out there, though people who know me would not believe that. Do I have better things to do? Have I been doing better things? Yes and no.

When I am getting to know somebody, I love to ask, “What you be doing if money, education, and time were not an issue?” Dream jobs can say a lot about person. Alternatively, I enjoy finding out what someone would do if they had one hour of free time. What would you most like to do in the world with 60 spare minutes? My default answer is writing. Specifically for this blog. But somehow, I’ve let seven months get away.

I do know one thing. I have been looking and seeing. And I’ve been inspired. I’ve been reading, watching, and listening. And I’ve been inspired. Feast your eyes on some of the beauty and creativity below.

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Rest area at The Ebell of Long Beach, CA

Diaper babies I made for a baby shower

Diaper babies I made for a baby shower

Restroom sign at The Ebell of Long Beach

Restroom sign

My Halloween nail adornments

My Halloween nail adornments

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Part of a Madmade Designs baby shower set-up at Booze Brothers in Vista, CA

Earlier this year, I made a decision to stay stagnant in my full-time position. It afforded me so much freedom, time for leisure, low stress. I convinced myself early on that I would have time to work on my other projects, which was true. Needless to say, I haven’t made much progress in those either. But I’ve reached a tipping point. I’m ready to do me. Really do me, even if that means doing extra work. Procrastination will no longer plague me. 2016 is not far off and there is plenty to accomplish. I’ve spoken some goals into existence, but here they are for good measure:

  • Find a meaningful full-time position
  • Lead a healthier lifestyle (physically and mentally)
  • Get my small business up and running (and profitable!)
  • Start (and hopefully finish) the digital photography certificate program I enrolled in
  • Buy a house
  • Travel to Europe

XOXO