Fifty Three

On our first anniversary,

My husband and I went to iHop, the Getty, video chatted with this mother, and then went home to eat dinner with my family. I always felt the usual idea of an anniversary is so bland. Especially for couples without children, wouldn’t you want to spend your day surrounded by mutual friends and family rather than isolating yourselves on a weekend trip? After all, it wasn’t just the two of us at the wedding. The least you can do is drop a hello for your witnesses.

Anyway, that’s today. We have also been using Duolingo to retain the little Danish we learned while he was doing his PhD in Denmark. Right now, I’m still on Clothing. It’s going to be a while before I can post my new “skill” on LinkedIn. I’m also working on Italian and Spanish despite my horrible memories of Spanish class from high school. I guess my overall goal is to become a designer who doesn’t just design for your own company, country, or demographic. Learning a new language reminds you that there are whole other ways of living that we aren’t considering in our design.

Speaking of design, I noticed how tired design students are all the time. Their weariness makes me scared for the relaxed lifestyle I lead. Will I really be so caught up in my work that I will have to spend all-nighters at school? Or will I manage my time and know myself enough to product quality ideas without sacrificing my quality of life? Those are my questions for the tired design student. In the race to grow your brand, make your name, I’d rather be a turtle than a hare.

Fifty

With family,

Sometimes you never know. Today, I picked up my sister from school and dropped off her friends and all was fine. Then I shared this awesome notebook called “People I Want to Punch in the Face” that I want to buy, and she retorted “Stop spending Mama’s money!” So then I ended up going to Yoga all depressed and moody, so depressed and moody I couldn’t keep my balance during the easiest poses.

After that disappointing yoga session, I went back home in an awful mood, in this awful chilly weather (It’s 60 degrees in California right now), and curled up in bed. Then she made bacon and chicken soup! And my grandma made my favorite food! And most of all, my mom made juice and didn’t force me to drink it. I drink some anyways, and no argument happened. No argument whatsoever. So, what started out as an awful day ended up okay.

As for school, I believe it’s going to be a while for me to go to Art Center, and still I’m going to keep applying until they let me in. I don’t suck, but I’m not  great either. I don’t stand out at all in terms of my work as the best in the class. I’m not talented enough to make it into Art Center within a year or obsessed enough to try. Overall, I was also upset today, because I’m bored. At least I had some routine, somewhere to go when I was in science. 20% of me miss reading meaningless research and lab work, but most of me believe I have a happier future. It’s just it seems farther than ever from where I am now.

I see my classmates from Smith appreciating the fall weather, but I have to remind myself that 60 degree Californian weather almost made me push everything off my shelves in a fit of rage today. Also, I need to refill my lamictal pills, which was something else that was pissing me off during yoga. Ugh.

Fourteen

After an adventure in Los Angeles,

I’ve fallen in love with Southern California more than ever. We had a long day, but driving back on a winding highway with the car lights, dark suburbs, and passing billboards as I talked with a best friend made me feel at home. The evening was warm, and we enjoyed the museum and Hollywood Boulevard as much as we could without coming home at an unreasonable hour. We complained how unorganized Los Angeles traffic is, but the city itself is a beautiful mess. In fact, I think I’m starting to fall in love with the messiness of L.A. the same way I fell in love with the messiness of New York City. Los Angeles, especially Hollywood, has this air of glamour, diversity, and optimism that Boston and my small college town lacks.

The people in Los Angeles are so diverse and so American, but not Americanized. I heard accents of all sorts talking about American food and admiring the icons and studies that created American dreams with their American smiles and American problems. These studios created a heaven that we all know is a big lie, but we aim for it anyways. Of course, there’s the flashing lights of souvenir shops and images of the spirit of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, or Elvis Presley everywhere. Their all-American smile seducing you to chase your dreams through rebirth and becoming a new person with a new identity that’s ready to be loved by all. I especially see Marilyn Monroe everywhere: beautiful people or places that have been trampled on and worn down by their own passions, yet they blossom more beautifully and mysteriously than everything and everyone around them. They are the vagabonds roaming the city’s shadows and the street artists dancing, singing, or back flipping around the names of America’s idols on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I could just watch the guitarist in front of American Eagle or the jazz trumpeter across the street play until my nostalgia is satisfied with smooth jazz songs or a haunting rendition of “Hotel California.” Everyone in Los Angeles here for different reasons, but for a moment, we were all dreaming in the same place.

I felt the magic today in the terrible roads, shabby downtown shops, and Hollywood lights underneath the Californian sun or the Santa Ana winds that hugged my soul. Still, as my soul stays in SoCal, I should remind myself that I’m leaving in six days for a cold, dull New England town. When I am reminded of that cold place, my comforting, bittersweet love for southern California–no different from a slow, simmering sunset—will remind me that I might check out of California, but I can never leave this beautiful mess.