January 21, 2016

Where Am I Going, What Am I Doing

I think it's fitting that I'm writing this on my last first day of undergraduate classes ever. This day feels as ceremonious as others make it.  Friends are posting pictures and other friends are posting encouraging messages that we'll be ready for adulting come May. 

You see, though, despite choosing to be a student, there's still a world that I'm still very much a part of, which keeps churning on, ruggedly and often unjustly.  I think being overwhelmed by how much everyone else was producing caused me to stop blogging originally.  In regards to my wary attitude of monetized blogging, Liz of Delightfully Tacky wrote openly about her return to "authentic" blogging.  Good for her.  For me, I want to focus less on others and embrace what I want to do.  Although videomaking -- and daily videomaking at that -- fuels me in a profound way, I felt I was losing an aspect of my voice.  I want this blog to be a continued refinement of that voice as much as I can muster.  Believe me, I'll be giving myself as much grace and space as I'll need.  If that's long breaks without saying boo, so be it.

That said, I have been feeling a fair bit of external pressure to figure out what I am going to do in the coming years.  That's putting it mildly.  Unlike a few of my friends, I don't have a set path.  The alumni I was fortunate enough to visit in San Francisco this past week reassured me and my cohort of fellow seniors that our first jobs don't have to determine what we'll be doing for the rest of our lives.  Well, I would certainly hope not.  The trip overall was very informative.  I'll be better at synthesizing what I learned into thank you cards to send to the alums.  Meanwhile, though, Silicon Valley is a troubling place.  I recommend this article, and this article to articulate a few of the issues I see with the place as a whole.

On that note, I've been doing a ton of thinking about culture and media lately.  For Christmas, Nicole gifted me The Influencing Machine, a brilliant comic about the evolution of journalism/culture/media by Brooke Gladstone.  This discovery has sparked a ton of fascinating thoughts.  I've grown far more interested in net neutrality debates, media industrialization, and not to mention, the warfare surrounding the privatization of information that we are all complicit in, whether we realize it not.  Plenty of this is scary and depressing, but hopefully there's something to be gleaned from observing this paradigm.  Just this morning I woke up, read from bell hook's Feminism Is For Everybody, and proceeded to feel so radically alive.

Last spring, I took a risk.  I left my job at the Career Development Center for a chance to work with an amazing arts non-profit called Saint Paul Neighborhood Network. I've been in love with learning about community media efforts ever since.  As much as I enjoy Macalester, branching out into the larger metropolises grants me with a much greater appreciation for where I have chosen to call my home away from home.  With great consideration, I have continued to think about where I want to make an impact, and I feel attached to the Twin Cities, at least for another year.

And besides, this rad video from PBS's The Art Assignment makes me pleased to continue pursuing art in the Twin Cities.  Check out the shoutout to Macalester!!

(P.S. Their Case for Kanye video is pretty inspirational too.)

Cheers to radical everything: kindness, hospitality, art, communication, etc, albeit on my own terms.

January 02, 2016

Start Fresh

Oh hey there.

What is this?  I'm blogging again?  But didn't I say that blogging doesn't make me happy anymore?

Well, people change.

I found I missed this platform to write (albeit terribly) and, if I'm perfectly honest, it was becoming a real headache to build and maintain any other site with the intention of "branding myself."  Ugh.  Seriously.  My least favorite thing.  Don't worry, I've acknowledged that I'll still have to get a website for myself sooner rather than later.  And I say this while acknowledging it was hanging fire on my to-do list for a while in 2015.  Lowering expectations now.

Furthermore, I do not intend on making money off blogging.  Sure, plenty of people I admire and respect have made it work, and that's great!  But that's not for me.  Same for YouTube.  No one could pay me enough to monetize the experimental stuff I put there.

2015 was a fascinating year of self-growth with a whole lotta struggle mixed in there.  Scientists are still getting back to me about the estimate of tears I shed...probably a boat load.  And boy did it sink.

I'd like to think that I'm learning from my mistakes, though.  This YouTuber, Linda Barsi, seems to grapple with similar issues that I do and her three steps to happiness are an important reminder to me; it's all about asking for and accepting help.

Amidst the turmoil, I somehow did a few things right.  I spent the time and money to meet up with the Blogger Family for the first time in July.  That was...emotional.  It was weird to not be able to go home for my grandfather's funeral.  It also felt strange to be surrounded by people who I "knew," and yet friends who did not know about my struggle with depression and anxiety.  I didn't fully appreciate it at the time, but we're all pretty wicked cool and creative and damn good Instagrammers.   High fives to us.  And so I apologize.  I wish I would've been in a better mental state to enjoy your company all the more.   I'd still be down to host a meetup in the Twin Cities at some point.  Basically, we'll just hang out at Kaitlyn's and play with Rocky.  Wouldn't that be the dream?

Anyway, bottom line, I'm here and you can't get rid of me this time.

xx (I still desperately want to be British, okay?),