While I haven’t been writing blog posts, I’ve been getting to know my new home state. Here is a glimpse of what I’ve been up to
1. Have two x chromosomes
2. Do whatever else you want
Why are we dictating to each other how to act? My androgynous all-black outfit, and my inability to walk in heels and my sailor’s mouth do not make me any less of a woman than the next girl. Support each other regardless of how they choose to live their lives, and applaud any person, man or woman, for upholding a strong character.
Now that my weekends aren’t filled with homework, I suddenly have a lot of spare time. From Friday at 5pm until late Sunday night, I don’t have a to do list, so I want to make a list of driving distance trips I can take for a quick weekend trip. I haven’t experienced nearly enough of my state, or the area around me.
Keeping in mind that crashing on a couch is one of the more frugal ways to experience new cities, think of family or friends you could visit. Plus they’ll be happy to see you. I figure a 4 hour drive is reasonable enough for a weekend away, so here are my top 5 for the summer.
1. Toronto Canada (3hours 45 minutes)
Amazing architecture, big city beaches, and my favorite food; Poutine. Apparently they have some good music festivals too. http://www.blogto.com/sports_play/2013/07/50_things_to_do_this_summer_in_toronto/
2. Milwaukee (5.4 hours)
This one is actually for the sake of Architecture too. Santiago Calatrava’s Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the most interesting beautiful buildings I’ve seen, and to experience that space in real life would be amazing. I mean really. Just look at it.
3. Pittsburg Pennsylvania (4 hours 17 minutes)
Pittsburg has the best of both worlds. A highly active outdoor community (http://activepittsburgh.com/) and big city events, food, and entertainment. Not to mention an intense art culture with Andy Warhol museum and Carnegie Mellon University (one of the more prestigious art schools in America).
4. Chicago, Illinois (4 hours 1 minute)
For me, this one is a bit obvious. It is the biggest big city nearby, and I’ve only made it out there once in my adult life. Chicago is cool because there are so many neighborhoods and sects of people that you can experience. From Ritzy Downtown at The Loop, to artsy and hipster Wicker Park to colleges and beaches in Lincoln Park.
5. Michigan’s West Coast. From St Joseph, to Benton Harbor, Holland, Muskegon, Ludington, Empire, Leeland. (2-4 hours)
I mean really. What beats this view. “Up North” is a way of life in Michigan, and this might always be the epitome of my ideal summer weekend. Bare feet, fresh farmers market fruit, Moomers ice cream and lakes. What a beautiful state I live in.
Now I just need to find a travel buddy, or remind myself that adventures alone are sometimes the best.
With scraps of watercolor paper leftover watercolor paint (or oil pastels, or colored pencils, or whatever look you’re goin for)
Paint a small square of water color paper. You can fill the space with color, or leave white space for a little interest. You can see in my final picture, I started to add more and more purple to my mini paintings.
I have an issue with Change. Or, I have an issue with everyone else having an issue with change
There have been so many times in my life when the words “You’ve changed” have been uttered in a completely negative connotation. At what point did that become a bad thing? When did change become the villain? When did “you rock, never change” being written in yearbooks become an encouraging phrase.
Its as if when you enter into any relationship, romantic or otherwise, you make an unwritten agreement never to change. To pause your personal progress so you can remain as close to one another as always throughout time. And then when one person changes they are essentially ripping up said agreement rubbing it into the dirt. Because, somehow, experiencing new things and being influenced by them is a negative thing?
I’m changing at such a rate that my relationship with MYSELF is on the rocks. Every day my wants and needs and passions and dreams change and progress. I am constantly questioning what I need to be doing to feel fulfilled, where I am going to be in the next two months, who is a positive presence in my life.
So, yeah, you’re right. I’ve changed. But no way in hell am I going to apologize for it or feel bad about it. And I hope you change too.
I want to talk about me.
And the lady who orders in front of me at Starbucks.
And the woman running on the treadmill next to me at the gym.
And the girl at the bar who is humbly fashionable and radiating such energy that every man in the bar is keeping one eye on her.
For years I’ve been intimidated by these women. Hell, I still am. Because, without a hint of hesitation – and as the result of a whole lot of instinct – my first impression of the girl whose path that I’ve just crossed is that she’s catty and competitive. Without. Fail.
Her nails are too perfect and her hair falls just right. Her sense of fashion is to a level that I’m not capable of understanding and even less capable of affording. And if it’s not that, then she’s making too much of a statement with those combat boots and cropped hair. Or maybe she doesn’t care enough about the appearance of her eyebrows.
To even write about this makes me ashamed. It seems to me that the culture that we live in promotes the success of women only individually. In other words, I can be happy and cherish my successes and I can relish in the achievements of my best friends, teammates and sister (if I had one). But to whole heartedly and deeply enjoy the successes of another woman seems near impossible. And that, quite simply, makes me sad.
Yet the tragedy is that in assuming only the worst out of the woman beside me, I, in turn, become exactly what I have just judged her to be. Competitive. When really, for my benefit, doesn’t it make sense to give her a chance? To open my life to the possibility of having a new friend to rely on and call when I’m upset?
Sometimes, just once in a while, doesn’t it make sense for me to congratulate the woman who just ran 4 miles on the treadmill? And through a simple “I wish I had your dedication”, admit to her that I truly and honestly envy her work ethic.
After all, I know I’d like to hear that.
Remember those writing assignments that you would get in early elementary school asking you to describe your dream day or dream vacation or – my personal favorite – your dream house?
My house tended to have swimming pools instead of floors in the hallways with endless supplies of chocolate ice cream in the freezer. As children, untainted by the idea of what can be and what cannot be, our imaginations went wild and our creations, let’s face it, were both quite fun and still appealing to our adult selves.
Unfortunately, growing up, we realize that a house made out of everlasting gobstoppers probably could be blown down faster than the first pig’s straw house by the big bad wolf. And so, new dreams emerge. For me, my dreams now include a big yard with a vegetable garden and a front porch protected by the roof above so I could sip hot apple cider in the fall with a blanket and a good man to keep me warm. A studio for my artwork and piano ( and his guitar) are upstairs, overlooking a fishing pond out back.
The thing is, our dreams evolve but they are no less real.
So, if you’re in the market for making your dreams become a reality right now, check out this site… www.houzz.com. You pick the style, you pick the budget, and you immediately have access to dozens upon dozens of pictures that fit YOUR taste and style.
Four of my favorite traditional Master Bedroom (Bedroom Photos) examples from Houzz.com
[Props to my stepmom and pops for making their dreams – in the form of a beautiful kitchen – come true right now. I guess when you already make the best pies in town; you only deserve a wonderful sanctuary to make them in!]