Midterm Blues

Midterm Blues

We’re halfway through the second term, and I am feeling burned out, homesick, and hermit-like. My studies at LISPA, my cohort members, and LIVING IN FREAKING BERLIN are all amazing, but even the brain gets tired…and it’s winter. To re-invigorate myself (and you, if you’re going through some winter blues), this post is all about thankfulness and finding ways to love the space you’re in, especially when abroad.

Creating and Creative Creation Space

If you’ve read some of my previous entries, you’ll know that in the first year of the EDPP program, we do a lot of artistic work that isn’t just theatre, though it is certainly related. This term, we are working more with nature and sculptures, and I have found that I have a lot more motivation to do my homework if I love my personal working space. Unfortunately, my bedroom is rather small. Fortunately, my roommate is very accommodating of my odd graduate school needs So…ta daaaaaa!

I give you: the living room floor. Since I don’t have a permanent working space, creating rituals around my temporary space is essential for me to feel like it’s my ideal working space. I put some Miles Davis on these amazing speakers, burn some lavender or orange-cinnamon oil, set up up my art supplies, and I’m ready to work. Today I’m working with natural clay, for which a cutting board works great as a moulding surface.

Inspiring Yourself with…Yourself

An inspiration board always sounds like a thing I would love to have but would take at least ten months to create. Luckily, we create a lot of work of all mediums at the school, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with it all. Thus, my self-inspiration clothesline. These are the works I either made at a significant point in my journey here or works of which I’m actually proud (though I will not claim to be a visual artist anytime soon).

It felt a bit conceited at first to me, but on the dark days, it’s nice to have some tangible evidence of progress in the room.

A Taste of Home

I’m nostalgic, especially with objects. If it has a memory attached to it, I’m inclined to keep it. Of course, this is not practical for a world traveler (or for anyone who moves locations, ever). I did bring a few things to display in my Berlin home, though, and I’m so glad I did. They serve as a reminder that even though I’m undergoing many changes personally and artistically while abroad, I still have a self center, roots, and a home.

My world map tapestry that folded nicely into the suitcase. Thanks, Society6!

A lovely gift my Chicagoan friend Janine made for me.

Finding Joy in the Every Day

You know that hobby you’ve always enjoyed but never find time to do? I’m talking about the one that you overlook it because it’s so convenient. For me, it’s always been cooking. If I’m being specific, it’s actually the prepping the ingredients by hand. I love to peel and seed tomatoes, slice zucchini, and juice oranges. In Chicago, it always seemed like if had the opportunity to do these things, there was only just enough time to do them. Here, there are chances to take as much time as I want, not just the bare minimum. There is time to be inefficient for once. I find so much relaxation in it that I feel determined to carve this time out for myself when I’m back in the US.

Have YOU ever peeled a pomegranate??

I think I spent 40 minutes with this thing. I swear I’m not insane.

To conclude…

Admittedly, this post was just as much of a way to dig me out of humdrum feeling as it was for you. I feel guilty any time I’m in a bad mood on this adventure, but I suppose there’s darkness in every journey. It’s inevitable. Wherever you are, whatever journey you’re on, I hope that you too are able to look at some of your surroundings and find little beams of sunlight this winter.

Now, please excuse me. I have another pomegranate to get to.