Entries in people (2)


Hanging by a Fiber

Newspapers and magazines have predicted the death of print for years. With Newsweek enduring only in pixels and Saturday USPS deliveries on the butcher block, I re-living the last breaths of 35mm film again.

The end of print doesn’t bode well for me, as an editor and stationer. But I haven’t been doing much to save it. Google Reader is a constant companion—though not for much longer—as is my Kindle and iPhone. In looking at the realistic future of my business, I continually gut-check myself as to when I would reach for the physical over the digital. Five instances come immediately to mind:

Thank you note written and sketched by Aptly NotedSketch thank you note to my in-laws for sending homemade cookies.

  1. Thank you notes: Firing off an email of appreciation is sometimes all time allows, but a handwritten note carries with it sentimentality and literal weight. It takes the sender time to compose it. Much of life passes by undocumented. With that one note, the writer captures a moment of time in an expression of gratitude.
  2. Letters: Perusing archived and historical letters is a more intimate experience than robotically paging through one-line emails. Paper can be musky, yellowed, and deteriorating, but it’s a direct connection to someone years or centuries apart.
  3. Travel reads: Catching up on news on my iPhone is great until I disappear underground on the subway, fly 20,000 feet above the earth, head out to a remote destination, or even ride in a moving vehicle. Screens aren’t easy to ready when the reader or the screen is jostling up and down. Mobile is indisputably convenient, but a printed-pulp based product is reliable.
  4. Photographs: I have cradled my DSLR on 30-mile hikes and become its human shield in the rain. But I still don’t own a digital picture frame. The stark contrast of the LED or crystallized display against a room’s ambient light turns a nostalgic memory a miniature screensaver. I don’t print many photographs, but the ones that make it to paper are cherished.
  5. Textbooks: Though college is admittedly a distant memory, I still can’t imagine surviving classes without surrounding myself with sprawled-open textbooks, manually highlighting salient equations, and rifling through 500 pages in a last-ditched effort to absorb one more piece of information. 

As I try to convince myself why print will survive, more reasons to choose print over digital fill my mind. Yes, I understand that by blogging instead of journaling, I discredit my argument, but I have resolved to do better with my sketchbook this year. I’m only three months behind on my resolution.


On a Personal Note

My partner in life is the reason I’m able to do everything I want to do professionally and then some. He has given everything for me, starting with endless encouragement and support—by which I don’t mean the monetary kind (we both work long hours in unforgiving fulltime jobs). Whenever I am discouraged, he catches me before I stumble too far into the abyss. If I’m overwrought by doubt, he quietly reassembles the pieces of my shattered self-esteem.

I grew up in a family where humility—bordering on trepidation—was stressed. On one hand, I excelled academically; on the other, I had to time leaving the house with our neighbors’ activities. It was like being stuck with a bowling ball in hand, always waiting for players in the flanking lanes to roll first. A cross look from a friend or random passerby could send me reeling for days: How did I offend them? Should I apologize? For what?

My husband is my pragmatic antithesis. He shrugs off the jabs carelessly lobbed by others just as fluidly as I reach for my paranoia pin. He never judges me—aloud, at least—even when I’m wearing a shirt backward and inside-out or continually buying boots online that ultimately don’t fit (runner’s calves!).

I have friends who too quickly dismiss everything from the movies in which I express interest, the cities in which I live, and to my unconventional career path. They’re the people who walk into your house, rap on your furniture, and ask, “Is this real wood?”

At first I thought I was being overly sensitive—entirely plausible—but the more I listened to the naysayers, the more I realized that some people simply enjoy looking down at the world from their mighty soapbox. Whereas I for one would rather spend my days looking up at the world, unfettered by the hard ground of negativity. Fortunately for me, my husband makes two.

A dazzling sunset over my former suburb