Disconnect to Reconnect

i was a doll in a pretty dress
pretty depressed
candied eyes and darkened hair
i was pretty in a red polka-dotted dress
a rotten mess
a dress 
by definition was meant for me
would i by accident be a ragged doll?
without polka-dotted dresses and braided tails
would i be lighter than air 
and have mouth of poetry to tell?
would i stop existing 
to befriend the clouds?
would i take off this life 
and bathe in honey-mooned vows?

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I began my winter break in mid-December.
At my school, it's a 7-week break. Generally, I'm a busy-minded person, so I constantly want to have something that I have to do or want to do. Hence, during this long break, I've been feeling like I have too much spare time. The thought was quite daunting at first.

But like most things, everything happens for a reason. This change of atmosphere and lifestyle has allowed me to grow a lot mentally and physically.

During the last few days of the semester, I began disconnecting from certain things and certain people in my life. Looking back, I don't think it was frankly the most thought-out decision; however, it was perhaps a needed change.

Being away from the city this break, I've had a lot of time to disconnect. For instance, I post far fewer images on Instagram. (I know, I know. It sounds superficial.) I've had more time to observe and draw, to sit in nature and just breathe or watch the sunset. I've learned that life can be quite mundane. And I've been writing a lot more (especially in my journal and on my blog). I also started my much delayed novel project.

I've also been reading some very thoughtful content. For my ride to Southern California, I ordered the first issue of The Messy Heads and spent about 2 weeks reading it. The issue has original writings from a varied range of artists (of different mediums) such as Cybelle Alexis, Haley Madison, and Cartia Mallan. The experience of actually reading the magazine was joyous and inspiring, because they're people I've been seeing on social media. I was able to understand why these artists are doing what they're doing, and I saw how unafraid they are to follow their instincts and intuition.

I finished the magazine a week ago. Now, I'm reading a curated poetry book of the works of William Butler Yeats. On the back, it says he's perhaps the most respected poet in history to write English. Often, I like modern and contemporary poetry, but Yeats' writing is dreamy, mythical, quirky, and cynical at the same time. There's as much depth as humor and personality in his poems.

In terms of consuming art, I've also managed to cross WATCH 2 FRENCH FILMS off my to-do list (I'd been using the generic excuse that I wasn't in the mood for it).

Right now, being in the suburbs, I'm pushing myself to find joy in little things. I've been riding my bike to get boba, reading at the park, playing board games, and cooking and baking vegan goodness. I don't feel inspired most of the time, but I feel comfort and draw inspiration from being in my comfort zone.

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Excerpts From My Journal

jan 6
my poetry coexists with me. at 19, figuring out who i am is more important to me than figuring out life. in lines of poetry, i speak to myself eloquently and give meanings to my thoughts. it’s therapy, it’s love, and it’s part of being here.

jan 3
i feel collected and inspired when i'm alone, i feel connected with what's around when I'm alone, and i believe that artists work in solitude
i've learned to really appreciate the little things and those which aren't hard to get. i've learned to let those things make me happy
seeing wild flowers, a hot bath, or a pretty blue sky makes me happy
seeing an old man dressed in a color-coordinated outfit or taking a long walk or a long bus ride
it is these small things that bring me comfort

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Nothing in life is thoroughly planned out. If you feel uninspired, suffocated, or overwhelmed, that's YOUR cry for change, for revolution. A change of space, environment, diet, habits, or even people can be necessary.

By Anna Vo

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