The banner went up for the Tom Tom Founder’s Festival about a month ago when I still worked downtown; I kept telling myself I’d look it up when I got home. I started to hear of food trucks and live music and talks. Friday night, Daniel told me that he was having an awesome time perusing local art, enjoying a bustling downtown atmosphere, and attending a poetry reading. Since I worked ’til 10, I was determined to make the most of it on Saturday.
My friend, Greta, and I headed downtown around noon. We stopped in for some bing (dumplings) and peanut salad at Song Song’s Zhou and Bing, then headed over to Low Vintage, my favorite vintage shop in town, where we bought a few items and chatted with Nora, the owner.
The weather was perfect for a lazy stroll down the mall. Eventually, we meandered over to Lee Park to enjoy the live music. We sat on the grass and ate locally made popsicles – I had the Strawberry Hibiscus and Greta had the Banana Macademia Nut. We took our time people watching and generally enjoying the atmosphere.
Spring festivals make sense. We’ve suffered through the dark winter months and we need to celebrate. We need something to gather outside for, to come out of the woodwork for. We need to be reminded that we exist together in a community and that we collectively deserve to enjoy the moment before it passes.
If you live in the Charlottesville area, think about taking part in the final events of the weekend – they’ve got a few interesting talks lined up for this afternoon.
Madewell styles clothing in such a cool, effortless way. Their catalogs are inspirational – you don’t need to buy expensive garments to pull off the Madewell look. It’s all about mixing trends and being confident.
January flew by despite being full of ups and downs. The weather was cold, then hot, then cold again, and my brain chemicals didn’t know how to react. I was really hard on myself for being lazy and depressed, but I came out of it and now I’m on an emotional upswing.
This month, I (and sometimes Daniel):
- attended two concerts at Mockingbird before it closed down
- reached out to a band about joining them as a vocalist
- contacted a local photographer to look into assistant opportunities
- started a Fair Trade blog; I’m really proud of it
- witnessed a friend’s marriage dissolve
- went on several walks (one, two, three, four)
- became obsessed with Trader Joe’s (that’s worn off a bit now)
- attended a swing dance lesson and Sock Hop
- took a lot of photos
- survived a couple snow days
- attended a game night
- started modeling for my online shop
- experienced record sales at my online shop
- wrote three poems
- finished decorating the library
- got the mullet trimmed off my outgrown pixie cut
- felt insignificant
- felt proud
- watched a lot of The Wire
- wore many layers
- was almost always cold
- bought a digital scale for mailing orders from home
- talked to some llamas
- visited many thrift stores
- nurtured new friendships
How’d I do with my 4 Simple Goals?
- Grow my online business: things have been looking up. I use new bookkeeping software that helps me keep track of fees, purchases, and revenue.
- Put money in savings every month: I should be able to do this as soon as I deposit my paycheck.
- Buy fair trade/ second hand as often as possible: I think I’ve stuck to this.
- Travel to a new place: we visited an antique mall in Ruckersville; that kind of counts.
Hope you had a fun, productive first month of the year.
2012 was a long year.
In 2012, I:
- quit fashion blogging.
- opened Water Lily Thrift (and sold more than 50 items on etsy alone!)
- quit the craft store where I worked as a framer for nearly a year.
- got poison ivy and experienced ‘roid rage.
- celebrated Daniel’s and my two year anniversary in St. Augustine.
- considered many academic and career options.
- sewed a lot of things, including curtains, pillows, skirts, and a dress.
- cooked more than ever before (and kind of enjoyed it).
- became passionate about fair trade and buying second hand.
- converted almost all of my makeup to organic.
- learned barista skills.
- photographed my newlywed friends.
- became a better photographer.
- won a couple giveaways.
- wrote a few poems I’m proud of.
- went antiquing often.
- read 25 books!
- moved to Charlottesville.
- felt lonely, became better friends with myself, and made awesome new friends.
- hosted Thanksgiving.
- visited the Shenandoah Valley.
- toured Florida Caverns and Luray Caverns.
- kayaked with Andrea.
- wrote 252 blog posts.
- bought some pretty good clothes.
- went on a country road adventure (and crossed the FL-GA line) with my sister to photograph old barns.
- played a lot of Barbies with the seven year old I babysat (I miss her).
- went to Lowry Park Zoo.
- attended two weddings and a high school graduation.
- had my wedding featured on Ruche’s blog.
- was featured in the company newsletter for great customer service.
- took nearly 1,000 photos (maybe more).
- dyed my hair blonde (not doing that again).
- ate lots of wonderful Asian food.
- photographed some grad school graduate friends.
- photographed a baptism.
- quit church and found a church I love.
- took adult ballet classes.
- expanded my graphic tee collection (narwhals and elephants and cats, oh my).
- painted, scrapbooked, modpodged, and canvas-stretched.
- became a pet mice and rat owner. Oh, rodents.
- saw a Bluegrass legend in concert.
- felt defeated and uncertain.
- felt confident and content.
- had Christmas with part of Daniel’s family.
- visited Baltimore.
- experienced snow for the first time in a long time.
- experimented with varied depths of field.
- had horrible and wonderful work experiences.
- felt humbled by the love of companions and the beauty of the natural world.
It’s not often that I feel that a year carried its full weight in time. But this year held a lot of change of both the psychological and the physical sort. I changed jobs three times, moved several states away, blogged a lot, opened an online business, doubted myself, loved myself, read many books, practiced patience and self-control, hosted parties, cooked real food, ate at good restaurants, played with Barbies, went to bars, discussed personal struggle with great vulnerability, put on fronts, argued, cried, practiced compassion, found a church community, adopted causes, voted, felt stupid, felt brilliant, slept in, woke up early, put my foot in my mouth, and spoke eloquently.
I overheard a woman at a restaurant in Baltimore telling her friend that she was glad 2012 was over. I have no desire to redo any part of this tumultuous year but I’m thankful for how the experience, transition, and room for contemplation have changed me. I feel that I, and my life situation, have changed for the better this year. There’s no reason things won’t keep getting better. Thanks for everything, 2012: the chaos and the calm, the tears and the laughter, the boredom and the ecstasy.