Monday, December 29, 2014

Early thoughts on 2015


There's something dry and different about the air in my room when it's 4 in the morning and I can't sleep. 

When I wake up like this in a factual combination of too warm, exhausted, frustrated and just enough energy to entertain thought of maybe going on a run (one that I'll immediately regret before I even hit the light pole three houses down), I am often shocked to see the sun actually coming up around 6:30. Like there was a chance that the version of me, alone in my room, watching Sense and Sensibility and thinking about scheduling a hair cut might be permanent. "If you keep making that face, it'll stick like that forever."

For the rest of the day, I have this ownership that I've been through it and fought the good fight with the day. A kind of understanding that no one else has of what the entirety of the day really meant-- what December 29 really was all about. 

Moments like these give me just enough time to be completely alone with my mind, but tired enough not too linger too long on any one thought.

Playing Tetris of scheduling my day. 
Deciding what it is that I like and don't like about being an associate adult. 
Wondering if it's possible to look cool while scrambling eggs or if I just look like someone who's scrambling eggs. 
Hoping that in the dark of my room, the large pile of clean laundry on the floor to my left is getting smaller with age like an old lady. 
Thinking about each one of my friends in a roll call of daily reminiscence and motherly concern. 

Then also the hard, strong stuff will walk across my mind at the kind of steady pace that you'd see someone walking to work. 

This one, like a sting: I can't believe what this one single year has held.
I can't believe that there were so many moments of total "over and done" in just one year.  
I can't believe I'm 23 and still single and living at home and not getting to live life with my best friends. 

Once every three minutes, I remind myself that I have no control over what happens in my life. 
Once every three minutes and three seconds, I remind myself that it is best that I have no control over what happens in my life. 

And then those thoughts keep walking along and get put back in the box of weird life things and I start thinking about shaving my arm pit hair again. 

I want 2014 to be closed out- for all different sorts of preservation. I can't say that I'm totally excited for 2015 yet. But that's only because excited isn't the right word. I'm ready for it. I want it to be good. 

Ok, I feel like 2015 has the feeling of running into an ex boyfriend at Urban Outfitters. Not the love of your life ex boyfriend, but just a guy you dated for a few months that one summer. You seriously wish him all the best in the world, but if you had your way, you also would have just rather been at Urban Outfitters and not seen him at all. You were doing fine and now he's standing in front of you and you feel like you should laugh at the not very funny joke he just made. I don't like 2015 and I don't want to laugh at it's dumb jokes. 






Pre-sunrise, sleepy, morning, melancholy is real and it will eat you alive. 
If Kaitlin's friends weren't in the living room sleeping, I'd take a bath. 
2015 is going to be a big year for baths and me. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thank you





Thankful for my dad's career advice
(Thankful for lists that are about to be crazy, hard core rambley)
Thankful for my sister's honesty and patience with me
Thankful for my mom thinking I'm funny most of the time
Thankful for my mom forgiving me when I'm actually not being funny anymore
Thankful for bones and muscles that move 
Thankful for creative food
Thankful for creativity 
Thankful for temperatures below 70
Thankful for hand rolled pasta
Thankful for kind strangers
Thankful for my own space 
Thankful for new space
Thankful for new friendships
Thankful for old friendships
Thankful for enduring friendships
Thankful for texting
Thankful for ideas and brainstorming
Thankful for conversation
Thankful for this blog
Thankful for real, loud, embarrassing laughter
Thankful for Taylor Swift
Thankful for my grandparents telling me they're proud of me
Thankful for unexpected support from unexpected community 
Thankful for snow and Seattle
Thankful for Kaitlin making me get out of bed to touch the snow in Seattle
Thankful for Christmas baking
Thankful for about a million other things that I should be thankful for more often than November


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thoughts:

Do you ever feel like it takes longer than it should to put on a shirt? Like once you've put one on and it's all said and done, it feels like you must've done it the wrong way or something. This isn't a metaphor. 

Also, I poured out the five day old cup of coffee that was in my car onto the street and now I feel super convicted about the stain that it's made on the concrete. Also not a metaphor. 

Finally, what do I want to do with my life? And that really is a real question right now. Not a wandering prompt to get to a certain answer. I honestly want to figure this out because I feel like there's something I'm missing. Like a corn maze with lots of perfectly fine routes and exits, but with one of the exits having a chocolate cake at the finish line. Something I'd really enjoy. 

I want to find my chocolate cake corn maze exit. 


Saturday, October 11, 2014

On My List


Save money for real
Quilt

A job that I want to think about after 5:00 pm
A road-trip to Seattle
Learn to use my camera

Make things with jars:
- pickles
- jam
Find the best ramen restaurant in OC
Senior Citizen interviews

My own apartment 
One book a week

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hugs that last more than 10 seconds





I'm sitting in the center of the courtyard at Alta alone with my computer. 

In front of me to my left is a date. They're talking about his dog and the surgery the dog is recovering from. Sounds like the dog is going to be ok. 

Behind me to my left is a group of friends. I heard the word 'colleague' but that's all I know because they're just out of earshot and speaking softly. Which I respect. 

Lined against the fence to my right are medium sized groups of high school students. Really young, good looking high school students gathered probably from Harbor or CDM. A few trickle in and trickle out at a time and every time someone does, they all stand up and hug each other. A lot. If I didn't know school were already in session, these hugs would imply that they have been through so much together, like a war or a summer camp of intense emotional bonding and were then immediately torn apart from each other, separated by galaxies for decades. These are the kinds of hugs that are being exchanged. But I'm pretty sure they probably last saw each other on Friday. I'm judging them a little bit for this. Kind of like I did when I was in high school and sitting at this same table, surrounded by these same groups of high schoolers, giving each other the same hugs and me feeling simultaneously intimidated and superior. 
By the way, I had forgotten how good looking teenage boys the Newport Mesa school district can be. Go with me here. I'm speaking from a completely observational, completely uninterested point of view, but seriously. They're tan probably from water polo or surfing all time and their trendy moms are still buying them cool clothes and they have yet to hit college and be swallowed by frat culture where they'll gain 25-30 pounds and not drink enough water. They have no idea what's coming and a little bit of me wants to go over and tell them. Not to warn them. But more to rub it in their faces. After typing that sentence, it's clear to me now that I may still be holding onto a bit of resentment from high school. Let it go, Julia, you nerd lite, you.

(The girls are all wearing very short cut off jean shorts. If anything, I'm wondering more about how they aren't freezing-- besides the fact that they're butt cheeks are hanging out. That's for their mother's to deal with.)
(Maybe that's why I didn't have a boyfriend in high school? I was never willing to be cold in order for  them (boys) to see more body parts of mine.)
(Maybe that's why I don't have a boyfriend now.)

Case in point: I'm wearing black jeans, the red plaid shirt I stole from my mom during high school and birkenstocks. Comfort clothes. My toes are just barely cold, which I kind of love because it means that we might be sliding into California Autumn. Which doesn't mean much more than barely cold toes. 

I'm confused about a lot of things right now, but when I got home from Charlotte this weekend, I knew I wanted to blog. On Friday, I got such an encouraging email from a new friend that made me realize what a treasure this space is and how, of all times, this is the time for me to take advantage of it. 


*


"Can I just move to Maine and make wedding dresses and listen to James Taylor all day?" Something that I wrote in a journal a year ago yesterday. Maine. My idealized haven of autumnal colors, fresh seafood and solitude. When I catch myself thinking about moving to Maine a lot, I know that I'm probably avoiding dealing with something. And I've been thinking about Maine a lot lately. Wouldn't it just be so easy to move to Maine and work at a coffee shop that affords me to live in a small, uninsulated apartment in the backyard of an older couple's white sided house. I would paint the door yellow and I'd dye my hair black, not because I'm depressed or anything but because I'd think it would match with the weather better than any other color of hair. I'd wear two sweaters at once and I wouldn't have a lot of friends. I would be lonely, but I'd have a lot of time to cook and finally become someone who reads a lot instead of just lying to people and saying that I read a lot. Which is what I do now. Maybe I'd meet a nice, slightly round butcher and we wouldn't ever go on a date, but we'd flirt while discussing beef tips or something. 


*


The hardest thing about moving home: feeling perpetually lonely and also wanting to just be alone as much as possible. I feel angsty in such a cliche, post college way that it's almost embarrassing, but it's not fake to me. It's totally real. And I hesitate to even admit it because I can hear the "I told you so" from states away. But it really is real and I don't feel like people are getting that. My mind immediately compares this feeling to that thing when the crazy person is sitting in the mental hospital and is looking around at all the doctors and nurses and other patients and thinking to themselves "They're the crazy ones. Not me." So I get it. I get that you're reading this with a little bit of that thing that you're reading this with. A small smirk on your face and maybe thinking about how you felt the same way when you graduated college or how naive I am to even begin to allow myself to think that my life is hard. Or maybe you aren't and you get it and you don't think I'm being dramatic at all in which case please mail me an anonymous letter in my mail box with your favorite word and a drawing of you and me. 


The styling internship is maybe ending soon. I can't afford to work for free. Also, it's depressing to work for free. But I'm starting another job on Wednesday in Costa Mesa with a hair and makeup artist as her administrative assistant. I'm excited about it. 











2035 self: you're reading this and wondering why things sound so bleak for us 3 days after turning 23. life definitely does not suck. but it's definitely playing tricks on us. 




and we are still like super, super single. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Haiku #8

"Traffic"

Commute did me dirty
California, at a price
Take me now, North 10

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Alien



I'm trying to decide-- actually, it's less of a decision and more of a calling or an invitation. Anyway, I'm trying to figure out which chair in my parents living room is going to be my chair. The one that becomes my default, the one that I start to assign feelings to and start to think of more like a living thing in the same way I used to with my dolls as a kid, the one that when my parents move to a new house, I think back at this living room and picture myself sitting in that chair.

Right now I'm sitting on the couch, but to be honest, it leaves a bit to be desired. It's a blue couch and perfectly comfortable, but it's lacking in some way that I can't quite determine. Maybe I just haven't taken enough naps on it yet to bond properly.


***


It's hard to deny the fact that this part of my life is an obvious shift from the past and let's just go ahead and embrace that cliche and call this a new chapter. Of my life. Of this blog. Of myself. So, I'm going to try and hit all of the major points, if not for you, for myself as a record of how things went:


Two weeks ago, I moved back to California and into one of my parents guest rooms from my summer in Philadelphia as an intern at Anthropologie. Earlier this summer, they offered me a job as an assistant designer. I turned it down. Philadelphia was nice and the chocolate chip cookies at the corporate cafe of the URBN headquarters were enough to make me rethink my entire life plans and all of my morals, but something in me felt strongly about coming back to California. For what? I didn't know. (Let's be clear: I don't know.) (Let's be clearer: The last few days I've wondered more often than I'd like to admit if I've made a huge mistake.)

I'd moved to Philadelphia from four years of college in Savannah, Georgia. But now I'm in Costa Mesa, and one of the walls in the guest room is covered in yellow floral wallpaper. For the last few days, I have been unpacking boxes of my life in college, which I suppose could also be considered the only adult life I've known, into the room with the wallpaper dividing everything into four piles: keep, give, store, toss. It was surprising and uncomfortable how many things that in Georgia were a given to make the effort to hold onto and ship across the country just don't make sense here and ended up in the toss pile. Then there are the things that are truly important to me. Pictures that I want to see every day. Sewing supplies that I use as often as I can. Where, in my parents home of bachelor pad style empty-nesterness does that all belong? Even my clothes feel different. I stood with my arms crossed, looking at all of them hanging in the closet and it threw me. Is that who I am? All of this color? And pattern? And dresses? My "all time favorites"? It doesn't feel like me. Or what I think of as me.

Today, I filled up my car with gas. I punched in my zip code. 31401. Savannah, Georgia. Which I guess is my way of saying that Georgia is where, as of this moment, I still find my default chair.

Worth mentioning:

Money. It sucks to not have any. No matter where you live.
Friends. I have them here, but it's different. They haven't spent the last four years with their lives on time-out waiting for me to come back, but this isn't Christmas break where we get to have dinner and talk all about life and gossip about people we used to be close with and then pay the bill and see each other the next year. I'm here to weasel my way in now. To establish myself as someone they call. And someone I call. And we go on walks where we can talk about life and not have to give months of back story because ideally, they'll know it already. Because we've lived it with together.
Friends Part II. I have them there. On my old default chair in Savannah as well as in places where they are adjusting and meeting new friends and making new lives too. I miss them. These people know me. They really, really know me and who I am. And I know how they each like their coffee and they all know how I like to talk about myself a lot.
Friends Part Ib. If you're my friend and you live in Orange County and you're reading this, please don't read too much into this and let this offend you, but I would say that I have about 5 good friends in Orange County and 4 of them have or are about to have children. I wonder what this says about me. (PS- all of your children are glorious and no, I did not mind holding her in the cry room, in fact, I really, really loved it.)
Streets. Is everything in Orange County somehow off of Bristol? And why can't I ever remember the difference between Bristol, Bear, and Baker?

Tomorrow, I start an internship with a stylist in West Hollywood. Internship numero six. The future is about as blank as it possibly could be and with all of the adjustments, something about this time of life is already so sweet and so wonderful and challenging in the exact way I wanted it to be. I'm digging in. I'm excited. This is where I'm supposed to be. A time of learning and relearning.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lifespan of a Bushka


Chapter 1: in which our heroine goes to New York and finds herself

Chapter 2: in which our heroine goes to Georgia and finds herself

Chapter 3: in which our heroine goes home and starts looking

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rebel Yell



Starting to believe that I'm going through my rebellious teen years right now. Except without peer pressure of recreational drug use,  sneaking out  to hang out with boys from the fast crowd, and drinking cheap beer at a strangers house.

I'd be game for sneaking out if the opportunity presented itself.

But no. 

In recent months, I've been super into the idea of quitting things and into making executive, possibly ill-advised decisions all on my own. Into making announcements instead of asking questions. 

Maybe this is less of being rebellious and more of being a grown up. Besides the quitting.

It's too hot to wear leather. 

Super into being proud of myself.
Super into in Indian food.




***




I'm interested in having a desk with a view. Even if that view is just my own backyard.

Especially if that view is just my own backyard.





Monday, June 30, 2014

All just slips of paper

Life, right now, feels a little bit like one of those machines on a game show that is a telephone booth full of money and wind. And I feel like I have 1:00 minute on the clock to grab all of the money. But instead of money, it's little slips of paper with different things that I'm sure of written on each piece. So the wind is blowing and my face is red because I know the whole audience is watching and I'm grabbing grabbing grabbing at what-- I'm not sure exactly, but I want to grab as many as possible before the wind dies down and I find myself leaving the telephone booth only to realize that all I'm holding is a bunch of handfuls of slips of paper. 

A few of the slips of paper that you're going to have to pry out of my cold, dead hands: 


I graduated. I also like how curly my hair is. Also, this was the last moment for the following two weeks of which I wasn't crying. 


Wonderful, wonderful people at my side. 


Saying "goodbye" was kind of the worst thing ever. For the record: these smiles are fake. Or at least mine was. But they're hopeful and proud smiles too. The kind that hold just a ton of words and stories and history that I would never really be able to get out in a real smile with all sorts of telling teeth.  


How have I lived for 22 years without a pair of monogrammed pajamas? It's everything you'd think it'd be and everything you'd never expect. 


I was kind of a total grouch for the majority of mom and my trip up the coast from Savannah to Philadelphia. There were fleeting moments of me being a nice person like when mom bought me a milkshake and let me sing super loud to Alison Krauss' When You Say Nothing at All over and over again, but mostly it was a lot of me crying and texting my friends and making fun of the Naval Academy and begging her to go into the Piggly Wiggly to buy tampons for me because I'm still nervous about running into someone I know (in the middle of Virginia) and them seeing and officially knowing that I've hit puberty. 

Let it be known that LJP and DWP were both kind of saints for dealing with me that week in the way that they did. Patience and understanding with a  healthy dose of honesty and encouragement. And pretending not to notice that I didn't lift one box for the entire moving process. 


And then mom and I got to Philadelphia. Have I even... no, I don't think I have. I'm such a bad blother (blog + mother... or maybe I like blommy better). Ok. So, the reason I'm in Philadelphia: I'm interning for Anthropologie at the URBN headquarters, which are located in Philadelphia, with their casuals (casuals = sweats, pajamas, robes, knit dresses, comfy stuff) team. 
This picture was after my first day of work when mom and I met for dinner at Little Nona's. The food was delicious. The company was excellent. But homegirl still couldn't keep it together and by the time we were splitting the tiramisu I forcer her to get me, I was crying again*. And continued to do so from the restaurant. To my car. To her hotel. To the curb. To hugging her goodbye. And then all the way back to my apartment where I really let things get out of hand. 
Anyway, I probably ruined dinner. 
I hope mom still likes me. 


I barely made it a week before I came crawling back to these lads in New York City for a little TLC. Stick with what you know, yamiright? 


Also: beer. 


To truly kick off my time in Philly, somehow over the course of the 4 days that I lived in the city, I contracted a deliciously contagious case of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. How? I will never know. Especially since the virus is so rare among adults that about 90% of the websites I looked up for information didn't even speak directly to the reader, but instead, immediately assumed that the patient was typically under 6 years old and are written mostly in the form of "If your child is..." or "You might notice that your son or daughter..." No, no, no, Internet. Not a six year old here. Just a 22 year old college graduate slash intern, looking at 6 days of doctor prescribed quarantine with an empty fridge and a hopeful future. 

My feet are healing quite nicely, thank you for asking and I am no longer contagious so, right now, you might say, life is pretty ahsa-weeet. 

More soon. I promise. 


*More tears in the month of June 2014 than from January 17, 2012 (the day after the Gilmore Girl's finale) through May 2014 combined. Someone diagnose me with something.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I DID NOT WRITE THIS

In honor of my date

(long story)

There is a lot to talk about right now, but I'm just going to throw this out there for now.

I fell asleep on my couch watching
old romance movies
with my glasses still on and my book
in my hands.
I woke up and ate a spoon-full of
frosting
and debated whether I should set the
coffee maker for the morning.
I have a king size bed with a blanket
on the end I never unfold.
I always sleep on the left side, the
right side kept perfectly made.
some nights my room is so quiet I
can hear my heartbeat.
quiet is something I've had to get
used to.
I bought a glass bottle of root beer
today and couldn't get the cap off.
This man gently took it out of my
hands,
opened it, smiled and walked away.
I was talking to my friends about
how I want to find love,
honestly, I'm not sure that I really do.
Unless it's someone who would close
my book
and take off my glasses when I fall
asleep on the couch.
Unless it's someone that will kiss
frosting off my lips
and make me excited to set the coffee maker
(because I'll know that in the
morning I'll take two cups
out of the cabinet and smile as I
pour hazelnut creamer)
Unless it's someone who will mess up
my sheets
and perfectly made bed,
making this room a little less quiet.
Unless it's someone that will laugh as
I struggle to open a glass bottle of
root beer and instead of opening it
for me. he says,
you can do it, I know you can
I don't want to find love
I guess I just want it to find me
while I'm busy living my simple little
life. 

-D.A.H.


This and other feelings coming at you live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 11:10 on a Tuesday.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bikini Season



Ok, so I'm going to level with you here. An honest moment. One that I'll pretend I feel good about posting, but will secretly wonder for the next few days who actually reads this and whether or not I should be embarrassed about it. 

There are two things I've hated my entire life: math and the beach. 

Both of them I view as complete time sucks, and both of them I look at as something that can be avoided 99% of the time. But! When that 1% rolls around, there is absolutely no getting out of it. 

My disdain for the beach, is not one of those situations of unreasonable and unfounded cynicism. Coming from Southern California, this abnormality in personality is something that I have, on numerous occasions, had to defend and explain and I do, in fact, have in my back pocket a short list of topical complaints to spout off when the dreaded words "beach day" are suggested as an option of time spent. 

1. It's so hot. 
2. Sand is so hot. 
3. Laying out in the sun is boring. 
4. Laying out in the sun is unhealthy. 
5. Parking. What a nightmare, am I right? 

And if these very logical and hardly arguable reasons don't do the trick in convincing whatever second or third party that a day spent doing practically anything else is a better option, there's always the hard, cold, avoidance tactic of plainly refusing to go. My friends love that. 

What I rarely ever admit, though I'm sure is glaringly obvious to most, is the real reason that I've hated the beach since I can remember: Bathing Suits. 

I have a very distinct memory as first grader, going to the beach with a friend my same age, and her telling me that I looked fat in my bathing suit. Looking back now, to think that the word "fat" was in the vocabulary of two girls that young when referring to body shapes and self image makes me sick and says much more about my little friend than it did me, but nevertheless, as ridiculous as it sounds,  I just don't think I was ever really able to shake that label: Fat in a Bathing Suit. 

At every stage of my youth, the insecurities with my body remained and despite small steps and chapters of acceptance and understanding of my shape and it's place next to the word beautiful, I've never been able to face down the bikini. It's just there. All skimpy and tight. Squeezing the tops of my thighs into submission and being a totally lame and unsupportive friend to my bits and bobs that are typically on maj lockdown (translation: boobs errywherr). And I don't like it. And it ruins my time at the beach. And I sit there, probably burning, wondering what my friends think, or what our complete stranger beach neighbors think, or heavens to Betsy-- what if I run into someone, probably a boy I like, at the beach who isn't quite my friend, but I know well enough to say hi, but they're like, shocked at my shape-- what will that hypothetical half friend/ half acquaintance/ probably a boy person think?! 

I've been able to get off scot free for years now. I think the last time was at the beach was maybe freshman year of college and I haven't missed it at all. Come to think of it, I can't even begin to count how many events I've passed up throughout my entire life to avoid being in a bathing suit. But last Friday, like a snake in a bush, I heard those words: 

"We should all go to the beach." 

There it was. Hanging. Like a noose. And this time there was no getting out. This Friday had already been reserved for days as "the last real weekend of college"-- the one we'd agreed to all block off and spend together. So, I agreed to go. Begrudgingly. I figured, why not, Julia-- this can be your one punch on the timecard for the next five years. But, I've spent the last week nervous and dreading today. Until something kind of funny happened. This past week, I've happened to read two separate and totally random pieces that are challenging me to truly, once and for all, rid myself of this body guilt and hiding and comparison and self-criticism that isn't worth all of the effort. The first was an excerpt from Anne Lammott: 

There's a whole chapter on perfectionism in Bird by Bird, because it is the great enemy of the writer, and of life, our sweet messy beautiful screwed up human lives. It is the voice of the oppressor. It will keep you very scared and restless your entire life if you do not awaken, and fight back, and if you're an artist, it will destroy you....

...Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen. Repent just means to change direction—and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn't mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.

The whole excerpt is gorgeous to me, but when I read that one line about the pools and jiggly tummy's, I had to read it four more times before I truly let myself believe that she was right. About bathing suits, but also about a million other things that are so worth doing, but require a potential of imperfectionism at some point. 

The second was a short and sweet, but funny little article on Hello Giggles called "The Best Advice Ever for Surviving Bikini Season." And do you want to know what that best advice ever for surviving bikini season is?
"How to get a bikini body: Put your body in a bikini"
Ah-hah!  Now there's a trick! So simple, it's almost like I could've been doing it the whole time. Oh wait-- I could've been doing it the whole time! When I read that put in such simplistic and wonderfully obvious terms, I felt almost guilty for wasting so much time and energy on such a no brainer. Wear the freaking bathing suit. Just put it on your body. And then stop thinking about it!

For some reason, the combination of both of those articles just really stuck with me for the last few days. Unlike a lot of other advice on this topic this time of year, both of these added no pressure or a need to meet halfway with a justification for why I am the way I am or how I should just "accept my quirky body, but still find a way to look past it and enjoy my life." 

All this to say that this year, I'm taking myself, my new, adorable J. Crew bikini (purchased on Tuesday at 11:00 at night and overnight shipped to get here by beach day), my two obnoxious boobs, love handles and white-out colored upper thighs and I'm going to the beach with my friends, dammit! And I'm not promising that I'm going to love it. I standby all of my previous complaints with conviction and and certitude. (Because the beach still kind of sucks...) But I will promise to do my best to embrace what I got. Like a freaking Dove commercial.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where has the time gone?


I think it is hilarious and extremely appropriate that the last time I posted on the blog was right before I bought all of the fabric for my senior collection. It perfectly sums up the fact that since spring break (and even during spring break), life has been a marathon.

Let's play a little catch up.

Mom and I had the. best. time. in New York even though it was real cold and I lost my beanie. I just really like that lady and I really like that city.
While I was there, I had a kind-of-sort-of-meeting/interview/more of a meeting than an interview at Ralph Lauren HQ. That was a weird moment. But also really great. More on that later.
We bought all of the fabric I needed for my senior collection and ate just about everything I could think of. It was a death row, last meal ever, name your favorite foods kind of weekend and I'm still thinking about that duck. Oh, baby. That duck. Also, there was that moment when mom did a shot with Lindsay which was hilarious and wonderful.

Ok so then after the shot and the cold weather and the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and the plates of cheese and the memories of the duck, I came back to Savannah in the middle of my spring break and jumped right into more work on my senior collection. Actually, instead of wasting time explaining in grueling detail the following weeks, let's just go with the fact that all of the weeks and all of the time after Spring Break have been a lot about-- no-- ALL about senior collection. And I'm trying to find a way to not make this sound like complaining because although I've been so constantly busy, it has also been some of my favorite weeks of college ever and definitely the best time I've had doing school work ever. Like ever. (Which says good things about my chosen career path, don't you think?) I know a lot of seniors who definitely do not feel that way, but I've had so much fun. Which is nice.

Alright. So that brings us to now. As much as I've wanted to post more in the last few weeks and keep everyone up on the progress of my work and my life, I found in the first two weeks of the quarter that this time was maybe best spent being completely consumed by it all. Shutting off my blogging brain, paying almost no attention to my other class (Business of Fashion) (a calculated risk), trying my best not to worry about the future or what comes after, committing to going to the fashion building every day and just living in the circus of senior collection, soaking up every minute of fun, stress, learning, laughter, and new, how-in-the-world-are-we-just-now-becoming-good-friends? kind of moments.

So I did. And it was wonderful. But now I want to re-cap the last few weeks of my life that have been so special and so honoring and so surprising that I want to honor them and cherish them before the memory of them fades.

In case you don't know, or in case I never really got around to posting a full explanation of what it was that I was actually doing for the past year (highly likely), a brief summation of my senior collection is as follows:

Julia lives in California
Julia moves to the heart of Georgia for College
Julia spends four years in Savannah, GA and discovers this wondrous part of the country
Julia learns that although wondrous, Savannah, GA could not be more different than Newport Beach, CA
There is tradition; There is history; There is heirloom
And there is something beautiful about all of that
Julia decides to dedicate her collection to the place she's called home for the last four years and to do a bridal collection inspired by the deep south and the culture of the south.
She calls it "The Farmer's Daughter is Getting Married"
And there, in a nutshell, is where Julia's mind has been for 12 months

This whole year has been laid out in a series of critiques and deadlines that, as seniors, we were expected to meet. At the beginning of the month, we had our final critique with all six of our looks in front of our professors, the fashion faculty and the Dean of the school of fashion. On this day, we also narrow down which looks we would cut if we were selected to be in the show. This was the first time I had seen all of my models in all of my clothes all at once and it was such a special moment. This day marked the end of the actual construction of the clothes.


That night, a list was released explaining who had made it to the next stage of the process, The Jury Show, a day that is broken up into two parts: Meeting with a  group of industry professionals and presenting your collection with a full set of branding materials (resume, business cards, leave behinds, labels in the clothes, hang tags etc.) and a mock fashion show later that day where in which the same set of jurors judge who will be shown at the fashion show. And I made the list!


The week in between the final critique and the jury show is quite emotionally and mentally deceptive. I'd spent the entire year on the inspiration and the construction of the clothes and seeing them on the models made me feel as though my work was done, but it was that last week of defining my collection in print materials and making sure that every stray thread was cut and every skirt was pressed that was maybe the hardest to motivate myself to do. The real relief came after the jury show when we were able to spend the evening celebrating our collections with our classmates watching our looks walk down the runway, knowing that at that point, the decision was completely out of our hands.

I've gained a bit of a reputation around the fashion department for being a bit of a grandma- always working in the early morning, never once pulling an all-nighter and barely ever going out on weekends with my classmates getting my drink on. But, after the jury show, there were celebrations. And there were drinks. And there were moments that resulted in amazing pictures like these.



After the jury show, we have to wait for TWO WHOLE DAYS to hear who had made the show. This is the part where I want to explain something super important. The list of students who get into the show and who do not get into the show is complete and utter bull. shit.
This is why:
If you completed your collection to the best of your ability, you deserve to be in the show.
If the finished product of your collection reflects your inspiration and the design you wanted to achieve, you deserve to be in the show.
If you meet with the jurors and appropriately explain and support your collection with adequate branding, you deserve to be in the show.

Unfortunately, there are always a handful of extremely talented students who's beautiful and deserved collections are not chosen to participate in the fashion show for reasons that aren't explained, but in no way are the collections that are put into the show better constructed, better designed or more deserving than the students who don't.

I have been lucky to know and get to know a handful of designers this year who inspire me, push me and are better than me and who happened to not get into the show, but I am grateful for knowing them and can't wait to see where their careers take them.

With that being said, the list was released on Monday and I was surprised and very excited to find my name on it. I am proud of my work this year with or without the Fashion Show (something that was my main goal from the very beginning) but to be chosen and acknowledged like that was a cherry on the sundae of an awesome experience.

The next week was a bit of calm before the storm, being completely finished with my garments, and for the first time in nine months, not having them in my possession. My mom, dad, sister and my Uncle Brad were able to come into town for the show, which was so so so special. A lot of my roommates' and friends' parents also came in for the show and we hosted a big BBQ in our backyard where there were a lot of long overdue introductions between people who have been hearing about each other for years now. Such a special night.



And then... there was the show!

The day of the fashion show, I was a total nervous wreck, which for me, translates to nearly no speaking and a very sensitive stomach. Super fun. Somehow, though, I was able to calm myself down while I was getting ready and by the time I made it over to the SCAD Museum, where the show was held for the very first time, I was so excited to just celebrate that moment. My mom asked me a few times how seeing my clothes walk down the runway felt- a lifelong dream and a year of hard work all culminating into a moment that you'd expect to be so emotionally overwhelming. It's hard for me to truly get excited about much. I maintain a fairly median range of emotion for just about everything. And even in a moment like that with so much behind it, I still remained relatively calm about it all. But, the fashion show was amazing, and seeing my clothes worn by beautiful women with the music playing was a moment that I'll never forget.






But truly, as cheesy as it sounds-- and believe me, we're talking a legendary amount of cheese, what has meant the most to me throughout this whole process is the encouragement that I've received from peers, friends of my family, classmates -- some who I know well and some of whom I've been grateful to get to know better, and professors. It's been the phone calls and the texts and the Facebook messages and the Instagram comments during the last year and especially the last few days since the show that have been so honoring and humbling and what has encouraged me to the point of writing this post today. Because if you are still reading this silly blog, I'm going to assume you are one of those people and I wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have taken a year and a time in my life that can, has, and will continue to be challenging and difficultly transitional and made it a memory of gratitude and shown me the specialty of community and support.

And now, I am going to do the thing that you are never supposed to do, which is call out the specific people (some of whom have no idea that this blog even exists) that have meant so much to me during this process.

Susie and Lindsay- I have walked through almost the entirety of my fashion degree with you both, I am 100% certain that I would've dropped this Fashion Major like it was hot about three years ago if it weren't for you both. You both challenge me as a designer and as a person to aim for better and see things in a way I naturally wouldn't. Our morning meetings at Foxy got me pumped for the day and have meant so much to me. I am eternally glad we are friends.

Michael and Hannah- You are both way more talented than I will ever be. An actual fact. I knew you both at the beginning of the year, but I am finishing this year with two more friends in you both. Thanks for always working in 202 and being willing to let me play my music out loud.

Baille- I don't know what kind of calendar you keep up there in Brooklyn, but you somehow perfectly mapped out the entirety of my critique schedule and your texts on those days meant more to me than you know. Your genuine excitement for my collection helped me be excited when I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Oli, Claire, Frances and Spencer- Here are just a few, fashion themed reasons why I love you all:
Pretending you didn't know what I was up to when I started to slowly take over the sun room with all of my mess of a fashion studio storage system.
Trying on my clothes after I brought them home and telling me they were cool.
Letting me monopolize conversation about every single detail of my collection for over a year.

Mom- Thank you for being ok with the fact that I wouldn't return your calls for weeks out of sheer exhaustion and continuing to send me money to live my life. Thank you for praying for me over the phone when I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Thank you for crying when my clothes came down the runway and then crying again when you explained the things you liked about my pieces.

Dad- Your texts and voicemails have meant so much to me this year. I know how much work they are for your technically challenged fingers to pull off, but I love every single one of them. You tell me you are proud of me and I believe it because you are a man of your word.

Kaitlin- I love being able to call you and talk about anything besides fashion. I appreciate your openness in conversation, a quality that I do not possess.

Other vital parts: Carole and Melissa, Casey, Ryan, Tracy Page, Auntie Anne, Gigi and Grandpa, Grandma Bunny, Tracy and Taryn, Doug and Carole, the Barnhardts......

Believe me. There are more. But I'll cap it at that or else we'll be here for a while.

Ok. Enough with that.

I have a business project the size of Texas that I have been avoiding for a week and a half. This sucker is the only thing that stands in the way of me and that polyester mess of a cap and gown next Saturday.

I'm going to blog more and that's a fact. This is the end of college. And that makes me sad. I have plans for the next couple of months that a lot of you probably already know and that I'll be sharing more about in the next couple of weeks, but it's important for me to process and go through this here with you all, the community and the people that have grown to mean so much to me. I've shared everything else with you for the last four years, so as hard as it is going to be for me to write about it, I'd love to share my thoughts on graduating here too.

PS-- a few awesome publications and websites have written about the myself and my senior class and our fashion show. Here are some links:

PPS-- if you weren't able to be at the show or watch it online yet, here is the whole shebang. Mine is the fourth collection. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

NYC




Getting excited about heading up to New York for Spring break with my mom. 

Officially, the trip is for fabric shopping for my senior collection. Off the books though, this trip is a very convenient excuse for quality time with my favorite lady, getting to see some very missed friends, spending time in one of my favorite places and so. much. eating. 

...So much eating. 

And to add a little more legitimacy (and pressure) to the trip, I just found out yesterday that I have an interview with a really awesome company on Thursday! Four hours after I get off the plane! Yikes. 

But seriously-- I feel like I have been counting down the minutes until this trip for the last 6 months and I still cannot wait for this quarter to end so I can get my Spring Break on already!  



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Qualified


The face of a girl who wants to be hired.
Today is all about cover letters.

The Runners



 This almost convinces me to try running again.

 Almost.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Net-twerking


I'm not much of a networker. I don't even like the word networking. I prefer the less threatening, less mature, but more pop-culturally relevant self-coined term of net-twerking). I feel sleazy and opportunistic when I talk about myself and my work or the fact that I am in need of work. With that being said, I feel that since you are all reading this blog by choice and therefore might be interested, I will share my professional victories and failures with you as friends and comrades in the fight for my future. 

So! Did you know that I've updated my website? Did you even know that I have a website? 

I did! And I do! 

And it has a lot of my work on it! 

Being the baby adult professional that I am, I have recently made a whole bunch of fancy net-twerking tools to have on hand like business cards and printed resumes on linen-y paper and a portfolio and leave behinds. It's quite surreal to be able to have a physical and visual representation of all of the work that you've spent the last four years working on and… if I'm being honest, I am proud of myself. 

The link for my website has actually been on this blog for a while, but I felt that it might be necessary to call it out since it is now officially finished (for now) and has some new work on it. Anyway, if you would like to check it out the link is www.julia-patton.squarespace.com.  I hope you like it!

PS-- the beautiful and cool photos of my work that are on the website were either taken by Kara Reichart or Oli Latinovich. Who are both crazy talented. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Galentine's Day


The Fourth Annual Galentine's Day Celebration happened two weeks ago, but.. ok... So I have to humble myself and admit something that brings me much embarrassment. 

I think I like Valentine's Day. 

In the past few years, completely unbeknownst to me, but entirely of my own volition, I have gone from absolutely loathing February 14th and going so far as to wearing all black in protest to organizing, hosting, and, worst of all, enjoying, my own annual all ladies Galentine's Day dinner party. I mean, I go all out. There are printed invites, menu deliberations, overly thoughtful inner-roomie valentine  card exchanges, decorations and many a-conversation discussing one's excitement for the upcoming day. And I wear all pink and red. I can't get enough of it. I dive in like it's a vat of melted fudge. (Which is also a great activity idea for next years party…)

The guest list and the menu of the actual party has ebbed and flowed throughout the years, but my singleness seems to be forever. So, I find myself coming to terms with the for-now-boy-less-ness of this holiday and finding solace in a day to indulge in all of the pinky, glittery, girliness that Valentine's Day offers to a bunch of ladies living together with no local boyfriends to speak of.

This year's Galentine's Itinerary

Dinner: Decadent.

Lindsay's Bruschetta
Claire's Shrimp and Grits
Oli's Waldorf Inspired Salad with candied walnuts
Frances' Roasted Asparagus
Julia's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
Susie and Spencer's Gin and Jam Cocktail
Conner's post dinner cheese and wine contribution 

Movie: Terrible.


The Valentine's released romance movies from the last Galentine's Days have defied all odds and gotten increasingly worse with every passing year. We started sophomore year off with the tragic amnesia/ love driven plot line of Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdam's in "The Vow" followed up by last years murder/ domestic abuse/ love driven plot line of Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough's "Safe Haven." Both completely terrible in their own way. 

But "Endless Love", the story of two recent high school graduates from opposite sides of the tracks falling into a renegade love story (complete with the classic plot twists of disapproving father/ a criminal past/ a restraining order/ a house fire/ the decision to choose between love and basically everything else in your life) surely took the cake as not only the worst Valentine's movie I've ever seen, but quite possibly, the absolute worst any kind of movie I've ever seen. Is it a love story? Is it a horror film? Is it supposed to be this bad? I still don't know. These factors actually translate into the perfect Valentine's day movie for any single lady-- nothing tears down any lingering feelings of loneliness or romantic jealousy like watching two idiots in love completely ruining each other's lives. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Middle of February

Olivia Latinovich brightens days and makes me wonder what could have been if I had ever been cool enough to be a cheerleader in high school. Never did have the ankle strength for that life though.  

These are two snapshots from a Sunday evening in my living room with not much narrative and nothing much to explain, but it's just like… who knew that pajamas, a reluctant reading of prose, a tupperware full of un-refridgerated parmesan cheese and these two class acts just really sum up the tone of my life right now and I never want things to change ever.

Chalk this one up to: "Things you see in Savannah, Georgia." 

And also: "Things you need to start appreciating now because it just hit you this week that graduation is officially 95 days away and although you have no idea what you're doing after that, you ain't gonna be here for much longer."