Category Archives: Inspiration

‘Proper Adult’

Upon my return to the United States I was introduced to the HBO Show ‘Girls’  by my older sister. I watched the pilot episode without high expectations based on my sister’s brief review, but it hit so close to home that I power-watched the entire first season in one night. Since that night I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the message of the show and how it relates to my life.

Having effectively moved out of my parents’ houses and, for the most part, budgets at the age of 18, I naively considered myself an adult. At one point I had a boyfriend of 3 years that I thought I would eventually marry and I was on track to finish my Bachelors degree. There was a mini plan of a career and babies forming in my head.

THE break up happened, I graduated with a BFA, and moved across country to spend a year and a half living with (amazing) relatives.  At the age of 24, I was again on track to enter the adult world of salary and health insurance in lieu of parental insurance and multiple part-time jobs to pay the bills. Had that train kept going, I think my life would be a little more miserable than it is right now. I purposely, if unknowingly, derailed that particular train by going back to school for my Masters degree half a world away from all friends and family.

Having finished that over a year ago now, I realized that those early twenties were anything but adulthood. Growing up in 2013 was a rough transition. I got my first exempt salaried position with my very own health insurance, which is alarmingly expensive. I have life insurance and a retirement account which are both very foreign concepts that I don’t fully understand yet. I bought a brand new car and car insurance for the first time and I’m still not entirely sure if I got a good deal or was taken advantage of. I found an adult relationship with someone that is reaching the six month mark as of publishing and I understand now that all the relationships I had before weren’t healthy or even close to being ‘adult’.

Now I am contemplating changing fields (as I do not work in the field I spent all that time being educated to work in) and have no clue where to start. Where was the class on how to change careers in all of my high school college prep, BFA and MA programs? How did I miss the day they taught all of these essential life skills? Truth is, the educational systems we have in place in the Western World are not teaching us how to live in society. They are teaching us how to fill a role in society: teacher, doctor, lawyer. These cookie cutter jobs do not list ‘must know how to buy a car’ or ‘must understand health insurance’ as necessary so those essential life skills get skipped over in the education system.

In high school I had to class called ‘Planning Your Future’ that I assume was suppose to teach me about these things. Yes, we ‘learned’ how to do our taxes by hand and what a 1040EZ looks like and that it would probably be the form we would need for the foreseeable future after high school. At no time did I, a pretty decent student (#25 in my graduating class) learn that getting a ton of money back as a tax return was a bad thing. Someone from a young professionals group I belong to now told me that getting a $4500 refund means that the government took more money from your paycheck than they really needed to and didn’t tell you for a whole year, essentially borrowing your $4500 interest free for a whole year and then they turn around and are like, “Oh yeah, here you go, you can have your own money back.” While they charge me an arm and a leg in interest on the loans they gave me for this education that apparently taught me a whole lot of nothing. This was a life changing revelation for me! I had been complaining that my return was only $250 for three weeks as I was counting on a larger return to pay down some credit cards no one taught me how to use properly. That three minute conversation altered my perspective on the whole educational system and is the reason for this pensive post. We didn’t learn how Worker’s Unions operated from watching the Stallone film ‘Fist.’ We didn’t learn how to budget when we ‘married’ one of our classmates and drew salaries and numbers of children out of a hat. My ‘husband’ and I got the two highest paying jobs in the hat and blew off the assignment because we could afford everything we could have ever wanted or needed. Who is responsible for teaching us these things? Should I blame my parents for not teaching me some of these things? Is the fault of the education system? Is it my own fault for not seeking the knowledge before I needed to use it? If you’ve made it this far with me I would like to know what you think about all this in the comments below. If you don’t feel like commenting, I hope I’ve at least made you think.



Intense Dreaming

Occasionally, my dreams are so real that they scare me. This one wasn’t too bad.


“Earth/USA has been invaded by super natural/extraterrestrial beings (giants?) which have caused a giant snow storm that turned off all power to private homes.

Story starts with the protagonist in New York City, hiding behind a very tall/wide man -an agent (agents are humans that have become servants of the invaders).

The agent moves on and Elise opens her long rain coat to reveal yet another person, a small little girl with bright blonde curls, only wisps of which have escaped the wrap around her head.

Later a group of women and girls have been gathered up by the agents and are being marched toward “the building.” They are all shaking, except Elise, who is looking for a way out of this mess for all of them. The agents lead them up a few flights of stairs and into a large warehouse space. The floor is covered in giant rushes and the women and girls have to work hard to stay on top of the mess. They are ordered to stay in the warehouse and will be, “dealt with soon.” The agents leave, slamming the door behind them, Elise hears the distinctive click of a deadbolt slide into place. From somewhere out of sight as the only light is coming in from a skylight directly above them, they begin to hear rumbling. Elise whispers to the now ultra terrified group to, “try to keep calm and don’t scream.” Mostly because she can’t stand screaming women and might be less inclined to help those who lose their heads. That’s when the shuffling noise starts, slowly moving in their direction. The noise makes it seems as if they are being stalked by a giant cat. An idea jumps into Elise’s head so fast she almost yelled. She quickly gets the attention of the group of women and girls all huddled together and whispers her plan. If whatever is out there wants to play cat and mouse, they would act like mice. “Drop under the rushes and crawl to the edges of the room in different directions. Keep moving around the walls until we find a way out, if we don’t then I guess we can say we tried before whatever that is ate us.”

The group followed directions and found a small crack in the wall. One by one as they found their way around the wall, they slipped inside the wall and followed the direction of the light wind bowing past them. To ensure all escaped, Elise was the last to leave the place. She felt that she had won a small victory against their conquerors and smiled to herself in the dark as she followed the shuffling feet of the group of women she had liberated.”



So that’s a dream I had. I can’t recall what significance the little girl with blonde curls had, but she was precious to me in the dream.


Missing my scanner…

Lately I’ve been in a creative mood, but don’t want to use my camera to take photos. After my thesis, I far prefer scan-o-grams (exactly like photo-gram, but with a scanner!) as a capture technique. Unfortunately, I had to leave my scanner in the the States, while I’m away (it never made the journey to FL either :() and now I really miss it.

The longing was increased today when I was stumbling around the internet world. Scanwiches is an amazing website!! It combines two of my favorite things!! Food and photography. Enjoy it as much as I did!

Now I really want a sandwich…and my scanner.


101 Dalmatians

OK, so maybe not 101, but the NUWRFC (that’s Nottingham University Women’s Rugby Football Club) look like some pretty decent dalmatians! We’re mostly all white and covered in black spots.

Last Wednesday I played in my first ever Rugby match! I was so grateful for the opportunity as I don’t feel like I have all the rules (there are many) down yet. Mostly it is just tackling people, keeping possession of the ball, and getting it out to the fast runners to score tries (touchdown to those Americans out there). I only touched the ball once during the match, but my pass hit the intended target and I got a few good tackles in too! I play front row (which means I’m in the front row of the scrum, usually as a loose-head prop (Google it)). I’m really enjoying the game and the girls on the team are fantastic people. I think I might be the oldest person on the team, but I guess the younger ones keep me feeling young.

Next match is this Wednesday – home against Cambridge (which I hear is the hardest team in the league) – Kick off at 1400 – I’ll let everyone know how it goes! They are announcing the team roster (we can only field 22 players per game so I might end up in the cheering section this week) at training tonight, I have my fingers crossed!

More fun things are happening – just you wait!


England! England! England!

I’ve been cheering this in my head for weeks.

I’ve been super excited and slightly on edge for a while, but a lot of my unease was relieved last week when my student visa (passport) arrived via UPS on Wednesday. **small tangent** –My experiences with UPS have never been pleasant, but this one took the cake for inconvenience and backward thinking.  I ended up paying to change the delivery address to work, which delayed the process even further. Needless to say, I yelled at the “customer service” representative because she said there was absolutely nothing she could do to allow me to pick up MY package. I was kinda stressed because I left FL the same day my package arrived… Sorry I’m slightly crazy.

Tangent over.

I leave the 19th and couldn’t be more ready. Aside from not thinking about paying customs on my person items (which is bull) I don’t have anything else to prepare for. Packing is almost complete. Just need to say aloha to my family and friends in MI.


Blowing my mind…

A while back I saw a blog post (Swiss Miss)  for an interesting website for Graphic Designers (mostly) that has open source vector graphics available for FREE download. I have been browsing, downloading, and following the website on Twitter since then because they promised to have a search option soon. Well today it happened!! The Noun Project now has a search option as well as browsing by category. I had a little nerd fit when I saw some of the symbols that have been hiding among the chaos that was The Noun Project prior to the upgrade. The only problem I had is that I couldn’t upload it and keep the vector quality… silly WordPress wouldn’t let me upload anything that wasn’t a JPEG. Enjoy!


Mad Grad.

The original illustration from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

I think today has changed the course of my life yet again. My life plans thus far are outlined on my About page, peruse them at your leisure.

The University of Leicester has a program for Art Museum and Gallery Science. I have researched this program for about six months and decided this was a good program for me. I was super excited that the program includes an internship at a gallery/museum in the UK and that I could get a Master’s degree in a year (11 months).

Since I decided that the Leicester program was for me, I’ve been looking into ways to finance my European adventure. I found the Marshall Scholarship through the British Gov. that would pay for EVERYTHING. The catch was that I could apply for a one year scholarship with a detailed plan for after that year OR apply for a two-year scholarship with “nothing” to do the second year. I didn’t exactly have a plan for after graduation so I wanted to look into other options. I thought for a minute about getting a PhD, but that was a super scary thought.

Cut to today:

Researching more about student Visas and questions I want to ask the British Consulate this weekend. During this research I stumbled across another program that was just as interesting at the University of Nottingham. It would a Master’s in Visual Culture – Art, Photography, and Film.

Moral of the story is: I can now get one scholarship for two Master’s degrees and come back to the states after two years in England with a hell of a lot more knowledge!


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