A Year of Me Figuring it Out

If you’re not into swear words, I highly recommend not reading the next year’s worth of content because I’m pretty sure it’s going to be full of swear words. Sorry not sorry in advance and for the impact my words have on your eyeballs (Sorry mom. Love you!)

I am tired of structure. I think because of how much structure I’ve incorporated into my life after college (meals, finances, work, etc.), there’s nowhere for my chaos to go and it leaves my brain very cluttered and filled with some straight nonsense making it quite difficult to sort what is what. I’ve decided that since I originally wrote this blog for me I’m going to keep to that theme and start creating whatever it is that drives me.

If you go back and read some of my old stuff, you’ll see that I try to have some sort of header, main content and a feel-good ending or some theme I’m trying to get across that day. Even now I’m still sub-consciously writing this post in a “blogger’s voice” or whatever it’s called.

And you know what? That type of content is BORING ME RIGHT NOW. I don’t want to write tiny essays on the 10 ways Cancer Impacted My Life or How I Got an Internship I Forgot I Applied For (both of which are sitting in my drafts. Maybe I’ll publish them. Who knows).

I want some weird content that’s all over the place. I want poems that might be love letters to a stranger or 3am thoughts that mostly make sense but probably not. I want to write posts that are all of a sentence long but make me think about its purpose for HOURS. I want to put up my art that’s really not great but I’m proud of it because I made it. I want to create videos and talk about my favorite plants while sitting in my bed eating some popcorn.

I want to look back on this and think, “Wow. 24-year-old Dana is learning and growing and falling in love with being a creator again.”

I want to allow chaos to reign control over my blog because it’s more fun for me to be creative in an open structured environment rather than feeling the pressure to follow a cookie-cutter structure that every 20-something blogger has.

I like freedom in my art. I’m not in college anymore and I’m not making this blog for a grade or to please anyone.

Perfection is not the game. But joy is.

So I’m going to have some fun this year (wherever it can be found) and share. You get the pleasure of seeing the unscripted and unedited Dana brain unfold on your screen. Have fun! And honestly? Good luck.

Until Next Time,

Dana

I’m not a fan of it, but I’m learning how to deal with it

Hello World!

So the big topic that we have decided to discuss this month is change. Now, change is not my favorite thing to deal with. I like routine. I like the familiar and I feel a bit discombobulated whenever I get thrown out of it. That is not to say that I have not worked on trying to get better with it.

In my life, I would say that there have been four major changes in my life that have impacted me and thrown me for a major loop. The first major change was when I was seven. My family moved from the town where I was born (Janesville) to a whole new town (Portage) about an hour and a half away from everything that I had known. The second major change in my life was when I moved to a new state to go to college (in Winona) and my parents moved from the town that had become my home (Portage) to a new town (Elkhorn) the same week. The third major change was when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree and moved back in with my parents (in Elkhorn) for nine months before I started my Graduate program. And so naturally the fourth change was when I moved back to Winona, started a new course of study, a new job, and lived in my own apartment for the first time.

I will not try to sell you that I was happy with most of the changes (although I was pretty happy with my move after I graduated from Undergrad). In fact if you were to ask my Dad how I was when I found out about any of the moves, how I was during the moves, and quite possibly how I was for the year after each move, he would probably tell you that I would be described as  happy camper. But I survived each one and can now look back and say that they each helped me grow.

The one change that I learned the most about myself was when I moved to Winona for my undergrad. I learned how to create my own schedule and stick to it. I learned that I could create relationships with people without having to have someone that I trusted standing next to me. I learned how to balance my life so that I didn’t get overwhelmed or too stressed (stress in itself is unavoidable in life I am afraid). I even picked up photography and started to draw more with that move. But that is not to say that there were not many days and nights when my loneliness was not all consuming or that I worked myself up overthinking every part of my life. That is not to say that there were not times that I wanted to jump in a car and go back to my home in Portage and hide out in my basement (it is probably a good thing that I did not have a car with me for the entirety of my Undergrad…). But slowly but surely I tested something new, when I felt comfortable enough to do so, until I had a life that I was content with and didn’t feel like running away as much (there were still days when I wanted to go hide away but not as many as there were at the start).

During this most recent move, I have reacted the best (I would say so anyway, you can ask Dana or Lilly and see what they have to say about it). What I have found works best for me is to just drive around and just see what is in the town and what is close by. Once you know what is close by, you can make little plans to go to different stores to see what options you have and then eventually you get into the swing of things. You have a routine that feels familiar but is different from your old routine but that is okay because it fits in your new life. I also recommend checking out all of the different coffee shops you can because any obstacle in life is easier to manage when you face it with a good cup of coffee.

It’s okay to be afraid of changes. But in the end, life moves on and the changes that you thought were huge just become a part story in your life.

Embrace the changes you face, or at least try to with a good cup of coffee in your hand 🙂

Emily

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My name is Lilly and here are the basics. I’m Christian, I’m asexual, and I love people almost as much as I love dogs. I have generalized anxiety and bipolar disorder, I collect hats, and I have what I hope is a charming tendency to overshare. So here’s a little bit more about me, your third co-contributor to this new year of My Bright Corner.

When Emily is behind the camera

Momentary sidebar: less about me and more about us. Dana and Emily are two of the coolest people who have ever existed. They are kind, openhearted, gentle (yes you are, Dana), and bold (yes you are, Emily). The three of us are an unusual trifecta. We are simultaneously incredibly different people and yet somehow are exactly the same. I love these guys, and participating in this blog took very little convincing. I’ll snatch up any opportunity to work in close proximity (even if that is an internet-based proximity and not a physical location) to these two crazy and wonderful goons.

Alright, now time to crack down on the details of who I am. I’m 22. I am a senior at Amherst College in Massachusetts. I am a studio art major and formerly a computer science major (more on that later). I currently work as a barista at a super strange and wonderful international student cafe: Shiru Cafe. Give it a google, y’all. It’s pretty neat.

My life has been a wild ride. A very wild ride. My friends have been instrumental in keeping me grounded and about as sane as any of us can be. Beyond that is my faith in Jesus. God is a cool bean (yeah that’s an understatement) and I’m obsessed with talking about Him, so I’m sure that’ll come up in future posts. Feel free to ask me questions, but remember that I am no theologian so I won’t have all of your desired answers. But I do know what I believe and I am so ready to talk about that.

I have almost 50 hats, a collection that only began a little over four years ago, a majority of which are gifts. There’s a story behind that too, which I’m sure I’ll share.

I am a storyteller. I am currently working with a few other incredible young women on a few works. Basically, we are making the wild mistake of trying to write three different novels at once, since we just can’t decide on which one we want to give the most focus.

What else…

Molly Mae gives me life

I’m the youngest of four, and I have a niece and a nephew. I’m afraid of heights, boats, and spiders. I love to travel (though I can’t stand travelling alone). I’m obsessed with elephants and mustaches and Dungeons and Dragons. I like to write fiction and code (but I don’t program often). I like making things. I get bored easily. I love people but they suck sometimes. I have chickens and gerbils and dogs and they are amazing creatures who deserve love, and generally, people deserve love, too.

I often panic about what my future holds as I don’t have a single post-graduation plan, but as I try to figure that out, I turn to God.

With that, I’ll leave you with my favorite Bible verse.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

Yours truly,

Lilly