Outfit # 74: Desire, self-improvement and other buzz words

The first time I heard a lecture by Alan Watts was in The Incredible True Story by Logic. Once on a radio show, a fan called in and asked why Logic used the desire lecture, where Watts inquires simply: What do you desire? Logic explained that Watts said in a few minutes what took him an entire album to communicate.
I listened to it most carefully one day walking to class. It made my brain ring, thumping a deep inner chord. The way Watts can for anybody who decides to listen.
We were assigned his book in class, The Wisdom of Insecurity. (Although, to be honest, I haven’t finished reading it. It was a little overwhelming. Every page was a gosh darn revelation. Exhausting! But I do plan on finishing it.) Then, more recently, I read a quote by him that suggested that the self, who you are, is unchangeable. So stop trying to improve it. What a relief! And he says the same thing. It is a relief knowing that I’m stuck with my lot.
It’s like a poem with a set rhyme scheme. The rules can either s…

Travel: Bellingrath Gardens

I want to make the world better and brighter by my being here. - W. Bellingrath

These Gardens were my wife’s dream, and I want to live to see that dream come true.  - W. Bellingrath
"As the economic depression worsened, friends quietly kept Mrs. Bellingrath aware of families in need. She would appear, checkbook in hand, begging for an azalea, camellia or whatever bloom she saw in the family yard. She would convince the stunned homeowner that Bellingrath Gardens had been unable to locate one and then offer hundreds of dollars in an era when the U.S. Government declared that $25 per week was a comfortable income. She told a flower shop owner that her crocheted afghans were the most handsome she had seen and offered her $100 each for a dozen, knowing the money would put the woman’s niece in college, which it did."
"I shall always think of you wandering through a lovely garden, Like that which you fashioned with your own hands, Where flowers never fade and no cold wind of sorr…

Outfit # 73: How do you like them apples?

Since graduating, writing assignments seem less daunting. I don’t dread working and I don’t feel this constant lingering pressure. I realized how hard I worked in school, but now I’m wondering why. I knew grades didn’t matter post-grad, but I needed HOPE scholarship to help cover cost and I needed to graduate with honors for my own satisfaction.
And I did it.
I made it Magnum Cum Laude. During school I lessened my work load by taking 12 hours per semester. The first year I took 12 so I could devote as much time as possible to math and science classes, subjects I’ve always struggled with. Then I kept it at 12 so I could work for the school newspaper without having a nervous breakdown. My last two semesters I upped my hours, 15 and 18, so I could graduate “on time.”
Every day I would devote my attention to classes and give 110% of my effort to every assignment. I didn’t worry about my grades because my professors knew the standards I held for myself. They knew I wouldn’t turn in shoddy …

Outfit # 72: Mottos and Mantras

I’m big on mottos and mantras and chants or any hopeful little phrase that reminds me to move forward. My newest one is, “I can do all things.” An indiscreet reference to Philippians 4:13 aka I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
It’s a good reminder that 1.) I am not alone and 2.) I am not incapable. Every day I’ve been having these punch-you-in-the-brain reminders that few people get to do what I’m doing right out of college. That thing being: exactly what I would like to do. Which is, in summation: talking to people, writing about them, helping other people write, making art, taking photos, staying home, going out, joining communities, making new ones, watching Netflix shows about art, cuddling with my dogs, developing more deep and meaningful relationships with my friends and family etc.
And I also keep having these just-stubbed-your toe revelations that everyone has a different path to their own kind of success. And that’s so freaking cool. It can be summed up wi…

Travel: Layover in the City of Lights

On the way back from India we had a strategically planned layover in Paris. The few hours there gave us just enough time to see the Eiffel Tower, eat lunch and walk around the city before hopping back on a plane for 8 hours. We visited on a crisp, bright day. A sun halo hovering above us made the streets looked over-exposed.
Seeing Paris after three weeks in India is the strangest transition back to the United States I think you could manage. Even the air was different, more crisp. I felt like every pore of my body oozed American. All Parisians seem smooth, beautiful and effortlessly cooler than me. I don’t know if it’s the historic art and architecture at every corner or if there’s something in the water, but I felt clunky and lame in this city. Having just spent many hours on a plane didn't help either. I needed a flowy black dress and doc martens and red lipstick and a confident air about me to even begin to blend.

This is a city I promised myself I would return to. I want to se…