Think Less, Live More


Cosmetology school is hard. Not “bachelors in psychology” hard, not “this statistics class is so confusing” hard, not “I live in India and have had E. coli for 3 weeks” hard, but it’s hard. It’s a different form of learning and living.

I don’t always want to touch people. A lot of times, my anxiety is through the roof and hearing a thousand blow driers doesn’t exactly help. Sometimes clients are rude, ungrateful, weird… Sometimes I don’t want to give a hand massage to a total stranger. Sometimes I think I never want to give another haircut again in my entire life.

But I try to remember that every moment is temporary, so I can choose which ones I hold on to. I can constantly think about the client who was rude to me after I gave her the raddest highlights ever, or I can think about the client who squealed and hugged me after I colored her hair cherry red and gave her a cute bob. I remember my nice clients; they come back to me, and they’re excited to see me and chat. I don’t need to hold on to the bad experiences, because they’re just memories…neither of us wants to see the other again.

I’m lucky to have some amazing friends, both at school and in other parts of my life, who give amazing advice. They remind me that I’m new at this, so nothing will be perfect. They remind me it’s totally normal to be scared, because if I wasn’t terrified I probably wouldn’t try very hard. They tell me I’m gonna be a badass stylist someday (and they’re right). They tell me they’re scared too. They say, “Think less. Live more.”

Analyzing the unknown is futile. There are too many possibilities to predict what could happen, and it would be a waste of my life to even try. So every day, I’ll work harder to just live. I’ll prepare myself the best I can, but the rest is out of my hands.

This might be tricky, but I’m gonna try it out.

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I Live in Mist


What is it about weather that inspires us to write? More specifically, why are we always moved by rain? I suppose rain symbolizes new beginnings as it cleans the streets and helps the crops and flowers grow. I think there’s something more, some other reason that we like to write poems and songs and entire novels about rain. But I have a feeling that by the end of this particular post, that reason will remain a mystery to me.

It’s absolutely pouring here. Monsoon status rain outside my window…and I don’t take monsoon rains lightly, having been caught in several during my stay in India…but I don’t think I’ve ever seen rain this powerful in this tiny little town, and I just love it. All my windows are open, and I went outside on my tiny porch to feel the mist on my face. It’s just…wonderful. It made me write.

I’m scared and anxious lately because I move out of my college town in three days, and within a few weeks will be living in Portland. I want everything to be for sure: I want a nice, cheap apartment in a good part of town. I want a job (literally any job). I want to be happy there. I want to know things about my future in Portland, but unfortunately that’s the weird part about making plans for the future…you never really know anything until it becomes the present. It’s exciting, all those unknowns, but in another sense it’s really really not. It’s just terrifying.

I went to India basically on a whim. I mean, I was heavily invested in going, and I researched a lot, but there’s no way to be prepared for what India presents you with. I just sort of showed up, very white and very naive, with a lot of sunscreen and Pepto Bismol in my suitcase. And I was fine. I survived. I got e. Coli, which was absolutely horrific and not really an experience I’d recommend to a friend, but I totally survived. And I loved my time in India. Every experience was new and exciting, every conversation challenging and beautiful.

So I guess I just need to pretend that this massive new step in my life is like traveling to India. It’ll probably be easier, now that I think of it. I’m relocating from one town in the Pacific Northwest to another (albeit much larger) city. My apartment was dingy, plain, and randomly full of tiny lizards in India…wherever I live in Oregon will be a step up. I’ll have my health. I’ll have a fantastic roommate who cares about me and will look out for me if needed. I’ll have every new opportunity I could ever imaging presenting itself to me, all while wearing the cool vibe of Portlandia…

I’m still terrified. But maybe I can be terrified in a way that at least puts things into perspective. I had this same mini-panic a few weeks before I went to India…this time last year, actually. I just sat there and thought, “I cannot do this.” But I did it. I’m kinda awesome.

It’ll be more than fine. This new part of my life is going to be epic. 

You guys, I figured it out. Just now, totally unexpectedly as a breeze ran through the window I’m sitting next to: it’s rain smell. Rain smell, combined with all those other cleansing qualities and new opportunities that rain represents. It’s rain smell that inspires us, with its woody, green notes and crisp coldness. No matter where I travel, rain smells like the Pacific Northwest. Even when I was in India, rain brought me home.

Little Squeaks


Last night, I was really worried there was a mouse in my apartment. A real one, with little ears and whiskers and possibly rabies, and it made me very nervous. Now, remember, I pride myself on not being creeped out by bugs or snakes or small rodents (except squirrels, because they’re always up to no good). But when there’s a possibility that one is hiding under your bed hoping for a nighttime snack, it’s a whole new situation.

I heard a few squeaking noises, which I initially thought were coming from my toilet (and let’s be honest, that’s entirely possible…my plumbing isn’t exactly up to par) and then I heard something fall down (another moment of honesty: things fall down a lot in my apartment because I apparently don’t know how to hang stuff properly). I never figured out what fell, exactly, and I was incredibly sleep deprived from an insane two weeks of manic test-taking, so it’s very possible that I’d been hallucinating or something. 

I was still pretty paranoid, and I have to admit I did sit on my bed in terror for a few minutes (hours), and I looked under my bed half-expecting to have one of my eyeballs gnawed off. After walking around my apartment (crouching, really) kicking everything to make sure my mousey friend wasn’t hiding in or under it, I came to the conclusion that there’s a 99.9% chance that I’m losing my marbles and there is not a mouse in my house (har har). 

So I guess if Little Squeaks (that’s his name, obviously, especially because I’m hoping he’s really small) does live here now, he and I will just have to coexist for the rest of the semester. I do have plenty of cheese.