Who Am I?

(Remember that one time on Thursday when I promised to wax philosophical on doing things you never expected to do? Yeah. Despite the title, this is not that post. I’ll get around to finishing that post…eventually.)

Fun fact: I’m a bit of a right-brainer. I’ve always been much better at things that require creativity (writing, in particular. Or being an English major in general) than things that require real answers (math, for example. I’m dead serious, y’all: math got too hard for me when they introduced subtraction in first grade. I can sometimes add, generally only when both numbers I’m adding are less than five [6+7? Are you kidding me? That’s way too advanced for my brain], but throw anything with a minus sign at me and I’m toast. And don’t even get me started on division).

My creative tendencies, however, never extended to the visual arts. Art, in fact, was the first class I stopped taking once it became optional in my education. We had to take art through seventh grade, but after that my middle school, high school, and college allowed us to fulfill our art requirements with music classes, and since I’ve been playing the trumpet for the past 12.5 years, that was always a no-brainer for me.

Despite my artistic ineptitude, last Thursday I headed to Bottle & Bottega to celebrate Erin’s birthday!


Bottle & Bottega has a different art project nearly every night of the week, and on our night the task at hand was recreating Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Since I gave up on visual artistic pursuits at the ripe age of 12, I was more than a little concerned about my ability to create something halfway decent.

The great thing about Bottle & Bottega is that they don’t just sit you down in front of a canvas and leave you to your own devices. Instead, they have a teacher who walks you through each step of the process. This rule-following goodie two-shoes has spent the past 22 years perfecting the art of following directions, so that kind of detailed instruction did wonders for my painting.


Behold! Starry Night a la Bethany!

Bottle & Bottega doesn’t hand out grades based on how well you follow directions, however, so fortunately free spirits like Kelsey were also allowed to let their creativity shine.


I may or may not have played a minor role in encouraging Kelsey’s creativity. The fish, however, was not my idea.

So. Thursday’s lesson: apparently I’m capable of being more artistic than I realized.

At Winter Dance two Saturdays ago, I learned that a dance studio downtown was offering free classes all of last week. Since I’m both cheap and a dancing machine, I decided to check out their hip hop and breakdancing offerings on Saturday. I met up with a friend for lunch at Whole Foods (side note:  Saturday was my first time at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods, and as soon as I walked in I crumpled to the floor in a weepy, overwhelmed mess. That might be a slight exaggeration, but talk about overload. I can never, ever, under any circumstance, go grocery shopping at that location, because I’m 100% sure I’d spend four weeks worth of my grocery budget in one shot) and after a lovely meal we headed downtown to check out these classes. We’ve both taken hip hop and breakdancing before, and thank goodness we had. The teacher on Saturday did not hold ANYTHING back, and I was completely exhausted by the end. I had gone for an easy three miler earlier in the day which probably didn’t help with my energy level, but whoa. The classes were both fast-paced and crazy, and I’ve got to be honest: a tired Bethany is a crabby Bethany, and a crabby Bethany gets frustrated really quickly. That made breakdancing in particular a huge challenge for me, but I learned some new stuff, so yay?

After class, my friend (and my friend’s friend, who had joined us for breakdancing) both decided they wanted to keep taking classes there, so on Sunday I found myself on the phone with both that dance studio and my original dance studio. I’ve now dropped hip hop entirely and am taking two breakdancing classes. Seriously. Who am I? What has become of my life?You can go ahead and file this one firmly under the “Things We Do For Love” category.

So. Saturday’s lesson: Never say never? Because honestly, I never in a million years saw myself as someone who would consider taking one breakdancing class, let alone two at the same time. Here’s to new adventures, I suppose!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?
Have you ever discovered a hidden talent? Again, I don’t think I’m actually a talented artist or a good breakdancer–good heavens I am not a good breakdancer–but man oh man can I follow directions like a boss.

20 thoughts on “Who Am I?

  1. Wow! I wish I could do art like that- that’s incredible!! I’m not an artsy/creative person. I’m much more science/analytical which is fine but it’s nowhere near as fun 🙂

    • But is, arguably, more useful in the long run haha. My mom and her sisters are all in the medical field, so when their dad (my grandpa) was sick and dying in the hospital, they knew how to ask all the right questions and could understand what was going on. If my mom is ever sick and dying in the hospital, all I’ll be able to do is write a really solid letter to the doctor haha. (Fortunately, one of my cousins plans to be a nurse, so we’ve already let her know that it’ll be her duty to take care of all of our health and wellbeing as soon as she has her degree hahaha)

  2. I LOVE this post!! It is so funny how seemingly strange things (i.e. your dance class habit) come from thin air and become a part of life! And I love your painting. Wanna trade?

    • For sure! The same thing really kind of happened with me and running, in fact. I’m kind of one of those go big or go home people, apparently haha.

      I told my dad I’d sell the painting to him and my mom for $1 million, but I’ll cut you a deal: $500,000 and it’s all yours 😉

  3. The only “fun” thing I did this weekend was manage to look like I was ice skating/running on a trail path that was covered in ice. It looked like I was ice skating. haha. I think that one of my hidden talents is being able to write speeches for my friend who is on the speech team at Depaul. My writing skills suck on my blog but its because I dont care about my grammar on my blog. I know I should be ashamed. Love your painting 🙂

  4. you don’t know whole foods is also called whole paycheck? aka why I can’t ever go in there. haha but for real. what a cool art class to take, i have been dying to get back into my creative mindset, i made a portfolio throughout high school but just never did anything with it. sad to think I was such a big artist at one point.

    • Hahaha I have heard it called Whole Paycheck before, and man oh man is that true! There are actually a couple of things that are cheaper there than anywhere else (chia seeds and shredded mozzarella), but some of the stuff is SO overpriced. Eeesh. Whenever I go to Whole Foods, I do my best to be on a tunnel-vision mission so I don’t get distracted and end up spending $$$$$$$$$.

  5. Way to go girl!! That’s freakin awesome! You make me want to learn how to break dance haha and that art place looks like something I would love…I can’t wait to hear how the dancing goes 🙂

  6. Well that’s cool! What dance studio is this one? Free classes for that week? Do they do that often do you know? I’m finally making money again, so I’m eager to start dancing. Is this place more or less expensive?

    • They actually just opened in October, so I don’t know if they do the free week thing often or if this was a one-time thing. They’re cheaper than my other studio, though — it’s like $125 for 10 classes (instead of $120 for 8), but you can also do single drop-in classes for $15/class. I can e-mail you the info if you’d like. Just let me know!

  7. Pingback: Thursday Things | accidental intentions

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