• Janeill Cooper

Reflecting on Summer and Starting New Things (like this blog)

Summer is and has always been my favorite season: the sun on my skin, the pool, the beach, the smell of barbecues, seeing Black people being out and having a great, Black ass time. But as this summer approaches its official close, I realize how much I am looking forward to Fall and the cool weather (my turtlenecks are literally waiting for me) more than I ever have in my life, really. There's a certain shift of energy into a place of opportunity, productivity, creativity and focus that Fall brings, and I'm feeling very ready to harness that this year in particular. Perhaps this is me growing as an adult... I'd hope. High-key though, I'm just pretty ready to move past the clusterfuck that was Summer 2019.


As we make that shift into the next season, it feels important to take some time to reflect on the past few months and take a look ahead at what's to come in these next few months. In many ways, this is the best way I could've imagined kicking off this blog, especially considering that it is a direct product of harnessing that creative and productive energy (I've been bullshitting, talking about starting a blog for a few years now, but here we are).


Summer '19: Broke Girl Summer


One of the reasons that I'm so ready for this phase of the year to be over is because I spent most of it BROKE. Back in early-May (which feels like forever ago), I quit my really awful full-time job without any fallback except for the part-time jobs that I already had, one of which would be going on summer break shortly after my quitting. Now I know there's the whole thing about not quitting a job before you have something else lined up to replace it but look - I don't think I'd even still be around to write this today had I stayed at that job any longer than I did. So I did what I had to do. Also, like, how hard would it be to find work?


Turns out, it's hard as fuck to find work these days. I'm pretty sure that for the past few months, I spent more time on Indeed than social media or anything. Deadass. I'm talking like, first thing when I woke up: Indeed. Before bed: Indeed. At 3am: Indeed. On the train, walking down the block, being idle in my car, on the toilet: Indeed. I applied to so many things: Blink, Crunch, Planet Fitness, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Barnes and Noble, lululemon, co-working spaces, reception and office jobs, yoga studios, boutique gyms. Everybody was just like, "Nah, we good sis" or said nothing at all. I also regularly searched and applied for jobs more in the arts realm on DanceNYC or New York Foundation for the Arts, but... nope.


That consistent rejection and looming brokeness, combined with the usual daily existential crises made things quite difficult on the mental health side of things. Definitely had days where I literally just did nothing, didn't want to socialize, barely ate, and all of that. And there was quite of bit of family drama stuff and whatever... but I digress.


So sis, what have you been doing...


Interestingly enough I still managed to tap into that Summer energy and have a good time. And though it wasn't ideal, or the best summer I've ever had or anything, it really wasn't all thaaaat bad of a time now that I'm reflecting on it.


Some highlights in no particular order:

  • Spent July 4th at the beach with friends

  • Entered a relationship with my partner

  • Hair growth (shout out to all my 4c folks!)

  • Saw Anderson .Paak live in Philly - Um... Uhhhmazing

  • Saw Patti LaBelle perform live... FROM BACKSTAGE

  • Went to a really dope rooftop party and got my drunk ass life

  • Went to DanceAfrica for the first time

  • Played lots of The Sims

  • Attended a bunch of random free Black ass events around Brooklyn

July 4th at Rockaway Beach featuring a photo bombing Wendell

In regards to productivity and growth, I do believe that everything that has happened and that I've done this summer was critical in putting things in place for the fall and beyond in ways that I probably cannot actually see yet. Case in point, I spent the entire summer as a Production Intern at BRIC Arts Media and now moving into the fall, I'll be working as an actual employee on their production crew. I've been interested in the technical and production aspects of dance and theatre for many years and this internship was my first entry into that field.


Fall '19: Shifts, Intentions and Growth. Real Grown Girl Shit?


I feel strongly that this Fall is going to bring some real clarity to my life, specifically about where I want to focus my energy career-wise; and that some things I've been waiting for will finally start to manifest, which I've already begun to see happening (BRIC and my journey into technical production being a huge part of that). I'm entering year three of post-grad life and I'd say it's about time. I'm finding a bit of solace in that.


This summer I've been on somewhat of an aggressive hiatus from dance, performing, and creating, and so I'm looking forward to slowly coming out of that and setting the intentions to reshape my relationship with my body and dance.


I can't really talk about Fall and harnessing all that Fall energy without mentioning that I'm a Fall baby. Approaching another year of life, entering a new chapter, all the shit happening astrologically. Like, it's definitely my season to thrive. Shoutout to all the Fall babies - the Libras in particular. It's lit.


Lastly, I'm just really excited about this whole blog thing and to be exploring a new medium through which to articulate myself as an artist and human who's out here just trying to cope with existing in the world. I spend so much time ranting on Instagram about all the things that I figured I might as well just give these thoughts a permanent and comfortable home. So here it is. Welcome to the party.

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