The trees are shaking off what is dead to make room for the living. This is a weird one. That statement isn’t quite true yet. The trees are still green. Fall hasn’t begun to touch their edges. They are clinging to the last vestiges of summer while we wait in eager anticipation of cooler days and cozy nights.
But in the transition between winter to spring, this is what happens. The trees begin to shake off what is dead to make room for the living. The brown leaves of decay lie on concrete, and slowly but surely, we see new life spring up in the form of bright, green leaves. There are two tales here and one tree.
Today I scrolled on Twitter. That’s not the most interesting thing ever, but that’s one of the things I did today. I saw on Twitter trending that self-made, this idea of self-sufficency, women were being celebrated. Just also stumbled onto this Twitter thread about people working 9-5 and feeling like they had no hobbies. These two separate posts on Twitter led me to a conclusion- Our culture truly glorifies self-sufficiency but then everyone wonders why they feel so isolated.
This summer has been a little bit of a quiet whirlwind - if that makes sense. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family and working at my ~remote~ internship, which keeps me productive enough while still having plenty of time to pursue my own goals. If only I'd hit my goals.
While the US has made strides towards inclusivity in some arenas, arguably health is not one of them. There is a particular narrative for health and that standard is impossible for some people to meet, specifically those who are excluded due to illness or disability. The thing about beauty standards is that the number is so low to meet them and they ignore those who can never even come close to the opportunity of meeting them (never mind how some standards are toxic). In the same way, those with chronic illnesses or disabilities (visible or invisible) cannot meet health standards in the same way.
I love the certain end. A period at the end of a sentence. Or an exclamation point. Something to mark the end of a story. Or of a chapter. A pause. A space to take a breath. Actually, what I really love is a nice wrapped bow. Perfectly tied up in string. I like the clarity that endings can sometimes bring. Sometimes being the key word of the last sentence.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to take a trip to Vermont for my cousin’s high school graduation. I was lucky enough that in the midst of school, I could take some time to get away and celebrate my cousin’s accomplishments while also seeing different scenery for a little bit. NYC to Vermont is a little over 5 hours driving distance. New York is a huge state and we spent a ~long~ time on the road. We left on Wednesday morning June 9 and returned Saturday evening June 12. It was a decent length trip to Vermont.
So here’s the post you’ve all been waiting for, or at least the post I keep referencing in my last few previous posts - my reflection on my third year of college. This one is hard to write, and maybe that’s why I was sort of putting it off. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write it but writing it means I have to come face to face with the fact that I technically am a college senior (or as TJ would love us to say fourth year). And that’s wild to me. I started this blog in the winter of my first year, and being so near to the end - whew! I’m just not ready to confront that fact quite yet. But this post needs to be written.
I have just finished How I Met Your Mother this week and it’s been weighing on my mind - stained glass and broken parts. There’s a flawed logic in HIMYM. Not everyone’s story gets wrapped up so wholly. Sometimes we’re left with are questions and fragments of memories. I think that’s the thing about consuming TV shows and movies and novels - somewhere along the way, you start thinking life has perfect beginnings, ends, and middles. That everything always gets wrapped up in a tight little bow. Maybe I need a break from consuming for a while. A little detox. Detoxing the idea that things will have conclusions and give me closure.
While the initial New Year’s buzz is fun and exciting, launching off a new year with whole new possibilities, those possibilities are improbable to become reality if we don’t stop and reflect on what progress we’re actually making. If something isn’t working for you, change it. It’s that simple. I want to take it a step further. If you made a New Year’s Resolution but now feel out of alignment with that goal despite many attempts to accomplish it, change your goal. I’ll go first.
This is the story of how I decided seeking solitude in isolation was a good idea. UVA has been doing Break Days for students’ mental health and because we no longer have a week of spring break off from school due to the pandemic. For my break days, I told myself that I would not want to do work or make it a catch up day. It’s tempting to use the day off as a way to get back on track with classes or even get ahead, for overachievers. But the way I see it - these break days are few and in between. I want to use them wisely and maybe challenge myself in how I spend my free time.