Friday, March 8, 2013

Strangers no more

I had it in my head the past two weeks that my next blog entry would be my last for a while. I planned on taking a blog hiatus, or at least explaining the inevitable one that has already occurred. The truth is, I just don't have the time to dedicate to what I want this public outlet of my life to be and I don't like letting things just fizzle and fade out. An explanation was needed, at least some closure, if just for a while.

I can touch more on that in it's own entry but today something else struck a chord with me. Something less about scheduling and "being productive" and more about life when we're not paying attention to it.

Today I was truly touched by people who could be categorized as barely acquaintances, practically strangers. For the last year and a half I have worked at as a barista turned co-manager at a local chocolate shop, in addition to my design and studio work, and today I finally broke the news to my regular customers that next week would be my last. As an emotional person I knew saying goodbye to my co-workers and the store in general would be difficult; I'll miss the quiet mornings, the coffee, the look on people's faces when you helped them create the perfect gift for their friends or family. However, what I did not anticipate was how hard it would be to say goodbye to the people you've touched a long the way, the people you barely think about but that are there, day in and day out.

As someone who works primarily with "regulars" I feel there is a particular comfort between two people in the morning-time. I've listened to customers talk about their kids getting married, their new jobs, their divorces. I've had people get the same 16 oz latte for eight months before finally starting a conversation with me and I've heard some people's life story after only 30 seconds of casual chit-chat. Not only have I listened, I have talked as well. My customers have seen me at my best and my worst, from break-ups and long nights before show openings to wishing me well on my most recent race or asking how my vacation was. We talk about how stupid we think The Bachelor is, how kids these days don't listen, and how everyone is ready for Spring to finally be here. Today, between the daily chatter, I have received more compliments, heart-felt "We'll miss you's", and even a few hugs than I could have imagined from people I barely even know. We make connections with others all the time, both positive and negative, that we didn't plan to. Seeing the beauty in another person with no outside intent whatsoever is fascinating and I consider myself ridiculously lucky for the ability to tell stories for hours about the people I have encountered in my daily life. To me it is another example of how complex and beautiful the human soul is.

So I suppose this is a thank you to the people who have made my day today, for your kind words. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your day, I will miss you too.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Never accept drinks...

A little advice from one of the most iconic film characters of our time.

I once told myself if I ever lived alone as a single girl and managed to have my own bar I would paint this quote above it. Upon receiving my own little bar cart for Christmas that thought popped right back into my head. Well, as it turns out, I do not live alone and was certainly not about to paint the dining room walls of my rented apartment. However, my roommate is a good sport and once I find the perfect frame for it this illustrated quote will have to do.


Resolutions are one of those things I always make a conscious effort to think about come the new year. The thought of a whole year ahead of you to try new things, improve upon bad habits, and better areas of your life always gives me a slight twinge of excitement. (This is slightly surprising considering New Years Eve always gives me mad anxiety.)

However, in honor of the week most people give up their resolutions, I figured I'd post a few of mine. On January 1st I wrote all mine down in my sketchbook and wanted to include them here, somehow they seem easier to follow when they look oh so fancy.

So here's to a new year filled with (at least) all these things:
Read twelve new books, preferably one a month.
Drink more water.
Travel to the West Coast.
Re-design this blog.
Use my camera more, my Canon-sorry iPhone.
Run another competitive race.
^This one I got a good start with and officially signed up for my first 25K in May!
Attend a music festival.

Let's see how I do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ringing in the New Year

Cheers! From our little party to yours.

Hello 2013.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye 2012

Last night I rang in the start of a new year in the arms of my brother and a few close friends. We put on sequined sweaters, drank champagne, and walked downtown to watch the ball drop holding homemade hot chocolates. This morning at a late breakfast we went around the table and talked about the highlights of the past year. It's funny because the more we all talked, the more we realized everything that occurred in the last 365 days. Time seems to pass like lightning lately, days ending almost immediately as they seem to start.

I must admit, this was quite a year. I always seem to be busy, barely making time to cook dinner or feed the cat, but looking back on everything I wouldn't have it any other way. So here are a few highlights of the last 12 months:

Ran my first half-marathon
(and traveled to Disney with family and friends for the occasion!)
Taught my first letterpress demo
Took my first yoga class
Visited New York
Turned 23
Created the identity for SiTE:LAB Blandford, was a contributing artist as well
Designed the event invitation for the opening of the world's largest Ronald McDonalds house
Visited Chicago
Annual Bear Lake trip
Chelsea and Matt got married
Camping trip to the Pine River
Visited Boston
Started on a path toward new career opportunities
Participated as a vendor in the UICA Holiday Artists' Market

In addition to the big markers are the little things that happen to us along the way. A relationship was started and ended before the year was out. It hurt, a lot. However, it taught me something which means it truly happened for a reason. I made new friends and became closer to a few already in my life. I baked my very first gluten free vegan cupcake. Learned so much being a part of Not Design (this was a huge part of my life in the last year it deserves an entry all it's own). Had a design purchased for a greeting card. Was officially published in a book.

As I sit here now it hits me that I have never been more unsure of what my life will look like in a year from now. The great thing is that the thought seems less scary and more brilliantly exciting than ever.

Cheers to a beautiful and blessed 2012 and nothing but hope for the new year.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Life in October via instagram

Today is November 1st, marking a new month as well as confirming the fact that I blogged none during the month of October. To be honest I needed the last few weeks to do some major re-couping, both physically and mentally. Not that I rested a whole lot but I'm getting back into a more normal routine, still as busy as ever.

Before I play catch-up on all the entries that need to be posted. Here's a little look back at the last month as seen through the lens of my iPhone.

ArtPrize ending with a bang.
Mini Sunday road trips.
Long overdue trips back Downriver, and a lot of time spent with this little guy.
Pumpkin season.
Nerding out graphic designer style.
Sorting through prints with help from the cat.
Fall cards all the way from Boston, leaves included.
Autumn is such a beautiful (and my personal favorite) season and this October was no exception. On to November.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Goodbye Summer.

Tomorrow is October 1st. Now I do realize that Autumn has already officially begun however, for me, it suddenly felt real today. Today I bought apples. I made acorn squash for the first time. I painted my nails orange and threw away the sandals I've been wearing for the last two spring and summers. I sat on the couch in my dining room with the sun shining in and the Fall colors peeking through this morning and realized Summer was gone.

Ben Howard- Old Pine

I wanted to say thank you Summer, for allowing me to chase the sky on more than one occasion. For giving me this song as an anthem, for camping trips and long car rides. These last few months I got sunburnt way more than was probably healthy. I cut off all my hair. I was promoted. I fell in love. I was inspired, daily. I started a project that has changed the way I think about a lot of things; myself, my work, this city.

Summer is a season that leaves you feeling raw and exposed. There is no covering up, no hiding away, curled up under a blanket. Summer is hot and sticky, a season known for the extremes and this one was no exception. I watched a few great people make a commitment forever to the people that they love. I read some new books and accomplished a few small goals. I cried a lot. I talked to God more than ever.

And now Summer is leaving. No more sundresses with bare legs, soon to be replaced with sweaters and tights. I do realize that plenty of the last few months will be with me forever. Memories and lessons learned will stay like the ice cream stains on one of my favorite dresses. I'll always have the necklace he gave me, the photos of days at the lake and nights out with the girls, the music playlists on my iPod.

And with all that remains much, unfortunately, will not. The tan skin will fade and I'll lose the sun highlights in my hair. I'll put away the purple blanket I carry in my car for impromptu picnics or beach trips. I'll close my windows and embrace the change in seasons. Some things, like Summer, you can't hold on to forever. Sometimes, you just have to force yourself to say goodbye.