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Finding a Way

I am fighting to stay above water with school pulling me under. Labor Day weekend is always a nice break right at the onset that helps ease myself back into the rhythm of work, work, work, breathe, work. I was overwhelmed again by the way that being at school consumes and drains me leaving me feeling like a wet rag at the end of the day.

This weekend was a nice reprieve. We had a tag sale that successfully got rid of some unneeded stuff on Saturday. Sunday we (finally) went to the beach (RI to be exact) and ate delicious seafood for dinner. And today I made shirts and treated myself to a break at Starbucks in Barnes & Noble with a stack of magazines. With Squam Art Workshops (SAW) only 8 days away I have a lot to do and a lot to be excited about! Getting shirts made helped me feel less overwhelmed by all that must get done before I go.

As I chose magazines at Barnes & Noble to accompany my chai frappuccino today I realized that the lovely online self-representing artist community is one of the only realms in life that make me feel that it is okay to be me and even nurtures me to become who I am meant to be, who I was created to be. If the world is boiled down and looked at through the lens of the magazine publishing industry, self help magazines make me feel like something is wrong with me and I better get working to fix it, beauty & fashion magazines make me feel not pretty enough, architecture magazines make me feel poor and remind me of my unfinished house, gossip magazines bring out an unhealthy obsession with celebrities that always leaves me feeling stupider, sports magazines don't appeal to me in the least, and magazines on business and economics make me feel angry or bored. The plethora of pricey self-taught artist and crafter magazines are the only ones that make me feel full of possibility, tell me that I can be the artist I deep down inside want to be, convince me that there is room for me too, and encourage me to be brave in trying all new things in life. Afterall, what other magazine can I open and know the people in the photographs and the writers who are pouring out their love and encouragement? Today the Stampington (Somerset) and Cloth Paper Scissors magazine families, along with my faithful chai frappe, brought me to a place where words and ideas flowed and it was marvelous. SAW does the same (but kind of on steroids since it is an experience unto itself). I am so looking forward to it.

In a way I feel at peace. Not really, but kind of. I feel like I have realized some things and have some distance from other things that helps me focus and understand where I am. How's that for vague? But I can't really explain it any other way. I was thinking today about my blog and how it has evolved. This blog started as a way for me to continue writing about that education world I longed to be part of and was convinced I could change for the better. I was writing my senior thesis on personal and character development in schools and wanted this blog to be a space to continue thinking about schools and educational dilemmas. In the last five+ years it has evolved as I sometimes have been dragged, sometimes wandered aimlessly, sometimes stumbled forward, sometimes ran, and sometimes sat unable to move through life. This summer I started having the words to write here again and sat down to think about what the purpose of this blog actually was. I thought about what I liked in the blogs I read and decided that the purpose of my blog is to find beauty in life, the kind of beauty that keeps me going. Because despite the horrifyingly discouraging things I could tell you about teaching, there is still beauty even there. And finding it makes me feel okay. Not always great, but okay.

My current step to make life more livable is to develop some simple, good habits. Like going to bed early (unlike right now), eating good food at school (like I do when I am home), cleaning my desk, and filing things right away. Good habits. I don't have many of those, so I am trying. Ben and I even cleaned the kitchen after making a nice meal together tonight. Big step!

But I have decided that the Box Challenge is over. School is enough of an emotional drain for each day. I did 21 and that's great.

Well I am faltering on my going to bed early, so off I go. Good night.

Foods of Summer

The Box Challenge: Days 19, 20, and 21