adventure: washington d.c.

my exhaustion after the past 24 hours is staggering but i cannot sit still. my fingers have been aching to type out exactly what i just experienced. i felt myself buzzing with energy so much that i could not sleep last night until about 4 am.

i thought about why i wanted so badly to go to the rally to restore sanity and/or fear. i watch the daily show and colbert report like clockwork. i sigh in relief as they mirror back to me my sensibility and make me see things i would have never noticed otherwise. i feel a part of this knowing community that just gets it as they do. but i am in my room, headphones on, laughing aloud with no one. this event was the first time i actually wanted to be part of a group, i actually wanted to be counted. i fit into the category he described and i knew that i would be there if i could. i knew that i would not want to miss whatever was going to happen. but the draw was wanting to be amongst the invisible like-minded masses i knew i was a part of.

with that being said, right from the beginning i was struck by the older crowd that rode the bus with me to dc. i was pleasantly surprised to find myself in this company of middle aged to elderly people that found the same things funny and important that i did. the crowd was a total mixture of people. humor crosses barriers like music.

after a long and uncomfortable ride [despite me having the only empty seat on the bus next to me, three feet of legs cannot be bent any which a way], i found myself alone, but not really in union station. As we approached I could see the droves all headed in one direction. I could feel the pull of humanity converging in one spot. Everyone sipping their coffees and wearing their fleeces in the chilly morning air. It seemed normal and extraordinary at the same time.

i began walking out from union station, eager to find my way, just following the crowd. overhearing the sparse conversations, i zoned out just anticipating the sight of the national mall. i wanted it to hit me what was happening and what i was a part of. i took pictures as i went and got noticed by a group of elderly white women from south carolina who told me i could hang with them. they noticed that i was alone and were absolute sweethearts, decked out in blue, visors, and buttons.

after passing by the capitol, i could see the washington monument and knew that we were there. the media barricade let me know i had arrived but also made me sigh a bit. especially the fox news truck. and i think everyone had that same response to seeing them there. but just as quickly as i may have sighed, i gaped at the huge crowd. i felt disoriented of not knowing where to go, but also by how many people were already there.

i felt myself scurrying to find my space, take pictures, and take it all in. music was playing, tea towels being handed out, costumes to notice, signs to read, and a bathroom to find. i was just kinda giddy and found myself smiling. i kept thinking of my sister who i knew would have been there if she could, and her telling me, i just hope people show. i just hope that its big. well, people showed. there were people for as far as i could see. it felt like being in the middle of living organism and for the first time ever, i was in a crowd and not nervous. not worried about someone swiping my bag or doing something nasty. people may be dressed up, being silly, and ridiculous, but there was not a hint of indecency.

i caught as many of the funny signs that i could and eventually found myself kind of positioned where i was going to be whether i wanted to be there or not. i could see a screen or three so i was happy. the screens played various videos from the build up to the rally, which created a different experience for me. watching clips in a huge crowd and laughing together was heartwarming.

once the show began it was an odd situation. i was excited to see the roots and john legend but i was also not around the most hype crowd. they also seemed to play some rather somber tracks, that along with some other guests, that numbed me a bit. i enjoyed them obviously but they did not elevate me the way the whole train sequence of songs did. i was so pleasantly shocked and surprised with each of those guests. being in the crowd was more of an experience than the content of the show itself. it spoke to what we already knew, and agreed upon with our presence. just as i began to get restless with my legs burning, jon began his closing remarks. he put the bow on it that i wanted and needed. he did what he always does for me by explaining it better than i ever could.

and i believe he it said it perfectly. the feeling of being there was that of civility, decency, and playfulness. there was a good sense of this being the group of people that i belonged to. and as someone who has never felt particularly patriotic her whole life, it was refreshing to see the america i belong to. i have always kind of felt proud to be an american in the sense that i would not want to be anything else, but there was nothing about us that made me uniquely happy.

but in these recent years of change and turmoil, basically the past decade, has shown us at our best and worst. i do believe more and more people are fighting for the better angels of our nature because the ground beneath our feet keeps shifting. its makes you realize even more what you have to value in order to survive. we will never be homogenized because we were not engineered to be so and what makes us amazing is how we function within our differences. how when we do converge great things happen, even if it is quietly. we do not have to scream about it, we just do it.

that is something i can be a part of. the unity of decency. our ability to co-exist and work together and to see how much that is hindered with falsity and corruption is sad. it is different when it is the rest of the world talking bad behind your back, its another thing when its you talking bad into the mirror. it was refreshing to feel that the people are aware and tired of being lied about and to. as difficult as things may be, we have not perished and if anything, we have had our egos checked. the common humanity of wanting to push forward together was felt and i think that is more our focus than what they would have you believe. having to dig through their white noise makes it difficult. it makes you question whether or not that is the point, but that gathering and the satellite rallies around the country and world [apparently up to 84 countries] told me that we are not wrong. that i was and will continue to be a part of community that will not pandered to. as jon said, seeing everyone restored his sanity and empowered my own. sometimes you just need to know that its not just you laughing alone to yourself. that someone else sees what you see.

though it seems to have baffled the talking heads, i know what i felt and experienced. i get to say i was amongst the counted of people who are rarely seen or heard at an event that will be referenced again and again. will there be some massive change? who knows. maybe just maybe we will get our news back, instead of people trying to be entertaining. but i think the simple fact that the rally occurred proves that change that is happening all around us and this was just a chance to be seen. to prove that it is legitimate and real. i'll never forget it. i find myself inspired to continue on this trajectory of just trying to be the best person i can be and push to be a force of good. design is in bed with the very thing we were rallying against. we study these manipulations. i made a conscious decision not to be a part of it and becoming an ethical designer and educator. its the small but important conflict that i choose to face. i think if more people figure out what their role is, because trust me you have one, we will be better off. if everyone stepped up their awareness and realized you do not have to be force fed anything.

funnily enough i cannot wait until the daily show and colbert report comes back on to comment on their own event and the coverage of it. but if there was anything else left to say, thank you to these gentlemen, their staff, and all the people who came out. the experience was truly made by you and will resonate because of you.

how cool was that though...we got to represent ourselves for a change.

and i was there. i will take being tired in exchange for that.


decision: adventures

so when i look back on all these ramblings, there is a sure common thread of wanting. of yearning to do the things that i dream about doing or see others doing. wanting to have the stories i listen to others tell. i put it rather plainly: i want life.

well now i am allowing myself this with what will be my adventures. taking the initiative to do what i want, whether or not anyone else around me wants to. i started to think of all the times that i had not gone to do something because i did not want to be alone. i wanted to experience it with someone else. movies i can always do alone but other events like concerts are meant to be enjoyed by a group or crowd. but now, forget about it. the other liked minded people in the crowd will be my gorup.

my first adventure: washington d.c. for the rally to restore sanity and/or fear this saturday. one blogger called this event our generation's woodstock. thousands will be flocking to the national mall and i knew that i could not miss this. unlike my sister who would be there except for her you know "life" i have no excuses. so i will be taking a bus day trip to the capital to enjoy a couple of hours of good time, community, and comedy.

i am excited. i am proud of myself for doing it and not just thinking about it. i was almost discouraged when no one i knew wanted to go as well but i know what means something to me and what i would regret if i was not there. i have seen it happen too many times to me [paolo nutini live, obama rally in stl, etc] and i could not bear to have it keep happening.

now the only issue is how often can i have these adventures? what can i do within reason?

uncle p is having a series of shows in nyc in december. and the real deal sealer, miss janelle monae will be there. the woman who i facebook messaged once i fell for her voice and actually got a reply. the woman who i told if i was a singer, i would want her voice. who i asked for hair advice [just leave it alone, apparently] the woman who i told that i admire and that i can say stands alone in the category of her contemporaries. i quite simply love her and i am proud of her like i know her personally.

i told myself if this happened i would be there. that was some wishful thinking months ago but it actually happened. the rationality in my mind says of course he will tour the whole country, not just nyc and to wait. the other part says, so what, you could afford it if you act now. you aint never been to nyc and never seen him or her for that matter. what could possibly be holding you back? it would have to work perfectly. nothing could go wrong. i would have to find a way to get tickets though they go on sale while im in dc.

are they both once in a lifetime deals? i don't know. do i wanna risk it? not really....

but to say the very least, i will be having my fun now. no holding back.

and of course now, i am sure others will be announcing tours [iamx??] and robbing me blind. but i would be soooooo happy.

decisions, decisions. decisions.

[i'm not gonna go to nyc but d.c. is tomorrow. i'll let u know!]


rambling: ooh wee sha sha coo coo yea

you know those moments when you stop and realize that change is actively happening right where you stand? not only is it happening but you are part of it. i feel that from time to time now. i can feel my mind expanding, my vocabulary being used and not hitting blank faces. i can feel myself learning and engaging. the blood pushing its way through my veins, not just passing idly by, taking a tour of the facilities. i feel happy, i feel alive. in the moment of consciously understanding where and why i am.

kinda heavy huh? but thats the things that have been on my mind as of late. i have always been of an older more mature nature but i feel as if i am not negating it. i am not trying not to be serious or trying to fit into what a typical 20 something is supposed to be. i am not settling. i am following that elusive inner compass and seeing where it takes me. its what lead me here, landed smack center of one of the most talked about design conferences to happen this year at a college whose reputation grows each day in a state that was just granted money from the government for education which is where my eyes point towards anyways. im under the wing of the woman that inspired me to believe that i could fuse together the two passions of my life.

for lack of better phrasing, i am supposed to be here.

i find myself alone here, broken between my room and studio. much like my undergraduate career. but there i had friends, my aces that grew closer to me as i withdrew from everyone else. they held me up often but distracted me as well. these distractions i welcomed with open arms and eyes as i needed some 'life'. i wanted my own stories and scars and surely i got what i sought. but what i did not see coming was how clearly i would be able to see myself after all of it. seemingly i had to lose me to find me. she was always there but she was happy to let others take the reins.

but now that i have the reins firmly in my hands, and i feel as if i know in general where i am headed, i am alone. are they mutually exclusive? i don't think so, but it depends on what i am willing to give. right now, i value my health and my work. sometimes these don't always sync up but i will say that i realize that for my sanity i have to be alone sometimes. i have to separate studio and home. i have to be allowed mental breaks, whether its as simple as watching the daily show & colbert report everyday, i must have voices in my head that are not my own and not other designers.

i love what i do but it will swallow you whole. i enjoy the company of my studio mates but i think i have gotten ready to find a niche here that is beyond their reach. i have never expected to find any more aces here, i knew i would find colleagues though. and there are some truly interesting figures and minds here. but of course, old habits die hard. i still find myself attached to a screen obsessing over some towering cultural figure in my life [currently, mr. prince rogers nelson, aka uncle p]

but one thing that i am reassured by is that i not only admire these people, i love them and see something of myself in them. it can be something very basic, but there is some connection there that gives me hope. take my dear uncle for example. he gives me faith that i can and will grow and change. that evolution as an artist and person do not have to be mutually exclusive. there is a peace to be had if you are not afraid to take a journey of course. there is something to be said of that man's fearlessness. there is something to be said about his spirit. his journey, as far as i can tell, is not a pretty one, its not wrapped in pretty little purple bow. and that just the tidbits you can discern here and there. its in the music from what i deduce. one of the things i love about him is how he communicates with such emotional honesty in his work, which is not easy.

there seems to always be a discussion of whether or not you respect and/or like that person outside of the work. well for me, he is somewhat omnipresent in my life as i can never imagine him not being there. that being said i realize and respect how utterly human he is. he grabs my heart with his search for peace, happiness, and love. i do not expect perfection. and as much i hope that the people i love are as lovely as they seem, the relationship that means the most to me is that 1 to 1 relationship i have with the sounds coming out of my speakers. its a way for me to have wisdom whispered in my ears and what i seek is a connection with what you are trying to communicate to me. thats the whole reason i fell for them in first place. they connected, they made contact and with him, he is hitting like .750. mind you, i still haven't heard everything. i have listened to twenty five albums in their entirety and still have some way to go. he does not make it easy and i think thats one of the things i enjoy. i like rising to the occasion that he sets out before me as a listener. sometimes i am rewarded, sometimes i shake my head, but either way i am engaged. i am elated he is still recording, performing but i am thankful to say i know what i behold now with him. i never got it before, but i do now. eyes wide open, heart even wider.

my name is mina and i am a purple hippie [ooh wee sha sha coo coo yea]

but i digress, just the ability to admire i think is valuable. to see beyond yourself and be able to praise, when seemingly so much of our nature is the opposite.

i had a thought last night, in one of my many late night thinking/talking sessions, that i could not think of a moment where i had done something so vile that truly haunted me. the things that i have felt shame for, have been forgiven by the people that i wronged in some way. but i do not have that one story that i wish i could fix. i think i am so aware of that now.

i am truly only here to facilitate and help those that i can. i like influencing people, whether it be giving advice or turning them onto some new music. i like leaving an imprint on a person. its just about the only thing i value. that my love for others causes me to want to do good, be good, and inspire good. i know that i inspire. people have been telling me for ages that they look up to me and it makes me aware that what i do has an effect. people look to me for cues that i just naturally send out i think. and to think i could lead someone astray by what i am doing, i think lupe fiasco said it best, i would rather not be remembered at all.

still a bit heavy huh? lol

i know but i figure, if i am in a moment where i can feel myself having an impact, i am not being distracted, i have the time to ponder, what better thing could i be doing? at least i know i can have an effect. i think we all can but that requires activity, not passivity. and that is not a punitive statement as people do have other more pressing matters. but one of the luxuries of academia is i don't.

its so obvious im meant to be an intellectual, its not even funny.

well just a bit. but i can truly say that i am happy. i am not complacent so expect some furor to manifest but seriously, "aint nothin ever came from complaining, 'cept a bitter heart." good ol uncle p.