hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Monday, February 27, 2006

Spring, Bring it!

Truth be told, I've been a little bummed out recently. This winter, like every other one since I was twelve, I have experienced my annual bout of seasonal affective disorder. Characterized by a general feeling of ennui, boredom, and listlessness; the desire to sleep way more than is necessary; an intensified craving for excitement, followed by extreme disillusionment when said excitement doesn't materialize; and a tendency to self-medicate with beer and other spirits I find myself just wishing this season would be over already. A lack of sunlight does crazy things to a person. Like plants we rely on a certain amount of exposure to warm, nurturing rays or else we begin to wilt just a bit. Needless to say, I am wilting.

Lack of activity is not the problem here. Lord knows I have an extremely active social life. But with the amount of socializing I do at bars and parties, it's all beginning to blur together into a non-distinct mess of whisky-fueled nights, complicated relationships with the men in my life, drunken texting, moderate hangovers. Rather unremarkable. L tells me that life isn't supposed to be exciting, that it is what it is but I can't help but feel a little let down from that. How can you feel satisfied with your quiet little life when you long for something bigger, even if you can't fathom what that bigger something is? I guess I've always thought that everyone else's life is more interesting than my own. It could also be that I have spent much of my twenties feeling as if suspended in some sort of limbo, waiting for life to begin as it were. But that's not the kind of thing that just happens on its own, you need to make it happen and I feel like I'm slacking on that.

So yesterday, I took some steps to remedy this. For one, let me add that I woke up on Sunday feeling like I had totally wasted my weekend. Yes, I attended to parties on Friday and bar-hopped after that, and on Saturday I saw two gallery exhibits and enjoyed a classic night of antics out with my friends. But on Sunday morning this didn't seem like enough. To be honest, I was a little sad about something that happened on Saturday, something that I totally saw coming from miles away, that I could have prevented by speaking up first, but in an effort to be optimistic and non-confrontational, simply let simmer until it boiled over with a pathetic little pop, my passivity being worst part of all. Feeling a little bummed (I think it's what Holly Golightly referred to as the "mean reds") my first instinct was to curl up on the sofa and watch TV. But knowing myself at least a little well, I knew I'd ultimately be more satisfied if I challenged myself to leave the house and to react with the world in a meaningful way. So I grabbed my camera and the book I've been reading and headed to the Dupont Circle area to snap photos and find a nice place to drink coffee and escape into a novel. Let me say that the wide angle zoom lens I bought several weeks ago is probably the best 200 dollars I have ever spent. I can't wait to see the end products, as what I found through the viewfinder using this lens was extraordinary. It will be interesting to see how it translates to grainy black and white film. My outing ended at the bar at Kramer Books with a dish of their sublime mac and cheese and a glass of wine. Going to Kramer books and treating myself to dinner there is my typical ritual when I'm feeling stressed out or blue. It comes through for me every time. The bartenders there are adorable and charming and flirt with me just enough to feel pretty again while the knowledge that I've done something proactive to make myself feel better always boosts my spirits. This was followed by curling up in bed to watch Grey's Anatomy, my current TV obsession. Because I am a sucker for bad boys I have a bit of a crush on caddish Alex.

So I suppose the moral of this story is that its not that my life isn't active enough, it's that it isn't *balanced* enough. I bet if I spent more time developing my interests such as photography, running and long-form non fiction writing (so I can be the next Susan Orlean), events such as losing a crush and being annoyed with my friend with benefits wouldn't be such a downer. I don't know what it is about positive change that's so difficult, do you?

Regardless, I'll be happy to finally drink in some sunlight when it finally decides to appear.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you use a B&W lab here in DC? I miss having the free lab (with chems, paper and film) from college.

- DS

p.s. What about picking up a winter-based activity? It does wonders for your winter-enthusiasm, plus you get outside for some sunshine....

4:39 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

No, I entrust my images to Motophoto and Chrome. It took me a long time to get over the fact that I wasn't printing them and perhaps that was cheating but now I don't think it really matters. I used to be more about the process than I am now, but neccessity dictated that I had to let go of that. Both do an excellent job. Chrome is hella pricy, so I only go there for emergencies like when I lose my negs and need to have an image scanned to disc. Plus, it's where the pros go and I can't help but feel like an amature when I am there.

What sort of "winter-based activity?" I don't really like being cold so snowboarding is out (and too expensive).

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snowboarding is only cold if you aren't wearing enough gear.... with a good hat, jacket, pants, etc, you're toasty warm... well, most of the time.

But it sure beats the heck out of staying inside all season. As for expensive - it can be... but you can also skim by, borrow gear, hitch rides....etc. There is such a large crew here in DC, it's easy to get help.

- DS

8:21 PM  

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