Musing on Twenty-Two

It’s easy to write when you have an idea of what you want to say — or what you want to give up. It’s harder to write when you’re not quite willing to let that shell inside of you crack open. 

    

I will say though, that I’m happy — for the most part — I’m happy. I see that it’s possible and while some days are harder than others, most days are just perfect. 

    

Perfect in a way that from the outside you’d think I had it all — and I think I do, most of the time. I’m quite aware of the fact that I’m incredibly lucky sat where I am. 

    

My soul is a bit melancholic though — there’s a certain kind of sweetness to it — and I can say with certainty that sometimes I just like the taste. 

    

I tried to give up sugar for a whole month in September. I ended up having to have cheat days, but that was mostly to curb the insanity. It’s a hard thing to do and I have mad respect for those who can do it with ease.

    

I’m not entirely sure why I stopped writing. I think the summer went by all too fast, those last two months especially, and while I was sad to see it go I was expectant for the year ahead — it held so many unknowns. 

    

A couple things I did know was that I was moving in with my best friend and while neither of us would say we have it all together, we’ve made a little home for ourselves here. We’ve carved out a little space for ourselves in this city that’s just ours and while it might not be glamorous it’s pretty fucking cool. 

    

Halloween is coming up, which also means so is my birthday. I’ve always been kind of bitter that those two things almost go hand in hand. Dressing-up Halloween PTSD? But twenty-two seems fairly significant if not just for the repetition of digits. It’s hard not to get Taylor Swift stuck in your head when you think of it. The funny thing is, though, I’m not actually feeling twenty-two. If I’m honest I feel much older than that most times, so when I think of another year gone I can’t help but think of another year older. 

    

Another year and not much closer to finding myself. 

    

And maybe you never quite do. 

    

I was reading Meg Fee’s blog and in one of her essays she said she wouldn’t want to relive her twenties. It was something that made me think I was on a similar path...because so far they have been really hard. They’ve changed a whole heck of a lot in me, but they’ve been all about facing my fears. A constant battle between that little voice inside my head saying ‘I can’t do it’ to another saying ‘i have to’. 

    

And while that’s exhilarating, it takes a toll. And sometimes it feels a little relentless. And it feels like everyday you wake up it’s the same struggle between the two, over and over and over again. 

    

I guess what I want to know is if it gets any easier? If there’s a place in between here and monotony. Between waging a battle every morning and living in a cyclical routine. Or maybe my personality or even just life is one of two extremes and some seasons call for one over the other. 

    

Maybe your twenties are supposed to be extremes and as you get older the gap slowly closes until it’s not much of a gap at all.

 

In which case, I'm one year closer. And that's something to celebrate.

Femme Love

 

"I'm a feminist. I've been a female for a long time now. It'd be stupid not to be on my own side." ~ Maya Angelou

If you haven't watched Wonder Woman yet...what are you doing with your life? GO! Within the first 20 minutes I was overcome when a wave of emotions washed over me. It was in the middle of a battle scene and I felt like crying — not because people were dying or because it was necessarily supposed to be sad, but because I realized the weight of this moment. I realized how badass we are. How we don't need a man saving us to make a blockbuster movie. How we shouldn't need the Bechdel test to gauge whether a movie has equal gender representation. And how silly it is that we've had to wait this long for a female role like this. 

You might think this is silly, and that it's not even worth writing about, but when I was sitting in the theatre and Wonder Woman jumped into the air, nothing can beat the feeling of when I saw the little girl in front of me throw up her hands just as Wonder Woman blasts her enemy. Nothing in the world. Unlike so many of us, this little girl will grow up with a female film protagonist to look up to. She'll watch it over and over again and know that Wonder Woman's love for mankind was greater than her love of that one man. She'll know that this love is what gave Wonder Woman her strength. And that this love is all she needs too. 

And I don't think that is silly at all. For if more little girls knew this, there's no stopping what we could do. 

I couldn't tell you the exact moment when I became a feminist — just like I can't tell you the exact moment I became a Christian. However, I know Emma Watson's speech in 2014 had a lot to do with the way I viewed feminism. Since then I've come to realize that it's not something to be ashamed of or to keep quiet, because I have a burning fire in my heart to right so many wrongs and this is just one of them. This is just one of the things, and it's got to be loud in order to be heard. 

So here are some things that make me go "heck yes!" to all of the femme love. I wish my bank account allowed me to sport all of these...I might just have to get that jean jacket though  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

all about type

The first year of my Communications degree I took a class that pretty much everyone agreed was the biggest waste of time, ever. Well it turns out that maybe, perhaps, it wasn't that useless after all. I've always enjoyed good design and I'd like to think I had an eye to say what was good and what wasn't, but it wasn't until we watched a documentary in this particular class, that I realized something incredibly significant: type. 

LOGODESIGNLOVE

The documentary we watched was "Helvetica" (you can watch it here) and I've since watched it a couple times. Rick Poyner, a British writer on design, graphic design, typography and visual culture says in the film "Maybe the feeling you have when you see particular typographic choices used on a piece of packaging is just 'I like the look of that, that feels good, that's my kind of product.' But that's the type casting its secret spell." 

It's hard to watch a documentary like Helvetica and not look at the world in a completely different way. I'm reminded of an interview with Stephen Colbert where he jokingly mentioned his ear and said "once you see it, it can't be unseen!" And I think in a weird way, in my case at least, that can be applied to type as well — it's not something I can just gloss over, it demands to be seen. 

It's been said that, "Good typography is invisible," and I think Helvetica is a very good example of this being the case. It's everywhere you look. Anything you wish to look modern and simple and clean, you use Helvetica. Brands like American Apparel, adidas, Sears, TARGET, NIKE, The North Face — they all use Helvetica! And yet do they all convey the same feeling? No! This is in part due to good branding, but can be attributed to Helvetica's design too. It came out of a need for rational typefaces that can be applied to any situation, that's both intelligible and legible. 

Most type can be broken down into two categories, serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have the little feet on the bottom or the top of the principle strokes of the letter — in a way it adds a bit of flair, but it also helps guide your eye as you scan a page of text. Sans Serif fonts like Helvetica — especially Helvetica — are stripped down completely and lack these "feet". They're fonts that can mean anything and in that way Helvetica has become ubiquitous. In it's birth it helped designers with anything they needed to spell out loud and clear "modern" and yet now Helvetica has become a default, from sign systems to brands to fonts on computers its always there, but never noticed.

I think typography today is embracing both modernity and fluidity; where before a typeface was an invisible vessel in which to hold something, today it wants to be noticed. Just like a brand wants to standout in it's competition, so does typography and design. The thing that I think separates today's typefaces and designers is that instead of free creative reign, they're really dancing between two lines: modern and garish. And in this endeavour I believe it wants to be noticed.

That being said, maybe I just have an eclectic taste when it comes to typography. I'm neither a sans serif puritan or a serif fanatic, I just like what I like. At the end of the day it's relative, right? That's not to say certain typefaces don't irritate me in certain circumstances. One of my biggest pet peeves is using sans serif fonts that have rounded edges like Comic Sans or Calibri for documents that are supposed to be professional. Just don't do this okay? 

Type is saying things to us all the time. Typefaces express a mood, an atmosphere. They give words a certain colouring.
— Rick Poyner