Monday, July 31, 2017

Life Lately | July

July passed in an absolute blur, and not necessarily in a good way. The first few weeks I spent in DC are crystal clear in my memory; I was "on" at all times trying to remember which bus and metro routes I needed, how to drive on the packed highways, where to find a grocery store, what all my new coworkers' names and titles were - the usual new job, new city routine. I became friends with my fellow interns and coworkers and received a hefty amount of professional advice, and I was planning to make it the summer of reached goals.

And then, somewhere along the way as the weeks went on I lost my focus on the future and started dwelling more on the day to day. I spent more time at my part time job at a bakery then I did at my internship, and as a result my professional outlook wasn't where it needed to be. I spent my free time napping or working out at the gym or doing any number of smaller activities that weren't productive. Now I'm several weeks from the end of my planned time up here, and it's a sharp wake up call to realize I haven't done the things I needed to be doing with my time up here.

Part of the problem is, I think, the temporary nature of the situation. I had a similar problem in Germany, where I knew I would only be there for 6 months and so I mentally kept everything contained instead of letting myself completely unpack and spread roots outward. Here too it's the same. I brought less than half of my belongings with me, and though it's not like I feel I'm lacking in any way because I don't have the rest with me, there's still a sense of lacking grounding because my environment is not totally familiar. The space I occupy is not my own, and as I've said many times before I am so, so ready to just settle down somewhere in my own place with my own belongings and find my own community. 

The temporary nature of my city stay has similarly affected my creative output. There's so much to see and do in DC, and I take every chance I get to ride the Metro into the city and explore. Ordinarily I would count this as a good thing, but it's left me with so much input and so little output; I have drafts full of photos but no desire to craft the words with which to pair them. I'm been putting off writing posts until the last minute, and I don't know if it's evident to anyone but me, but the quality feels lacking.

And so, while July was a blur of personal disappointments, I'm determined to step back and reassess where I'm at and make new goals for August, which may mean a break from this space until I can make the words on the screen look as good as I think they should, and putting my professional ambitions at the forefront of my mind. I'm going back to an analogue approach to creativity with a blank journal and new pens and I'm determined force the words out of my head and to write everything down.

To end on a note of positivity: July was not a complete waste. I became closer with my coworkers, saw Neil Gaiman in person, met with a visiting friend from Raleigh for waffles and coffee, saw most of my family and grandparents, and got a better handle on DC directions. It certainly wasn't the best month of the year, but now going firmly into the last few months of summer it's a good time to reassess some personal goals, and hopefully I'll make it out at the end of August in much stronger shape.

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