The time has come upon us; it's September, the leaves are changing (in some parts of the US), school is back in session, and I cannot resist the urge to purchase school supplies. Ever since I could remember, the need to go out and purchase school supplies represented a new beginning-- a way to re-invent oneself for the new school year. Heather Rivard of the Art Supply Posse podcast, really nailed the feeling and excitement around school supply shopping: "School supply shopping was an emotional experience for me. School supplies represent the part of life that made sense to me, like doing homework and what I was told. School clothes shopping represented the things that didn't make sense, like social hierarchy and how to fit in and how to feel like an acceptable human being. School supplies! That is a source of so much warmth and comfort and excitement."
This passage hits home for me. Some years, life was great and my parents had the money to indulge my growing obsession with school supplies. Other years, time were tough and I was forced to re-use items or buy the cheapest stuff. I never thought about it at the time (because who does), but the act of school shopping tied directly into my self-worth. Now that I am an adult with a decent amount of purchasing power, I find myself in a different race: Keeping up with the Joneses. I've been distant from the group the past month or so because as a full-time student and part-time worker, I am unable to jump at every new stationery item that comes out. I am not subscribed to any stationery or pencil service and do my best to buy at least one box of the limited edition Blackwings. Again, I am faced with the need to keep up.
Now don't get me wrong, our community is incredibly giving and I myself have given away countless pencils and other paraphernalia, but as with any hobby this gets EXPENSIVE. Which brings me to this year's school supply shopping experience. Besides some folders and red marking pencils (which I will review in the coming weeks), I have purchased nothing. Well, OK, my recent trip to CW Pencil Enterprise was an indulgence, but for the most part there has not been a ceremonial "school supply shopping" excursion. I like it this way. It has allowed me to pore over my current collection of pencils and supplies and rediscover some real gems.
I have filled my pencil roll with some oldies and newbies, but I am content with my choices. I am not sure if I am going to use a different pencil every week, bu I'd like to use all of them this semester at some point. I will get back to blogging on a weekly basis now and will not only write about pencils, but stationery stuff and maybe some personal stuff. Stay tuned all!