Cropped pastel polos were the thing. We can probably thank Marissa Cooper for that.
You know what else was cool? Peasant skirts – low slung, white, eyelet peasant skirts that hit directly at the knee or fell all the way to the floor, and sometimes you’d wear it with a white ribbed tank. Or maybe you were more of a BP spaghetti-strap top kind of girl.
Either way you definitely had a short denim jacket that you paired with your velour sweatsuit bottoms on casual days and with your three-tiered miniskirts for parties. And belts. There were so many belts arbitrarily slung around hips that never once considered their predecessors were created to hold up pants.
I’m not sure what being intentional means to others, but I’ll try to explain how I personally have been viewing it.
Do you remember a time when you were walking down a street and you just really felt alive?
The difference between a walk like that and any other time you walk down the street isn’t your surroundings or where you’re going, but your frame of mind. It’s the two seconds you take to notice where you are, think about what you’re doing, participate in your own life.
I guess, to me, it’s just paying attention. That’s what being intentional means to me.
I can go weeks without really doing this, and by the end of that span I will feel like shit for seemingly no reason. I will barely remember anything I did recently and I will start to feel complacent. That “what am I even doing?” feeling. I might even feel…bored? But it’s not that I wasn’t doing anything, it’s just that I hadn’t stopped to think about anything. I was just going through the motions and never thinking outside of whatever tiny activity I was doing at any given moment.
Sometimes stopping to think about what I’m doing helps me remember my agency. I’m alive and participating (not necessarily outwardly or publicly, but just in my own head).
It’s more than just stopping to think though. It’s going into a day or activity with the intentional to commit to it. Like announcing in your head “I AM GOING TO READ FOR THE WHOLE DAY!” feels a lot better than thinking you’re going to do something and then just reading your book and putting it off and off and off until you feel like you lost the day.
There is nothing wrong with an easy activity (I mean, you’re talking to a human housecat rn, and I know a lot of you are cats too), but there is a difference between…say:
getting home from work, throwing your bag down, plopping on the couch without taking your jacket off, turning the tv on, and grabbing the nearest snack and watching for 4 hours and then dreading the thought of having to get up and get ready for bed and your apartment is messy and stressing you out
getting home from work, putting your bag away, wiping your makeup off, changing into a pair of sweats, turning on your string lights, lighting a candle, turning on some music while you make yourself an easy dinner, cuddling on the couch with your food and turning on a movie or show you’ve been wanting to see, then cleaning up and getting ready for bed deliberately, taking care of yourself, blowing out your candles, and snuggling into bed with a good book, maybe even taking a cheesy second to look out the window at the sky, thinking “it’s cool that I’m not homeless.”
Those are both pretty lazy and easy nights, but one sounds miserable (passive) and the other sounds lovely (intentional). But essentially both nights were spent watching TV.
Exciting adventures and crazy twists and turns in life are fun and exhilarating because they are amazing without me really having to make them special. But the majority of my life is quieter moments, just me hanging out with myself (or with Austin) in between activities or at the end of the day.
If I don’t learn to observe this time and make it matter to me on just the tiniest miniscule level, I just end up eating through time and going through the motions and looking back on the day or week or month or year and realizing I don’t remember a single thing I did.
Everyone has their own frame of reference for what makes their life work for them. I’m not saying everything in my life needs to be done in a way that’s worth remembering. Lighting a candle doesn’t solve everything. But when I stop to really put myself into a particular activity, commit my mind to whatever I’m doing, and not just passively go through life, I find myself more at peace with the day-to-day, and less complacent and confused about who I am. Less vulnerable to that mysterious sluggish, existential, bored feeling.
Takes 4ever 2 Explain Things Since 1989
Let me be clear: Unarmed college hopefuls don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids heading to work or trade school don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids floundering aimlessly through life don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids who have been in trouble—even those who have been nothing but trouble—don’t deserve to be shot.
The act of pinning the tragedy of a dead black teen to his potential future success, to his respectability, to his “good”-ness, is done with all the best intentions. But if you read between the lines, aren’t we really saying that had he not been on his way to college, there’d be less to mourn?
That’s dead wrong.
A few thoughts…
1. This blog isn’t an accurate reflection of my life. I’m not saying my life is better or worse, but the only full picture we get of a life is our own. Comparing our lives to others’ is futile. I have to learn this lesson over and over. However, I understand why you asked the question and thank you for saying so.
2. There are universal truths in the world that demand that no one’s life is perfect, and we all have to experience pain to experience happiness. The sooner I stop fighting sadness, guilt, listlessness, fear…the more at peace I feel with life. I constantly have to remind myself to be okay with emotions because it’s part of the human experience.
3. I was really lucky to be:
Not everyone is so lucky and I feel the best thing I can offer the world right now is empathy and understanding towards those born with less.
4. I’ve personally found that being intentional has made me much happier. You could have two people with identical lives, but the person who is observing their own life and being intentional about what they do will be happier than the one who is apathetic and passive. ex. Marathoning a TV show can be the most rewarding or most depressing activity…it’s all about intention. At least that’s where my mind has been recently.
This probably didn’t answer your question but thanks for getting me thinking.
You know what? I didn’t finish it. I got a lot out of the first half of it though, if that counts for anything. I have trouble finishing non-fiction because I feel like they always pack the best stuff in the first 50 pages…
Pretty sure that makes me the worst to say I’m ~bored~ with a book on buddhism as soon as they start actually talking deets re: the religion.
Anyway I’m not well-versed on the best resources for this but the first half of Buddhism Plain and Simple was super interesting and stuck with me. Would recommend!