If you don't manage your files they manage you

I continue the file management life. I'm actually making progress so it feels hopeful and less like an abyss of bad choices accumulated over many years.

It's a weird way of reliving the past. Some of it's interesting. Some of it I'm like oh hey that group project was a really awful experience. I am making peace with the fact that large parts of school are actually pretty painful.

Once I'm done my documents I think about doing the thousands of photos. They were my life for a long time so I should go through and take care of them instead of feeling sad thinking about the chaos.

I also wonder about how sad going through them will make me. I miss my life as a wandering street and landscape photographer who could go for hours. Now I'm not totally sure I can use a manual camera -- I am taking a break and letting future Rhi figure that out.

It's weird going through these files and thinking about who I used to be. I miss being that person, I miss the places photography took me. I don't miss the pressure and I never worked out what to do with the files. But I do miss the exploring and the way I used to be in the world.

Twitter cleanse

I’m in the midst of a Twitter cleanse. It seems insane to be doing it, to unfollow pretty much everybody and stop checking the platform. Last year it was fun and there was a hopeful vibe to things. I enjoyed going to housing stuff and seeing people. Now I just can’t do it.

I need a break. I need to accept that I get two years in this city while I’m at UBC and then I really need to find somewhere else to go because I don’t want to live in a place this expensive. That’s where I’m at. Housing isn’t going to improve. I don’t want to at best live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my life.

I could get a job here but would it be worth it? In the long run I just can’t see having a life here.

I want to like this city and the more time I spend following politics the more I hate this place.

I’ve been that person who defends Twitter, who says it’s worth it for the connections but I just don’t feel that anymore. I need a break. I need to focus on other things.

It’s been fun Twitter but I’m mostly just gonna share content from elsewhere on you.

Maybe I’ll be back. Maybe I won’t.

I’m gonna be trying to blog more and to spend time on Instagram.

I got into activism after Brexit because I felt like I needed to do more to make the world a better place. I’m glad I did. I met some wonderful people and I think we all should do more. But I’m different than I was. I’m a student, I’m recovering from being broken. I just want to be as good of a designer as I can be and find a way to be happy and live my life. I don’t want much just to find a place where I feel most possible.

I have two years here, two years at SALA, two years to get as good as I can, two years where I have better things to do with my time than scroll through Twitter and be crushed by the lack of progress or real solutions.

I love the people I have found through this. I am so grateful for them. Maybe we can connect more in person.

Tacit chaos

I am easily distracted. Perhaps more so now than in the past. Now that things feel a bit different, now that the world is louder.

I am a mess. I am all over the place. I am easily distracted.

There are those two sides to me. The one that loves order, structure and routine. The one that is prepared and methodical. The one that finds safety in knowing what is going to happen and where things are.

That voice that always tells me that I am in the wrong place, that I am late even though I’m early. That voice that tells me that if only I was a bit more organized then I’d be fine and I’d have the thing I need but don’t.

That voice and side comes from the chaos.

The chaos of lost objects that I leave behind me like a trail of breadcrumbs. I can mark my life through objects I misplaced that I really really wish I had not. Objects that I needed but that were not with me. The daily struggle to leave my home with the various things I require to be prepared and comfortable and okay.

It feels like there is something wrong with me, like it shouldn’t be that hard. That for all these attempts at order I should be able to get it together.

There are piles of post-its on my desk. In at least four different colours and sizes. I keep reaching for new ones and they get scattered. If only I could heard them into a neat pile, if only I could return them to where they are meant to be so I can find them when I need them.

I am attempting something that I have never succeeded at before this semester. I have one class and I want all of my notes in one notebook/sketchbook. Just one. So far I am not keeping up with this goal. On the day of our second class I departed without my notebook. To be fair I had a dentist appointment and was busy worrying about that and whether or not I’d manage to get through it without losing consciousness and it was distracting. Before the third class I wrestled with the piles of things and the various places I may have stashed either notebook. Eventually I found one in the clothes I’ve been meaning to hang up and had set aside.

I wonder why it is so hard for me to do this thing. To simply know where a notebook is and to have it with me for three hours twice a week. Why can’t I do this?

Having studied at two SALAs now I am getting better at embracing the chaos. At letting it go when I am foolish and forget to bring my readings to seminar even though they were nicely placed near my chair by the door so I’d remember to bring them. At not beating myself up when everyone else seems to be able to bring the few basic necessities their life requires with them and I do not. I keep telling myself to embrace the chaos and to go with the flow.

Still it’s nice when I reach into my bag and find my headphones are in there, as they ought to be and that I get to listen to podcasts or escape from the world if the noise is too much instead of having to deal and try not to be annoyed with myself and the world as I sit in the non-silence of the bus and wish I could be doing what I wanted to be.

Trees take care of each other. So should humans

I was up early yesterday and went to Granville Island while the market was still waking up. People were setting up booths and others, like me, were killing time until stuff opened. Walking around I kept thinking I hope you have a good day and your business does well. Not in some fluffy insincere way but in a way that is painful and connected and empathetic. I wanted these people to be okay, to do well.

I couldn’t help but think about how different our world would be if this was how we thought about things. Take care of each other so we can all do well and have decent lives. Don’t we all want everyone to be okay or has the individualism of capitalism crushed that from most of us?

Typing up quotes from The Secret Life of Trees I basically only underlined stuff about how trees help each other. Like humans they are social and live in communities. They take care of each other. And so should we.

Scientists in the Harz mountains in Germany have discovered that this really is a case of interdependence, and most individual trees of the same species growing in the same stand are connected to each other through their root system. It appears that nutrient exchange and helping neighbours in times of need is the rule.
There are advantages to working together. A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannont establish a consistent local climate. It is at the mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create and ecosystem that moderates extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity. And in this protected environment, trees can live to be very old. To get to this point, the community must remain intact no matter what. If every tree was looking out only for itself, then quite a few of them would never reach old age.
Every tree, therefor, is valuable to the community and worth keeping around for as long as possible. And that is why even sick individuals are supported and nourished until they recover.
Whoever has an abundance of sugar hands some over; whoever is running short gets some help.
When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be.
A tree can only be as strong as the forest that surrounds it.
Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well.
Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives.
And because they know this intiuitively, they do not hesitate to help each other out.
One final limitation is an organism’s own genestics: an organism that is too greedy and takes too much without giving anything in return destroys what it needs for life and dies out.
Species that live in social groups don’t entertain this option because every individual belongs to a community that will look after it in times of need, warn it of impending dangers and feed it if it is sick or in distress.

Writing on my phone

I’ve been going through stuff I wrote on my phone either in Notes or Google Docs and putting it up as blog posts. It’s working well for me.

The writing stuff out by hand days are behind me and I rarely feel compelled to sit down and write a post. Writing on the go was jiving with me. As I waste time on the b-line (yes making students bus to UBC from the other side of the city because of terrible zoning is a huge waste of my time) I might start writing blog posts.

I want to post more. I want to be more on top of shit.

I’m not gonna be a student forever so documenting and sharing this moment seems worthwhile I’m just usually too exhausted to do it.


I feel like blogging and writing again. It's nice to be back to that.

I needed a break after writing for a living proved to just be really awful and soul crushing. There were a few years there where I didn’t feel like writing.

If you’re meant to do something you get back to it in time.

I also have more energy and feel like a human again. It’s been a year (more or less) and I feel like I’m getting back to myself.

Thoughts and quotes from watching Lost In Translation

Life is awkward

I hope all these mental health podcasts are better than whatever Charlotte is listening to

Not loving the sweater vests

Leopard print

No hospital visits this time

Fax machines 

How long have you been here? I couldn’t say.

How are they always at Shibuya Crossing?

May I be able to sleep when I get back

Killing time

Are you awake?

Does anyone know what’s happening?

Does it get easier?

I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be

Every girl goes through a photography phase

Keep writing

It’s scary

Nobody ever tells you that

The mountain in the distance

Which way is Mt Fuji?

The Maples look great. I miss taking those pictures 

White pants

White paper

Kyoto is lovely

May you find your way. May you find yourself. May you enjoy the journey.

Onsen onsen onsen

Daikanyama is hip

I can’t tell the difference 

Judgmental glare

I thought I’d missed you

Looks of sadness and longing



To be seen

To be close to somebody

To have Phoenix songs play in the background of our lostness

Friends you get for a moment. This one transitory moment. It will never be like this again. You won’t be back round this way.

Glico flashes neon wishes

Can’t sleep