OTM #33: Fangirl

The topic of adulthood has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s a cartoonish form of adulthood that doesn’t exist, though – one that paints an “adult” as someone with no hobbies or interests, a businesslike frame of mind around everything. I think a part of me feels a need to conform to this fake form of adulthood; so, as I sat on my floor at 4am waiting for a new song to release on Spotify, I felt a dissonance. Is it foolish of me to care so much about the music I like that I’m staying up late? Is this childish? Am I too old for this?

One of my communication courses wrapped up yesterday, and during our final lecture, my professor said to us, “It’s amazing that you guys are so thoughtful and mature, I was never like this at your age.” I was shocked; I don’t think it has crossed my mind recently that I am still allowed to be a dumb kid. I’m so worried about the way I express interest in things or being seen as “childish” that I’m failing to recognize the important ways I’m maturing. This time is precious, and it’s okay to be a bit silly or make mistakes. So what I’m excited for music with the fervor of a thirteen year old girl? I’m gonna dance about it.

OTM #32: Time and Place

I think I’m starting to truly feel like an adult. That may sound silly, but to me it’s dreadfully serious. I’ve spent some time at my family’s home for the holidays, and every morning I woke up in a state of emotional confusion. I open my eyes and something feels wrong; I feel like I’m not supposed to be in my childhood bed. My body’s first reaction is to feel discomfort, to say, “you don’t belong here anymore.” Of course, I love my childhood bedroom and find it to be comforting, yet there’s this tiny voice in my brain that’s creating some distance between who I am today and who I was growing up. It’s telling me that I’m an impersonator of the younger me. College is this odd time where we are given transition time between high school and adulthood, time to navigate what “adulting” means and who we truly are, and I think a lot of times that can cause some natural and necessary discomfort. Discomfort makes life more interesting, so it’s okay. Have a great week!

OTM #31: Shoes

I got some new shoes for some important life stuff recently, and yesterday I finally gave them their big debut. They fit me well, made me look like a grown working woman. I felt confident and ready to take on the day; however, my brain begged to disagree. As I walked the halls, I started to become increasingly bothered by a potent smacking sound. My shoes. It wasn’t even my shoes hitting the tile; it was my heel, smacking back and forth onto the shoe as I walked. The longer I heard it, the more anxious I became. I became certain that everyone was turning their heads to think, “Who is that girl with the loud shoes?” (they were most certainly not doing this). My body was heating up with uncomfortable embarrassment – the air around me vibrated, vividly red. I was counting down the seconds, hoping I was done walking soon.

What’s particularly funny about this is how little everyone else would care about this; looking back on it now, there was no way that my shoes were causing a commotion. There was no way that anyone was judging me because of them, but this is the wonder of the human body: anxiety and shame. My funny self-sabotaging nature was convincing me I was a laughing stock over something as small as shoes; in this moment I was transported to what is almost elementary school-level embarrassment. It’s natural to be nervous – I was meeting a lot of new people, excited and scared all at once, and in order to deal with these new feelings I fixated on my shoes. It’s funny how people work.

OTM #30: Suit

I think I must be sleep deprived, because I’m at a point where I think a person walking down the street in a suit is a Succession character. It’s coming to that point of the semester, though; everyone is tired and checking out, ready for summer. I’m first and foremost ready for spring, though, something we are apparently in currently yet the nasty wind and flurries has me begging to differ. I think it’s funny how much I allow what I’m watching to imprint on my life; in many ways, making fun of the professionalism in Succession has helped me lower the pressure of professional work settings and interviews. The less seriously I can take things, the easier they will be to overcome, and that’s really motivated me over this semester. Failure is vaguely exciting and moments of stupidity (such as above) bring me a joy that I can’t quite explain – either way, everything is fun when you find a way to make it less serious. I hope you are all powering through the end of the semester!

OTM #29: Sketchbook

Lately, I’ve missed the freedom of having a sketchbook. I used to fill out at least a page every day in high school. I’d take the time to sketch in classes and then color when I got home using my fancy Copics. There was something freeing about it; there isn’t an undo button like there is when I draw digitally, so I’d be forced to exert confidence with each and every line. After a while, I started to care less and less about making a perfect drawing, moving in favor of filling out the page with as many sketches and ideas as I possibly could. It brought me solace.

Now, though I have a physical sketchbook, it doesn’t feel the same as high school. I left all my fancy pens and markers in my hometown, leaving me sketching with only a black BIC pen. It’s still just as fun, but I realized that I missed the clutter of colors scattered across pages. Something had to be done about this, I thought. I need the solace of a sketchbook again.

So, I’ve started to use my same old sketchbook methods but digitally, now – I cover a huge canvas in as many doodles as I can, finished or unfinished. Mind you, this is a very unconventional method for digital artists; usually, it’s good to fill out one canvas with one drawing to preserve a higher quality. But for me, it’s fun to watch one canvas build up art over time. Every drawing is small in perspective to the whole canvas, alleviating any pressure I feel about creating a “perfect” drawing. It’s like a time capsule, a way to look back at my state of mind as I draw through each week, and I didn’t realize how much I missed that simple feeling until I started again. Below, you can see two examples (there’s even some old OTMs on these, haha)! 

They’re a little messy, a little disorganized, but there’s so much love in them, and that’s what makes me happy. It’s fun to just go crazy and draw to my heart’s content all on one page, rather than focus on what used to make me scared about art (a perfect portfolio piece, dozens of hours sunken into one piece, extreme detail and technical skill). If you’re an artist and stuff like that’s been giving you some extra stress, maybe it would be fun to wind down with a massive sketch canvas, too! Have a great week!

OTM #28: Time Change

So there I was, playing mobile games like a loser at 1:59am that fated Daylight Savings evening. I was deluded enough to believe that I was gaining another hour, that time would move back for me – but I could not have been more mistaken. It was a moment of downright shame as I watched the clock jump from 2 to 3; I had been successfully navigating independent adulthood until that very moment. I let myself slip, I forgot. Of course, it’s not that serious, but to that tired version of myself, it felt like life or death. After sleeping off the silly mistake, I realized that I was not the only one who forgot or didn’t remember how the time change worked; maybe I am a proper adult after all, I thought. It’s fine that I forgot. I can just sleep early the next day. It’s funny how serious things can be taken sometimes. Have a great week everyone!