I had a professor in my graduate program back in the early 2000s who carried herself in a way that I wanted to emulate. I never expressed this to her, and I didn’t “fangirl” her office hours. But she had these elements that I wanted:
- a poetic nature. I was a poetry major, and she ended up being my thesis advisor. So I suppose I have a poetic nature in some ways, but she was almost like a creature from another realm. She was from the midwest, and this was a southern California school (I think California should be divided into North California and South California, because the cultures are so different, but then the South would run out of water… there’s already the worst drought in recorded history going on in the South…). So maybe I was seeing the midwest on her? But no, it was more.
an office full of books. I’m in the process of developing my book collection. After I graduated, I visited library used book sales and bought tons of books, only to sell half of them when I was engaged. I had bought books just to take up space. Now I am collecting books that I will actually read, so it’s a slower process. But the few times I did go into her office, I loved her space because of the books. It wasn’t old book smell either (I hate old book smell, which is odd for a reader).
- her choice of image. She suffered from Lupus, so she struggled with pain. But exercise helped her pain, so she was in amazing shape. She was thin yet powerful. She also did not have any hair (I never asked if it was because of her disease), but she looked more beautiful without hair (one time she tried on a wig for a group of us students, and I remember thinking that the brown strands took away part of her charm). She also only wore dark, primary colors, lots of blacks and whites. I only remember her in blacks and whites, actually. She also didn’t wear very much makeup and had beautiful white skin.
(I sometimes regret that I went to graduate school at such a young age. Can a 22-year-old in a Masters program really grasp the information being presented? I think I understood to the best of my ability, but I was still a little girl, even as I was a legal adult. I was sheltered and naive. I wish I would have been a bit older, in part so that I could have become friends with this woman rather than being intimidated by her because she was my teacher. I remember when this teacher asked how old I was. When I told her, she was shocked, as were the other students around me. I felt like a prodigy, but I wanted to say that I wasn’t. I was just very good at doing school.)
When I think of what I want to be, this teacher is part of that image. I think we all emulate people to some degree. We also emulate images. Some of the images I’ve been wanting to emulate are hard to articulate. But when I look at slow fashion websites, I see clothing styles that I think would reflect me. It’s going to take some time for me to be able to acquire those styles (I’m probably going to be taking a shopping fast here for at least a few months, if not a full year. I don’t want to commit to a year, but to one day of conscious, sustainable living at a time).
I have been a consumer all my life. It was expected, and I was trained to shop by my society. I want to stop this. I was praying the other day, and I wrote in my journal, God, please detox my life. I want to shed the excess weight in my life: physically losing fat and gaining muscle and flexibility, cleaning up my diet and food choices, taking care of my physical health through chiropractic care, and letting go of past hurts and habits that are rooted in fear and timidity. That’s all I know for now. I want to be light. I want to be air. I’ve adored birds for several years now, in part because of their lightness. Birds have hollow bones. They’re fragile, yet they can embrace flight. I like that strength. I want to work toward having that strength.
(Can you tell I like parenthesis, by the way? Side thoughts, rambling thoughts, somewhat connected. I think my brain works in parenthesis.)