Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

Hello, all. It’s almost Thanksgiving, and we’re a few weeks out from the end of my first semester at Central Michigan University. My flex dollars are running low; haven’t run in about two weeks; my sleep schedule and I are on mediocre terms; I’m losing some senses of reality; I haven’t been in contact with my friends from home that go here, much less live in Grand Rapids…

So, in other terms, I’m having the time of my Mc’Freaking life.

My freelance job at CMLife is starting to pick up – I’ve had at least two assignments a week for the past three weeks, and I’m loving every second of it. It’s such an active and extroverted job, which is nice for someone who likes talking to people but sometimes has no socially acceptable reason to. For example, I helped some of my co-workers cover the Walk Out Protest organized by Central Michigan Action (which is an organization I’ll explain more about soon) this week, and I spoke to more people than I can count on both hands regarding their signs, their opinions, and I even had the chance to photograph a Trump supporter who, although he seemed a little uncomfortable being there, wanted to see what the event was all about. Since the publication owns the photos I’ve submitted and they can’t be posted publicly until the publication uses them online or in print, I’ll post a few that have already gone up on the website!

I won’t even lie-I took the last picture on accident. I was looking through my photos as I was searching for pictures to delete or to send in to work, and this man popped up. It was within a small line of photos I took as the horde marched by in an attempt to catch smiling faces or, at least, something interesting. This was the something interesting I captured.

If you look closely at the man’s cap, it labels him as a Vietnam veteran. I’m really disappointed in myself that I didn’t get to speak to him to hear his story and his name. I’ve grown up understanding that there’s a stigma against liberals – that they’re lazy and don’t care about politics. This man fought for our country in the most futile war we waged in a century. He knows his politics. He knows what he stands for. I wish with my heart of hearts that I had taken this picture consciously.

In regards to Central Michigan Action, it’s an organization that helps focus student leaders together and allows them to support each other and each other’s organizations for positive change. The mission statement on their Facebook page states: “Central Michigan Action (CMA) is a power organization that will use the model set forth by People’s Action to unite student organizations with community groups under one progressive leadership council,” and I’m excited to be a part of a peaceful group that is rooted in unity and communication, rather than polarization and judgement.

Recently, my required course for the Honors Program here centered the day’s lesson on what it means to be an Active Citizen. That maybe, your profession would help you find your passion in service for others, or your passion in service for others could help you find your profession – the former is exactly what has happened here. I’ve attended multiple events put on by CMA, or events where members of CMA have spoken, and I’ve really enjoyed what they’ve stood for every single time. The first event was a Black Lives Matter inspired rally in the Fabiano Gardens area, and the CMA lead organizer, Jon Arlt, spoke out about how happy he was that the event was spreading positivity and love for black lives, blue lives, and, ultimately, all lives. The second and third I covered for CMLife, so I had to stay neutral as I was working, but it’s just been extremely inspiring to see people at the point in the spectrum where I identify closely. From what I’ve seen of them, they’re more of a liberal group, but without a decided disgust in the conservative side of things. I like that. It’s respectable, and it’s the only attitude that might help heal this country.

Dividing my time between work, school, this new volunteering endeavor, artistic expressions of self care, and exploring the world college has to offer (good and bad – wow, and I thought I had seen some shit before college), I barely have time to breathe. I cut caffeine out of my routine a few weeks ago in order for it to have an actual effect when I needed it most, and this is the week I was preparing for. Smart move, past me; smart move.

Thanksgiving break is coming up, and I’m looking forward to seeing family again, as well as people I’ve been missing from back home. I have to keep reminding myself that going home isn’t an excuse to drain myself socially, because when I come back to school, it’ll be just as busy as before, but I really do miss a decent amount of friends that are still stuck in the toxic high school environment… That description deserves its own blog post. I’ve come to many a conclusion about my high school experience, but that’s not a talk we’re going to have now.

Correspond via Internet waves later, gators!

Much love,

Quinn ❤

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