Captivations v.37: Float Fest and Babies

July 31, 2017

Captivations is a monthly feature with links, stories, and news that captivated me. Take a look at all the things captivating me lately.

Float Fest
We came. We floated. We fested. We survived! The first part of our experience included waiting indefinitely to park (it took almost two hours) and waiting almost another hour to get to the river. After a quick two to three hour float, we got ready to see Girl Talk, Passion Pit, and Zedd. Camping in a tent is still not comfortable so after a tiring day and restless night, we packed up and left at 8 am as planned. Great memories though! I rented our tent from Enjoyful for $15! It’s a new experience rental service in Austin.

Instagram Food is a Sad, Sparkly Lie
There is so much in this Eater article that I’m not sure where to start. I’ve mentioned in past posts how Instagram and influencers have changed the way we eat, our view on aesthetics, and how we feel about and live life in general.

Reading: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I finally crossed this book off my list and it was so good! It has changed my way of thinking about creativity, passion, and what we are each called to do. I’ve had growing clarity about what I want to do with my life for a while but this book echoes the thought that your passions and creating for the sake of creating should not be forced into a box of producing income. The book has many, many more lessons and it’s a quick read so I recommend you check it out.

One of the tips Elizabeth Gilbert gives in Big Magic is practicing creativity in new and different ways because you never know where inspiration comes from. Crafting has always been one of my hobbies, and I recently got a loom weaving kit. I’ve slowly been working on it and maybe soon I’ll show you a finished product!

Chef Culture
For those in the culinary industry, it’s known that it sometimes involves addiction and not the good kind. Austin has had its share of celebrity chefs needing to get their lives under control. It’s how Chef Philip Speer opened My Name is Joe Coffee. This New York Times article detailing Chef Sean Brock’s story gives an eye-opening insight into how and why. I’m glad to hear he’s getting better. (One of my favorite meals last year was at Chef Brock’s restaurant Husk in Charleston.)

The Busy Trap
While this New York Times piece was published in 2012, it still resonates today. Why do we glorify being busy? Sometimes I multitask while watching a show with blogging, crafting, or Instagramming to make it feel like I’m being productive. Yes, watching TV can be a form of procrastination but I’m speaking more to the thought that I ALWAYS need to be productive, hustling, and working towards my goals. I need to be busy. The only time I’m completely focused is when Boyfriend and I are eating out at a restaurant. Do y’all feel busy all the time?

The Color Inside
We finally went to The Color Inside, the James Turrell Skyspace at UT! (I loved the Turrell exhibits in Houston.) There’s a hole in the roof and the way that the colors change give you an optical illusion. It makes it look like the sky is changing colors! It’s a free exhibit if you want to go check it out!

Watching on Netflix: Chasing Coral and Tales by Light
The documentary Chasing Coral is a MUST-WATCH! It shows the dire state of our oceans, especially the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll learn a lot in less than two hours and you’ll be inspired to do something. If you like photography, check out the series Tales by Light. These 20-minute episodes follow a different photographer as he/she tries to get their ideal shots. Great cinematography and insight on photography.

Why Aren’t Women Having Children?
Though this article from The Atlantic is two years old, it found me at the right time and I look forward to reading the book this article is focused on. From the friends I’ve talked to, we think society is becoming ok with us not having kids. It’s a more “accepted” life path. The thought I want to explore is how to grieve the loss of that decision. Being a parent is a big role and a huge identity that I won’t experience. Will the regret of that loss be squelched by the full life I’ll have anyways?

Friendships with Mamas
Speaking of not having babies, I’ve had some new feelings in the last year or so. My network is exploding with babies. So many friends and acquaintances at my age plus/minus a year or two are having babies. I’ve been thinking about how this changes my relationship with my mama friends. My biggest concern is if we will still be able to relate to each other even though I don’t know what it’s like to be a mom. How will our relationship change? This post on Love Child echoes some of my thoughts.

Reading: I’m Judging You by Luvvie Aijayi
This book was full of conviction and truth. The first half and the last chapter is what really drew me in. The book is full of logical rants by Luvvie about all the things we shouldn’t be doing. In its deepest parts, it helps explain racism and the state of things in the U.S. It helped me see life, if only a glimpse, from a black person’s eyes, and make me wonder how I can help. Luvvie is wicked smart and this book will make you stop and think.

What to Say to a Grieving Friend
The only thing I could muster when I encountered a grieving co-worker was “I’m sorry for your loss.” I thought it was an overused and empty phrase but I didn’t know what else to say. A few days later, A Cup of Jo published this post about what to say and do. It’s a great reminder to read over.

Do you need that?
This thought-provoking post by Alexandra Franzen echoed my thoughts when reading Big Magic. It asked me to think about my life beyond the box that I sometimes put it in. It asked me to think beyond what I think I need and find different, maybe better solutions.

Paying for a Wedding
I liked this post by Kate of Greatest Escapist. It is apalling to me that people are willing to go so far in debt for their wedding. I know weddings cost more than I might think or hope and not everyone is blessed to have family and friends chip in, but what is so bad about having a wedding within your means? Side note: I read an article recently about a woman who asked her boyfriend if she could pay half the cost of her engagement ring. What do you think about that?

Competitiveness in Friendships
Social media these days makes it easy for competition to arise. I’ve talked about competition, jealousy, and losing friendships because of it before. I think this is especially an issue when you’re a blogger or social media influencer who is friends with others who are also. This post on The Everygirl has good reminders of how to save your friendships from a competition.

So Much Cycling
I’ve been going to spin classes for more than a year and wrote a post about all the cycling studios in Austin. Take a look!

The Day the Fire Came
This Texas Monthly feature about a horrible wildfire in Texas earlier this year is incredibly beautiful and incredibly heartbreaking.

On Soulmates
I read this post about finding love on Oh Joy and was curious what you thought about soulmates. Similar to what Joy said, when I was younger, I thought we all had one soulmate. Now I think we have multiple soulmates and it all depends on the stage in our life when we meet. If you think about all the possibilities your life could go or have gone based on your choices or pure luck, many different people come along with those moments. Thinking about my past relationships, maybe if my understanding of emotions had been more evolved or if someone had decided to act a different way towards me, I would be in a different place today. This is where the cliché line “everything happens for a reason” comes in. It’s interesting to think about the possible life paths and ultimately, it makes me thankful for where I am today.

What’s captivating you lately?
I always enjoy reading your opinions about any of the ideas and links I post. Tell me your thoughts in a comment below!

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  • Anita, you always make me thinks so much when I read these posts and share great articles for me to read! Can’t wait to read the Eater article and the article on why women choose not to have children – especially considering I’m happily in that camp. For me deciding not to have children (just like I had mentioned I did when considering if husband-then-boyfriend and I should get married) it was a matter of imaging my life with children and imagining my life without them and really thinking about what those scenarios looked like and which one I’d truly be happier with. Since I know deep down in my gut that I don’t need children in my life to make me happy and live life to the fullest I’m okay with not having them. And very thankful I’m getting the chance to grow up in a society that is much more accepting of women not having children!

    • That’s true and a great way to look at it. I’m glad my friends are having kids though so I get my fill! Thank you for reading, Kaylin!

  • I clicked on the eater article and read the whole thing….definitely was planning on skimming it, but it sucked me in! I was thinking about certain healthy food bloggers I follow (like @leefromamerica) who manage to post drool-worthy food porn that’s actually the healthy stuff they’re really eating in normal portion sizes. I’ve stopped following lots of intense food porn accounts (like @eatingatx) because it’s not stuff I can actually eat on a regular basis…and I know from eating some of that stuff that it’s not actually all that tasty!

    • Yes! I’ve been disappointed and fooled a few times by an Instagram photo that led me to a dish that I thought would be good. The accounts give great suggestions but I take it with a grain of salt. Likewise, it’s easier for me to not post a dish only because it’s pretty because I don’t want to dupe people either! Thank you for reading, Kelsey!