wya

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Of all the relationships in my life, the “wya”–where you at?–relationships are my absolute favorites. wya. Out of work, let’s get dinner? wya. Just got lunch, headed back home. wya. About to run errands, come with? wya. Near Starbucks, join.

Simple blue whale-tailed bubble, three lower-cased words, demarcation of easy closeness, comfort candidness. It conveys the message that: being with you is as it is being by myself.  And: I like you enough; I don’t have to try around you.

With most people, you have to make plans. Peer at your calendar, set a date, time, and place. Do this all days in advance. It’s a delicate social dance. Some people are, well, more of a headache to make plans with; it feels obligatory or it’s a back-and-forth game of swerve! or, whatever it is, just feels like work. A lot of people are at the in-between, where they’re still plugged into the schedule, it’s not too difficult to spend time with them, but it’s not as easy as, you know, the wya relationships.

For just a few people in the world, and there don’t have to be many, I can shoot out a quick wya test–no plans, no pretense. There’s a quote that goes, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude. Hints at romance, but it doesn’t have to be. I’d say that these wya relationships are just as sweet as, if not more than, solitude.

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mises à jour

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….or ‘life updates’ in French.

Well, WordPress, it is Halloween, which falls awkwardly on a Tuesday this year. But never fear! Virtually everybody has decided the entire month is a cause of celebration. In fact, every day of the week has been allocated to celebrating Halloween and flooding everybody’s Instagram feeds with non-stop costumes! I, for one, am glad that Halloween’s nearly over, except that there won’t be as much free candy. I’ve been scouring office entrances for free chocolates and gummies. Also, I like November, even if it is a month that tends to fade in my memory.

Spent the weekend seeing friends, grabbing dinner, watching plays, catching up. Binged Stranger Things 2 on Sunday night–two episodes spiraled into five. We ordered pizza from the place across the street. Didn’t cook this time, but maybe next time–maybe next week. One of my favorite things to do during down-time is, ironically, watch TV with friends. It’s not the most active, we’re not talking much, but there’s just something about being mutually entertained with people you really like and feeling contented with their company, the show, the food, etc. Plus it’s just… low-key. I’m searching for a better word, but that encapsulates it.

I’ve also been feeling nostalgic and posting on my scrapbook Instagram account. Even though it’s public, it’s a way of talking to myself, of reminding myself to be grateful and to actively reflect on happy moments. Even though memory’s retrospective, we don’t always realize how much of the now seeps into how we regard the past. When we’re unhappy, we’re more likely to recall unhappier moments and vice versa. Recognizing that it’s not just about the ratio of good to bad in life, but the way you frame it, gives you a sense of… control, almost? over how you experience happiness.  I think Nobel prize winner Kahnenman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow, wrote something about this– the two types of happiness. There’s present happiness, and overall life happiness (More on that here), of being happy this very moment and being happy about your life. Actively recalling the positive, even if these happy moments have passed, makes me feel happier now.

3AM Toast

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There are few things in the world as cathartic as 6-hour long conversations with good friends.

So here’s to a sense of identity, to men who shoot down the moon because their beloved drank from vials of morality. To figuring out what it is that imprisons us—the future? loci of control? the internalization of social pressures? To values and meaning, valuing meaning.

Here’s to dreaming of one day becoming the security guard who stands on his bike at 1 in the morning as he glides down the bridge.

“What are you doing?”

“Figuring out what imprisons us.”

(and other things unsaid)

Here’s to finding yourself and the right words.

Reading Rumi

Lately, I’ve been reading love Mad Poems of Rumi. Ever since my English teacher said Rumi was a whirling Dervish who spat his poems stream-of-consciousness to followers who then hastily jot them down–well, I’ve had a hard time getting the imagery of a twirling man (arms spread, seized by love and/of language) out of my head. In these poems, he is consumed by love. Then I wonder if Rumi believed in soul mates and if he thought Shams was his.

Attitude of Gratitude

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle

It’s been a minute since I’ve sat down and counted my blessings, been actively grateful for what I have in life. Ironically, I’ll do this sort of thing when I’m at my lowest. So it’ll be in fits of sadness or confusion or negative what-have-you’s that I’ll write out the things that make me happiest. Projects I’ve embarked on in the past three years: three good thing that happened today and why; 100 happy days; list of reasons to be happy, stuff like that. But when I am cruising on happiness and genuinely content, as I am now, and as I have been, I’ll do everything but. 

The daily quote by Tolle on Momentum, a Chrome installation, reminds me otherwise. So, in the spirit of acknowledging the good, and not just when it’s bad, here are 10 things that in my life that, well, bring me happiness. Or at the very least, that I am grateful for. Continue reading

Indie Throwback Playlist

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The kind you might drunkenly sing at the top of your lungs in the middle of the night post-Comedy house laughs, boozy Oreo milkshakes and whirring pinball games that you win by, oh, thirty million points.

  1. Someday, The Strokes
  2. Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand
  3. Young Folks, Peter Bjorn and John
  4. Riptide, Vance Joy
  5. Where Did Your Heart Go Missing?, Rooney
  6. Midnight City, M83
  7. Ho Hey, The Lumineers
  8. Tighten Up, The Black Keys
  9. I Wanna Be Yours, Arctic Monkeys
  10.  A-Punk, Vampire Weekend
  11. Oxford Comma, Vampire Weekend
  12. Float On, Modest Mouse
  13. Mardy Bum, Arctic Monkeys
  14. What You Know, Two Door Cinema Club
  15. Stolen Dance, Milky Dance
  16. Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Jet
  17. Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked, Cage The Elephant
  18. No You Girls, Franz Ferdinand
  19. Sweet Disposition, The Temper Trap
  20. Welcome to the Black Parade, My Chemical Romance

(Honestly I’m so happy right now my heart might just explode.)

An Update (Raises Juicebox)

disposable film 35mm photography philadelphia architectureHe-llo, world, WordPress, world of WordPress. I haven’t been on the past week since–as you may or may not know–it’s the first week of school. And so I’ve been getting into the school grind, seeing friends, going to class, wandering around campus. Most things haven’t changed–my best friendship and our musical jams; talking to strangers in coffeeshops; subsisting primarily on food truck food. And yet other things have–I have my own space (insert gentle chorus of angels); there’s a new wave of freshman….and I can’t think of the last difference.

Anyhow. It’s nice being back, albeit a little noisy. I forget how loud the city can be. I’m still getting settled in, but that’s probably not entirely true, since I currently have copious amounts of free-time. Even so, I haven’t been writing or drawing much. The most art I’ve really done is some figure drawing in an old sketchbook. I used that sketchbook most during my second year second semester, probably one of the (literally) sunniest semesters I’ve had here. I’d carry it around, then sketch the people around me: classmates, teachers, strangers, you name it. A girl at the cafe saw my sketchbook two days ago, started talking to me, and then we spoke for two hours.

My best friend is happy. And I, too, am happy. Yesterday I joked about how, after all these years, our moods had finally synced up. When she first met me, I was sad. A year later, she was sad. And now, finally, we are no longer sad, but content and happy, musical like chirping birds. For a few hours I sat at the piano playing songs by ear while she belted them in a crowded lobby. I used to live there, felt self-conscious of how many people were by the piano. But it was different yesterday, because neither she nor I cared about who was there, so it was easier to jam without hesitation.

In retrospect, most life dampeners from the years before were people-related. Antagonized roommates, confused people (?), sad friends, not-particularly-helpful-advice-bellowing acquaintances. That, for a handful of reasons, probably won’t be as much of an issue this year. For whatever reason, the actual school part–where you do homework and take tests–was never quite as stressful as the emotionally-knotted people situations. I can handle a school curriculum. I cannot, however, handle a bunch of mixed emotions and passive aggressive text and noisy people.

But, well, obviously not all people are aggravating. A few days ago I watched The Conjuring with my friend, posed as a freshman to get into a poorly executed dessert reception; got bubble tea and played Connect Four; introduced my past froomie to Chewing Gum; walked past the bridge to get sno-cones; caught up with the best. When I talk about my schedule, the people in my life chuckle about it. After taking, for whatever absurd reason, a 9 AM my first year, I quickly resolved to have a manageable schedule where I can sleep like a panda, eat like a cat, and do well.

I’m excited. Here’s to a good year. -raises juicebox-