Solo Adventure: Williamsburg

Hey y’all!

Wouldn’t you know it, I went on another solo adventure. This time, I went to Williamsburg! I’ve been plenty of times, but I’ve never been a solo adventure there before so here we go!

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I went to Colonial Williamsburg which is one of my favorite places. You have the option of just wandering around taking it all in and doing some shopping, or you can pay for various tours which are fantastic. I personally opted for the, “taking it all in and doing some shopping” route. There are tons of ways to walk in. In all honesty, just find a parking spot and go for it. I wandered in around halfway down the main strip, and stopped at a little farmhouse with a full garden. There were these huge sunflowers and an adorable farm stand with books, candles and knick-knacks for sale.

 

If you looked through the flowers you could see part of one of the buildings in the downtown area.

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After hitting that up I found myself wandering up and down the lane just really enjoying the overall atmosphere. Colonial Williamsburg kinda has this air which is a nice mix of local, student, and tourist. Like, there’s a nice mishmash of individuals which just really creates a refreshing and freeing environment that blends history and modernity. Which sounds like a tourism pitch, but it’s really accurate. It’s like the city itself is a sort of live in adventure park for history dweebs. (Guilty as charged.)

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As a heads up, though, keep an eye out for the horses.

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Tons of the shops are set up in houses and town house looking structures like they would have back in the day-day. What’s great is that each shop has it’s own wares, so you won’t find the same kind of souvenirs in each of the shops. Like, okay. You’ll find the same root beer and pins, but there’s enough variety to keep you on your toes and interested. I’ve frankly been to Colonial Williamsburg more times than I can count but it’s still fun to look through the shops and see what’s new.

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It’s also fun just to wander up and down the lanes looking at the houses. Be careful, though. Some of the houses belong to actual families and not the city.

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Ok, so when you’re done with the strictly historic, the lane sort of naturally veers towards more modern shops. I of course wandered through those and eventually hit up the outlets (terrible idea for my bank account). I didn’t take a ton of pictures of that, but I did of one of my all time favorite candy shops. Ignore the terrible shot and focus on the name cause you’re gonna wanna go when you visit.

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Look at this super pale individual. I live in Virginia. You’d think I’d have a tan or something.

Alright! That’s it for a super quick post about a super quick trip to Williamsburg. I’m planning on going later in October, so until then Williamsburg, I’ll see you later!

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Solo Adventure! Charlottesville, Virginia

Hey Y’all!

One of the great things in life is having the freedom to take yourself on personal road trips. When I moved out of my parent’s house I decided that being solo doesn’t mean jack shit in the big scheme of things and that taking personal adventure days is the absolute fucking best.

I went to Charlottesville in the beginning of September for a day. I woke up and decided it sounded like a fine idea and went with the flow and ended up having a grand time.

Charlottesville is located in around the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia and is gorgeous. Home of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello and UVA the town is flush with tons of young people, nature and history.

Which a whole lot of hooplah in reality and sounds startlingly like a tourist add. (Hit me up agencies I’m available.)

But, fundamentally Charlottesville has a cool, sorta academic vibe which I can get behind. I decided to go to the downtown area called the Mall to explore.

The Love sign is in the middle of the downtown area and is like a huge welcome to everyone who comes to visit. Families and couples were taking pictures in front of the sign so I, of course, did so too! Like why not? The Love sign is everywhere in VA and is a great tourism attraction and is a great way to unify the state.

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The Love sign is everywhere in VA.  

There recently has been a lot about Charlottesville in the news, but as I wandered into a shop, I think that the MLK quote really encompassed how the city was dealing with the protest. The protest may have been over, but I think that the town really banded together and was putting forward its best intentions for a loving, peaceful community. I was just a visitor, so I really can’t speak more than what I observed.

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Considering all that’s going on in the world, I think this quote was really appropriate.

I wish I took more pictures encompassing how lively the downtown area was, but I was too preoccupied living in the moment, and wasn’t paying too much attention to trying to take pictures. But, I of course took a few and am throwing them in for you guys. 😀

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Some of the shops had flowers and plants in the windowsill and we all know I’m a sucker for taking pictures of plants haha

Wandering up and down the Mall can take awhile and there is a ton to see. The main center is filled with tables for the nearby restaurants and the entire area is sectioned off as a pedestrian space only.

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I love giraffes! There were tons of cool pieces scattered around but this was my favorite.

Outside of the downtown area things sort of quieted down. There weren’t as many shops or people, which meant to me that there were more secluded things to find. At this point in the journey I was more into the main square and its shops and people so I just sort of wandered back to that after taking a picture of the railroad.

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This was taken a little off from the main downtown area

 

The one thing I thought was fascinating about the city was that there wasn’t a huge tourism-logo-slogan grab. Like, Richmond has the RVA logo, DC is just DC, it seems like everywhere has a, “Thing.” Charlottesville really doesn’t. I asked a lady at a shop and she said that the closest thing that Charlottesville had in terms of the whole tourism thing was a heart with, “Charlottesville” in the center. Good thing I was on the case and picked one up at the train station! Gotta keep up my souvenir addiction.

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I try to collect something from everywhere I’ve been whether that be a map, a bumper sticker, or a pin. It’s just a thing I picked up from when I was little. Thanks, mom and dad!

My dudes, I really liked visiting Charlottesville. There are apparently a ton of wineries around the area and a lot of hiking to do, so I will definitely be returning! Till next time!

Blonde in New York : MonstaX and Kpop Concert Advice

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a super long time, but I am still alive and figuring things out. This summer has been a blur of people and personal growth (bleh) and different places. I can’t believe it’s already the end of August!

For now, though, I want to tell you all, and share the pictures from, a concert I went to in New York this past July. So Kpop has been KILLING it world wide, and I have succumbed. Shit’s good. One of my favorite groups is called MonstaX. (My personal favorite its Wonho but that’s neither here nor there.) I’ll probably write more about Kpop and my views on it from an American who has really only been on the scene for, like, a year.

So, my friend and I had this super plan all set up and ready to roll. I drove up from Richmond, we caught up in Fredericksburg, rode up to Vienna, caught a ride to the Metro, took a train to the bus station at Union Station. Caught the bus to NYC.

Preface? I’ve never been to the Big City before. I’ve been to almost all 50 states but this just wasn’t a place I ever envisioned myself visiting. I just never understood the romanticism. But, I was about to be damned if I missed this group live. So, I’ll save the NYC pictures for another separate post and keep this one to all about this concert.

Bruh.

Okay, first think I learned was that if you are thinking that these sorts of concerts are small and that nobody is really going to show up so you can show up at 5pm before a 7pm concert and it’ll be fine, you are SO wrong. My friend and I were fortunate enough to score a hotel room 5 minutes from the venue- the Playstation theatre in Times Square. (Different story, different time.) Friend and I were on a leisurely late Friday morning stroll looking for food and the Disney store when we see this line.

“That’s so peculiar,” we thought, “are they still in line for tickets?”

When we arrived the night before at like 1:30 am, we went back out into the city and were wandering around till about 3:30 am. In the course of this wandering came across a line of people outside the Playstation Theatre. Turns out these peeps were waiting in line for tickets. The theatre doesn’t even open till, like, 6 am. So, these fans are hardcore and are willing to wait for God knows how long for tickets. That is some dedication if I have ever seen any.

So, back to our Friday morning walk. We see this line. It is quickly expanding. I go up to one of the girls and ask if they are in line for tickets, and she gives me this pitiful look and is like, “….no…. we are waiting in line for the concert.” It is 1:30 pm. The concert is at 7 pm. Friend and I look at each other, book it to the hotel, change, take a 20 minute power nap (I had a cold) and went back out to wait in line. We waited in line for this stitch for 4 hours.

We made friends, though! We made friends with some of the girls in line and the five of braved the rain and stayed under an umbrella fort to wait to get in to this damn concert.

IMG_6477IMG_6478The M & M one is mine! This line lasted for blocks. But the pictures were kinda great so I feel like I can’t complain TOO much, know what I mean?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The advice portion:

So, if any of you guys ever want to go to a Kpop concert, I have some general advice.

  1. Know the theatre. We paid for quasi-nice tickets but couldn’t see for the life of us, and if we had nosebleeds, we would’ve saved money AND have had somewhere to sit. If it’s possible, figure out the venue.
  2. Buy your tickets ASAP. Kpop is exploding, so the sooner you pounce the faster you’ll be able to get tickets and to get the tickets you want.
  3. Get your merchandise ahead of time. This includes your lightstick. We ended up getting our sweatshirts and hats from a scalper outside the venue. (Super nice couple of guys- one had green hair but it worked.)  A lot of the stuff they have on hand are pre-order items. We weren’t able to get lightsticks at the venue, but that’s okay. When MonstaX comes back to the East Coast we can get our stuff online like the super real deal veteran fans!
  4. For the love of god, get in line early. ESPECIALLY if you have standing room tickets. Trust me. Get a good spot you’ll be able to see from.
  5. Go fucking nuts. Seriously. These guys are crazy talented, you might as well go and have the time of your life. Spend the money on merchandise, too. You aren’t gonna regret a concert shirt in 6 months.

I’ll be updating a lot more frequently now! I’ve got tons of stories and pictures.

On Midnight: A Free Form Thought Free Write

There’s a mist on the wind as she crossed the street to the 7/11. She wondered why the streets smelled old on this deserted road and why the five dollar pad thai she ate earlier that afternoon still resided at the back of her tongue- a mix of coconut and forced pleasantries as she tried to explain her lack of shoes and her lack of direction. The shoes were easily explained. She had lost her shoes in a bet miles south near Tuscon. The bet was whether or not she could….

She wondered what it was like to be a ghost and then rationalized it might be slightly less lonely as ghosts at least get programs on the Discovery Channel and Destination America. What would it be like to be a ghost, hounded by the future that didn’t give a damn about the peace and tranquility of a past best left behind…? Theoretically incredibly unpleasant.

Chapter 1: The discovery of midnight

The thing about magic is that its most potent 3, maybe 4 times a day. Dawn, noon, dusk, and midnight. Transitional periods where light and time change are fixed points in which people change and react. It’s not really understood if people change in a response to the ebb and flow of time, or if time changes in response to the ebb and flow of people. It might be both. Who knows. Noon is the iffy one because the only thing that really changes are how people talk about it.

“It’s already noon!”

“Better start lunch, it’s noon”

“There’s so much I want to do this afternoon”

In reality, time is what you make of it so the transition from action to inaction is of little consequence. But what is of consequence is the shifting of midnight. People change at mi

From a young age (greek for dusk) wasn’t sure whether or not it was her mother that taught her that time was a transitional entity which controlled her magic, or if she was the one who molded time.

It’s possible it was both.

Memoirs of a Millennial Chapter 3: Mindfulness for the Anxious Millennial

I’d like to take a moment to talk about something that might sound a bit spiritually-wishy-washy to some people but is something that I legitimately has helped my own life and I think/know can help other people.

I’m going to talk about Mindfulness.

mind·ful·ness
ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Essentially, Mindfulness is about taking a fucking moment to breathe. Let’s face it. Right now we are all scared, anxious, and a little overwhelmed. And that’s OKAY! But what is even MORE okay is taking a minute to just relax. And not just a Netflix binge watching party relax, but to ACTUALLY be at ease with ourselves, our lives, and our time. That’s the hard one. I think think we all have a weird sense that we aren’t allowed to be that relaxed in our lives. Like, there’s always something we can be doing to be improving something. Why is it that when we find someone who is truly at peace with themselves we can’t help but throw a side eye and be like, “Really? There isn’t ANYTHING you could be doing right now? Bitch, please.” I also think that’s a lot of jealousy and envy. We envy those people. We wish we were that chill.

But here’s the secret that I’ve found in my ripe 23 years of over thinking. You don’t have to be that chill in order to be Mindful. You don’t have to just sit there and allow life to pass you by or you don’t have to be some, “feather in the wind.” You can still be assertive, powerful, and dominant WHILE being mindful. The mindfulness is just to help lower your blood pressure and make you even more aware at how boss you really are. 

The moment you accept that you are off your own path, that you are unhappy, that you are unfulfilled, is the moment you begin to heal and move forward. I think there’s a misconception that in order to be happy you have to force yourself to refuse certain truths in your life that you feel. Like it is shameful to admit that you are unhappy, or sad, or angry. So you suppress it and convince yourself that, “hey! it’s not that bad! It could be worse! Other people have it worse. Someone just dropped their toast. I didn’t drop my toast. ” Well, I think I’ve come to understand recently that it’s OKAY to admit to yourself that even though conceptually you know it’s ok and not the worst thing in the world if you drop your toast (RIP), you’re still bothered by the fact that you dropped your toast.

The problem lies in people who never move on or forget or take the time to miss their toast. It’s okay to be strong and tough, but it’s also okay to be emotional vulnerable because it gives you a chance to be strong and tough again. I’m not saying it’s cool to wallow in self pity or never-ever-never eat toast again ’cause that one time you were traumatized that your dropped it. I’m saying that it’s cool to feel disappointed and, “aw shucks” that you dropped your toast. But then be like, “ok cool I have more bread,” and make another slice.

It’s all about taking a second to actually acknowledge how you really feel and to be honest with yourself. Nobody else has to know. But at the very least, be honest and kind to yourself.

This goes for larger things in life as well. Like a job. A real life thing. Ok, so you have a job. You hate this job for whatever reason. You spend your time telling yourself, “I am grateful for this job, I am paid, these are the positive things about this job.” And that’s good! Being grateful is A+ life material. Optimism is hard and being grateful is too sometimes. But! You can be grateful for an opportunity and to realize it’s not the thing for you.

There’s a Taoist concept that I read in, “The Tao of Pooh” (AMAZING. Legit changed my life.) called, “The Block”. Essentially, if you are a square, there ain’t no way you can try to fit or change into a circle. You cannot change who you fundamentally are. If you feel out of place or that you don’t fit, you don’t have to try to change to fit there. This is the kind of nonsense that our 1st grade teachers taught us. I know. But as we grow up I think it’s important to realize who we actually are, and to not try to fit in some job or box that we obviously are uncomfortable in. We don’t operate well when we feel so uncomfortable. We aren’t as great as we could be.

In this job scenario, in this job you hate. It is okay to one day REALLY acknowledge the fact that you are unhappy. To actually take a second from being grateful to realize that, no, in fact, you are not happy. You are not balanced. You are not living your true potential. For the love of God, it is OKAY to be grateful for an opportunity or a job, but to realize it isn’t for you. When you realize that you are unhappy, it’s kinda incredible the release you feel because you can stop pretending and can take steps forward to finding a job you DO like. To becoming a person that you want to be. Mindfulness makes us take a second to be honest and to live in the moment enough to realize things as they are.  It is not bad that you hate your job. It is not good you hate your job. It just is. When you realize that, you can move forward! But it is up to you to move forward. Nobody else is going to do this for you.

You can transform yourself into whatever YOU want to be, because you are being true to your true nature. If you want to lose weight or pick up a habit or a skill, you are changing yourself under your own derision, and therefore are listening to your true self. You are paying attention to what makes you happy. And that is Mindful. 

 

ALIVE

I wake with the story of my life ringing in my ears, a dream barely forgotten, and a pulsating of anxious energy. It is raining again this January morning. The sun weakly smiles through clouds of intermittent thunderstorms relieving me of the damp that has settled into the soles of my feet. The rain is not lead. Yet for me it is not peace. It is a call to stillness and silence that weighs my restless mind to soil. I am anxious about the future. this endless rain does not soothe but rather ignites the desires that have rooted in me and pulls me up and forward with the knowledge that my physical body can only move so fast. It is exhausting.

I woke this morning dreaming of whales. I looked at a website and it contained such pointers as, “emotion, creativity, breath of life, compassion and solitude.” I am an emotional creature dependent on the encouragement and touch of others. solitude frightens me. yet I will not pretend that a breath of creativity has swept through my body like spring. I feel as I once did. I am listening to the style of song and the style of art that is simplistic at its base and exudes a melancholy joy and appreciation for the least expensive pleasures available. I say melancholy, but perhaps that isn’t quite right. It is a joy that is not forced, it is a realness of experience and attitude that is not dripping in excitement and money. But is has waves of a reality burdened by price tag and desperation for interaction. Desperation that clings beautifully to people.

I woke this morning with a need for air.

I woke this morning with a need to feel alive.

PULSE

Alright. Building off of the ceramics bit, here is a look of the painting I’ve been doing! I Never really considered paint until I started taking art classes in college- I took an Intro to Design class, Drawing I, and Ceramics I, by the way. (Just to solve the riddle of exactly how many I took.)

These inspiration for this collection (I can’t believe I have a collection…) came from a couple of different sources.

  1. My absolute love for color
  2. Drawing 1
  3. Meditation

I’ve gone and discussed my love for color a bunch in a bunch of different posts so I won’t spend too much time on that topic here. Basically, color is vibrant, color is emotional, color feeds into my mantra, “life is fun!”

I ended up taking a drawing class during the latter portion of college. The professor began the course deconstructing all that I had previously considered, “drawing.” I learned about the concept of the, “mark” on a page and how that translates visually. The line is the fundamental element of “marking” a page and therefore is the basis for everything else. Within this collection I decided I wanted to explore the impact of line and it’s cleanliness or un-cleanliness in direct contrast to something more abstract.

So it so happened that after this drawing class I discovered that my campus had a meditation course. Which, as you would expect, was the fluffiest, happiest class I have ever taken in my life. I loved it. You sat in a quiet, nice smelling room for 3 hours a week and learned to meditate. Over the course of this class I learned a lot of junk about myself, including that I needed to stop my over analyzing of literally everything, and to invite spontaneity and fun into my life.The final project of the course was to create something that had to do with mindfulness. It didn’t matter what. Well, I decided that my project would be an impulsive piece of painting that I did not plan AT ALL. The time it took to complete didn’t matter so long as I was in a meditative state, or at least not thinking, and went with what felt right. This was the piece that I ended up with:

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I enjoyed the process so much I decided to do more. Over the course of about a year I would create these pieces when I felt like I wanted to- not because I had to. Doing something for the simple enjoyment of doing it made the process incredibly therapeutic for me, and if I liked the final product, all the better!

I don’t have an underlying message or ethos I want to convey with this collection. I created these works on and in impulse, and that, for me, is meaning enough.

  • paint on canvas, various sizes

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