Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tea Talk, Volume 6.

If we were sipping tea together this morning, I’d be drinking black with sugar with a side of biscotti cookies because my mom gave me an extra package she got from their last trip to Costco. I have some chai and jasmine green, if you’d prefer that instead. Cashew milk and honey, too.

I’d tell you about how my academic life has been a whirlwind ever since spring break, which ended a whopping week ago. I was on campus for over 30 hours last week, and it’s shaping up to be another long week ahead. The countdown is on for graduation, my friend (just 495 days!). I’d also tell you all about the funny stuff the kids do in my literacy group on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Literally had a girl hyperventilating and crying because her classmates didn’t raise their hand to speak. Oh, to be five again. So many problems.

I’d let you in on my new hair care secret that has literally changed my life for the better: MoroccanOil Hydrating Shampoo & MoroccanOilHydrating Conditioner. I am telling you that it is a game changer. I’m talking three nights since my last wash + two workouts later and I don’t even need dry shampoo. It’s a little pricier than what I’d normally spend, but I typically wash my hair only twice a week (and I spend a pretty penny to color it), so I figured it was worth it.

And then I’d tell you that I wish we could catch up even more over bottomless mimosas this weekend, but my mom and I are road tripping up to St. Augustine Beach to visit my grandparents. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve made the trip over together (like, five years) but if there’s one thing I learned from attending Ryan’s grandpa’s funeral service over the weekend, it’s that there is no time like the present to spend quality time with the people you love.

I would probably squeeze my side of the chat into three minutes or less so I can get back to eating all the biscotti cookies…and listen to what’s going on with you, of course.

What would you tell me over tea this morning?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Take Time to Just "Be."

Having a whole 10 days off classes, school work, and clinic did absolute wonders for my soul. It’s funny how most times, you don’t realize what you have until you lose it. In my case, I didn’t realize how much I needed something until I had it. Specifically: time off to just be. To be on my own, to be with Ryan, to be with the dogs. To lounge in bed, to go adventuring, to pick up an extra work shift.

Ryan took off work for the first couple days of the week, so it felt like a perfect little staycation. We had a chilly, rainy day we spent at a matinee showing of Get Out (loved it). We ate sushi and drank half price bottles of wine. I bundled up in a blanket and watched Ryan’s 9:30 p.m. softball game. I did a bit of lunch and shopping with my mom, got a mani/pedi with a friend, and even went to a St. Patrick’s Day festival with some friends.

This weekend, we cleaned the entire apartment. Ryan vacuumed and dusted while I reorganized shelves. I cleaned up all our mini piles of random clothes and whatsits scattered across the bedroom. We opened the windows so our white airy curtains could billow in the breeze. We lit incense and turned on our twinkly lights and it felt like pure heaven.

I almost decided to be productive last night, but I knew I had quite the week ahead of me…so I didn’t. I finally used my Lush bubble bath bar from Christmas, put on clean pajamas, and scrolled through my Tumblr feed while watching the latest episodes of Big Little Lies and Girls. Sorry for the play by play, but it just felt so good to be doing things simply because I wanted to do them, not because I had to.

If you haven't had that kind of option in awhile, I suggest you find a way to make it happen. If you can't have a few days, take one. If you can't take one day, take one hour. It isn't scientifically proven or anything, but I'm telling you that you will become a happier human because of it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Personal Goals | Practicing Just to Practice.

Yesterday afternoon, I picked up a paintbrush for the first time in a couple months. It was a beautiful day outside with the sun shining and temps hovering in the high 60’s, so I brought my cup of water, canvas pad, and watercolor paints out to the patio and got to work finishing up the painting you see above.

It took me a few strokes to get back to the patterned consistency I’d seemed to nail a couple months back, but I eventually did get there. I mixed my greens and whites and yellows, I extended a few branches, I added a little tin pot. I finished up and felt pretty good at what I'd created.

So, I began to brainstorm ideas for my next “masterpiece.” I went to my favorite watercolor artist’s Instagram page for inspiration, and after finding a simple painting of a glass of sauvignon blanc, I decided to paint what I know: margaritas.

I quickly Googled a picture of a classic margarita glass for reference, got my ruler in an effort to be precise, and went to town. Or, I tried to anyway. No matter what I did, I could not draw an even glass. When I started to paint the actual margarita, the colors bled into the blue outlined glass. Then I noticed that, not only was the glass itself totally uneven, but it was also completely crooked on the paper. That marg wouldn’t stand a chance on an actual countertop – it would be tipping right over!

Not going to lie, I had a brief moment of self-doubt. You know the drill: “

I’m not any good at this, why am I trying? I’m never going to be as good as XYZ. What’s the point?” Wah, wah, wah.

To get deep here for a second, I’ve never been “the best” at anything, even as a kid. I’m not self-deprecating, I’m just being honest. I swam for 10+ years, but I had zero interest in swimming for college, so I never pushed myself at swim practice. I always won my heats, but rarely went to finals. I did gymnastics for years and years, but hated the conditioning. I usually placed 7th instead of 1st. I played guitar as a teenager and went to lessons for the longest time, but never practiced during the week.

For some reason, no matter the project, practice bored me. I just wanted to perform, but rarely did I put in the real work…hence why there was always “someone better.” Even now, I watch fellow bloggers and Instagrammers build their audiences and showcase their craft and I think, “maybe they just got lucky.” In reality, they just don’t document their struggle, their practice. They didn't "wake up like this" - they worked on this.

My goal for the rest of the year (and my challenge to you) is this: practice for the sake of practicing. Write just to write, paint just to paint, run just to see how far you can get. Don’t make a goal, don’t aim to be the next big thing. Just practice, and see what you learn in the process.

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