Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today Steele and I made some progress planning our trip :) We booked our tickets (finally!) and actually planned out some possible journeys. It's honestly still pretty unplanned which makes me a little nervous, but as long as I can channel those nerves into something productive I'll be fine. 

I have really felt, throughout planning this, that I'm just bumbling along. We should have started planning a while ago, but things were so busy and stressful that it just didn't feel good to plan and we forgot about it (or let ourselves put it off) a lot. So now here we are. With fewer options for some things, but we're able to work within our boundaries. 

Honestly the hardest part about planning this trip has been that Steele and I have been going through some trouble recently, as a couple, and it makes planning a trip for two a little stressful when we feel like we're on completely separate pages. There's this urge to make this trip so perfect that it will solve all our problems, which is obviously not going to happen, and puts a lot of pressure on it. We've just been doing what we can, working through it, and dealing with all of the facets of our lives all at the same time. 

Like grown-ups, I guess. 

Even though I feel so far away from being a grown-up. 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Today I sat on Melina's bed in her tiny apartment and watched the sky fade from my favorite dusk blue to the dark blue of summer nighttime. It was lovely and we got to talk about a whole range of subjects. Oh the joy. I really do like having the friends that I do. :)

I have been thinking a lot about my future. The path I'm taking right now feels very jagged and twisted and like it's not going anywhere, but hopefully that's normal. I was talking to Ali and Melina today about needing to form some goals and figure out what I want to do with my life. I was sitting in a bar yesterday and had this awful gut wrenching fear that my life in Portland would become that--sitting in bars, drinking cheap beer. Obviously it won't if I don't let it, but the initial fear is there. 

I have an urge to move away from Portland. Not right away because I feel at home and comfortable here. But eventually. It is a little dream that is scary. To live somewhere new where I might not have any friends. But a scary dream that might push me in all the right ways. 

I've also been thinking about this 365 project the past few days. 

Honestly it has become a chore. I find myself (and you readers find me) posting multiple blogs every few days just to catch up. I'm considering just ending the project now, but I'm not really sure. I'm excited for the blog--I have a few things I would like to start doing here. Some modeled after some of my favorite blogs or little things I've found on the internet. And some that are just coming from within. 

So, look forward for that. 

I think I will finish the 365. It's a compulsion to just finish a project. To bring it round circle. 17 days isn't too long. It's not too long, but hopefully it's enough time to fall back in love with this project. 17 days is enough time to push myself, I think. 


Memorial Day bus schedule forced me to sit still for an hour, talk to some friend and read a book. It was quite grand and this book, The Art of Traveling, is quite grand as well. 


Monday, May 27, 2013

And then woke up this morning, in a tent puddle. Completely soaked through and through. Had a long drive home with some calm music and sweet people and then completely passed out on the couch for a few hours.

Now Steele and I are blessedly alone after the craziness that was the past few weeks.

Life is coming together and getting in order. If my life had been a deck of cards, the past few weeks it would have been sprawled across the table, and now it's finally getting stacked up into a reasonable pile. Soon all the cards will be flush with each other and it'll be the kind of thing that feels really good in your hands.


Yesterday, day 345, I went out to the coast to go camping with a group of friends. It was wonderful. Full of laughter, wide skies, and tiny beach people. The ocean is so vast it's unbelievable. To even just write that sentence is a little bit of a cliched move, but when I'm standing there at the edge it just boggles my mind every time. 

I am so lucky to have the people that I do in my life.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Morning walks to drop Crrr off at the max, late morning tea to cure a cough, and evening typewriter to calm a mind.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Today was Crrr's last day in Portland. We went to Powell's, drank some coffee (albiet not a coffee tasting), and walked around in the pouring rain. I suppose it was appropriate. The Portland rain in the summer is fierce. It doesn't let up. It's nothing like Portland winter rain, which is pathetic and misty. Portland summer rain is heavy and relentless. It's not too cold, so walking around is bearable if your okay with your hair getting drenched. Which I am okay with, as apparently rain tames my cowlick. 

Anways. We made brownies, ranted a few times, and watched a historical drama called A Royal Affair, which was actually really good despite its ridiculous name. 

Days like today are why I love Crrr. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tonight involved a impromptu hangout with several of my favorite people. It also involved a long debate about new chairs, which ultimately resulted in no chairs being bought. 

I feel in this weird bubble of space and I'm not really sure what my life will look like on the other side of it. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Today it was raining so hard, and all I wanted to do way lay in bed all day watching movies. But I pulled myself out of bed, and went out to breakfast, and then made the journey up to my studio to clean it out. Now I'm basically all cleaned out besides a coat of paint and a sweep. It's a little heartbreaking, and also involves getting rid of beautiful things. I'm learning to let go of beautiful things. 

Including people, as AJ leaves tomorrow for the start of her new life, and for some reason it hit me like a punch in the stomach. 

That pillar of mine is indeed crumbling and I have a feeling the next month before I leave myself will be spent rebuilding it. 


Morning tea. Sore throat. 


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saturday, the day after graduation, I spent the day with my mom, brother, and Crrr.

I wish I had a detail to recount to you in poetic words.

But I do not.

Instead here are some menial things:

-I purchased an iPhone for graduation. (My mom got a new workphone, so I was able to switch to her number and use her upgrade.)
-Which means, I now have my own instagram account. If you want to follow me, it's brittanyvchavez
-Steele and I had brunch with his family.
-I went and got drinks with Jules, Kendall, and Greg.
-Felt pretty good about.
-Maybe had a rocky night at home--no blog-appropriate details.
-Fell into bed.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Probably the best part of Graduation, amongst all the craziness, all of the introductions to family members, all of the tear-inducing speeches (including a particularly teary one given by Steele that feels a little too intimate to recount here, even though it was said in front of so many people), all of the photos being taken and the goodbyes being said and the well wishes being wished.

The best part was when Mark Rupert gathered up all his photo students and brought them down to his office to mercifully escape. He sat us all down and opened up this brown suede pouch and began laying rocks on his desk. And then went on to tell us what each rock was used for, what tool, what purpose. And then handed it off to the person who it fit the best. 

Here is a grainy dark picture of the whole affair:

This man, I tell ya. 

I remember the first photo class I ever sat in. I thought Mark was hysterically funny in a dry way, and felt like I was the only one laughing about it. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this tiny photo community. The photo studio is strange. It's often isolating, each person working on their own thing. Not much conversation. But also we are banded together and tied together, and I think a little protective of the photo department in general. Mark has been a rock. He hides out in his office trying his best to get all his work done, but always listens when you come in rambling about nothing. He is patient with each and every one of us. 

The rock he gave me was meant to be an axe. Which is meant to help me break out of my detail oriented mind. To find different solutions for smashing, so to speak. It fits in my palm and I may or may not have slept with it in my bed last night. 

During the ceremony we were able to say a few words, just enough to thank a few people. 

And I said, possibly the stupidest thing ever, which was, "A lot of the time, I felt really alone. But I know that there's always a pillar of support under me. I'd like to thank the people that make up that pillar. You know who you are."

And I suppose, the second half of that was good. It's the first sentence I got wrong, or didn't explain it properly. 

What I meant was that art-making can be isolating thing. I have felt lonely a lot the past four years. I have been inside of my own head for a lot of it. That's just me though. My insecurities. I guess I just wanted to express that even though I have been alone in my head a lot of the past four years, I know that there is this community holding me up. And maybe some of that will fall apart now. And maybe that's why it's so hard to leave. Because for a while, my pillar might be shaky and crumbling, as people fall in and out of my life. And I'll have to rebuild it again and again. 


Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm sorry I don't have more (or any) pictures for you.

Day 337 was the opening of my off site thesis show. It was a crazy day which involved waking up early, making show tags, going to graduation rehearsal, having lunch with my dad and brother, and then the show itself. It was crazy, fun, rewarding. It was amazing to see how many people showed up. I wasn't taking any pictures, really, but there were many that I wished I had taken.

Like Spencer through the window before hand, smoking in white T-Shirt with a suit in a dry cleaning bag thrown over his shoulder. 

Ruby and Steve wearing caddy corner color pops, standing arm and arm. 

Phil grabbing my arm to tell me something about my piece, and then again when he buckled up his backpack to get on his bike. 

A full gallery from the outside.

Somewhere, there are so many pictures. Somewhere in the world. Just not on my computer, and not on my phone, and not on my camera. And I feel a little lost without them. I've just been so exhausted, and stressed, and sad, that all of the little moments I revel in have gotten lost down the drain. Friday night was a blur and I'm not sure I could accurately describe it, or remember it, or anything. I know these are the moments that I'll want to remember. But things don't really work out like that. We remember the littlest most insignificant things, and forget these big events beyond marking them on the timeline of our lives.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday, day 336, was the last day of setting up in the gallery.

Lots of staring at my wall. 
And making small moves one at a time. 
Laying on the floor. 

To be honest, I can't quite remember. I probably cried once or twice. Or at least, felt the urge.

I left the gallery very late, went home, waited up for Steele, fell into bed exhausted and waiting to be woken up the next morning at 7. 

It's a nice thing to know in your bones when something's done and right. 


Here is some of what setting up an a final thesis exhibition looks like.

First & foremost, there are the people. Oh, there are people everywhere. People you know and love. People you have spent the past four years with. (Or at least, the past three.) No one is being called by their real name because everyone is just being called by a nickname of one sort of the other. Also, there is the space. It's a little grungy. Which is to say, there are a few very large ugly heaters hanging from the ceiling. And if you get on the scissor lift an ride up to the rafters, there are lots of things drilled in that don't quite make any sense. Also there is the scissor lift---this hulking ultramarine blue beast that rattles and somehow magically brings you up to the ceiling, and also does a nice contrast with Ruby's shoes. 

There's the dust on the floors from the walls being built. And then there's the walls, white and semi-glossy. 80% perfect walls on which to build a piece. On which I am building a piece. 

The status of my piece is, in the middle. There are whole sections that I just don't know about. I am having to squish the amount of work I would normally do over the course of a few weeks, in a few days. 2.5 days to be specific. Minus all the other things I have to do. 

But setting up the show has been a dream, really. A dream that comes with a little bit of drama, a little but of freaking out, a little bit of exhaustion and head pounding and saying the phrase, "I don't know" a million times over. 

But a dream, at the end of it all, a dream come true. 

Also there is some of this:


Yesterday I took the max to the airport to pick Crrr up. It was a busy day. At least, I think. I'm having a hard time remembering all the things I did. 


It's coming back to me. 

I picked up my pants from the tailor. And we went to the gallery space. And my wall was not ready, so I didn't start my piece. And we went to school and I mounted all my photos, and it was probably the last night I will ever spend working in that studio. Which is insane and sad. The we took the bus home with lots of things in our hands, and waited for Steele to get home after his own completely busy night. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Today I gave my public presentation. It's sort of the last big "hurdle" before graduation. (Although considering I have to do an entirely new piece for the 31•13 opening, I still have a while to go before I'll feel completely done.) I think it went really well, at least a few people told me so, and I believed them.

I got to school to a BBQ going on in full force--faculty and students abound. Phil dropped his chips when he saw my hair, literally. Although "dropped his chips" sounds like a really good phrase to start using. Then Mark and Phil and I spent a good few minutes talking about what uses I could have found for my chopped hair. How I ended up with these two old men as my advisors, I still don't really know ;)

I walked into the studio to find it almost empty. Jules took her rug and her desk home, so now my side is just cluttered and hers is almost gone. Such an in-between stage, to everything right now. I'm really sad about the rug, honestly, I liked lying on it this year.

I am hoping to figure out a way to make a video of my powerpoint with voice over, and then all of you guys can watch my presentation! Sort of.

Anyways, it's been a long day, and Steele is waiting for me in bed, so while this blog might be a little unsatisfactory....



Welcome to right now.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Today was the last brunch. Although, it didn't really feel like it, Ali wasn't there. (She actually has a mother near her to have brunch with.) 

I'm not sure when brunch with happen again. Next week all our families will be in town, and then Julia leaves, and then I leave. 

I'm not sure I can really put into words how much I've enjoyed having brunch every Sunday with these girls. It always set the tone for my Sunday. It always relaxed me. It always made me feel like I had a place. I've never had a routine like that, with friends, and I loved it, and hope that it continues next year though our lives will be a little scattered. 


Yesterday, day 331, I cut off all my hair.

There has been a lot of unease in my life lately. I wish I could go into more detail about that now, but I don't have the heart to sit down and try to give this blog answers I don't have. So instead it (this blog) has been an accurate representation of my head: fragmented.

Somehow this is all linked to my hair, I swear.

The thing about my hair. Well, the thing about my hair is that it is (it was) long. It's incredibly straight and tangles easily. Every night before bed I would have to patiently stand in front of a mirror, coaxing the knots out. Except, sometimes I wasn't so patient. Sometimes I would get mad, and frustrated, and just rip the knots in half. The thing about my hair, is that it can be so many things. It can be a bun, or a braid, or wait, it can be a french braid, or a crown braid, or a ponytail, or wait, wait, it can be pigtails, or it can be wrapped around a headband, or it can be half up, half down. Or it can just be all down, getting in my way all day, trailing behind me. I realize this is why most people grow their hair out. It's why I did, at least, one of the reasons. But I've had enough of it, really. Enough tangles, enough mornings waking up and saying, "What should I do to my hair today? How should I wear it?"

Now there is only one way to wear it.

I went to a little hair studio called Primrose on Lovejoy and 18th and had a woman named Emily tie it into 5 little ponytails and cut them all off. The whole morning I was so nervous, big flowers of nervousness would bloom in my stomach every so often. But when I got in that chair, I wasn't nervous. I didn't really feel anything. And then all my hair was gone, and with every snip of the scissors I felt like hair, this thing I have spent the past four years growing, didn't really matter at all.

With short hair I feel more purposeful. Like I know what I'm doing. It's an illusion, of course, but an illusion that makes me feel better right now. No hair to anxiously twist around. No hair to braid and pin. No hair to get in my face. No hair to hide behind.

I wish I could say that when all my hair was gone, all my fear was gone. That would be a nice closing statement to this blog post. It's not true, of course.

But still, it is a weight off my mind and makes me feel like I'm traveling in the right direction.

Also I know it is a big teaser to post this without having any pictures, but I just haven't had the time to go out and do a proper portrait session, and I'd rather not post a mediocre image... So forgive me for that!

Forbidden Foods

Friday, May 10, 2013

On the first of May, we had a little Forbidden Foods party, in celebration of Melina successfully completing a Whole 30 challenge. (Wherein you cut out gains, dairy, alcohol, and sugar. Which basically leaves meat and vegetables.)


The bigger and more spread out my life gets, the more complex it gets. I'm like a city. At first, you could just build roads wherever you wanted. And then later, it becomes more populated, and all the sudden those roads get in the way of new roads, and intersections get messed up, and traffic is horrible.

When you're in a relationship with someone--anyone--things get tangled up in this mess. All the sudden all the roads are criss-crossing over each other, and you're longing for a wide straight road. A direct route. But you can't just have that. Layers keep piling onto each other, and is there every really any way to get back to the core?

Is there really a good way to plan a city? Is there really a good way to plan a life? Isn't a road always going to go right through a place, a building, a monument that you didn't want it to go through? Aren't you always going to be building up bridges to go over the mess beneath?


A tiny blip of happiness amid mass amounts of stress. 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This image is not from today. It is from over a year ago. 

I just, didn't take any photos today. (Big surprise.) And I wanted to post something, so I chose a random day in the archives and this is what came up. I like it. A snapshot most likely taken by Steele. Me passing Jason, who I might never see again after this year. And a random dude in the background, I don't know who. 

It's just so transitory. Such a moment in time I will never relive again. Like every moment, but especially my moments lately. Tomorrow I will go to my last class. My last class in school, maybe ever. That is such a strange thought. I will see and pass people tomorrow that I might never see again. 

How heavy is that for your average Wednesday night?


Yesterday (Day 327) I wrote a really long post about my Student Loans and didn't post it.

I am going to post it, just in a while. I have a small plan for this blog that will hopefully grow into big plans. One of my plans is to start a series of posts about my loans, paying them off, and the anxiety that comes with them. I'm not sure if it's talked about too much..... mostly because I avoid googling "How to pay off your student loans" in fear of a panic attack.

But anyways. It will be for me to keep track of it, to document, and to hold myself to looking at things head on. And I hope it might be a small comfort for other people going through the same thing.

So keep an eye out.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Heart is growing right out of my chest. For reasons that I don't know the answer to. Hearts growing out of chests is a very uncomfortable thing. It makes you question all the parts of your life. Your choices, your relationships, your path, your loves, your haircut. It makes you want to do drastic things. And then you get scared and try to shove your heart back where it belongs. Hearts don't really like to be told what to do. So they grow anyways. And I guess all you can do it just let them and look after them. "Hey heart, how you doing?"


(I realize this makes very little sense, but it makes sense to me. Maybe soon I will have time to sit down and write a coherent post about my life, but for now you and I live in unrelated fragments.)


This is Sunday at Jules house. 


Saturday was a birthday party for Ruby & Dinesh.

It was,

Friends on the rooftop
Fading summer sky
Warm light window reflections
A million cheese and crackers
Friendship birthday toasts

And then it was,

Booty basement
With lots of people
So, dancing in a circle of friends
A spontaneous photobooth

And then 60 block long walk, with Ali.
A photostrip scratching in my back pocket. Kept safe for so long. Until getting home. Upon which, I realized the photostrip was no longer in my pocket. And worried I imagined it.

It must have flown out in the wind.


Monday, May 6, 2013

I honestly don't know what I did on Friday.

I suspect it was good...


Thursday, May 2, 2013

I didn't take any images today.

It was the most beautiful day. The kind of day where you wake up inside the house and it's chilly and cold but then you walk outside and the air is baked. The day is leeching away the chill. It was the kind of day where you have to roll your window down and then let your arm hang out and feel the wind rushing past.

I was a little sad and resigned.

But I did spend a while laying on a blanket in AJs front yard, and had a long conversation with her, and am feeling incredibly grateful for her right now.

Then we ran around and I kind of ignored my normal life while we got frozen yogurt, and a movie, and dinner supplies. Kind of ignoring your normal life is sometimes the best thing to do. Also I maybe just said that without really thinking about it, and maybe it's not the best thing to do.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I took some photos today, that I want to share, but I left my camera at school on accident. And anyway, the photographs show a completely different world than how I ended my night, and it always feels a little strange to have a blog misrepresenting my day. And so have this little fragment of writing, frantically written on the bus ride home:

When you walk away and have that sinking feeling in your stomach and your heart is dropping to the ground at a thousand miles an hour. And you look up at the dusk sky and you know it's your own fault for feeling this way. Your own expectations not being met. But you set those expectations. You decided that. It was your foggy memory that forgot all those forehead kisses, those smiles, those hand squeezes. It was you who let the dusk sky crack like a bowl and spill your heartwater everywhere.


Two candidates for my passport picture. Just a reminder of how many people I can be, at once.