Påtår For Finals

Påtår (Swedish): på • tår
Noun; a second refill, or “threefill”, of coffee.

It’s that time of year again.

Highlighters and pens fill up your bag to the rim. Random snacks like mini Oreos, Cheerios and sour cream and onion chips for breakfast. Naps instead of 8-hour sleeps. Wearing the same outfit for three days in a row. You can feel your brain slowly turn into mush. Your bloodstream slowly transforms from blood, into coffee.

Finals.

Okay I can’t totally complain since I was lucky enough to only have four finals this semester. But last semester, when I had six finals, that was definitely me. I remember I had a caramel macchiato with three sugars, and was literally bouncing off the walls (I drank it at 8am and was still jittery at 11pm. I try to avoid drinking those now). I also did have Cheetos and a Twinkie for breakfast during last semester’s final exam period. I was a straight up zombie. Thankfully, having four somewhat-nicely-spaced-out exams, I can breathe a bit. I won’t be able to do a lot of art-related things, but at least I’ll get this year over with, ready to work for the summer and rejuvenate for the next year ahead.

With finals approaching rapidly, I find one of the most underrated problems about studying for finals is finding a good study space. You automatically want to go to a library, but when your campus has 50’000 students in the same boat as you, the libraries– especially the really nice library spaces– are full. What about the unappealing libraries? Full. Dorms? Too loud, despite the quiet hour signs plastered everywhere. At a friends? If you’re like me, it’s difficult to get any work done around friends. This is the downside of a large university, I have to say. Finding a decent study space is difficult, and soon, you find yourself aimlessly roaming campus to find one; a small corner in a building nobody goes too.

At least, that’s where I found mine! Okay, it’s not a corner, but a lounge with like, three people and a kitchen. Pretty snazzy if you ask me. Okay, the chairs are a tad uncomfortable and the walk is a little far, but you know what? Totally worth it. Plus, I can almost guarantee that if I have to get up to go to the washroom, nobody is trying to steal my spot like a hawk. Sometimes, the best study spaces are worth the search. Also, I get a great view.IMG_3917.JPG

If you have finals, good luck! Always remember that you are more than a grade; you’re a human being, not a GPA. We’ll all get through this together, and soon, summer will be upon us (unless you’re also taking summer courses, then, I hope those will be less stressful on you!). Bring on the coffee! 😛

Our Querencia

Querencia: que • ren • cia
Noun; a place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.

IMG_3904.JPG(Study for finals? Nah. Camellia flower– symbolizing refinement, desire, and perfection)

I feel like we all have different versions of ourselves that we use in our everyday life. We’re the nice and responsible version of ourselves at work, school or around professionals. The goofy, chilled out, and loose version of ourself around our friends. Affectionate and loving self to our significant others. Some of us might even have those versions of our selves that we hope to be; they have their life together, actually go out and exercise, and are not sketching the evening away instead of studying for upcoming finals…

It’s sometimes hard being able to find those times where you can truly be authentic. I mean sure, we tell everyone that this is the real you and all that, but when it comes down to it, people act differently among other groups. Not in a bad way necessarily, but it’s just a normal thing; you don’t always act the exact same way you do with your significant other than with your grandparents. I find myself always trying to be authentic in every situation I’m in, no matter who is there, but sometimes you just have to make adjustments.

But sketching, doing any sort of art really, that’s where I’m most authentic. That’s where I feel most real, most like myself. I could do art for hours and truly hope it never ends. I mean, every situation does of course, but there’s this sensation that I hope doesn’t end. I remember I was doing a wax/paint work and was sitting cross-legged for (apparently) 6 hours. I didn’t even realize it until I tried to get up to eat; my legs were numb. But you get into such a mindset where you’re so focused but relaxed at the same time. I feel most happiest, pure, and natural in that state. Although my body might be tired, I feel stronger, like I can conquer whatever I want after finishing a work. Things are content when I just pick up a paintbrush or pencil. Doing art brings me a feeling of home, even if I’m away from my physical one. A mental home, I suppose.

Perhaps, though, these different versions we all have are just part of our authentic self. The real you. All these different selves are what make each and every one of us up. The one where we feel most at home with, our querencia, just so happens to be that one that takes us into a mental state of happiness, and where we can feel our strongest. Be authentic, because not everyone in the world is. Carve your own path, and just keep on being you. I hope you’ll get to embrace your most authentic self today, and hope that you have a great day 😀 cheers!!

 

Camellia flower meaning:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/camellia-flower-meaning/

 

Writing About Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block: write• ters • block
Phrase; condition in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown.

IMG_3883.JPG(Apparently, I can still attempt sketches but can’t write, haha. Here’s a marigold flower– they symbolize creativity, the loss of a loved one, and other sacred meanings in specific cultures, such as sacrificial use in cultures such as the Aztec and Hindu.)

I hate writer’s block!!!!!!!

Okay, sure this blog is about my everyday thoughts, but sometimes writing them out is difficult. Sometimes, the neat thoughts in my mind are only a sentence long, and can often be too difficult to expand on. Or, some of my thoughts are just too hard to actually fathom and string into words. Other thoughts are sometimes very personal, and the cyber-world doesn’t need to know them.

I remember as a kid I loved reading and writing stories. I’d even make little “books” and write in them (I would fold paper to make a “cover” and glue smaller, multiple papers inside and write in them, then draw a cover). I’d always start some story, get halfway through it, and then stop writing because of major writers block. Or, since I was a kid, I’d just start doing other stuff, get distracted, and forget about the story I was writing in the first place. Not much has changed as an 18-year-old amateur blogger. I’ll start writing posts, get through at least a hundred words, and then bam! A brick wall in my writing capabilities. Or, I’d finish writing a draft, reread it, and have no feeling towards it. I refuse to post stuff that I don’t have any feeling towards, because through my writing, you can probably tell that there’s no emotion through it. What’s the point of reading something if there’s no passion or emotion written behind it, you know?

Oh and titles. I literally hate doing titles. You always want something clever and witty, something to catch the reader’s attention, but honestly that can take time. Sometimes, the title is what starts the writing, but other times, it’s likely what ends your writing, at least for me. My English professor insisted on having clever titles for all our papers, and especially the research paper, but I’m pretty sure I spent a good half an hour trying to think up a title that was both intriguing and witty about the controversy on artificial intelligence. I don’t even remember what the title was, so it clearly wasn’t good enough if it didn’t linger with me.

So, having writers block on my own thoughts is a little funny. I can think up all of the material, but can barely get any of it down. I feel that as time goes on, it’ll get a little better. But I’m still new. Curses to you writer’s block, even though my writer’s block gave me this post’s content. Irony, such irony.
Cheers, have a great day ya’ll 🙂 (and I hope you don’t get writer’s block!)

Here’s a site on the meaning of marigold flowers:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/marigold-flower-meaning/

Being Aplomb with Body & Mind Positivity

Aplomb: a • plomb
Noun; self-confidence or assurance, especially when in a demanding situation.

 

Sometimes, body and mind positivity is so difficult.

IMG_3877.JPG(A daffodil sketch– they symbolize inspiration, creativity, and even new beginnings)

You’re walking down the street, or you’re scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, even Facebook, and you see all these glamorous models, living this luxurious life that one can only dream about. Their faces are seemingly perfect, smiles all gleamy, and you can feel dull, boring, and plain. You can feel like you’re just average, nothing special, and your self-esteem takes this hit.

It might sound like a cliché, but even if you think you’re average, you’re definitely not. There is literally nobody like you. There might be a doppelgänger of you, but they’re never truly you. They don’t have the thoughts you have, they don’t wake up everyday in your body, making your own choices, having the same favourite things as you. You are truly unique, no matter what anyone tries to say. Your mind is yours, and only ever yours. Nobody can take that away from you. Mind-positivity sometimes goes unnoticed, but it’s truly important. Without a positive mind, looking at life in a positive light is nearly impossible. Things like body positivity are made more difficult to accept when you’re stuck in a negative mindset, and other mental disorders are harder to comply with. Having a more positive mind is a slow process, sometimes with little progress as time goes on, but it’s important. Although there is chaos in the world, thinking positively can help ease at least some small problems among communities, even globally. A little kindness does go a long way, even if we don’t always notice it.

Body positivity is also another struggle. Mind positivity and body positivity can go hand-in-hand; for some, as they become happier with their bodies, their minds also become a lot better in result. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. However, body positivity at the start is definitely difficult. From personal experience, I’ve been insecure about my body since I was maybe 12, like most girls at that time. It’s such a horrible feeling, and it’s disgusting that society still continues to degrade women and men in this day and age. At such a young age, we’re told that if our bodies don’t look a certain way, they’re ugly or distorted. At 12 years old, I was being told this through magazine implications and posters that were plastered all around me. I’m 18, and still struggle with thinking positively about my body, because things I’m told as a child still creep in the back of my mind. Nowadays, our outlooks are changing towards being positive about one’s body, to celebrate and embrace the biological temple we have been gifted. It’s a slow process, but I’m hopeful that future generations of pre-teens won’t have to hear they’re ugly for being born with the body they were given, like past generations have been.

Mind and body positivity is difficult, especially with social media around us all the time, telling us twenty different things at once and forcing us to re-evaulate our thoughts and outlooks. Sometimes it’s good; sometimes, social media helps us to become happier with ourselves, helping to create better thoughts in our heads. Other times, it takes a turn for the worst. But we’re stronger than that. Humanity has gone through glacial maximums, droughts, even world wars. Petty comments and degrading commercials are nothing against you, or anyone. You’re more than 140 characters, a hashtag or dumb commercial. Look yourself in the mirror, and remember the tribulations it took for your ancestors, even the archaic ones, to get you to this point. Your body is a temple of the past, the present, and whatever you make of it in the future. Positivity begins with each one of us, and hopefully, you can help pass it on, to the ones around you, and through future generations. Have a great day, and spread some cheer around today 🙂

 

PS: if you’re reading this and do have some body-posi struggles, here’s a little list of things I either do or say when I’m not sure about how I look/am insecure with my body (I hope they can help, or at least inspire!:

  1. Go to a store and find something cute, but unsure that you’d ever wear. You know those clothes that you see and go “omg that’d be so cute… but I could never wear that.” if it’s in your budget, buy it, go home and wear it. And the entire time, remember why you thought it was cute. Tell yourself you look cute. Tell yourself that you’re modelling the shirt because you’re gorgeous and that’s why.
  2. Don’t girl/guy-bash. Bashing on others based on sexual activity and appearance reflects your own state. So what if the girl has sex a lot? So what if he’s wearing a tie-dye pair of shorts? Those are their choices. Your choices reflect how you might look at yourself, and of course others.
  3. Every. Single. Day. Look at yourself in the mirror and compliment yourself. You bought those shoes ’cause you liked them right? Say that. “I love these shoes because they’re pretty/cute/urban, etc” Don’t backtrack on your compliments either. You said it, and you can’t take it back. Own up to it.
  4. Give positive-pep talks. Hype yourself up. Add music if necessary.
  5. Own yourself; you belong to nobody but yourself. Your choices are yours. You went bra-less because you wanted too. Wear make-up because you want shine, you’re a 10/10 with or without makeup. You decided to get a tattoo because it’s your body and you can. Let nobody tear you down.
  6. SELFIES. Ignore all the Baby-Boomers and Gen X’s. They can yell at our narcissism all they want– if King Louis XIV of France could get a 3m x 2m  self-portrait of himself with fur blankets and gold in the background, you can take a quick selfie in the sun.
  7. Empower others. If you see a girl in a store who puts herself down because of an outfit, hype her up! Empowering others helps to empower yourself, and others will start to do it too. Hype up your girlfriend/boyfriend as they’re getting ready to go out.

 

Vorfreude for the Summer

Vorfreude (German): for • froy • duh
Noun; the joyful, intense anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures.

IMG_3873.JPG(A random potted tree sketch I did during the weekend; maybe it’s a cherry blossom tree? I don’t really know.)

As the last week of classes starts, I’m actually kind of sad. I really do love university. I love learning, and just the campus itself. Having to go out to work in Manitoba for four months honestly sucks so much. Upside: I get to spend as much time with my boyfriend. Downside: I’m in Manitoba. You win some, you lose some.

But already, I’m so excited for next year. I’m so ecstatic to go full force into arts courses, focusing all my energy into things I love, and of course, more sketching. I can’t wait to start taking more history courses, and all the future events and things to join next year. I felt still so confined and shy this year, and I’m hoping to open up more during my time at UBC. Join more clubs, and try to tick more things off my own bucket list, at least, I hope I can.

With the essence of summer rapidly approaching, I can’t help but be excited for that too. There’s just something about the future and all the things yet to come. This summer, I know I’ll be doing and learning new things, living in a different place for the next four months, and being with family for a while too. Thinking about it now, I guess learning how to bartend is pretty exciting, and also something great to tell people at parties. You know, show some bartending tricks. I don’t know about you, but I think that could be a great way to make friends. I could also be totally wrong.

And art! I have so many sketch ideas, even painting ideas all ready to burst from my hands and mind. I’m thrilled to start getting truly back into sketching, and soon, I’ll have more time (and space!) to start doing other possible works. I love doing artworks that take a long time to accomplish. More effort is put into it, and can be reflected. Sure, smashing a couple mediums together, or splattering paint across a canvas (although, Jackson Pollock’s art often took weeks, as he did spend good time on his work) can be quick and easy, even show effort. However, sometimes, the art that takes the longest really shows commitment and concentration. I have four months of full time work, but there’s always spaces in between, so who knows what might be created!

I hope you’re just as excited for your foreseeable future, even if you have absolutely no direction with it. You can always make plans now, or live impulsively, going with the flow and approaching the future opportunities as they come to you. With a happy mindset, and a full-force attitude, it’s likely bound to be great. Hopefully, this summer of 2017 is memorable for all of us! Have a great day 🙂

 

Here’s a site about the abstract artist, Jackson Pollock, if you’re interested in tidbits of his life. It debunks a few myths, ones started from his biographical movie, and tells you some interesting facts about the late artist:
http://www.biography.com/news/jackson-pollock-biography-facts

What a Cliché

Cliché: cli • ché
Noun; a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

IMG_3863.JPG(a begonia flower– symbolizes future misfortunes, challenges, and caution)

I love those cliché romantic gestures. I’m honestly such a hopeless romantic. I feel like it stemmed from my love of movies. I’m such a sucker for romantic comedies and romantic books, ones like Me Before YouSay Anything…The Longest Ride (only the book I really did not like the movie), and 27 Dresses. Reading history doesn’t always help either; sometimes, you get to hear about all these heroic love stories or tragedies, see all these works of art with influences of intense romance and it’s like could you imagine if it happened to me?! And then you remember that in those days the mortality rate was sky-high so suddenly, it’s okay to be in this day and age. Although, I’m not going to lie, if someone wrote a novel or did something historical in my name, I’d still faint.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve imagined how someone might propose to me, or what my wedding would be like. Most girls can be like this, not all, but I’m definitely in this category. I haven’t gone to go as far as Pinterest my wedding (I’m nowhere near that stage), but do I often daydream about it when I’m dozing off during a monotone lecture? You know it. I just can’t help it though; I really just love love. I love watching movies of love, I love reading histories of love stories, I love just seeing people in love. I just think love is so great, so wonderful about life. It just makes me so giddy. It’s embarrassing.

When I visited Winnipeg during my winter break, my boyfriend checked off a favourite cliché of mine: surprising the girlfriend at the airport. He even got my two friends into it, even took a Snapchat of him at his school to make me believe it. When he surprised me, I was straight up crying. In a public airport. But it was so memorable, and he actually pulled it off and it felt like a movie. I feel like we all sort of want that in our lives; to have our lives feel like a movie we’d watch over and over again. Personally, if I could make a movie of my life, it’d have to be a musical. Despite my lack in singing talent, I really just want a great dance number and a hit song. Something as good as “Without Love” from Hairspray, or “You Can’t Stop The Beat.”

So give me the boombox outside my window, with my favourite song playing. Give me the rose-petal-pathway and candlelit dinner, the snowed-in cabin up in the mountains, the bridesmaid but never the bride, the lawnmower ride into the sunset. No matter what anyone ever says to me, clichés are adorable, hilarious, and you can’t help but gush and love them. I hope wherever you are, you either witness or commit a cliché today, have a great day! 🙂

 

Here’s more about the meaning behind a begonia flower:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/begonia-flower/

Offing at English Bay Beach

Offing: off • ing
Noun; the more distant part of the sea that is still visible from the shore; figuratively, the near or foreseeable future.

IMG_1036.jpg(Here’s some of my amateur photography, another one below)

There’s just something about the beach that makes me feel at home.

Specifically, in Vancouver, English Bay Beach gives me this sense of home; my mind is a bit clearer, and things seem a little brighter to me. Just looking out into the distance, problems seem so small in comparison. The salty air just clears the mind (and the nose!). Even though it’s not as warm at this time of year, I still love going to the beach and just reflecting on life, giving me some clear thoughts.

My favourite thing is just trudging down the sand and sitting on one of the large logs. They’re pretty big, and I’m sort of a short person, so getting onto them is a tad challenging. But just sitting there, watching the waves stroll in, time goes by so fast and before you know it, an hour has gone by. I always find that the beach is such a nice place to daydream, to be lost in your thoughts, or to just admire the beauty of the landscape. Here in BC, there’s also the coastal mountains in the view, making the horizon absolutely stunning to look at. Birds are soaring through, and it leaves you wondering what it’d be like to be a bird. Being able to spread your wings and go whenever and wherever you please. I always thought it’d be amazing to be a bird (although I’d probably end up being a kiwi because I think they’re just adorable). The idea of flying is so utterly beautiful and poetic to me, and soaring even looks like poetry in motion.

I always loved how the beach attracts other people. Across the beach, there’s other people doing the same as me; sitting on logs, or even in the sand, and pondering. They’re lost in their own thoughts, in a state of peace of mind. I think that’s what I love most about the beach; it’s just so peaceful, at least at English Bay. It’s so relaxing, even somewhat rejuvenating. I feel so much better having spent some time at the beach.

IMG_1024.jpg

When I lived in Winnipeg, the beaches in Manitoba made me long for English Bay beach in Vancouver, and even the other beaches in BC. However, I have a soft spot for English Bay. I don’t really know why, maybe it’s because it reminds me of all the happy memories I had as a kid in BC. The area is filled of childhood memories of motorcycle riding with my Dad, ice cream by the logs, and old candid pictures with my long-time best friend. I can’t be upset or angry at English Bay; I’m only ever thoughtful and at peace, something I definitely need with final exams coming up.

Home is such a weird thing; it’s sometimes never truly a place. Sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s a place. There’s times when it’s both, and you have two homes. I know already that I have two homes. One home is my boyfriend, and Vancouver is my physical place I call home. In Vancouver, it truly feels like home when I’m sitting on a log at English Bay. I hope you find your own home 🙂 have a great day!!