Saturday, August 23, 2014

I went to Arizona

First of all, I had this entire post written and ready to post when suddenly my internet crashed and deleted the entire thing. It's taken me a while to get the motivation to rewrite about my trip again and now I am finally doing it.

That being said...

A couple of weeks ago I took a mini vacation to Arizona to visit a friend nearest and dearest to me. It was a jam packed four days, filled with a trip to Flagstaff and Sedona, meeting Melody's fiancé, hiking, long conversation, vintage shopping in Phoenix, and wedding prep! As lovely as my trip was, it didn't exactly begin as smoothly as I would have imagined.

I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, as usual. I didn't have to check my bags either, which was especially nice on the time saving. Then in the baggage security line there was a hold up. My thoughts were, who's bag is being suspicious today? Oh. It was mine. I didn't know why and maybe it was just a random check. Then they showed me the scan. I had accidentally left in my backpack the taser my dad gave me for security purposes (you know, being a petite lady in the city). I had to wait as they took my information and waited for the police to show up. Great. By the time the officer arrived, my flight was leaving within ten minutes. The guy was an ass. There's no other way to get around that. He asked for my information again, even though it was all written down before him, asked how the taser worked (you're a police officer, you should know...), and took his sweet time. I assume because he was hoping I would miss my flight in leu of bringing a "weapon" into the airport. (Do I really look like I would purposefully bring that to the airport?) When he finally wrapped things up, I sprinted through the airport, less than five minutes to spare before my flight departed, my name being called over the intercom throughout the entire airport. I did indeed catch my flight. I was the last person to board (the person I, along with other prompt people, usually judge while sitting cozily in their seats) and the only seat left was the middle seat of the emergency row. All I could think was, "Oh please let there not be an emergency; I couldn't deal with another near crisis again this early in the morning."

I finally arrived in Phoenix and Melody picked me up. 

We drove up to Flagstaff, where I met the fiancĂ©, got a grand tour of NAU, wandered around the cute college town with the perfect mountain background, ate delicious food, swing danced in the square that evening, and got kicked out of a wine loft in town due to my vertical Missouri license. Apparently, a new law in Arizona is that if your license is vertical (meaning, typically you’re underage, however I renewed mine three days prior to my 21st and therefore...vertical license to which I’ve never had a problem in Missouri) you will not be allowed in bars. Weirdest “law” I’ve ever heard. So inevitably, in this college town when one girl out of a group of five people has a sketchy Missouri underage license, the bartender will kick all of you out. The night basically ended there, after a painful crash course of a very extensive game from which I have never heard before. I grew tired rapidly at that point because I failed to remember that I had been up since 5am Central Time and now it was midnight Arizona Time (2am CT). Melody and I ended up staying in the guest bedroom of a mentor of hers that night.

The following morning I woke up at 5:50am (I was still on St. Louis time--7:50am, my body was not yet in the proper time zone). I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood while everyone else slept for a few more hours. Little did I know this neighborhood was not the best in all of Flagstaff. I got some strange looks as I happily strolled down the sidewalks, blissfully wandering around, enjoying the beautifully breezy northern Arizona weather. As I made it back to the house, everyone was still asleep. So I proceeded to find a book on hiking in the room we were staying and found information about the hike we would be taking later that morning. 

We hiked what was called “Fat Man’s Loop,” an hour and a half hike that the book stated as short but steep. It was a nice introduction to hiking. I use the term hiking very loosely, compared to what these hiking natives are used to. I like to think that they chose this hike as a “give Sam a taste of hiking in the mountains without killing her” sort of thing. The hike was beautiful and just the right amount of hiking for a novice. 

After our hike, Melody and I drove to Sedona. Once we arrived, we realized that due to a recent wildfire, there were zero places to park. Except for the paid parking at Slide Rock which, of course, the cold creek water portion of Slide Rock was closed due to said fire as well. We parked there anyway because we had no other options. But we packed our turkey bread “sandwich”--can you really even call it that?--and hiked uphill to find a portion of the creek to cool down. We weren’t giving up to finding this cold water in the middle of the desert just because everything was blocked off. It certainly didn’t stop us. Up the winding road we went far enough to where the path we found wasn’t technically connected to Slide Rock. We trudged through the hot Sedona rocks and woods and finally found our oasis. Boy has turkey bread ever tasted so good.

Once we made it back to Phoenix, the rest of our trip consisted of preparing wedding decorations with another one of the bridesmaids, create table centerpieces, and went veil shopping. We ate delicious dinners and rummaged through many adorable vintage shops along with attending Goodwill’s 50% Off Everything sale!

On my last night in Phoenix, Melody and I went out to this incredible bar. I don’t think I can even really call it a bar. The Duce is an extraordinary, gigantic 1950s warehouse with five or six different bars and a food truck inside with a dance floor playing not club music but wedding reception jams, two ping pong tables, a foosball table, corn hole games, picnic tables, and a small shop selling recycled goods. We decided after our night of play at this place, that this was indeed where the bachelorette party would take place.

I departed Phoenix the following afternoon. I left many memories there and enjoyed quality time with my dear Melody. Sometimes I forget to acknowledge how lucky I am to have the friends I have. This trip threw what it seemed to be a few little curveballs or bumps in the road (or mountain), and yet we never let that keep us from having fun and enjoying ourselves with each other’s company: something I truly adore in each of my good friends.

Oh and in case I fail to mention ever again, Melody and I have been making ridiculously silly videos together since we've been friends (kindergarten). More recently, we document our trips and times together this way. Check out our video from this past trip and check out our other videos too!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

space and sunday mornings

This summer has been weird. I think weird is one of the only ways I can put it simply. Lots of time for thought and reflection, busy but not busy enough, planning and predicting, comfort and uncomfort. 

This morning I laid in bed at my parents house, feeling reminiscent of my childhood. But I laid there with my current, adult thoughts. Thoughts of everything I want to do in this upcoming "school year" and in the years beyond. 
I really hate that. "School Year". Why am I waiting for school to start back up to feel like I can do things again? Maybe because things are farther away than I am used to this summer. Actual distance and time distance. And during the school year things are close. Things are comfortable. I'm in a place where there is so much I want to do but don't know how to act on it. But which 'act' do I begin with? There are too many. It is overwhelming to sit alone and think about. And when I don't think about it, it's comforting to know I have all of these plans, thoughts, ideas. Maybe they'll all change. But they're there now. All I have to do is act on them.

I have many thoughts today.

Most of them are for the future. 


What am I waiting for? 

An entirely different thought:

My mom asked me the other day to teach her about her iPad. She told me to figure it out because I'm young and more knowledgable of technology and once I figure it out, teach her. My response to her was to explore it and learn it herself because everyone's use for something may be different. I thought that was a common thought for all. To explore. And learn/teach yourself. We discussed it and maybe it is a generational thing. My generation is all about the picking it up quickly, discovering new things rather than being told how it's done. But I don't really know if I believe it's generational. I think we all should be exploring and learning constantly.

 By learning something on your own, you are more likely to be more creative with that something. There are no preconceived ideas about it. Because you're discovering it through the eyes of your own mind. Sometimes, I think, when we're taught we don't learn as much as we really can. We learn by doing. And exploring. Exploring every option that our own mind allows us. Maybe someone else comes up with other things. And society influences that completely. I wish it didn't.

I've been teetering on the idea of individuality. What is it, really? My struggle has been finding my own style (whether it be clothing, dance, writing, photography, the list goes on). And finding it without taking ideas of "what's cool" in the media. Art isn't only the hip and trendy photos continuously produced by "anons" on tumblr and instagram--although they are beyond enjoyable to look at and admire.  But admiring is different than taking. Influence is different than reproducing similarly. 

Ultimately, what I am asking myself is how can I take influence positively and transform my work into something truly mine.