Timing is everything

My life is riddled with coincidences, signs, and nudges. Every other day I find myself exclaiming, “Isn’t it weird how that worked out!?”. My husband just gives me the same look, it’s a look he has customized specifically for situations like this as they happen so frequently. After ten years together, I can confidently say he’s not as firm a believer in ‘signs’ as I am. Nonetheless, these little nudges I’m given, sometimes daily, are now so frequent, every so often I’m able to turn him into a believer.

I’ve always had the attitude that if I just work my butt off for something and really, really want it, I can make it happen. Call me naive,  but it’s working for me, so let’s just roll with it.

Case in point, National Geographic. I’ve been talking about getting published in National Geographic since I was approximately three years old (and no, it still hasn’t happened, but I’m working on it!). This dream is what is fueling me through the long hours of studying, reading, and writing, as I work toward an MA in Anthropology.

A few weeks ago I had a meeting with the professor who I’ve always hoped would supervise my MA. We talked about the Amazon and travelling there to do fieldwork. We discussed thesis questions and started to formulate a game plan for this dream of mine. I came home that night, a little overwhelmed with what it all meant – travelling to the jungle, learning Portuguese and relearning Spanish (why didn’t I continue with it the first time!?!), and a whole lot of competition in a heavily researched field of study. For a few fleeting moments, I started to consider alternate options. I considered doing fieldwork closer to home, taking the easier route on this journey. And road which would undeniably be filled with less anacondas and panthers, but one which would also make me less desirable to that light at the end of the tunnel, National Geographic. I’ve never taken the easy route, but I was so tired and easy was appealing.

A few short hours of sleep later and I was heading out for another day at the University. As is my ritual, I stopped at our local Esso to fill up and grab coffee. While there, my dear friend Randy, told me he had a story for me. He told me his wife was in town shopping and came home with a beautiful coffee table book filled with images by National Geographic photographers. He told her he knew someone who would like a copy so she drove all the way back into the city and bought me a copy! That right there was another one of those signs. National Geographic slapping me in the face and Randy reminding me why I was doing what I was doing. He told me that one day, one of my photos will be in there and I told him that when that day came, I would bring him a copy of the book. I thanked him profusely, but I honestly don’t think they will every know just how much that book means to me.

I cleared a spot on my bookshelf next to my desk where it is sitting on display. I have it there to remind me every single day exactly what I’m fighting for and the dream I’ve been working toward for my entire life. Randy and Myrna, I honestly can’t thank you enough for giving me that nudge at the moment when I needed it most. It truly means the world to me.

Frida Kahlo – Clothing Exhibit

While in University working on my degree I was forced to take a second language as part of my degree requirements.  So, I signed up for my Spanish 100 course.  While I undoubtedly struggled learning the language, I was happy with my decision.  After completing my first Spanish course, I was presented with an amazing opportunity to travel to Mexico City for a few weeks.

I have always loved the culture and was beginning to learn the language making this trip truly a once in a lifetime experience.  Once I set foot on the streets of this magnificent city, my love for all things Mexican only deepened.  Before I left for my trip I had started to do research on Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.  Her self-portraits drew me in and I quickly became obsessed with learning everything I could about her life and art.

Me in Mexico City in front of a very large statue of Frida Kahlo.
Me in Mexico City in front of a very large statue of Frida Kahlo.

When Kahlo passed away, her husband Diego Rivera ordered her abstract collection of clothing to be boxed up and locked away.  A few years later, Rivera also passed away.  All of Kahlo’s clothing remained packed up and out of the public eye.  Until recently that is.  La Casa Azul is now in possession of those beautiful pieces of, what I would consider to be, an extension of her art.  They currently have many of the items from her wardrobe on display for the public to view.  There is some more information about it in the video below…

Here’s the part that has me so incredibly excited and itching to head back to the city to see this exhibit.  They said that her clothes still smelled of her perfume and cigarette smoke!  There were remnants of paint on the articles of clothing she wore while creating her masterpieces.  This gives me goosebumps.  I can not imagine what that must have been like for the curators unpacking the clothing and setting up the displays.