Watching the numbers tick up toward the third digit this past week, I have been contemplating exactly how I want to spend this momentous post; it occurred to me that the life I've led since I began this blog has been the manifestation of a fantasy for me, and I want to compile here a list of things I have learned/discovered from it, and things that have surprised me since I became a student.
12. Paper disposables cost a lot of money and disappear WAY too fast in a house full of college students. I don't buy any paper products in New York (except t.p. which we get for free at school anyway--I'm not about to go that far!)--I've switched to rags from paper towels, and hankies for tissues. I never really used paper eating stuff anyway.
11. You should never, ever assume the people you live with have learned the same things about cleaning that you did. For example, that you are not to touch the spice bottles when your hands are covered in raw fish juice, that in order for dishes to be cleaned, they must be washed WITH soap, that normal people use towels when they get out of the shower, etc. (You'd think people would at least get the soap thing!)
10. The romance of working on your conference paper all night at the end of the semester when the library is open 24/7 is not worth moving out of your dorm and flying home to California on on 1/2 hour of sleep (but is worth the the walk home to your dorm at 5:20 am with your finished paper in your hand and the sun coming up).
9. Like-minded souls really do exist, no matter how much your adolescence wanted to convince you otherwise.
8. Your body doesn't like all the goop you put on it every day. Before I moved out here, I used at least eighteen products on myself daily. I use six now, and my skin and hair have never been healthier. (My six are Dr. Bronner's Magic soap for hands, hair, body, and face, a homemade vinegar rinse instead of conditioner, toothpaste, non-antiperspirant deodorant, one lotion for face and body, and sometimes a little mascara.)
7. Sometimes, there are just people in your life with whom you don't want to remain in contact. Good friends are worth the extra effort of long distance.
6. Staying in is usually more fun and less expensive than going out; that being said, a change of scenery is welcome and sometimes necessary when you've been in your own home-bubble too long.
5. Public transportation, no matter how inefficient, annoying, and troublesome it is, is SO much better than no public transportation, especially for those of us who choose not to learn to drive.
4. Nearly anything can be cleaned with baking soda, vinegar, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, hot water, lemon juice, or a combination thereof. Anything. Clothes, shoes, hair, body, house, dishes--Anything.
3. The most important elements in changing or even revolutionizing an artistic culture are craftsmanship and discontent. Nothing changes if no one gets angry. And do we all want to go on in an art world ruled by egotistical, postmodernly ironic, multi-millionaires Jeff Koons and Damien Hirsch? Do three basketballs floating in an aquarium belong in the SFMOMA? I didn't think so. That being said, although there is hope in discontent, there is hope in beauty, too, and that, really, should come first and foremost.
2. That really, I am a West-Coaster at heart. I miss the Pacific, and when I have served my obligatory term as an artistic soul in New York, I will be packing my bags right back up and moving back Home, where there are redwoods and sea otters.
1. That everything works out in the end. If you know it as hard as you can know something, you work toward an end, and leave yourself open to creative opportunities, everything turns out the way it should. Not necessarily the way you thought, but certainly the way it should. But the only way this works is through exploring--if you are not constantly, diligently searching, brainstorming, and trying on new hats, sometimes you don't end up find the thing that needs you in order to work out the way it's supposed to.
Well, my beloved family, friends, and even my anonymous (and beloved) followers, I hope that you've discovered as many things in these past two years as I have--and I wish you many more years of precisely that. My love to all tonight and all nights.