I'm Melissa. This is where I write things down and share new things. Sometimes I even post cute pictures of cats...
if you're looking for my portfolio,
it can be found here, or by clicking any of the links across the top of this page.
I just moved back to Ohio after living in the central valley of California for almost three years. People still mention that I'm all grown up and keep asking how being an adult is going, but I really don't know what they're referring to.
I'm officially a (self-proclaimed) curator -- OF GIFS. GIF CONNOISSEUR. Check it out. My GIF blog even made it to buzzfeed once.
ONE MORE CHECK OFF MY LIFELONG INTERNET TO-DO LIST.
Albums of note UPCOMING/2011/2010/2009
A list of albums from the year that had staying power. Not a top album list, because I haven't heard every album, so that just seems a bit silly to me -- the whole "of the year" thing... although I suppose in my own mind that's what they are...
a place where I keep things that are already memories and store things that are currently in my life that will inevitably become memories. Vague enough?
Vestiges of a Life Soon Forgotten
A photographic series devoted to images taken in and around my apartment where I lived for 3 years in college. I moved out for good in December 2009.
photobooth documentation of sketches i have done and/or found.
Monthly Self Portrait Series
This was a short-lived project that sometimes shows up without warning again on my feed, but definately cannot be considered an "on-going" thing.
My New California Life
What started as an essay series about my experiences living on the left coast turned into a general account of my life here -- through words, photos and other ephemera.
jef etters tips of the day
Jef Etters was a colleague of mine who gave me life tips on a daily basis via a telephone call from a rotary phone. I would then transcribe the tips and post them here for the benefit of all mankind. He didn't know what tumblr was (nor does he now), but he did want to share all his wisdom with the world. enjoy.
PLEASE NOTE: Jef did finally get free long-distance after 7pm EST and will occasionally call to give me tips to transcribe. Be on the look out, it'll change your life.
Funny and or poignant things I feel the need to share with the world via screen capture. This project carries on with the luck that the internet will continue to bring the lulz. I think the odds are in our favor.
People like to be demeaning. People like to make you feel small and inadequate. It’s easy. Think about it: flaws are easier for us as a society to discuss than assets. We have a broader vocabulary in the negative realm than the positive. Even the words we do maintain in the positive realm get twisted and turned into ironic-use-only vocab. Sarcasm has gotten the best of conversational English, and while often hilarious - it makes it difficult to compliment someone for their skills without sounding like a fan-girl or worse: like an insincere prick. The best news: if you know this is just how things roll, it’s actually easier to navigate the world of job-hunting, networking and avoid the all too common mid-twenties/early-thirties all-encompassing personal/professional breakdown. Okay, maybe it can’t help you avoid breakdown, but it can certainly make you realize it doesn’t have to be the end and you will survive to see better days.
The thing about these other people, these nay-sayers, they are not me. They are not you. This is an obvious statement. The real focus is: don’t take advice you don’t believe. Sure, there are experts out there who want you to listen to their every word. This doesn’t make any sense though. How can you follow the lead of something (or someone) you don’t believe in? If you want something bad enough and use that desire to work hard toward your goal, I really believe there’s no reason you won’t succeed in one way or another. This doesn’t mean you won’t get discouraged by the dismissive comments of others or your own negative thinking. Being your own motivator is probably the best place you can be in this scenario.
That being said, I’ve found that when someone tells me (or even remotely implies) that I cannot do something, I gain relentless drive to accomplish this thing that someone else has deemed impossible (sometimes regardless of my interest in the activity). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to use this to my advantage. Less and less often do I find myself doing something merely because someone else unknowingly double-dog dared me to do it by saying I wouldn’t be able to successfully complete something. However, that’s where my problem still lies. I must learn to better say “no” both to myself in situations where I feel like I must rise to the challenge, and to others when I really just don’t have enough time to commit myself to another project.
Momentum. Yeah, it’s a buzzword. Whatever. I have a hard time with maintaining a steady workflow when I get to entrenched in a specific aspect of a project or idea. I get frustrated and somehow find comfort in that feeling. I get stuck when I’m doing too many projects for friends and family, when I’m not taking enough time to just sit and read, or when I just get too caught up in getting everything done right now. That’s why I have a 5 year plan, not a 5 minute plan. I’ve got to get to a point where I can get out of my own way.
Patience. I need more. My whole life I’ve gone through cycles of patience followed by fits of urgency. These cycles can generally be seen by examining the length of my hair in photographs from any given time in my life. I had very long hair until I was about to begin 2nd grade. I’m fairly certain this is the point in my life where the prove-them-wrong attitude began. We got my hair cut to just above my jawline, a nice little bob. Life was so much easier. It no longer took an hour to wash my hair. I had so much more time for all the business I had to attend to as a 7-year-old: organizing my cassette collection & re-naming my fish based on my favorite book at the moment.
The point of this “hair as metaphor for patience” story is that my hair is currently the longest it’s been since I graduated high school over 6 years ago. I keep contemplating cutting it off. That’s a signal that I’m almost ready for a manic/urgent stage. Terrifying. I don’t want to be in that state of mind. It’s stressful. I like having long hair, but it really does take a lot of time. What could I be doing in that additional half-hour a day? Maybe that’s the half-hour I would spend belittling others, and maybe it’s best I keep myself occupied during that time. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. That’s why (at least for today) I’m keeping my long hair.
I think it might be obvious after viewing this list that I’m gaining more nerd points e’rry day. That’s cool with me.
This sentiment all started when recently a friend of mine (Ben) sent out a group message containing the following quotation:
“People are often unreasonable & self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have & it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
I was “unemployed” for approximately one week this year. Though this was a situation I’d never faced before and it was something that was difficult for me to process on many levels, I’m thankful for everything that has happened to me so far this year. What I can say I’m most appreciative for is the fact that I’ve had several jobs. I have immensely talented friends who are having trouble finding any job at all. They have many marketable skills, are friendly and willing to work hard, but just can’t seem to get the call back, the interview or the initial shot they need. I am blessed to have been able to find work that is not only engaging, but that I enjoy and am proud to be associated with.
In all of these events, I’ve been reminded that there are genuinely amazing individuals in this world. However, simultaneously, I again was forced to come to terms with the fact that negativity exists; I was tested and almost fell victim to becoming a bitter woman. This is a huge fear of mine: becoming negative, jaded or cynical. I enjoy my positive outlook and don’t feel that I’m being unrealistic, childish or naive. I have a healthy and upbeat outlook when it comes to the world around me. Sure, I have bad days where I want nothing to do with anyone. It’s also no secret that I have my fair share of opinions about things, but I do my best to give every individual the benefit of the doubt. Without question I will be the first to admit that this has gotten me in trouble, broken my heart in a few cases and caused me to question my beliefs a ridiculous number of times.
Putting that much trust in the world might seem silly. I don’t think I could live without believing that love exists, people aren’t all bad and things have the potential to be better than this. I can’t subscribe to the life view of everything is going downhill with no chance of any positive change. That’s not healthy. That’s not what I’m here for. You can believe whatever you want, but I’m not going to just follow suit.
I sit here on a Saturday with a pile of things to get done in front of me, and I’m glad. Every task I have set in front of me is something I can honestly say fills me with at least a slight bit of passion.
It’s overwhelming when I think about it. I’m not even 25 and I’ve already got big plans for myself. Not only that, but I’m actually taking the steps I need to get there. Things are going well, and I’m really astonished how smoothly things are going. It’s exciting and scary all at once… For now, I just keep going.
ALRIGHT. I’ve called my mom, she knows. Now you can know too.
Yesterday I was officially hired to be a graphic designer/photographer/illustrator/copy writer by a woman named Suzanne. She’s constantly saying she doesn’t want to grow up, and honestly, I LOVE THAT. She signs emails with “cheers.” She bought me a cupcake at our first meeting and we decided that it’s definitely the best signing bonus I’ve ever recieved (considering I’ve never gotten a signing bonus before, this one wins. Seriously though? A cupcake? That’s a pretty awesome signing bonus to this 24-year-old.)
The coolest part about this job is that I will get to work on projects that have a positive impact on the community on a regular basis. Projects for non-profits and organizations that help people.
I’m sure your next questions are: “What’s your office like? Is it totally swank?” Well, truth be told I’d have to say my office is amazing, because it’s my house. (It’s also this really great shared 24-hour co-work space down the street called The Hashtag, but that’s it’s own other thing altogether.) So, sometimes my office will be a photoshoot, sometimes it will be a coffee shop, and other times it will be my couch with gilmore girls in the background or turntable.fm in another tab.
I’ll still be interning with Picture Fresno and doing a bit of freelance, but I’m glad to be back to having a full-time schedule.
I’m pretty jazzed about all of this, if that wasn’t obvious.