Fearless Friday: squirrels, rock camp, and my thesis

What do squirrels, my thesis, and rock camp have in common? My Friday morning, that’s what. I’ve been plugging away at the toughest chapter of my thesis; where each sentence is a victory, and each time I sit down to write is a brand new experience. And I realized this morning, while sipping on coffee from my main squeeze, that I’m actually terrified of finishing this piece of work that’s been a huge part of my identity for the last 3 years. What will I be when I’m no longer a graduate student?

So I stop looking at my computer screen, take a look around my apartment, and my eyes settle on this gem:


Yes, that is a squirrel shampooing itself. It came out of one of the most inspiring summers of my life. I volunteered with the Girls Rock! DC chapter because my sweet friend, Esme, could not. stop. talking. about Girls Rock! Austin and I wanted to have as much fun as she had. So I helped clean up at the end of camp and with the big showcase that Saturday. The night before the showcase, one of the campers, a real firecracker you could say, was practicing her outro as an MC for one of the DJs. She hollered, “Go shampoo a squirrel!” Or basically, they don’t have to go home but they can’t stay here… but with a little more attitude.

It was a big hit with the volunteers, and Till thankfully immortalized the squirrel in question. This drawing has spent 4 summers on my fridge and it makes me laugh each time I see it.

I can’t help but wonder if that camper was afraid to be on stage, or if she was nervous at all. I don’t know. What I do know is that she went on stage determined to rock it, threw her whole self into it, and knew when it was over. She didn’t think about her performance defining who she was, or what was next- she just went out and did it (so well!) I’m still learning from her.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to shampoo a squirrel.