The One Where Things Just Happened

I have a weird relationship with Chemistry. I love science, and I love statistics because it makes sense out of the data you worked so hard collecting. I was never good at it but the laboratory has always been my happy place. But at a certain point in life, I would’ve studied MIS (and I would be making way more money now πŸ’Έ) See, I usually tell people I am a woman of science … who playfully dabbles in astrology. 🌝 I do it for fun: to me, it’s just like a non-science based way of saying your null hypothesis can be rejected, not because of your p-value, but because mercury is in retrograde and that your partner is a Gemini. It doesn’t make sense, but … it also makes sense. πŸ˜‚  Ok, so where am I going with all of this? I’m not a writer for a reason, so bear with me.

These past few months have just been non-stop, but that’s the kind of thing I need right now. I seem to thrive when I have things lined up and I get to finish them one after the other, sort of in a weird, game-ified way. I’ve been running a small business for several years now and pretty much, that’s been my entire career so far. Doing things and getting shit done: it’s a habit that’s kind of hard to erase. I don’t do idle very well. I know there’s always something to do, and maybe that’s why analog photography has been so fulfilling. If I’m not out taking photos, there’s a whole bunch of tasks waiting: developing, scanning, cleaning, editing, “research”, and the list goes on. I’m that person who turns vacations into work … I can’t help it πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I’ve set goals for myself this year but it’s become a very loose timeline. Because some things just happen and when they do, I’ve learned to just … not let imposter syndrome take over, but to just be grateful. I’m writing this post from my studio! It’s my first work day here, as I just moved in yesterday (s/o to Jay! Again!) 

I’ve been wanting to move my workspace outside of my teeny bachelor’s suite that I share with my cat for a veeeery long time now. It’s convenient when I need to get a lot of work done, but my problem has always been that I just don’t know when to stop. Many evenings, I’m still up at 4am because zine brain just took over, or that I keep telling myself, “My chems are still at 40’C, I can do another batch and they can dry while I sleep.” No, Ariela, just no. This is why you need therapy. 

So finally having a dedicated space where I just do work can help me properly reset: I make time to work and actually commute (which pushes me to go outside of the house, which I need!) and that frees up so much space at home, physically and mentally. And I just get to scan without cat hair floating in the atmosphere, which has been the bane of my existence. I’ve been wanting to do this for several months now, and I’ve been wishing for it since I started working on #SaskZine. I made a DIY whiteboard that I stuck on my closet, and that worked for a while, until my cat Chirpy tried to eat the tape. And he is still determined to do so.

Months later, I’ve become good friends with Sergine, a buddy of mine from VanSPC who is also a seamstress! An inspiring woman with many talents! ✨ We’ve been trying to find a studio to share together, and so I’ve been scouring Craigslist and Marketplace religiously for a space (that’s also how I get a lot of my other camera gear πŸ˜‚). One weekend, my friend Nicole who runs La Bise Bakery asked for help at the farmer’s market because she was short-staffed, as many businesses are right now. I’ve been helping Nicole with other things, and honestly, farmer’s markets always have a special place in my heart. Of course I said yes! She pays me for the day, and I thought, well I could always use more film money… especially in this economy. 😭 That same evening, I go on Marketplace to do my rounds, and I found a listing for a studio just down on Oak. The next day, we’re there for a viewing and things just felt right. The space looked great, there were big tables and lots of light and there was a little corner with the shelves, and I JUST KNEW my scanners fit right in there. And they do. And they sit there happily now, free from dander.

In many cultures, the full moon signifies a renewal. I’ve never been the one to manifest or harvest the good lunar energy, but I’ve always liked the sentiment. Earlier that week, I wrapped up my travel-spree and I was honestly happy staying put. Seeing new places and meeting new people is fun, but being constantly on the go, while exhilarating, can also build up into fatigue. I’ve made enough work to last me a couple years, granted they turn out. Even if they don’t, I’m happy to share my experiences anyway. But it’s always at the end of something good that sometimes I feel a bit … empty. Ok, I don’t want to overshare, but you know that “the party is over” feeling? That feeling has been bubbling up more and more lately. One evening, on my walk home from the movie theatre, I decided to take the long way round to catch the sunset from Granville Bridge. I get to say hello to my favourite building, the Vancouver House, and watch rich people in their boats on the harbour lol Sunsets are cliche’s I would never get tired of. Funny enough, I see a couple of photographers with their tripods on the bridge, and it’s always a funny sight to me, because I think, “Hah, yeah that could’ve been me lol” I didn’t realize what they were photographing ‘til much later.

That same evening was the night of the super moon. Sunset on the west, and a big bright golden moon to the east. And I just had a moment where I couldn’t help but think, what am I doing here even? I have no idea where I’m going, but somehow I’ve found myself right here. How? Why? But what is the alternative? And would I be happier living that reality?

Things made a lot more sense later that week, when I found out that the rent for the studio is exactly what Nicole will pay me for a month’s worth of markets. I say it’s some mysterious full moon super power shit, but also, when good things happen, it’s just nice to be grateful.

I’m excited to get to work and hunker down and do all the things I’ve always said I’ll do. I’m sure the sadness will come and go: there hasn’t been a day that went by that I didn’t wish for things to be different, and I could tell you about all about it … like before. I’m scared, of course I am, but I suppose it’s that fear that makes the feeling of “hey, I actually did it!” even more satisfying in the end.

Thank you, Moon, and here’s to another exciting new start.

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