Listen While Reading: Summertime Sadness // Lana Del Rey.
Fall is slowly on its way, so I can safely assume that most of us are dying in this summertime heat. Summer has rolled by and I’m not its biggest fan. I live for the rainy and cold days where I can wear oversized sweaters and drink endless amounts of hot lattes. This summer, instead of staying cooped up in my house all day (pretending its fall), I decided to not let it defeat me. I came up with a list of things to do that made the heat a little less unbearable. Enjoy x
Go to a local coffee shop & journal with a friend. As mentioned in our July favorites, journaling brings a wave of relaxation and clears your mind. Journaling with a friend makes your experience even better. Bring cut-up photographs that inspire you to add to your journal. Add old receipts, concert tickets, spill coffee or tea as long as you make it YOURS.
Create, create, create. Write down your ideas in a journal and simply let your creative juices run wild. Look for inspiration on Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram whatever your heart desires. If you’re interested in photography, start by photographing your day, your friends, and keep going from there. If your passion is writing, keep a journal and if you feel comfortable start a blog! You can start one on WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr etc. They are all very easy to use! Keep inspiration boards in your room to remind you of your goal.
Watch foreign films. I can’t get enough of foreign films. What I love about them is that they reflect a country’s culture. Reading subtitles while listening to a foreign language is fascinating.
Act like a tourist in your city. We seem to forget the beauty our hometown holds. When I was in high school I became friends with a foreign exchange student from Belgium. She would constantly talk about how great it was that we were surrounded by mountains or how we could spot more cactuses than trees outside. Seeing my city from another perspective made me appreciate my roots. We are so accustomed to our surroundings that we forget the beauty of it. I encourage you to explore your city. $10, a disposable camera, city bus card, sunnies, snacks, & books are all you need to embark on your adventure. Ride the bus and read your favorite novel on the way, occasionally looking at your surroundings. Make a stop whenever something catches your eye and capture it forever on film. Put on your sunnies & drink a chai tea latte outside of a cafe. Find a local shop on the way and buy something that represents your city’s culture. If hunger strikes, take out your snacks and have a picnic by a park :’)
Go to a film festival. There is a special beauty in the art of cinematography. Film festivals are like Disneyland for movie fanatics. Plan a day out for yourself or call a friend up and make a list of films you want to see. There are heaps of genres to choose, from indie to classics to documentaries; there’s something for everyone. Sneak snacks into the theater and you’re set! Be sure to check the schedule for any special guests. Last week I got a chance to see Ellar Coltrane (protagonist of the film Boyhood) who spoke about his new film “By the River”.
Go to your favorite bookstore/public library and spend hours looking through books. I am usually the earphones in, the world out kinda gal. However, this week I decided to spark small conversations and conducted a small experiment. I went to my public library and asked random strangers what they’re favorite novel was. I love seeing the spark in someone’s eyes when they get excited about something they are passionate about. An hour and many conversations later, I picked up 3 very diverse books. One was full of interesting facts about constellations, while another one was on the art of intuition, and the third on a famous Mexican feminist and advocate. Another tip to expand your knowledge is to skim through a section you are not familiar with. It might spark your love for science fiction novels or astronomy, who knows?
Volunteer. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Volunteer as a tutor for a subject you love. Volunteer in your local library. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Join an organization for something you believe in.
Invest your time learning something new. I used to hate going to school up until the time I went to college. I did good in school, if by doing good you meant trying to memorize as much as someone can in 12 hours. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE learning. What I hated was “learning” about things I had zero interest in. Going to college and having full control on what I got to learn changed everything. It refueled my love for learning. Take a creative writing class if you love to journal in your free time. If you love helping out your mom in the kitchen, take a cooking class. If you doodle all over your math notebook, take a leap and take an art class. Act on your hobbies and passions, these can turn into a job you will love.
Go thrift shopping. Oh, the art of thrifting. It really is an art to master. You start out as a rookie but eventually get the hang of it. Sore arms and three hours later, you have the perfect pair of Levis, vintage Harley Davidson tee, and the perfect booties. Don’t forget the men’s tee section, there are heaps of oversized concert tees you’ll love.
Go on a road trip. Kick off this last month of summer with a road trip. All you need is a full tank, your best friends, a disposable camera, Oreos, and a bomb playlist. No destination needed.
Try new recipes. Like many other people, food is the way to my soul. I love cooking and trying new recipes. Cooking brings a relief of stress. What I love about cooking is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can adapt every recipe and make it your own. If you find yourself saying you don’t have enough time to cook, cook your meals in advance. Simply find a less busy day in your schedule and cook your meals for the week. That way, you’re skipping the fast food, saving money, and eating healthier.
Go record shopping. Whether you actually own a record player or not, going into a record shop is fun nonetheless. I shamefully admit, I am guilty of taking pictures with iconic face records; some of my favorites include (John Lennon, FKA Twigs, and Adele). Skimming through records reflects an artists’ life’s work. For me, it’s like going to a bookstore. I love owning a physically crafted copy of my favorite musicians.
Take long walks around the time when the sun sets. The sun isn’t heavy, you’ll feel energized, and have a lovely view to accompany you.
Attend local concerts. There is no better feeling than listening to your favorite artist perform live. The adrenaline rush you get when the concert is about to begin. The connection between the fans and the artist is like no other. What I love about concerts is that hundreds of strangers come together to support an artist. These strangers may have never met if it wasn’t for the power of music. I encourage you to spark a conversation with the person next to you in line. You can bond over your love for the artist and start a lovely friendship.
Words & Photography by Grecia Villa.
© 2016 Reef Magazine