why yoga works for me…

first of all, it’s oprah’s birthday and i love her, so happy birthday oprah!!!

second, i’m so flipping sick of winter i painted my toenails sea foam green and my fingernails bright pink. the worst winter of my life can suck it.

IMG_2509

onward….

i had to take a week off of yoga after getting my tattoo (stretching + sweat = bad for baby tats). it was finally healed enough to go to class monday and tuesday night, which felt amazing and got me thinking about why i’m in love with yoga.

large_281907152

1. taking yoga classes is comfortable for me. i grew up taking dance classes multiple times a week for many years, so i do well with in the studio/teacher/group class atmosphere. practicing alongside other yogis inspires and energizes me.

2. i rarely have to convince myself to go to yoga class. it’s something i genuinely look forward to. sometimes it’s a struggle to get off the couch, but since my studio is five minutes away from ym house, i usually make it.

3. sweating feels great. i go to hot vinyasa yoga, and have grown to love the feeling of dripping in sweat.

4. physical and mental health in one go. killing to birds with one stone! more bang for your buck! as a person who tends to struggle with anxiety, yoga has taught me how to begin to control my physical reactions to stress.

large_7804085890

5. last but not least, it makes me smile. i’m a firm believer that the best exercise for you is exercise that you like doing and makes you happier. i don’t think you should ever dread your workout. running was my thing for a while, but after getting injured it morphed into a stressor, not a stress reliever. so now, i stick to my yoga and do cardio and/or strength training when my body craves it.

what’s your favorite way to exercise?

p.s. yoga also made my arms amazing…just sayin’!

the ardent archivist.

this is going to get random y’all, so be prepared.

so this weekend my roommates introduced me to the amazing app quizup…and i’m obsessed. trivia is probably my favorite thing to do (and just about the only thing i get competative about) so now i can play endless rounds against randos or my friends…basically the dream.

because i started playing the “historical events” quiz obsessively, and kicked some major ass, quizup gave me the nickname the “ardent archivist,’ which may be just about my favorite thing ever. ardent has been one of my favorite words since i heard it for the first time in the movie the patriot. and being an archivist is…kind of what i want to do with my life.

i’ve talked before about being a history nerd, but my love of the topic is more than just an academic interest, it’s actually deeply personal in ways i sort of don’t even understand.

follow-your-bliss

one of my favorite things in the world are ken burns documentaries–i watched the epic civil war series when i was in elementary school and have been hooked ever since. i am always captivated by the way he combines images, narration and music to create comprehensive, but deeply personal films about major subjects in american history. documentary time can definitely be tear-y time for me.

i was feeling pretty lost on sunday night after an emotionally exhausting wekend, but when i turned on ken burns’ the dust bowl, i immediately felt comforted. his films remind me of the feeling i get at church–knowing we’re all connected and everything will be ok, and that life is beautiful and precious.

hi, i love you.

hi, i love you.

i should  qualifying my fan girl status by saying that ken burns is also from ann arbor and went to the same schools i did. last year,  i was lucky enough to attend a screening of his most recent film (which is fabulous but very different from the rest of his work), the central park five, during the ann arbor film festival, which included a panel discussion with the man himself. yes, i am the weirdo who gets star struck and emotional about being in close proximity to a documentary film maker…don’t even ask me about the time i met david mccullough, aka one of the most prominent historical non-fiction writers of the 20th century. and i would die if i ever got to meet doris kearns goodwin. but i digress…

in all seriousness, ken burns is a professional inspiration to me, because of the incredible work he does in recreated the lives of average people who lived through extraordinary circumstances. he lost his mother to breast cancer when he was 11, and has stated that it’s been brought to his attention that his life’s work has been to tell the stories of those long dead, essentially resurrecting them. let’s all chew on that one for a moment…

in closing, some of my favorite ken burns films (some of which are streaming on netflix):

Not for Ourselves Alone: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony — elizabth cady stanton is my personal hero, so this is pretty much my favorite thing ever.

The Civil War — the classic. it’s so long, but sooooo good.

Baseball — just beautiful. i learned so much about american culture and had so many feelings while i was working my way through this last year.

The Dust Bowl — the film a just watched…only a two parter! not only did i learn a lot about depression-era america, it got me thinking a lot about agricultural practices, food policy and the american economic system.

The Central Park Five — he made this film with his daughter, and it’s a scathing look at the NYC criminal justice system and contemporary american racial politics…i was honestly blown away by this film, and after hearing ken burns speak about it afterward, i got to see how emotionally connected he is to his work, and it made me love him even more.

is it weird that i just wrote a blog post about my love of a sort of obscure documentarian? probably, but that’s how i roll.

putting on my big girl pants {dress}.

so today was the first day as a fieldworker at the public library–a fieldwork is basically what my program calls an unpaid internship for credit. i work at the library as a circulation aide (bottom of the totem pole) so i’m really excited to get experience doing actual librarian things, or as my mom said “the fun part of librarianship.” critical thinking feels good.

i’ll be spending 10 hours a week digging through the city’s local history manuscript collection, evaluating the many smaller collections within it, and producing a synopsis of what i find for the librarians to use in the future when they formally inventory it. was that a foreign language to all non-librarians? basically looking through old stuff and describing it, aka my dream.

one of my favorite memories from when i was a little girl was when a trunk of old stuff from my dad’s side of the family appeared in our house and i spent hours and hours looking through it, scrutinizing every photo and scrap of paper. my professional interest in local history and genealogy stems from the same passion the captivated me all those years ago–by examining what ordinary people left behind, we have the ability to connect the past with the present and get to know where we came from. this is a total nerd alert moment,  but having the chance to do this work really makes me smile.

IMG_2580

this week i also stepped in to my last class of graduate school, which got me thinking about my first class of graduate school two and a half years ago–my hands shook the entire time and i don’t think i talked for the first three weeks. so as i sat in the classroom chatting with other students and feeling fully engaged with the material, i was once again reminded of how much i’ve grown as a person since i first moved to milwaukee, and it’s a great feeling.

i’m really looking forward to this semester; i think i’ll be busy without being overwhelmed. and although i have to start seriously thinking about my life after graduation, i’m going to try to relish the closing of this chapter of my life.

and i’m also going to watch the princess bride, because it’s too cold for life outside.