I'm Jenna, a twenty-something-year-old from the Midwest & I have the flag of Argentina on my car. Life? It's a daily discovery of being an "adult", learning the love of passion, striving for optimism, & experiencing heavy doses of happiness & reality all at once. On file: moving to the Lone Star state. Bits & pieces put together to present a semblance of a whole.El mundo es un gran pastel, servite, pero no mucho.
Practicing my designer look. Five hours later was as drunk as a college kid with Kara & boy toys (I mean, we’re both getting married!). Still in shock three days later: they want me in next year’s catalogue. That means my face in over 208 million copies in 30 languages. You got it.
Americans spend more than thirty billion dollars a year on security… it is the fear of threat rather than a real threat that is the catalyst for an obsession with safety that borders on madness.
Culturally we bear witness to this madness every day. We can all tell endless stories of how it makes itself known in everyday life. For example, an adult white male answers the door when a young Asian male rings the bell. We live in a culture where without responding to any gesture of aggression or hostility on the part of the stranger, who is simply lost and trying to find the correct address, the white male shoots him, believing he is protecting his life and his property. This is an everyday example of madness. The person who is really the threat here is the home owner who has been so well socialized by the thinking of white supremacy, of capitalism, of patriarchy that he can no longer respond rationally.
White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingess to conquer fea through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged to feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake. The fact that this mistake led to the violent death of an innocent young man does not register; the narrative is worded in a manner that encourages viewers to identify with the one who made the mistake by doing what we are led to feel we might all do to “protect our property at all costs from any sense of perceived threat.” This is what the worship of death looks like.” —bell hooks | all about love: new visions (via soyvietnamita)
Bell Hooks, I don’t have to be in cultural anthropology anymore to appreciate you. Nailed it.
In keeping with my “I only talk about work” theme…
It’s amazing what a 30min conversation with your boss about yourself can do to your outlook. I was feeling stuck, defeated, never going to be moving on from where I was. And I’m only 24. That’s just not sane.
We talked about my hopes, dreams, and realistically, when they would start happening. The answer shocked me: start applying today. Within two years, you’ll reach this goal. But only if you work at it.
Maybe what I want isn’t so off guard, maybe what I want is what my calling has been & it’s not that far of a leap than previously thought.
There’s other things that are heavy factors in the mix, which means this is onhold for a few more months, but the beginning of normalish work days, weekends off, free travel to Central & South America doing what my passion is is on the horizon. Somewhere out there. That a liberal arts degree is not entirely useless. & that I’ll probably be going back to school for engineering in the next five years. (Not kidding.)
But then again, I’m only 24. What do I know what I really want? As my mom would say, do you really want to move to Houston? (Please, someone. Tell me Houston isn’t that bad.)
- You don’t have to achieve great things by the time you’re 25
- You have intrinsic value above and beyond your perceived utility to other people and society at large.
- You don’t have to have sex, or have sex in any way that you find uncomfortable or unpleasant, to keep anyone’s love or good opinion of you. They didn’t love you or think very well of you to start with if they demand it.
- You don’t have to stay with someone who isn’t meeting your emotional or sexual needs because they need you, or you’ve been with them for awhile, or you need to be in a relationship. You need you. Your time is your own and it is finite.
- It’s ok to work at a job you enjoy that doesn’t make you miserable even if it’s not a career and it won’t “lead to anything.”
- Your life is not a narrative. It is not leading to anything, there is no overarching thesis, it does not have themes beyond the usual shared cultural experiences of your time and place. This is ok. It does not mean that your life is without purpose or meaning.
- It’s ok not to like or get along with the vast majority of people you encounter, so long as you afford them the same respect, courtesy and dignity that they afford you.
- Expensive is not always better.
- Failure is temporary if you’re still alive.
- People are both much better and much worse than you’d suspect, but usually not all at once.
- Stop thinking of your future self as a different person and it will be easier to prevent money and health problems.
- Let people help you, lean on them when you need to, and be available to help, but don’t swing too far in either direction. Try to carry your half of the life basket as evenly as you can.
- Set boundaries, and do not be afraid to kick people out of your life who disregard them. You will not end up alone and unloved. People who love you will be ok with your boundaries.
- Your power does not come from money or beauty, but from seeing life steadily and wholly, from a curious and thoughtful mind, and from your ability to say no when you want to, and yes when you want to, and I don’t know when you don’t know.
- There will be bad times, maybe lots of bad times, but not only bad times.
- Love will not heal the wounds in your soul, but love can give you the impetus to begin the work of healing yourself.
- Life might be a long series of starting over, and that’s alright.
- You’re really cool, you’re really beautiful, you’re really special. Really. Not to everyone, but to a lot of someones sometimes.
Day 1 of project, and upon running through the door at work with a venti verona with heaving whipping cream, I dropped my bag, shut off my phone, and ran down the stairs. Project time.
Sweat pouring down my face as I moved half the department around, colleague after colleague kept asking: have you read my email? Have you read my email? Have you read my email? Frustrated, I got off the ladder and went to the desk.
Skimming emails, I saw it: leadership score results. It’s like high school, when you only wish someone voted you for student council president. But in this case, you get a color: red, yellow, or green. And descriptions of what your direct reports think of you as a leader. And then: your overall leadership profile summary.
You guys, there I stood at the desk, tears streaming down my face. I had nothing but good or exceptional’s. I had worked my ass off this whole year on developing a strong leadership style, and in lack of better terms, I fucking aced it. My coworkers have faith in me, I’m leading a team, and I’m good at it.
I printed my results out for the fridge, as my old boss once said: anything good goes on the fridge. You gotta keep your potential alive.
I’m making things happen.
(Queue conference call with head honcho in Sweden Friday am…)
I’ve gone out two nights in a row, had a total of six drinks between both nights, & feel shot. Is this what it is to be 24?! Or am I just destined to coffee & bed at 10p for the rest of my life?
Please god. I’m not old yet.
Things I love about Buenos Aires: the fucking cafes. There’s nothing like stopping by to have a cup of coffee before night classes or after them or before going to a morning meeting at work in one of these cafés porteños. I love the classy waiter in white uniform greeting me with a smile, I love the pessimist comments of the old men in the table next to mine, always talking about the economy and the shitty politics, I love seeing the group of old lady friends getting together at 5 o’ clock to celebrate with their friends having outlasted their husbands another day. I love sitting in old wooden chairs that have probably seen my grandparents’ asses flirting with each other back in the forties.
Cities are recycling old and outdated infrastructure in creative new ways
“What Lima lacks in rainfall, it makes up for in humidity. But that mugginess can’t quench a city’s thirst—and that’s where billboards come to the rescue. Peru’s University of Engineering and Technology teamed up with an advertising agency to create signage that produces potable H2O. The system captures water out of the air, filters it through reverse osmosis, and dispenses it through a tap at the base of the sign. The billboard produced 9,450 liters of water in three months. The same group has also created a billboard that purifies the city’s smog-choked air.”
Read about other creative upcycling efforts at Conservation Magazine.
At home in Brooklyn.
Follow along on instagram.
I spy lots of ikea…
After putting in a 10-hour workday, I went home. And continued working. I learned things yesterday. About myself, about my definition of my future, about how hard I can work for something I truly want.
I got a lead yesterday into the future of where I want to go, with the preface: the wheel isn’t made for you. It’s not made for anyone. There’s no pre-made plan. This company isn’t designed to help you go anywhere. You’re gonna have to make the wheel spin yourself.
Challenge accepted? I hurried home & started reading everything I had found. Everything I could get my hands on during my hour lunch break. And with that, I came across the job title: Manufacturing Technician Specialist. To connect the customer’s wants with the design manufactured by the supplier. Ensuring the supplier is inspired & motivated. Visiting the supplier regularly. Ensuring workers are working legally & under safe conditions.
Queue the heavens singing and applauding, tears of relief streaming down my face. Finally, I found what I was meant to do as a grown-up. I found my calling a mere 10 hours ago. I found my passion for helping people (factory workers & customers inspired by design) & the company of my dreams that I work for. Done & done.
Now’s the hard part. I don’t have a degree in this stuff, I’m a “retail worker.” The wheel wasn’t made for me. I’ve already spent over a month trying to get support with no success. So I keep on. I finally found coworkers with contacts in Sweden, with contacts in charge. So here I go, being the crazy 24-year-old inviting the US training manager to dinner next week to talk business. I realize I may have two more steps between now & then. & thank god I have such support & acceptance from N to pursue what I feel inspired by.
Because it’s the passionate people that make it out alive, right?