gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Feelings reign supreme

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I am 90% guided by my feelings (let’s be real, more like 100%). When trying to evaluate something and make a decision about it I do weigh the pros and cons and at least try to think about it rationally, but ultimately it is the feeling part of me more than the thought part of me that guides my decisions and paths in life. I think this is because I am swayed by the feeling that something, anything, evokes in me and I attach a lot of significance to that feeling.

I was thinking about this the other night while in an Uber ride in Chicago. As I zipped through different neighborhoods I thought about the feeling that each one of those neighborhoods elicits in me and why that matters so much to me. As I’ve spent the past year trying to find an apartment in Chicago I’ve cared a lot about its placement within a neighborhood; because there are some neighborhoods that I really like the feeling of, and others that just don’t speak to me, and even give me an uneasy feeling (having nothing to do with safety or lack thereof)…just an uneasy feeling of not belonging, or a feeling opposite of home. But the neighborhoods that I do like, and feel at home in, I really like. What explains the affinity that I feel towards some neighborhoods and not others? I’m sure familiarity has something to do with it, and memories associated with that place. And the inexplicable feeling of home and being in just the right place at just the right time 🙂

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Fashion meets a sense of self

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Once again, I’m loving Hanya Yanagihara‘s Letter to the Editor in The New York Times Style Magazine about fashion’s role in defining our sense of self, as well as the greater implications it has on how we relate to others and the world around us.

The word fashion tends to allude to a luxury not attainable for everyone, but here fashion means the very basic practice of people dressing themselves to get out the door in the morning. Not everyone pays close attention to what they wear and they do it simply out of necessity. But other people, including myself, dress with a purpose; whether that is trying to align themselves with the current trends, going against current trends, wearing what is comfortable both physically and emotionally (yes I do think that what we wear affects our mindset and emotions), making a social or political statement, etc. are all wrapped into what we decide to put on our bodies.

At T, that language often takes the form of fashion — specifically, fashion as a way of communicating not just something about who the wearer of it is, but also, and with increasing urgency, the kind of world we live in…

Despite its reputation, fashion is a democratic art: We all engage with it in some way or another (even if engagement means disengagement, rebelling against what we interpret as its rules and conventions), and it remains the single most effective way of telegraphing who we are to the rest of the world. What we choose to wear is who we think we are, or who we think we would like to be.

We’re constantly looking for ways to define ourselves and to set ourselves apart as individuals from the overwhelming world around us – to be someone. Fashion is an easy way to do that because it is perhaps what those around us notice first, after our physical characteristics. If someone has a consistent style, people who spend time around that person will assign that style to him/her as a quintessential piece of that person.

I know I like to wear things that make me feel good. At work, for example, I like to wear clothes that make me feel productive and professional. At home when I’m just lounging around I like to wear something comfortable and whatever will inspire the most hygge at that moment (something I’m always trying to achieve, but as we all know, it’s hard to attain it; rather, it happens spontaneously when everything is aligned just perfectly). I don’t always dress with a purpose, but I tend to feel better when I do.

Goat Yoga

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Most everyone who knows me knows that I love goats. I’m not quite sure how this love started, but like most loves, it just happens when you least expect it. I suppose my earliest recollection of my love affair with goats is from when I was in grade school and went to the 4-H Fair in the summertime. Among other animals, there were always goats. Adorable goats. And I started looking at pygmy goats for sale online, at a very affordable cost! It escalated when I lived in Massachusetts for a year about 4 years ago, where I regularly visited a goat farm, especially when they had babies. I’ve been dreaming of having my own little goat farm ever since!

This past weekend I got to do goat yoga, a craze that is attracting goat-lovers and non-goat-lovers alike. There’s something about it that is just intriguing. The hour of goat yoga was everything I thought it would be. Fun, filled with goats jumping on top of me (yay!), and light on the yoga. It was hosted by GlennArt Farm in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. I’ll let these pictures tell the story. Ignore my form though…it was hard to focus with a 20 pound goat on my back…haha

Sentimental

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A couple definitions that pop up when you search for the word sentimental (adj.) in the dictionary are:

expressive of or appealing to sentiment, especially the tender emotions and feelings, as love, pity, or nostalgia

weakly emotional; mawkishly susceptible or tender

I know I’m definitely a sentimental person and I’m not going to apologize for it. I may be weakly emotional and nostalgic, but I would rather be that than not feeling enough. I think having too many feelings and being able to express those feelings, although sometimes with great difficulty, is one of life’s beautiful tragedies. Beautiful because what are we but feeling beings at every turn and therefore have no choice but to express ourselves, and tragic because sometimes those feelings are not well received or returned.

Nostalgia is a funny thing because we know it’s pointless to reminisce the past and hope to return to a happy time, but those daydreamin’ minds like mine almost have no control and keep dreaming away. But can we be blamed for reminiscing happy times simply for the pure appreciation of those happy moments? I don’t think so. It’s heartening to know that we’ve experienced such happy moments and we must be grateful for them, because life is not always rainbows and butterflies.

So fuck it…we have the feelings we have and we just can’t help it. So keep on having those feelings and sharing them. In the spirit of Lorde (who I recently saw in concert and was absolutely amazing):

I am my mother’s child, I’ll love you ’til my breathing stops
I’ll love you ’til you call the cops on me

Bike MS

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My friends will be participating in the BP MS 150  in April, which is a 150-mile bike from Houston to Austin. In order to participate they each have to raise $500, which goes towards research to treat and cure MS. They train for months to endure this grueling ride, which takes two days. This is something that I care about a lot because it hits close to home for me, and I can’t wait to cheer them on at the finish line in Austin! I’ve already donated, but if you can, please consider donating to my friend Katie’s fundraising efforts!

March for Our Lives

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I’ve been really inspired by the high school students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida for their fortitude and perseverance in fighting for change on an issue that is just absolute common sense. I’m sure the lack of support they’re receiving from certain NRA-owned politicians is infuriating, and yet, they keep fighting. Thank god this is the future we have to look forward to.

I’ve signed up for the march on March 24th in my city, Chicago. I hope you’ll be marching in your city.

Sign up here!

City girl

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I remember listening to this song when I was in high school and college, dreaming of living in the big city one day. Now I’m here and I’m not as happy as I thought I would be back then. I thought I’d live in a beautiful apartment downtown, but I don’t think I knew much about money then. I thought life in the city was glamorous and always exciting. While sometimes true, not always true.

There are moments when do I love the city though. I had one of those moments the other night as I was walking downtown on Wacker Drive. The city at night is my favorite time in the city. It’s something about the lights. But the other night, as I was walking along the river, it was freezing and there were some snow flurries but I didn’t care because I was so caught up in taking the city in. It’s also not as crowded at night so you feel like you have the city more to yourself.

Big city blues

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Although I love this city that I live in, I definitely have my frustrations with it. And they’re not necessarily frustrations with Chicago itself, but with the big city lifestyle overall. No one cares who you are in the big city. No one knows you, recognizes you, or looks out for you. In fact, there are people who are actually out to get you. I find myself craving a smaller community where people know each other, look out for one another, and where the lifestyle is more laid back and moves at a slower pace.

I’ve been feeling a stronger connection tho home lately. It’s interesting how when you’re away from home for a while, or from where you grew up, you start to realize certain things about home that you love, even though you could barely stand it while you were growing up. I think as you get older you also start to realize how important it is to be close to your family and those you love. They are an invaluable support system and they won’t be around forever. So we have to enjoy them, appreciate them, and love them while they’re around. We don’t even know how long we’ll be around…even more reason to be close to them.

I’m surprised by how much I’ve been loving my little home state of Indiana recently and the sense of pride that’s been building that I’m from there. As much as I love the vibrancy and beauty of Chicago, it’s never quite felt like home.

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV is absolutely a staple of Thanksgiving at my house. This year, since I live in Chicago,  I went to the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade downtown on State Street. I was sad to miss watching the Macy’s parade on TV, but I was also excited about seeing a parade in person. The parade in Chicago is obviously on a much smaller scale than the one in New York, but it still felt very festive.

It was also very different. Rather than big floats and balloons, the Chicago parade focuses on diversity and inclusion by representing various ethnic groups complete with authentic costumes and music from their cultures. I didn’t see the whole parade, but the countries I saw represented were Bolivia, China, Thailand, Mexico, and the Punjab region of India (and I’m sure there were others). I really admired the Bolivian costumes because they wore these interesting wooden clog-type sandals with some kind of bells that made a nice sound.

There were of course many high school marching bands, tap dancers, and cheer squads. There weren’t too many musical performers though, as there are in the Macy’s parade. The one disappointment was how anti-climactic Santa’s arrival was. There wasn’t any music accompanying his sleigh and there just wasn’t a lot of excitement among the crowd when he finally did arrive. I think one thing that makes the Macy’s parade so fun to watch are the commentators from The Today Show with their witty and dynamic narratives. So maybe Santa’s arrival was disappointing because there was no big announcement or tale about his gift-giving to all the boys and girls around the world.

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Love is a beautiful thing when you have it. Chase after it and don’t let it go.

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