I love sitting on the back porch of my host family’s house, drinking tea, listening to my spotify playlist titled “i drink coffee" and blogging. The sun is currently setting behind Pikes Peak and giving the clouds surrounding it a pinkish tint. Its sometimes hard to enjoy the little moments like this when you’re constantly going from thing to thing. I love doing everything I can possibly do- especially when it comes to being outside. If someone randomly suggests a hiking trip, it’s pretty hard to turn it down. (I write this with the knowledge that I’ll be waking up at 4:30 tomorrow to hit another 9mile hike up Horn Peak.) I think it is important though to make an effort to just sit, find peace and contemplate life.
About a week ago I got an email from a professor, reminding us that we should be well into our required summer reading and artistic process for our senior capstone class. (Of course I’ve been doing that... *shakes head*. (side note for those of you who are wondering what a senior capstone class is- it is a class that art major seniors take. We explore something we are interested in within our medium and produce a body of work to display in the gallery based on that. We can do basically anything, but there needs to be a process behind it. Since it is a capstone class, this project will be a key component of my portfolio in the future)….So I once again walked around Anthropologie and sat in Barnes and Nobles, looking over everything from vegan cookbooks with beautiful photography to fat theology books on religion across cultures. Anything to spark inspiration. As concepts came to me, I doodled them in my little leather- bound journal from Paris.
So what have I come up with for my capstone project? I’ve got a long ways to go, but it has all sparked off of a few things I have been passionate about lately. As many of you know, I am in love with brand development. That is what I want to do someday and I could talk for hours about how brands impact consumers. So naturally, whatever I do, I will create a brand. Now, another thing I am slightly obsessive about is economical, and healthy lifestyle. I care about how I spend my money, how I spend my time, and what type of food I put in my body. For example, as fairly strict rules, I only shop for clothing at thrift stores (because the clothing economy is so messed up) and I don’t eat processed food. I also think our culture would be better if families spent more “vacations” outdoors- hiking, camping, canoeing, you name it- instead of at expensive theme parks and resorts where we are influenced to only spend more money. I sometimes wonder, if more people had thoughts on this stuff like me, would our society change? What if young kids became passionate about living a more economical and outdoorsy lifestyle?
That doesn’t answer the question I know. But the direction I am tentatively going in is creating a series of children’s books- lots of hand lettering and watercolor scans- about places to travel and stuff to do outside. Books fun for anyone to look at, but designed in a children’s book sort of way.
Exactly a week ago today, myself and three other interns crammed into the back seat of Jason’s jeep, with Jason at the wheel and another intern at shotgun (saving gas money and being all together were priorities here). We drove for 3 hours through the beautiful Colorado county-side- seeing little old western towns set in-between groups of mountain ranges. Then we hit “the dunes”. As our little group crossed the huge piles of sand, I felt like I was walking across a set from Star Wars- like when Luke is on Tatooine in the old films. It was hot, and climbing the dunes was an intense calf workout. There was also no win with the shoes- if you ever go sand-duning (I just made up that verb…) be warned. The sand was about 140 degrees so it burned your feet if you wore sandals. But if you wore sneakers or hiking books, the sand filled them right up. No win.
So I was able to cross the “see sand dunes” off my bucket list, but after seeing people slide down the dunes on some form of snowboard, I added something else. Another thing that has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember is white water rafting. And as of today, that is checked off as well.
Before I get to that, I will back up to yesterday. I saw a friend from NY, from high school soccer, that I hadn’t seen in years. One of the benefits of social media is that she knows I’ve been here all summer and when I saw that she was at the Springs airport, flying in for a huge conference, we were able to connect. After work and a marketing team picnic yesterday, I met Chelsea at Panara Bread right down the road from FOTF. Some people change a lot over time, even if it is only a couple years- I know I have. But sometimes, even though people change, you’re still at the same level/ same stage in life as them. That was the case with Chelsea and I. Our friendship was able to pick up where we left off and I was blessed by that. A familiar face, a cup of iced coffee, and in a city I love. What more could I have asked for for my Friday night?
Now. back to the white water rafting… This morning, bright and early our big group of interns met at FOTF. We all had our morning faces, cups of coffee and backpacks with towels. From there we carpooled about two hours to “The Surf Factory”- a whitewater rafting guide group near Browns Canyon. We were “trained” when we arrived about safety, what to do if we fall out, how to paddle, and all that stuff. Then we hit the water. Luckily today was hot- because Colorado water is cold and the rapids were pretty high. There was 5 interns and one guide per raft. The guide would yell stuff as we hit rapids like “forward” or “left backward”- and we responded in a (basically) viking-like manner, paddling as a team. There was one opportunity we had, where we were allowed to jump out and hang onto the side of the raft as we floated through smooth water. Apparently the only reason we all jumped in was because we needed to pee, but nobody said that until the end of the trip.
A couple girls in some of the other rafts fell out, but were pulled in easily. No damage. Our guide was super chill and had good conversation with us and we took the opportunity to explain further what FOTF was after he asked what our positions at Planned Parenthood were. After filling up with food (which always tastes better after doing any form of exercise for an extended period of time), we headed back to the Springs.
Now here I am, ready for another exciting trip tomorrow- bright (or not so bright) early in the morning. Its crazy, and kind of saddening to think that we only have two weeks left. But its all the more motivating to appreciate and love each moment and opportunity here.