Lake water

Over the summer I was a novice penpal, and a gracious girl adopted me as a friend. She wrote little questionnaires and sent cute bits and bobs and asked if I preferred the lake or the beach.

At the time in June of last year, I’d never really been to a lake, but in July, my family drove up to Lake Tahoe for the first time.

We didn’t stay in any cool Air BnB (though my internet odyssey of all things Tiny Houses began here), or find exceptionally good food (we made it), or meet any striking people. And we didn’t really figure out how to Tahoe until half the week had passed (oops).

But somehow I’m always thinking of this place and its big blue sky and the clear waters I kayaked ineffectively through. The church we visited that didn’t have the vacation small talk feeling. Not enveloping but not strange. Blue, green, sunset spark everything. Air to breathe. I actually had a lot of terrible lonely feelings while there in I think Truckee, a lot of frustration over hope and purpose and acceptance. 

I still love the beach, and there’s nothing like crashing salt water. But I wish I’d know someday soon why I can never get lake water off my mind.

4 Recent YouTube Obsessions 😍

It’s a big, bloggy world, and actually now that I think of it, I can’t remember whether my foray into the blogosphere began with fashion blogs or YouTube videos… Probably actually YouTube videos, which surprises me!

The fun of all of this can get pretty easily twisted in the way of financially sustaining it, and there’s a certain personal connection lost when production value goes way up way quickly. I usually forget that it’s coming, but every now and then it’s time to discover new (to me, of course) people and their ways of telling stories!

So here’s a little of what I’ve been devouring online:

The Nerdwriter | How Donald Trump Answers a Question
Spoiler alert: he doesn’t really. And there are important things we can gather about language, power, salability and memory. This short video began a major rabbit trail quest for me on this channel. 😂

Evan is AMAZING at communicating big ideas in his video essays through approachable dialogue and supreme attention to detail and simplicity in his editing. Another fantastic one is “Rihanna’s ‘Work’ Is Not Tropical House.” Ugh and everything else. I love that he takes some pretty simple questions and pursues them to the ends of curiosity with beautifully organized research.

Casey Neistat | High School Stories (and Walter Mitty, and doing stuff that matters)
I love the way he talks and I love the way his brain latches onto stuff, and chucks it too. If you haven’t heard of filmmaker Casey Neistat, this is a good jumping off point to understand who he is and what his work is. Great follow-up is Sara Dietschy’s “HOW TO CASEY NEISTAT A VLOG,” and great follow-up to that is his own reply in a vlog. 😂

Jimmy Fallon | Kid Letters: “I Know You Think I’m Crazy”
So the past week was a really difficult one at school (EWH!), but I bittersweetly ended last weekend with my best friend on the tail of my spring break and the beginning of hers. We’re always talking but of course being in person is incomparable.

Laughing at these Jimmy Fallon videos together was so much fun, and honestly helped carry me through the week after long days. She helped me end that weekend I trudged out of with this video. Anyway, Fallon is a gift to us all. Should that be another post…?

Damon and Jo | Budapest 101
Rachel is a French major and knows loads of fantastic linguistic resources, including this pair of travel YouTubers who cover travel, culture and language with practical tips. They’re so funny and obviously an OTP for vlogging, and this video made me miss Hungary so much.

Curiouser.

I’m often too concerned about my art.

Too concerned. I’m always too concerned about my art. This means my writing, my design, my thoughts, my—what keeps me going, creating, shifting, observing, cleaning, remaking. I’m too concerned about scraping for unique perspectives and mic-drop moments.

I’m fascinated by the ideals of not regarding things as so precious. And this isn’t because I don’t care (HAHA) or because I don’t want to care (NOPE). It’s because a few snippets of ideas have been informative to my perspective in ways that have once been useful and at this point perhaps should expire. And the reason these things should probably die, is because they have put an emotional emphasis in my way of doing things and the things around me, more than my care of myself and ultimately my willingness to grow, and be uncomfortable.

“We work quick and dirty,” said my adviser George, who counts me too dear said in a meeting, addressing my crippling perfectionism. “We work quick and dirty, and then we edit.”

I’ve been told my points or my explanations can be too abstract. And this isn’t to say they are smart, or by virtue of being so useful. In fact, sometimes the opposite. At the same time, I’ve been encouraged in the way I personally analyze, inspect and express.

There’s a birthday card I keep from my roommate and a memory of my one counseling session that I hold close to me, to remind me that the cliffs I find myself on are worth describing. But, as follow-through was always the mountain that loomed over me in tennis (What does co-captain in high school mean anyway? I love the title, but I know this question is extremely fitting.), follow-through continues to haunt me, in my fragile pride and ensuing perfectionist tendencies to stop. And just, stop.

But I’ve found some of my best inspiration and unearthed that most genuine feeling of expression while floundering.

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Live music.

What makes you look around? Like, LOOK around?

I have to tell you, I love the picture of me above, but that’s not the face and hair I have on right now. No, my current get-up encouraged my roommate to prescribe cuddles, peppermint oil and deep breaths upon opening the door of our room where I sit typing to you.

Lately with project stress and the quick-quick-slow anticipation of graduation, well, there’s no other way to say it—I’m just very tired, haha.

But let’s not talk about that for a second. Let’s talk about concerts.

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Walking after rain

“You don’t have to wait to know that beautiful things will happen.”

I wish I had exact quotation of all E told me tonight, but I definitely want to keep this nugget of wisdom and encouragement close as my last semester of college begins. If only you could put between these little marks time spent and gifts given.

I’m so encouraged by how constantly mentors have been provided along the way—long-term, short-term, a conversation, a smile. Leading me one way by the hand while I might have just never moved if left alone.

People get pretty adamant about how integral finding good mentors is for setting yourself up for success.

Don’t know about you, but I often set myself up for the exact opposite, and God proves over and over that he can show me a new and better thing.

So here’s belated cheers for the free drink with a rose petal I had tonight: let’s not fuss about defining the past.

Let’s watch, let’s smile, and let’s greet what new way He shows His face.