Life Interludes

Slowing Down, Catching Up

catchupcollage3

ABOVE: Scenes from the summer, as told by my iPhone

After two months, I’m officially stationary, and back in the states (States-tionary?). These past couple of months have been filled with adventure, to say the least.  Starting with a month in Paris, week in Venice for the Biennale, back to Tampa to move out of one apartment and into another in two days, the jet lag in full effect, then up to Maine for some hiking and general nature enjoyment. I even fit in some time to head up to Indiana for a few days and catch some mini deer, see picture above.

This movement also meant giving up the luxury of a closet and instead relying on what could fit into a sub-50lb suitcase for the better part of the summer. So much of it, in fact, that since being back I’ve been in a state of wardrobe panic. I’ve ended up falling back on the same three outfits or so I’d been wearing, give or take a necklace or ring, and my trusty summer fallback fishtail braid. It has also led to a mass closet exodus, which meant finally weeding out the last bits of Abercrombie and, consequently, my middle school wardrobe, items that were long overdue for a toss anyway.

As I write this, I’m back in Tampa, sitting in the comfort of my [air-conditioned] apartment. It’s my first apartment on my own, which is a big step, but it couldn’t be better suited for what I need right now. Spacious, in a good location, and with just the right ratio of new to culled-from-the-dumpster finds. It’s been less than two weeks but it’s already beginning to feel like home.

I also write this about to start out at a new school for the third year in a row now (third time’s a charm, right?). Bringing it full circle back to my original major, graphic design. You don’t know how much something means to you until it’s gone, I suppose. It’s a lot of big changes, which can be scary, but also exciting. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that the fear of something is almost always greater than the thing itself. And so with that in mind, I’m trying to stay focused on the excitement, take in the new neighborhood, and finally try out some things I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, but due to either a lack of motivation or lack of time haven’t had a chance to. For example:

  • Calligraphy, although it’s more like using calligraphy equipment and making up the style as I go.
  • Trying new things in the kitchen–sprouting, pickling, homemade sriracha (HIGHLY recommended), kimchi, and general baking with the expected failures and successes. Next up, kombucha.
  • Biking, for the first time in a decade.
  • Signing up for a second half marathon, and the subsequent training.
  • Catching up on some reading. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a new favorite, as is The Drunken Botanist (recommended for anyone looking to impress at the next cocktail party).
  • Exploring the new neighborhood. It’s incredibly refreshing to be back in a place where I can get most places by foot or bike. There have not been scientific studies to back this up, but I’m pretty sure driving in Tampa is more hazardous to your health than consistently eating one of these every day for a year.
  • Finally, and I mean as in this search has been more than a year in the making now, finding a place in Tampa that makes a café au lait just as good as the ones in DC, and now as good as the ones in Paris. Thankfully, and fittingly, this search has come to an end at Piquant.

My New Year’s resolution was to have more adventures, and it’s certainly held true for the first part of the year. Here’s to hoping the rest of the year brings more of the same.
And if your summer hasn’t been filled with enough adventures, there are still a few weeks left. Take a hike. Make booze popsicles. Put a bird on it.

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