The last week has been a happy blur of stories. I read Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, books 3 and 4 of the Throne of Glass Series, and watched both seasons of Seven Deadly Sins on Netflix. I’ve begun rewatching Dear White People, this time with my mom. Today saw me through 53% of The Handmaid’s Tale, a figure thoughtfully provided by my Kindle.
I’ve also spent quite a bit of time with friends and family. Just Monday, I was woken up by my next door neighbor, who happens to be one of my best friends. (The other bestie is the girl across the sidewalk from us both.) We spent the next two hours together before heading to a cafe downtown (EXO) to meet my bestie, her boyfriend, and their friends. We’d spend the rest of the day together.
I needn’t have approached the menu with dread; despite my recollection that the place was one of the most expensive in Tucson, all menu items were priced $1 – $1.50 lower than the prices I’d grown accustom to in San Francisco. I ordered a black tea from a local company from whom I’d often purchased tea at a farmer’s market by the river (non-desert-folk: read, “wash”) near my house. It came with a free refill of prickly pear tea, and cost me $2.75. O.O
We made our way past the exposed brick walls I’d found so revolutionary just a year previously, to a large coworking space that had newly opened in the time I’d been away at Minerva. I don’t believe I gave its existence a second thought, until the juxtaposition of past me and present me struck me.
The sudden realization that a year ago I’d have reacted to or thought about something very differently than I do in the present moment has hit at a several moments since my return. It’s a sense similar to deja vu, a discord in how I’d have processed the situation literally the last time I was present it in, surrounded by the same town, family, friends, people, context, I had been wrapped in the last time I was presented with said situation.
It came when I took no notice of the coworking space in the back of EXO, the first of it’s kind in Tucson, which would once have caused me to blink in wonder and anticipation of the future.
It came when I blinked in wonder and realization of the present when I attempted to connect to the wifi, but was told by the barista that it was not unusual for the connection to be spotty when more than 25 connections had been made, as there was now. Just keep trying it, he said, and you should connect eventually.
It came when my friend causally mentioned that his classmate he was telling me about was Italian––like, she was actually born in a small town in Italy. Where I would have once sighed in longing for such a foreign connection, I simply shrugged and thought of the Italians I knew.
It came this afternoon when I met with my old boss to go over the agenda and proposed activities for a design thinking workshop I’m helping to run in June. Instead of simply giving the thumbs up, I found myself debating the strengths and weakness of empathy maps and rapid prototyping, saying things like “something we could incorporate from a sprint I did at Stanford’s d.school is” and “there was a really good run down of prototyping strategies the San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation’s Fix-It Labs design bootcamp I went through provided us, I’ll see if I can find it” and “we spent a week or two on design thinking in class, we can use this thing I learned to solve that problem”.
I’m happy with my summer so far.
On a side note, Mayzie has helped me understand Arkansas’ existence, and rewritten its name. I leave you with…