Monday, August 13, 2012

Resolutions for the New Year

Seven days until 30. Seven days until 30. Seven days until 30.

I'm both dreading my upcoming milestone birthday and happily anticipating it. As a rock star from way back, my last milestone birthday was my 27th, at which point I had a "Dead at 27" get-together to celebrate the fact that years of unrelenting partying had not yet killed me, and I promised myself that I would be nicer to my body and mind from there on out. For the most part, I've kept that promise. Let's just say there have been way more mornings-after hangovers than apologies since then. Phew.

"Dead at 27" Rockstar Party (2009)
My 25th birthday allowed me not only cheaper car insurance, but more opportunity for college financial aid. It took me a year to act on that before returning to school, but in the meantime I found a cognitive behavioral therapist and prepared myself to be a happier, more productive person. By the time I signed up for classes at my community college, I was ready to commit. And now I'm only two semesters away from getting a degree (in a subject I love, no less).

The point I'm getting to with these cheesy-hopeful anecdotes is that I generally think of birthdays as personal New Years, involving much reflection and major resolutions, and despite hiccups along the way, this association seems to work to my advantage. Allow me to indulge in a now-typical, upper-middle class American way of assessing my decades in terms of "self": 

On a road trip with my friend Nicki when I was 25 (2007)
My teens were about learning how society outside my family unit worked, and dealing with the conflicts that those first independent interpersonal relationships bring. They were about being the center of my own universe, and thinking that everything happening around me was happening to me. They were about setting impossible goals and dealing with the inevitable disappointment that comes when you learn that perfection is unattainable.

My early twenties were about giving up completely and losing control. They were about total self-indulgence and fighting to be someone who I was not. Luckily, they soon started being about exploring my self, my interests, my motivations, and my true sources of happiness. They were about learning to maintain good relationships and end bad ones. Most recently, they've been about self-awareness and commitment to living my own life to its fullest potential.

At a printmaking show I was in last fall, age 29 (2011)
And what do I expect my 30s to be about? What do I want to focus on?

Fighting self-doubt. Feeling good about who I am in the present, even as I seek to improve that person. Saying no when I mean it, rather than giving someone that cowardly "maybe" when I know that's not the truth. Living by example and practicing what I preach. Taking risks where they're most needed - in my art and in love and in support of my principles.

The way to reach these goals, of course, is to break them down into manageable mini-goals, which I already have in mind. I will, however, wait to elaborate on these in another post, as this has been a lengthy enough soapbox stand already. Cheers.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I miss THIS.

Since I've last written, I moved out of the apartment I was sharing with Sarah and into a new one with another roomie who ended up leaving halfway through the lease. And, luckily for me, Sarah moved into this new place with me a couple weeks ago. Due to this shifting of space and roommates, a lot of reorganization has been needed on my part. So, I have spent many hours sorting through scattered masses of notes, diaries, travel journals, and other random scrawlings. This, of course, led to countless hours of procrastination in between, during which I decided to reread many of my online blog entries from the past couple of years. Spending so much time reviewing this blog (and all the writings that could have been a part of it) has made me realize something: I miss personal blogging. A LOT.

Why did I quit?

I suppose because I've been trying to turn my online efforts toward more professionally productive avenues, such as building my artist's website ( and a Tumblr account ( to go with it. There were business cards to be made, artworks to be photographed, and even a QR code to be created that needed to lead my contacts to a self-made mobile site. With all of this artistic ammunition in hand, I attended my first SGC printmaking conference in New Orleans.
"It's For The Best" Litho by N.Rice (2012)

But that conference took place in March, and since then, outside of creating some awesome new prints, I was just doing a lot of Facebooking. (I also traveled to Amsterdam, started working on music with a new band, and dealt with all sorts of man-drama in my personal life... all quite noteworthy ways to spend one's time, but those stories are for another day.)

And so I'm back!! I'm turning 30 in 13 days, am about to start my LAST year of art school (yes, I will actually have a degree soon, and after only 12 years of on-again-off-again college attendance), and I'm not about to miss out on documenting the achievements and horrors that are sure to befall me over the next year. Riding on the cusp of thirty has me doing all sorts of reflecting, analyzing, obsessing, and promising myself changes in lifestyle and thought patterns. I need to share it all somewhere, or my life may as well be a tree falling in the forest, with no one to hear it.

So, can we take the next hour and talk about me?

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