Toast Can Never Be Bread Again

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This weekend was so strange in a wonderful way. If a little over a month ago I was feeling the seasons change from winter to fake spring, I felt the seasons change from winter to real spring this weekend. It snowed one (hopefully) last time Friday night, the sleet coming down in large swaths, at first melting as soon as it hit pavement and dry grass but eventually coalesced and stuck overnight. Saturday morning it turned into real snow and continued to fall over Burlington; the white sky encompassed absolutely everything and turned windows on Battery Street into stark alabaster canvases.

My favorite days are the ones where I explore Burlington by myself, picking the music I want to listen to, which bus seat I want to occupy, and what cafe I want to do work in. I walked around Church Street, College Street, and looked into most stores I have never entered before. I went to Burlington City Arts, I was the only one in the whole museum, and watched people walk through city park. I did work at a new cafe, August First, and drew in my journal until my hands hurt.

I agreed to have about ten members of Champlain College Class of 2021 in my common room Saturday night. I got them weed, they smoked, we talked. I forgot that people are excited about Burlington. I see it in the faces of the tourists and the way I feel when I look at sunsets, but Burlington lost next to all of its glimmer that it possessed when I visited here almost two years ago. They all inspired me to make more of a conscious effort to notice the excitement here, because it’s there, and we’ve all just gotten used to it, and that’s sad.

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I don’t know what it is, but something clicked in me after spring break. I felt it as I was laying in my bed, watching i-D videos about Korean beauty standards and slowly falling into a deep sleep. The sunlight reflected off of the snow coating the rooftops of South 1 and streamed through my window, illuminating the sounds of birds chirping. For a second, I felt like I was home. Not in the college-is-my-home-fuck-my-hometown way, but I started to blur the lines between Clinton and Burlington for a second, in sleep stasis. It was the same kind of settled feeling I felt in the car on the way to Walmart today when Emily and I had the windows down and Dug My Heart was playing. I didn’t feel inclined to lean my knees against the center console and tense up. I didn’t feel inclined to stay awake for fear of inconveniencing my roommates when they returned from the gym. I fell asleep peacefully, not dreaming at all, settled.

 

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2016 Reflection

I’ve been reading a lot of posts that in one way or another reflect on the past year. My therapist also had me write a little bit about how this year went through some guided questions. But honestly, I feel the most effective way is going through month by month and digging up the experiences and lessons that challenged me or changed me.

In January, I started out with a lot of New Haven trips. It was midterm season and break. I painted a lot with my friends and burned a lot of candles. January’s are consistently filled with baths and movies and writing. For some reason I always feel super inspired. The break is rejuvenating, and it is especially more so now that I have a whole month. January brought me more of the heart of fencing season. Fencing season was an important part of me becoming obsessed with Connecticut.

February was interesting. All I can recall are awkward dates, my red peacoat, No More Parties in LA, really really cold bike rides, and a snowy trip to Boston. February increased my love of trains and public transportation. My favorite memory of February was probably visiting Hopkins’ campus outside of New Haven. They have the hands down best view of the skyline, and I’ve climbed East and West Rock. This is the month I realized I had no idea what I was doing when it came to college. My applications were sent in and I realized I had no interest in Cambridge. Or really anywhere I applied.

March was really the beginning of the end. It started to get increasingly warmer and I would lay in my bed with my skylights open, birds chirping, writing about how much I’m going to miss high school. I also became increasingly apathetic. And I wore sunglasses a lot. On St. Patrick’s Day I went to the Met for the first time and we also had the chicken hat during that trip. I also didn’t eat for two days during this month because I was being sad and dramatic about a boy breaking up with me. Mac Demarco got me through March.

April was Tame Impala’s Currents. That’s pretty much it. Also, the Lumineers’ new album. Ophelia to be exact. I committed to UVM in April. I bought a blue dress with pink flowers on it that I wore every day pretty much. This is also the month of the Vampire Weekend renaissance, and track. I also finished Gossip Girl, which was huge. This month was a lot of loopy handwriting and reading Gatsby in Humanities. I saw Bernie Sanders speak at a rally. It rained a lot.

May was just a lot of crying and sunshine at the same time. Also Change the World by Mac Demarco. Also, more Dairy Queen visits. I miss sitting at Dairy Queen for hours with my friends talking to the other kids who came in and roasting people. Everyone painted their lockers during school in May and the Senior Courtyard was filled with people again. Coloring Book came out. I remember crying riding the bus up route 79, sitting by myself listening to Blurryface on the way to my last track meet. I didn’t even like track too much but it was so sad. Rothko and increased beach days. The smell of my driver’s ed teacher’s car. My 18th birthday. Resonance.

June was a lot of the same. Changes. Lasts. Graduating. Getting spray tans for two proms. Muhammad Ali dying. Making mistakes. Seeing twenty one pilots and screaming my heart out. Getting emotional 24/7. Graduation parties. Perks. 10,000 Emerald Pools. There was a beautiful day during finals at Stony Creek that I spent with Wyatt and Michael. It was probably one of my favorite days of the year. It was also the day the wind was absolutely incredible, and we were getting blown away down at Lighthouse Point. I took some great photos that day. I was so happy. Late nights, last dinners, smiles and tears. Gilmore Girls. Rt. 222. Jesus Camp. So many amazing, happy memories.

July was sailing. I got insanely tan. I listened to Wagon Wheel a lot. I watched fireworks and went to weird coworker parties with my family. I took a trip to Bear Mountain with Catie. I went to great restaurants and had a lot of Cohen’s. Manhattanhenge. Getting what I want. I wore my first bitch outfit. First blog post about said relationship. SEEING COLDPLAY. I drove right after summer rain just before golden hour on route 80 to East Haven listening to PGHB. I almost cried at how perfect the moment was. Many, many grad parties. Blueberry Basil Lemonade. The Democratic Town Committee. Capsizing. Slow mornings. Late breakfasts. James Farmacy with Ella in our little corner. Do You Love Me.

August was rushed. August was filled with the pressure of ending summer with a bang. I was so nervous. I drove to Brooklyn and saw Beirut. I said goodbye to a lot of people. I figured out I really love applewood smoked gouda. I was the lead in a play and didn’t totally fuck it up. BIRI. My red dress and buying Jack Rogers. Riding bikes around the island with Ella, Wyatt, Brett and Michael was probably the best memory of that month. The town fireworks. Help Me Lose My Mind. Sailing. Misquamicut and Dave’s Coffee and talks with Kitty. I said goodbye and Brett sang to me in the car and it made me feel so much better. Leaving home was the saddest thing I ever had to do. I went to school and basically immediately bought a plane ticket to D.C.

September was a lot of trying. My new classes weren’t engaging. My professors were cold. It was so hot and I didn’t know what I was doing. I bought too many crepes. I spent way too much money in D.C. I cried on the plane home and when I touched down in Burlington. That’s when I knew things weren’t going to be that okay. I went to the farmer’s markets and watched Across the Universe a lot. I spent a lot of time eating overpriced snacks and watching Gilmore Girls.

October is when things started to go downhill. I got home the first time and felt frantic. I sailed in a regatta and cried driving away from the beach. I cried when we passed the Massachusetts border later in the day. Someone scratched “H2O lean same thing” into the bus window and I accidentally put beer in my coffee. It got super cold super fast and I bought a yellow jacket at Second Time Around. I got to experience Boston two weekends in a row. At the end of the month, I was done for.

November was the most uncomfortable experience of my life. My roommates hated me and I didn’t come home until 2 a.m. most nights because I didn’t want them to yell at me. I got a lot of stress pimples and realized I could not pass math. I became a recluse basically. I did make a few friends but I just really started to miss home. And then I went home after a weekend in Boston and realized I completely lost myself. Then I came back, wore turtlenecks, lipstick, and listened to Cigarettes After Sex.

December was better, filled with realizing things. First semester ended. I went to a few hockey games. I accepted what happened and moved on. I lived with Russian people and sold my clothes online. I suffered through school related depression and became addicted to mushrooms. I got in a car accident on the way home from school and my hands and feet literally froze. I worked, slept, wrote. Started my transfer applications.

2016 was probably the worst and best year of my life. It was filled with a lot of depression and sadness but so many happy things happened in the first half of the year that I can’t discount them. And my travels to Boston and D.C. first semester were positive experiences that got me away from my reality for weekends. I realized where my priorities lie this year, and worked towards them. I can say that I got what I wanted. Or at least I’m halfway there. My experiences this year are so valuable to who I am today that it’s incredible I’m not a completely different person. I have grown up and become more of who I was meant to be.

Christmastime in the 802

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In four short days my first semester of college will be OVER. I cannot express how excited I am to be home without any responsibilities other than working to fund my upcoming trips. I miss having my own space and making my own meals.

Despite the below-30 degree temperature drop, Vermont has been extremely beautiful lately. It’s so nice to wake up to huge snowflakes tapping at my window on Monday mornings. Coffee has tasted extra cozy and the dining halls have free candy canes! When I wasn’t studying, I was downtown Christmas shopping. Church Street has a pretty good selection of stores, and anything you can’t find is in the University Mall. My favorite store is probably Outdoor Gear Exchange because they have literally everything you need to brave any kind of weather. There are hundreds of brands and even a consignment section. I picked up a Patagonia vest for a fraction of the price as a gift and I can’t wait to give it. They even have free stickers.

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Above is a picture of the lights after the first block on the corner of Bank Street. There must be thousands of strings wrapping everything in lights.

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Saturday night I had a final dinner with some of my friends at Sweetwater’s. Sweetwater’s isn’t my favorite restaurant but I think it’s well priced for the atmosphere and the quality of the food. Their fries were very good and I had forgotten how good ketchup is.

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I also got their chocolate torte, which is beyond delicious. The little cake in the middle is literally just chocolate covered in chocolate, and the ice cream is homemade.

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I also hit up Muddy Waters on Main Street. Muddy Waters is a very unique yet very Burlington cafe. It doesn’t have wifi, which is pretentious and annoying, but I still got some work done. And their house chai latte was just spicy enough.

As a semester recap, I really don’t hate Burlington. It has its positives for sure. The lake is beautiful and the sunsets never fail to amaze me. I have just been having a hard time handling school and friendships and living situations. Things have calmed down for the most part and I am happy to be leaving on a good note emotionally. I have some things to get excited about coming back to, and I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a really good year. I booked a flight to Florida and I’m going to D.C. again, and both of those are happening in January alone.

I also made a Spotify playlist about Burlington recently and have been updating it every few days. I listen to it when I’m studying or walking down Main Street.

One thing I will enjoy about coming home is not dressing like a bum anymore – I will say Vermont has taken away my fashion sense. It’s just too cold. Maybe people will think I know how to ski.

I’m done being apathetic finally

December 2: I went into an apartment today, and all of the girls shared the same oats and brown sugar and flour in little jars on a table in the dining room. Everyone mostly agreed on what happened where. And sometimes they shared jeans. I spent five hours of my night in the theatre talking to different boys about how pure they are. I don’t know if they know what that means. And the best things happen unexpectedly.

December 3: The Skinny Pancake downtown smells good and it’s open and when I went in people were surrounded by little lights on dates. It’s so cold, my phone froze to death at 65 percent. I walked into the terminal station to charge it. It’s the first snowy weekend that everyone can ski. When I went to the lacrosse party everyone’s ski gear was out in a little pile in the corner of their basement.

December 4: The sun is shining and the mountains are yellow and white. I am at Muddy Waters. They don’t have wifi, which is annoying, but I’m using a free trial from Xfinity. I got a house chai latte and I’m going to write a little and do some chemistry. The piano kicked in, Lonely by Mean Lady, and I started crying. My latte is cold and I think I’m going to stay here.

The Verbal Translation of Nervously Jiggling Your Legs

It’s one of those Friday nights where Soundcloud makes you sad, you’re tired of your candle scents and your hair is crunchy and sweaty but you don’t want to stand under the cold, low-pressure flow of your dorm’s shower head.

It hasn’t really felt like my life has permanently changed until now. College has felt like one long weekend, but now, as I type this without distraction of hastily made friendships, it feels like forever. And I don’t like that.

If I could attribute a feeling to Flume’s latest album, Skin, it would be a sad Friday night, one where your plans fell through and you start realizing things. Like how you’re almost out of meal points, and how behind you are on laundry.

Waiting sucks. I call my mom, I tell her my problems, and she tells me to wait. Friends come in time, good grades come in time, ideas come in time, everything comes in time. I want college to be done, I want a degree in something, and I want to be eating unseasoned rice on the floor of my Manhattan apartment with someone I feel comfortable reading my journal to. I never thought I would be fortunate enough to find my people in high school, to find my best friend at fourteen, and I took it for granted. I kind of realized how precious it was when Catie would come home for weekends last year, and we would all wake up groggy, making pancakes and listening to twenty one pilots, but now that space in time seems even more far away.

Yes, home would have gotten old. I needed a change. College is important and good, and I hope it either gets important and good or I transfer somewhere important and good. I hope my Rosa DiLauro essay gets me places for very cheap so I can wake up in a world where Ubers across town don’t cost $10.97 on off-peak hours and Saxby’s shops dot every other corner.

Burlington doesn’t have any grime. Yes, the city is dirty, but the air is too clean for this to be a real city. The bus system is too unreliable. I could sit here and complain about how much I feel so disconnected from the place I live, but it’s not going to get me anywhere. I have to accept that nothing is permanent, people have other things to do and can’t pay attention to you all the time. And it’s important to note that I am doing good. I have never been late to a class and have done all my homework. I take showers every day (with the exception of today) and get to work on time every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I paint. I write. I finally got to the Yale part of Gilmore Girls.

Someday I’ll find people that I will click with, and until then, I have my repetitive candle scents as a sense of stability.

September Favorites

for your eyes

University of Vermont’s “Black Lives Matter” Flag– I am so proud of my school!!!! AND so pumped to have been mentioned in Rookiemag, one of my favorite things ever in early high school. A lot of controversy was sparked and the flag was stolen, but the Student Life Director and his wife painted a new one and subsequently flew it among our other flags once again. I couldn’t make the solidarity photo because of class, but how fucking cool is this:

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Lexie Lombard’s “what high schoolers are ACTUALLY wearing” Video– This video was the cutest thing I have ever seen, because everyone was so honest and unabashedly themselves. I have watched countless “What to wear back to school!” videos since I started watching YouTube, but Lexie has been putting out unbelievably real and entertaining content lately, and this is a gem.

MediaFile D.C.– When I was in D.C. I met the kindest, sweetest, smartest person ever- her name is Swetha, and she recently took a position as the technology writer for this publication. She hasn’t published anything yet, but the site is so interesting, my favorite article so far is this one released today on media bias. It’s not long and beaten to death with academic language, it’s quite accessible, which is nice.

France did a really cool thing!!!!

The second weekend in September was ArtHop, a very-Burlington Burlington event. I left with a vintage YSL necktie and images of organically flower-dyed $300 sleep shirts in my head. I discovered what exactly what Battery Street Jeans is, and I got to see this wonderful painting by Robert Gold, pictured below. It’s called NYC Starbucks. I really like it because of its pink light and how he played with the reflections of the outside and inside. Go Robert.IMG_4241.jpg

for your ears

Glass Animals’ How to Be a Human Being– My suite mates played this vinyl to death, and with good reason. I liked a few Glass Animals songs before, but this album is an absolute masterpiece… each song is about a person they met on their tours since their last album was released, which is super interesting, because I love people and each of the stories in the song lyrics are distinct and unconventional.

STRFKR released two new singles- Tape Machine and Open Your Eyes, a follow-up to earlier this year’s Never Ever. They’re all really good at getting me to walk places at 7 o’clock in the morning.

Fearless by Taylor Swift– I think the time where college feels most lit for me is when I come home from long days, lay in bed, work on homework and listen to this album really. loudly. Also, The Way I Loved You is one of the greatest songs of all time.

I’ve really been feeling Washed Out’s Paracosm lately, mostly because of the kind of hot/kind of not/early sunset weather we’re having. Yesterday I played It All Feels Right with the windows down on I-189 after a wrong turn around golden hour, and everything felt exactly as it sounded.

everything else

Shelburne Farms– During parent’s weekend, my family and I went down to Shelburne,  a beautiful suburb of Burlington with rolling hills, grassy knolls… the typical Vermont thing. They have an elementary schooling program which is kind of amazing. It’s a small class and kids learn sustainability and farm skills while getting a classical education, I have a friend who went who can totally vouch for that. And I had the best cheese ever-aged smoked cheddar cheese, the 6-9 month kind. I literally ate it off the block without Triscuits or anything while watching Gilmore Girls yesterday. It’s gone now!

Mac and Cheese and Chips- After a bad day, going down to my dorm’s cafe and getting a bowl of mac and cheese and Deep River kettle chips is heavenly. I don’t even bother getting a spoon; I use the chips to dip into the macaroni, and the cheese adheres the noodles to the chip, forgoing “compostable” utensils.

Running Your Fingers Across Flower Bushes- I came up with the perfect alternative to picking flowers (which is bad- let the flowers live #uvmstudentthings) which includes taking your bare hand and just running it across a flower bush. You get the same physical effect and your hands and wrists will smell good for like an hour. I swear, I do this whenever I pass one which is a lot.

Saxby’s– On a particularly rough early Sunday in D.C., I immediately hopped in an Uber to Georgetown and found this place while wandering up and down the side streets of Wisconsin Ave. I got a blueberry bagel with peanut butter and a caramel iced coffee. It saved my life and they even played that song from the 2000s- the “listen to your heart, before you tell him goodbye” one. It’s kind of like the Starbucks of the DMV/Philly area. Thanks, Saxby’s. Hoya saxa.

I have this romper in a different pattern from the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale and I’ve gotten compliments on it from every kind of person, it’s so soft and YOUR THIGHS DON’T CHAFE!!! I ordered it a size larger, and it’s honestly the most comfortable thing I own.