OTM #6: Flashback

Hello again, and happy Wednesday!

The other day, I found myself plagued with doubts about my self-worth as a student. As UMich students, I think it’s unfortunately very natural to compare ourselves and our experiences to others, to worry that we are not “doing enough”. As I sat on my phone and pondered this, I was politely notified of a flashback from 2015. What awaited me was a cringeworthy photo of myself in Gravity Falls cosplay from the eighth grade, made out of my mom’s clothes and duct tape.

She stared me in the face. There was a preserved innocence in her eyes, a definitive adoration of herself I could see behind the gaze. I needed that at the moment; a shameless glance into that unbothered, uninhibited joy that I felt in middle school. As I looked at my twelve year old self, unafraid to be the most cringeworthy version of herself, I felt a swell of love. I saw myself sitting at a table with her, showing her what kind of art I’m making now, what TV shows and video games I love now. I thought of how she would appreciate every word, be proud of my artistic improvement, and even how she might admire how she looked in the future. This detailed image of us together grounded me, brought me back to earth, and I realized that I should be proud of where I currently am. At that moment, I realized I should go easier on myself. That twelve-year old that once was me would really appreciate it.

OTM #5: Ebb and Flow

Hello again, happy Wednesday!

Lately I’ve been really overwhelmed with the world. Although my last post praised the gloominess of March, I’ve fallen victim to it myself, it seems. I miss my summer job where I work with plants in the sun all day, and I find myself counting down the days to the end of the semester. Despite this negative mindset, I’m sticking with the knowledge that it’s all temporary. It’s okay to feel an ebb and flow in motivation, to occasionally spend the entire day daydreaming about where you wish you were, or a fake world you made up. It’s a rainy, gross day out, and sometimes you need to reserve time to listen to sad music alone (or even cry). At the end of the day, we keep moving forward! Spring is here, and we will (eventually) see the sunlight. To my fellow students who also lack motivation, keep going, and make sure you take plenty of breaks and take care of yourselves.

OTM #4: March

Hello again, hope you’re all well!

I’ve been taking a lot of walks as of late to cool me down from schoolwork, and I can’t help but notice the liminal beauty of March. Every day the air feels so heavy, the earth looks muddy and gross, yet there’s a sense of wonder about it to me. The weather almost heats up for just a moment, and I find myself wanting to spend more and more time in the gloomy nature. For this piece, I realized how much I wanted to draw the March landscapes around campus! It was really fun to work with mostly grays and browns, for any artists reading I highly recommend doing a study yourself. I hope you can all find some time to enjoy the weird air of March, have a great week!

OTM #3: Media Consumption

Hello everyone! Last week I saw 2022’s Batman (which was phenomenal), and I walked out of the theater with a feeling of grandiosity. I felt like Batman himself, with a determination to save the world. Yes, that’s cringeworthy, but there’s something so fun about that feeling. I haven’t felt that in a while; it reminded me of when I was eleven seeing The Hunger Games for the first time, walking out of the theater with a rush of emotion, feeling as if I was a character within the film. The drive home is intense, deep, and I feel as though I’m in this depressing and dark universe.

I think it’s really fun how movies can do this to us, can temporarily alter my mind and put me directly into their worlds. It makes me feel like a child, in awe of the world around me. And something about this childlike wonder is so marvelous to me. I hope you can all get in tune with that sense of wonder this week, maybe take a moment to relax and watch a show you love!

OTM #2: Vapid Conversation

Hello, all! Hope you are well and having a great break!

I went to the botanical gardens in Naples with my friend yesterday, and I could not help but satisfy my Pokémon Go addiction despite the breathtaking nature surrounding me. I was charmed to find that the Pokémon appearing in the wild reflected the garden setting, too, resulting in the most vapid and childlike conversation of my life, shown above. Something about it is so joyful to me, though, even if it’s just an iPhone game! It feels good to have something to keep track of and keep up with, and it made my trip to the gardens with my friend all the more hilarious and easygoing. If you have been considering playing, I recommend you start! You can really feel the love put into the game at times, and I find that to be so mundanely admirable. Take it easy and thank you for reading!

OTM #1: Creature

Hello, and welcome to “Oh, the Mundanity!” Through this series I want to capture the little things in my life that keep me inspired. There are so many joys in life that go unnoticed, and I think taking time to reflect on these things make me feel so much more calm at the end of the day.

With midterms around the corner, I’ve been sort of tense and wired as of late, but my roommate’s cat has really kept me going. He’s as the title describes – just a little creature – and his strange antics have had a strangely profound effect on my life. If you have a creature of your own, or maybe a friend with one, I highly recommend you take a moment to give them a hug, a long stare, even have a conversation. Sending good luck to everyone who’s having a hard time this week; I hope my creature can spread love your way!