This is a blog about making do. . .and liking it.
Before I headed into the real world, I drafted all these ideas of how I wanted to live my ideal life: Fair trade coffee! Salsa dancing classes! Farmer’s markets! Volunteering 5 nights a week! Billy Joel on loop 24/7!
I wanted to be a renaissance woman. The kind who sews all her own clothes (in a fashionable way, not a “missionary barrel” way), thus avoiding sweatshops. The kind who cooks recipe-less gourmet meals on a whim using produce from her own organic garden. The kind who is able to sit at any instrument and finger out a flawless melody whenever she feels like it. The kind who does it all with ever-manicured nails, natch, because try as I might, I still get sucked into our society’s stupid image values sometimes.
The idealist in me was stopped short when I graduated from college with a degree in Psychology (a pseudonym for “utter uselessness”) and two (2, zwei, 1+1=) dollars in my bank account.
I sat down and took a long look at my ideal, renaissance life. My Renaissanced self. Then I looked at my reality and my real self. The contrast was stark. I thought, “Maybe I’ll wait until graduate school is over before I try this whole ‘renaissance life’ thing.”
I’ve realized, though, that one does not become a Renaissance person overnight. On the contrary, one becomes a Renaissance/accomplished/fulfilled person one step at a time. One overcome failure after another. I can’t live life exactly the way I’d like or be exactly the person I’d like to be right now. But life, if I may beat a dead metaphor with a big stick, is more about the process of the journey than the destination, anyway.
I’m now on a mission to work as many of my ideals, dreams, and ethical values as possible into my teensey graduate student budget and my very full grad student life. I buy my coffee fair trade and drink it once every 3 weeks. I have one really nice chef’s knife and anyone who misuses it is at risk of being injured with one of my very bad, very dull kitchen knives. Salsa dancing is off the drawing board for now, and Billy Joel only reigns supreme in my life courtesy of Youtube. (You may call me cheap, but I prefer the term “resourceful”).
I’m not the 21st century’s Leonardo DaVinci, or even my generation’s Martha Stewart. And I can’t promise that the hobbies I attempt or even the person I attempt to be will live up to the title of “Renaissance” I’ve so loosely applied to this blog. But I’m determined to enjoy the process of documenting my attempts to thrive in this renaissance-laced reality of mine.