Artsy Endeavors + Life Updates: Whoa, Halfway There

glitter watch charming charlie
The lethal three: glitter, pastels, neon
boston public library
Books, blossoms, beauty
charles river cambridge
Explore
life alive cambridge
Organic vegan cafes: my wallet cries, but my stomach is exuberant
Horseneck Beach
Sun, water, sand, happiness
thrifting haul
Successful thrifting expedition: picked up the lot, minus the shoes, for only $15.09
black-eyed susan
Little sprig of sunshine
glow band
Glow
indoor cycling
Hi, my name is Lily, and I'm your indoor cycling instructor.
Photos from my instagram and vscogrid

Whoa, livin' on a prayer. 

In the past three weeks, I've:

--taught cycling classes
--decorated my soul away
--driven students to the doctor and ER
--woken up at 4am to shuttle students to the airport
--stepped in for a yoga workshop last-minute
--initiated an impromptu dance party on the stairs
--handled difficult parents on the phone
--explored the gems of Massachusetts
--taken care of a hall of middle-school girls as a co-RA

I've become more familiar with the multitude of bright souls around me, from staff to students. I've watched the awkward introductions melt into warm bonding, followed by a maelstrom of tears and fierce hugs as the students parted ways when session one drew to an end.

It's hard to believe that I've already been at Explo for a month, including staff orientation. Here, I've witnessed incredible growth: once-bullied middle-schoolers have found the courage to share their stories, students from warring nations have made peace, children have released their qualms of judgment to follow their passion and instinct. They have unearthed a clearer image of who they are and who they dream of becoming.

As a staff member, have I changed? I don't know. I can confidently say, however, that I've learned more about myself. I've learned that I can, indeed, survive on just under eight hours of sleep per day. I've learned that I'm more capable of adapting than I thought. I've learned to better balance my own endeavors with our limited off time. I've learned that while meaningful conversations and connections energize me, I also need plenty of time to explore and ponder on my own. I've learned to be more adventurous, zany, flexible, creative, selfless.

Three weeks of the program down, three weeks to go. Let's do this, session two.

*                        *                          *

On a more logistics-esque note, I was thoroughly touched by your comments on my last post. I'm unfortunately unable to drop by your blogs until this weekend, due to the hectic move-in, move-out phase, but I will talk to you all soon.

On a separate note, I'm now on VSCOGrid! If you've heard of the editing program, VSCOCam, this is its social side. What I love about it, however, is that you have no idea who's following you, and who you're following also has no idea. There are no numbers involved--just art. I consider this a more casual, aesthetics-focused version of instagram. You can still find me on both platforms, but I'll likely be updating my VSCOGrid more often.

Hugs,
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4 comments

  1. I'm so glad you are having a wonderful time, even if exhausted! You're getting amazing life experience there and you are helping these young people wonderfully. x x

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  2. Aw, Lily! This post is so so beautiful. I'm glad that you've not only learned so much about yourself and what you're capable of (as well as how you've adapted to situations). You'll probably learn even more in session two! And the fact that you've been helping so many people along the way... well, you're just hands down incredible. :)


    I love all these images here. I imagine oneway we'd go to organic vegan cafes together. All these photos resonated with me in some way. :)


    Have a wonderful, wonderful rest of the week!

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  3. I had to stop reading this just to read up on Explo because it sounds like a fantastic experience, and it does indeed sound like one. It's always great to be able to learn about yourself through significant life events but I think I almost always enjoy watching people grow more so than I like watching myself grow.

    I'm curious; are you excited for the program to end or are you perhaps harbouring some feelings of dread? For a program that clearly has such a huge impact on you, I genuinely do want to know! Also, impromptu dance parties on the stairs are the BEST.

    Good luck for the rest of the program and have a great rest of the week!

    May | THE MAYDEN

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  4. Wow good for you for doing this program for a summer! I was reading your list of things you have done in just 3 weeks and it sounds like you have had a crazy-yet great time! I'm actually quite jealous because my summer has ended up being so incredibly BORING! I can't imagine how you were able to teach a cycling class and stepping into a yoga class! That must have been interesting!

    As usual, Lily, you are such a powerhouse in the things you do! I only hope that I can achieve the inner success that you are able to achieve in life. Can't wait to hear more about it :)

    Olivia | Her Name Was
    Celebration

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