This weather sucks. There’s no way around that. Fall, my favorite season, was short-lived in Chicago, and the city was too soon enveloped in a blanket of snow suitable only in the week leading up to Christmas.
As snow forced the browning leaves off trees, with it went a portion of the little motivation I had left. I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life, but I have yet to get accustomed to the frigid, unpredictable thing we call weather here. And as a result, I’m left uninspired and more exhausted than usual.
Since the start of this semester, I’ve voiced in our newsroom almost once a week how much I missed my Ramblings.
“I really feel the need to write a rambling,” I’d tell our Editor-in-Chief Mary Norkol and Arts Editor Mary Grace Ritter.
“Well, do it already!” they’d always tell me.
Easier said than done. My brain is on a constant-rambling loop. Thoughts about The Phoenix, paninis, Timothée Chalamet and film photography (not in that particular order) often float around, but I haven’t found the pull to write them down.
Then it hit me as I was attempting to get an early night of sleep. Of course that’s when it hit because when does my timing ever work out.
I was scrolling through some old photos when I came across a photo my best friend took on our trip to San Antonio this past fall. We had the afternoon off from conferences, so we went to Blue Star Contemporary, the city’s longest-running contemporary art institution. It was the first Friday of the month, which meant the city was celebrating with art, food and music.
Walking down a back street to get to our next gallery-hopping destination, Olivia, spotting an interesting scene, quickly stopped us to take a photo. A car was idling, glowing red light onto a white wall next to two intersecting poles. Right when Olivia was about to snap the photo, the car’s lights turned off.
I didn’t think twice and walked over to knock on the car’s closed window, asking the driver, as weird as it sounded, but could he please step on the break again. He confusedly obliged, and we had our photo.
Coming across this photo months later, a smile crept onto my face. Photography always has a way of doing that. And I realized, it’s this passion that’s my saving grace when the blues hit.
It’s taken me three years of adding and dropping minors, uncommitted to each, before committing to the minor I was set on before I started college. Dad, sorry I didn’t get a chance to tell you sooner, but I declared my minor in photography (finally). Although I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to consider myself a photographer.
There are two things I’m rarely seen without: my trusty AirPods and beloved film camera. Film photography and I have become synonymous at this point. Any event or gathering, my Minolta is strung over my shoulder. There’s a hashtag popular among film users on Instagram, #staybrokeshootfilm, that I identify with on a spiritual level. My mother will shake her head reading this because she knows too well where unhealthy portions of my paychecks go.
I’ll save my fully developed sentiments for a future rambling.
I’ve fallen victim to an overbooked schedule on an almost-weekly basis this semester, and only now as it’s nearing an end am I processing my parents’ and friends’ warnings to stop and take a second.
This is arguably the most difficult time of the semester. Finals are approaching, and we’re all trying to stay afloat as we try to cram in everything we want to accomplish this semester. As we overflow our schedules, it’s important to remember to leave time for the small pleasures. Make your favorite breakfast. Stop by the local animal shelter to play with some furry friends. Spend an hour lying in bed with Spotify playing in the background.
Oh, and if you find yourself at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Wabash Avenue, stop in at Central Camera (230 S. Wabash Ave.) and buy a Vivitar toy camera. Say hi to Tim and Steph while you’re at it.