This piece was the first place winner in the 2012-2013 Far Western Region Blog Contest in the Open Topic category. A call for submissions for the 2013-2014 regional blog contests will be announced soon.
by Lindsey Nguyen
Treasurer, Phi Phi Chapter
Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
“I want to own an apartment so I can buy tons of artwork that I like and put them up.”
I finally have some down time for myself tonight and was looking through old Twitter posts.”Twitter Expanded” is my non-140 character limit, long-winded explanation of where this tweet stemmed from.
This wish was written three years ago (date noted in title), and the order is still waiting to be filled (ahem, Santa…).
Back then, I only wanted my own place so I could decorate it with thrifty (because I was a dirt poor student, and still am) artwork. I was inspired after visiting my sister’s new apartment that year. This was her first year living on her own, paying rent and utilities by herself, buying her own furniture–everything. Two paintings she decked it out with were Jonathan Weiner’s piece of a woman calmly pepper spraying an attacker on the subway (can’t find it online, unfortunately) and also a crazy, colorful one by KRK Ryden called “Protection of the Innocents.”
My sister’s not one to explain anything very much, because she gives you enough credit to “get it,” so I took what I could from these paintings:
1) Her finally establishing her sense of independence
2) Her pride and self-confidence as a successful and young single woman
3) Her keenness of anything she finds aesthetically pleasing (even if it’s a little off-center and dark, it was cool to her, and she was happy to show it)
She worked her whole life to create the skin she’s in today and she likes to represent that in the way she expresses herself (e.g., through her clothing style, or artwork).
My mom hated the paintings and thought they would bring bad luck (the old country, Vietnamese superstition, of course) and honestly, I thought they were really creepy and Salvador Dali-esque, but in a scarier way.
But my sister loved her room and loved herself for having created her own little space all on her own. That self-love is really important, especially in your 20s where people will tell you left and right how you should think, act, feel for the rest of your life. Take their advice, but don’t drown yourself in it.
To quote one of my best friends: “You might as well do what you love because nobody’s really paying attention.”