It’s very strange, because she had been on the periphery of my life in many ways, but I had never let her in. It’s as if my heart were a shuttered home, and she was in the yard, seeing how the panes flew off, how there were random construction workers on the roof, but she never knew the floor plans or renovation ideas or what was going on inside. She’d bring up the old house days from five years ago, describing the exterior, never having known was what in the interior.
Here are images of a virtual dream apartment I designed this afternoon. The style is contemporary; the primary colors are grey and white; the accents are pink and blue, my favorite colors. In real life, I’d string up fairy lights and add a few throws. And maybe more paintings.
I’ve been obsessing over interior design for several months, spent countless hours looking at all types of designs and furnitures and crafting Pinterest boards with aesthetics I liked. But I could not identify a single design that resonated with me. Then, on vacation, I found a website for interior design. I’ve been practicing pairing tables with rugs with couches with paintings, poring hours over this virtual aesthetic.
There are certain things I noticed: I gravitate heavily towards contemporary designs and can’t do traditional/rustic for shit. I do not like shabby chic because of the shabby part. I also do not like the orange-green-plant-and-wood pairings that cling onto hipster’s back pockets. I like L-shaped sofas, and I like the occasional skinny piece of furniture. Blue and brown can sometimes work, but they’re too dark for me. I like light spaces.
So I took the white-and-grey contemporary look today and ran with it. My poor attempts at rustic left me frustrated last week, so I today, chose sleeker, marble-esque pieces that resonated with me more. I hope that this nips my design obsession in the bud; I also hope that this style sticks.
I feel happy making a “DSLR” album on my computer again. I used to make these all the time, but it petered out around 2017. It’s been years since I’ve been enmeshed in photography. It used to be the type of thing I’d wear around my face as a social identity: the girl with the lens. And it frustrated me, because I wanted to wear other things on my face. But the camera slung around my neck always said otherwise.
I’m wary about connecting my social media to my blog, because this has always been a sort of disconnected outlet. So here are a few old favorites, mostly from 2014-2015 when I got my first 50mm and really got into photography.
Something tells me I won’t reach the same fervor I once was at, but it’s still nice to rediscover my interest in digital photography. I still love film, of course, and share my old photos avidly. I’ll just be bringing along one more camera when I’m on trips or outings.
In the evening, we visited the bar x bookstore x coffeeshop with the fat bright bulbs in the back and edgy writer Meetups behind us. This was an accidental-date. Hours earlier in the grocery line, I had remarked that I was officially tired of dates, having gone to a fancy French restaurant three days ago. Despite it, here we were.
He grabbed an overpriced bear. I spent a good 20 minutes taking photos on my 3 cameras. He dreamt about the cross-country road trip he would one day take. I eavesdropped on the writers behind me. He mused about sailing through cities, passing by mountains, and seeing grand lakes. I told him to plan it.
Tipsy on coffee-flavored beer, we ducked out onto the streets where people swam the streets and danced to live jazz and strays eyed us lazily, warily.
We walked from one side of the street to the other, weighing out the available food options, and after I, indecisive, chose 2 twice (“Choose a number between 1 and 3.” “There is only one number between 1 and 3.”) we went to the burger joint. The chipotle sauce dripped down my chin and I used up 8 wads of napkins.
After the burgers, we got a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream on a waffle cone and sat outside on the swing set. We had come in the summer and spring before. We swung back and forth on the rocking chair and people-watched, taking turns to finish the waffle cone.
Our souls are like peanuts, our bodies, the shells. I remember thinking this the night we came home from burning incense. We burned paper money. I think we bowed. Me, in my gangly western body, oversized and overstretched. Metal lockers. Ashes. Peanuts.
Light enthusiasm for existence has been coupled with a headachey down-to-earth boredom. While driving, I waver between extremities of thought. I think about the person driving behind me. I think about god. I think about cruise control. I think about the cycle of life. There’s no in between. Then I pull up to the parking lot.
I read and I read. It started from a halloween movie. It turned out to be half real. I know travel can expand the mind and whatnot. But here I am, afraid of flights, strangers, disease and the unknown. Fear, fear, fear. To be honest, I’m okay with it.
And I trust the tidbits of knowledge and insight that occasionally sprout from the hazy morning of wake. Like: your soul lets go when it’s ready to let go!
I read about the differentiation between emotional learning and intellectual learning. It resonates. Only those specific experiences could have taught me the things they taught me. Only through rumination and crumbling brick-overflowing-vats could I have taken away something. Some things you can easily digest. But other lessons, lessons of the heart, are tailored through relationships, formed and broken.
I don’t really know what else to do with this, though. I do, but I don’t. How do we translate abstractions of the heart to tangible actions? And how do we, issue-riddled humans, overcome the countless things we might never overcome?
I have no idea.
I accidentally broke my 50mm camera lens last Fall while setting my tripod on bricks. Two mini-shoots later, I decided to buy another one, but not the Canon one for $120. Despite the price, it’s still the cheapest of the Canon family, and I end up breaking one every 3 years from overuse or clumsiness. So I got this one for $50, a knock-off brand made of, seemingly, the exact same parts, and so far, it’s performed beautifully. We’ll see how long it lasts. To be honest, I rarely pick up my digital cameras. But after last weekend’s shoot, I’m itching to get back into it.
At the moment, I feel weirdly paralyzed by all the creative outlets I have but can’t choose between. I am most indecisive about the things that matter least, and at the moment, I cannot decide among film photography, digital photography, archiving photography, or sketchbooking. But it makes no sense. I am simultaneously bored, weeks ahead on grad school assignments because I am bored, and also paralyzed between these creative options. Technically, I could divert my boredom onto one of these, but I can’t. These are the silly musings of a silly girl.
Speaking of creative projects, I’ve been continuing my Project 365, polaroid style. I’m posting one post with 6 images every 6 days and plastering it onto my Stories. It’s an easy way to manage and share my project without overloading myself with tasks and reminders. When I first attempted a Project 365 about 10 years ago, there were no iPhones and apps and what-have-you’s. We had our digital cameras, yes, but also our USB cords and digital time stamps we right-clicked to check. It was a lot harder to keep track of photos, especially when I took them on 3 different cameras at once, and there were no filters to beautify the lazy ones. I appreciate the photo-technology we have nowadays.
Also, I ended up getting rid of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom because somehow my little brain forgot that I was paying over $10 a month for those–$120 a year. Not worth it. They are purely recreational. But for a few days I felt weird without them, even though I barely use them. I felt as though I could do nothing at all anymore, when in reality, I could do plenty with VSCO. I don’t know: I need to figure out my editing workflow. I can do it with free technology.
So that’s what’s been on my mind, aside from some menial grad school tasks and homework assignments. I heard back from an old student this morning and it warmed my heart. I said a few goodbyes to students last week. I feel particularly fond of some students, because we just jibe. I said, “how are you feeling now?” And they said they were sad. We wouldn’t see each other any more. Isn’t that sweet?