Last Fall, in my first semester of graduate school, I wrote in a reflection assignment for class about how I planned to manage it all. “It all” meaning a full-time job, what feels like more-than-part-time school, and providing some semblance of an adequate life for myself (involving a number of s-words: sustenance, shelter, sleep, social life?). I said a few nice things about maintaining a regular schedule and blogging as a creative outlet. My professor commented, “What a great idea!”
Some nights dinner consists of boxed mac and cheese, frozen vegetables, and whatever leftover meat is in the fridge. But sometimes those same nights are the ones when you finally submit your last graduate school application, go to yoga with a friend you haven’t seen in months, submit your FAFSA, and make exciting travel plans. I also put stamps on all of my thank you cards to family members that I will mail out tomorrow (I am notoriously bad at sending punctual thank yous!). So maybe my dinner didn’t knock my night out of the park, but I can definitely say that I spent my time doing things that nourish the soul.
After a very thankful Friendsgiving in Brooklyn, I woke up early on Friday morning, but not for the usual reason. In past years I would get to the mall, outlet, or stores sometime around 4 am (or earlier!) to partake in the annual shopping mania we call Black Friday. Even the name is foreboding, but I do love me a good sale. This year, however, with the national discussion centering around police brutality, labor, and the systems that create inequality, I finally put my money where my mouth is and abstained from Black Friday shopping.
I took the energy I would have spent battling crowds, making snap decisions on whether to buy that cheap, functional sweater, or maintaining my calm in the midst of insanity and channeled it into The Smudgery. I taught myself how to pull a beautiful ombré print and finally added a new item to the shop. Check out the colorful process after the jump.
This summer I had the longest hair I’d ever had in my life. In truth, it was mostly because I was trying to save money. Sixty bucks to cut my hair? That’s like three great meals with friends. So I taught myself how to cut my bangs through a rigorous series of educational videos (thanks, YouTube!) and called it a day.
Hey, remember how I said that I was going to sleep earlier and wake up earlier? And remember how I said I was feeling sick, so I was trying to get more rest? Well, it’s 3:30am right now and I just can’t fall sleep.
My mom used to say that trying to wake me up in the morning was like entering a dragon’s lair. As I got older she would send in my dog, that noble dragon-slaying beagle, who would lay his head on my bed, whine, and occasionally lick any body part that stuck out from under the sheets.
In my college years I would revel in that 3am energy surge. “Fourth wind!” I would shout as I pulled an all-nighter, madly typing that essay with a Red Bull bubbling next to my computer. I was convinced that my best, most creative work happened just before dawn.