All posts tagged: Change

What “Lady Bird” Means to Me

When I finally watched Greta Gerwig’s beautiful Lady Bird, I felt so much and still do. Unlike Lady Bird I have a wonderful mom who’s kind and understanding, I was never ashamed of my socio-economic status, and I wouldn’t lie to a peer about the house I live in or who I’m friends with. But like Lady Bird I wanted to go to college in New York City despite never having been there, felt stifled by the mid-sized city I called home, and was sure that there were bigger and better things out there for me – whatever that actually means. Lady Bird somehow brought me back to my undergraduate years, when I felt like the world was this new and exciting place to explore and express myself within. Since then I’ve grown to be more realistic and a bit cynical, but seeing Lady Bird’s struggle to figure herself out reminded me of a part of myself I had forgotten. While I’m much more sure of myself than I was in college, I missed the hopefulness I found within my confusion. I …

There’s No Place Like Home

As I captioned the above photo on Instagram, things are always changing in Tucson, but also remaining exactly the same. I spent 24 years of my life living in the same city. I was born there, went to school there, fell in love there, made friends there, lost friends there, had loved ones be born there and die there. And when I moved away I had no idea what it would feel like to come back home. When I’m in Tucson I’m bombarded by familiar smells, sounds, and feelings. The air is different, the stars shine brighter, the birds chirp louder. In the summer there’s the smell of creosote and the sound of cicadas. The fall starts off warm, but a coolness eventually rolls in. The winters are chilly and dark and there’s something wonderful about feeling cold in the desert. In the spring the Texas Rangers bloom with bright purple flowers and the smell of sunscreen fills the air as people flock outside before it gets too hot again. While I wouldn’t trade living in …

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Since my last blog post I’ve been all over Iceland, spent a long weekend in New York City, returned to Los Angeles for a few days, and took a trip back home to Tucson, AZ. Once I’m back in Los Angeles I’ll have to find a new place to live, move, say goodbye to my sister who’s leaving LA, and find a job. Regardless of the major changes coming my way, I’m still putting off the stress of thinking too much about everything until I can’t avoid it any longer. Beyond the logistics of moving and looking for work, there’s a lot in my life that’s currently up in the air. Graduate school was wonderfully rich and life changing – but exhausting – so I’m glad that’s over now. Aside from personal issues, drumpf and his people are wreaking havoc on this country and our world. I can’t help but feel that Americans are on the brink of a collective meltdown, and we’re all just holding on by a thread. But while all of this has been …

Positive Change as an Individual

In these socially and politically tumultuous times, I think it’s important to reflect on what we can do as individuals to contribute to the greater good. While significant change is enacted by policy-making, progress within one’s lifestyle and personal relationship to society as a whole is also essential in creating change. Below is a work-in-progress list of ways I think an individual can create positive change. While I’m sharing this on Catch-all, it’s also a personal reminder of the many ways I can use my individual power for good. This list will always be evolving, so please comment below with any suggestions you may have. Ask more questions! Think critically, engage with new ideas, listen to your peers, confront your own problematic assumptions, and always look beyond the surface level Cultivate a community of friends and family who hold you accountable for your actions and words Support businesses owned by immigrants, women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, etc. Support the work of diverse journalists, artists, authors, and filmmakers, etc. Question the status-quo Avoid fast fashion and …

On Nostalgia & the Home in “Fuller House”

Nostalgia-TV has had a recognizable presence in the American televisual landscape for the last decade – from Hawaii Five-O (1968 – 1980, 2010 – present) to Dallas (1978- 1991, 2012 – 2014), and beyond – but in recent years, producers and networks have turned to reboots and revivals more than ever before, as the film industry follows suit. This trend towards remakes and spin-offs seems to reflect an economic model – one that depends on a preexisting audience as an example of profit potential – but nostalgia’s marketability extends beyond those parameters. As a result of revisiting an idealized past, nostalgia-TV relies on capturing the attention of viewers for whom the past is romanticized and may represent a more stable time. In particular, the recent rebooting of popular family and child-oriented 90’s series seems to tap into a specific audience with newfound political and economic power. Netflix’s Fuller House (2016 – present), a reboot of Full House (ABC, 1987 – 1995), offers an example of a series intended to rely on a passive and non-critical …

Embracing Failure

When I first started this blog (once upon a time called juliavanvalkenburg.com, ha!) I wrote a post about embracing failure and why making mistakes is essential to our personal growth and discovery. That post was deleted during an overhaul not long ago, but I decided that it was a topic worth revisiting. What is failure, anyway? When I first wrote about failure, my approach to the topic was far less nuanced. Now, I no longer subscribe to using that word. Beyond getting an F on a paper or exam, can someone even objectively fail? We don’t fail, but we certainly mess up. We realize something isn’t right for us and we move on. We react. We make a mistake and respond by shifting our approach or perspective. We hopefully make decisions that are better for ourselves and others as a result of our mishaps. This isn’t failure, this is growing. So when I do use the word failure, I don’t mean it in the objective, pass or fail, hyper-success-driven American way of thinking. I mean hitting a wall and realizing there’s another path around it. …

Unconcealment II – A Stunning Visual Exploration

Balamir Nazlica short film Unconcealment II, inspired by German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s concept of unconcealment, invites spectators to explore nature and the cosmos through a visceral journey in light and darkness. Heidegger described unconcealment as “what appears from out of itself, in appearing shows itself, and in this self-showing manifests” (1). Unconcealment II is not only visually striking, but Nazlica’s use of sound works to create a viewing experience that is both haunting and electrifying. Through the examination of changing landscapes, Nazlica’s short film also illuminates questions about time and space. In order to capture the changing of the seasons, the film was shot over six months in both Vermont and Maine. To learn more about Unconcealment II and Balamir Nazlica’s other work, please check out his website. “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2015. Martin Heidegger

Moving Away From Home & Easing the Transition

It doesn’t matter what point in your life you find yourself, moving away from home can be extremely difficult. Although I’ve been in Los Angeles for four months now and absolutely love it, I’m still dealing with the complications of a transitioning lifestyle. I thought moving to California would be a simple change because I came with my boyfriend, already knew a few people in the city, and am just a quick flight away from home. I visited often enough to be absolutely sure that I wanted to call Los Angeles home (thank goodness I didn’t move and discover I hate it), but I completely underestimated the fact that such a substantial change would come with a few bumps in the road. No matter how old you, where you’re going, or where you’re coming from, uprooting and forging a new path can be complicated, lonely, and stressful. Based on my experiences thus far, here are a few tips I have for anyone moving away from home: 1. You will probably be spending more time alone, and that’s okay. Before moving, and especially during college, I was …

Change – A Bittersweet Feeling

I love change. I thrive off of it. But for the first time in my life I’m making a major change, and it’s surprisingly bittersweet. I didn’t expect I would feel this way. I thought I’d leave my job and move and everything would feel like a simple progression that just made sense. I was sure it would be easy to leave home and forge a new one. But it’s not. It’s terrifying. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that being from Tucson is a substantial part of my identity. All of my closest friends were born and raised here, and there’s a certain understanding about this city that we all share. When it’s a Saturday night and you don’t want to go to the same bar you’ve been to 400 times, it’s annoying. When you damage your tires because there are massive potholes everywhere, it’s terrible. And when it’s summertime and too hot to even step outside for a moment, it’s unbearable. But this strange little city is ours and we’re proud of it. So although I feel ready to move on, …

How You Can Help Ferguson

Here are a few things you can do to help Michael Brown’s family and the peaceful protesters of Ferguson, Missouri: 1. Send your condolences to the family of Michael Brown through the NAACP. 2. Sign and share these petitions from Change.org: – Take the case to the Missouri Supreme Court – Require Ferguson and St. Louis county and city police officers to wear body cameras 3. Donate to the Ferguson Public Library. We are open 9-4. Wifi, water, rest, knowledge. We are here for you. If neighbors have kids, let them know teachers are here today, too. — Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) November 25, 2014 _______________________________ If you know of any more ways to help Ferguson, please comment below.