Oh hi. Well in case you haven’t noticed, Suburbanite is running on reserve energy right now, and blogging has pretty much stopped. I’ve been busy (busy is too mild of a word actually) finishing up my last semester of design school at UGA. All that stuff about senioritis, and lazy days by the pool wasting away the days until graduation? Yeah, that’s a very very foreign concept to me. My cohort and I have been hard at work often only getting a few hours of sleep per night and primarily surviving on Monsters and anxiety.

I can’t remember a time when I’ve allowed one single thing to engross me and take over my life more than this, and I can’t say I like it. My room is a mess, there’s scrap paper and blades all over the floor. I’m spending all my money on printer ink and paper (you’re welcome Mowhawk stock holders). I look like a wreck. I feel very scattered, not put together and not myself. Most days I wake up in a panic and I always feel guilty when I spend time doing something other than school work. After a painful (and oh yes it was painful for us all) critique on Friday, I felt all was lost and all that hard work was being ripped out of my hands. And then this happened….

John called me a week prior and asked if I would be willing to sacrifice a Saturday night (because obviously my social calendar is just booming with activity amidst all this school work) to come surprise his girlfriend Olivia with a short photoshoot after he surprised her with a proposal. Of course! I said. Olivia is a friend of mine and I was so excited and honored to be included in this momentous occasion. John had been scheming for weeks and had chosen his grandmother’s backyard in Athens as the perfect location. He had a whole spot set up in the backyard with pictures of the two of them, roses, candles and a personalized champagne bottle (didn’t even know these existed!)

As a child John visited his grandmother every year at Easter and had Easter egg hunts in this very same place, so he tucked notes to Olivia in Easter eggs for her to read. And in the super-blinged out final egg was a ring!

I spent about thirty minutes with the two of them getting some shots of their special night, and then left them to make and receive about a billion phone calls and texts. I went back home to my pile of work and the realization that none of that work really matters. I had just witnessed and monumental and life-changing moment for two people, and I was  reminded that while my cohort and I have been busy romancing our Wacom tablets and stressing about bezier curves, life has been happening and we are missing the boat. People are being born and people are dying and there are all kinds of exciting and monumental things happening in between and not a single one of those things involves a portfolio or anything similar. Our senior class work is going to be hung up on a wall for a week and then it’s going to be gone. Half of it will get thrown away, half of it will be stowed away in a box somewhere with the good intentions of one day photographing it really well for a portfolio page. Years down the road it will be like this never happened, it will eventually vanish from our portfolios (if any of us are still designers) replaced by less dated work. Ultimately, all this stuff we’re making will be gone and so will all that time, stress and heartache that went into it. In my small world right now this project seems to be a do or die. life or death kind of thing, but in the grand scheme of my life, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to take a walk everyday so that I feel good? Clean out my workspace so that I don’t become immediately stressed everyday when I get home (and perhaps get all those blades off the floor since that’s an obvious hazard)? Eat more than 1.5 meals a day? Take some time to get my mind off this one nagging thing and do something else? And wouldn’t my work probably benefit from these things too? What are you doing while life is passing by, and is it worth it? “What I do today is important, because I am paying a day of my life for it. What I accomplish must be worthwhile, because the price is so high.” What are you exchanging your days, your attention, your energy for?

A huge huge congrats to Olivia and John! Thank you  for allowing me to be a part of your special moment, and even more for reminding me that while I’m holed up in the studio, life is still happening whether I’m participating or not! Folks I will be back with you 100% in three weeks and for those of you who follow me on twitter, I hope to never use an #argd hash tag again!