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Today, I am embracing my inner Buzzfeed writer and choosing to answer self-care journal prompts. Will I expose myself as an emotional wreck? Will any of these questions be difficult to answer? I guess we’ll see! 

Using a random number generator and prompts from https://putthekettleon.ca, I’ll answer some self-care prompts and see if I can improve my mental health! 

19. Find a photo you love and describe it. 

After spending 20 minutes scrolling through all my photos (I have about a million), I settled on a photo I took for a class project. To set the stage, the class was a University BioArt class (combining art with biology) and the project was to take a photo using a Foldscope or microscope and use that in a creative way. The photo is of a piece of onion skin, magnified about 140 times and dyed green with food colouring. The light from a mini flashlight shines through brighter in certain spots, and interesting patterns are created in places where the dye is thicker than others. Onion cells are oblong and sort of rectangular, with rounded corners, and thick cell walls. To me, it looked like stained glass, and that is the direction I took my project in. Now I could spend an hour nerding out about the foldscope alone (a microscope… MADE OF PAPER??!!) but I won’t. This photo and all its parts remind me of why I love science. The fact I was able to take something the world created and turn it into art (I used the picture to create a stained glass image depicting the duality of science in both religion and art), which I could then share with everyone, is very special to me. I want to share my love for science with everyone. 

9. Write some inspiring quotes. 

This one is honestly kind of boring. Those who’ve been friends with me for a while know that I have a whole wall filled with quotes written on sticky notes. These quotes were collected by me, my sisters, and my friends throughout the years; basically any quotes they like from movies, tv, songs, and books have ended up on the wall. Instead of sharing inspiring quotes, I’ll share some of the quotes from the sticky note wall with you instead. First, from my favourite book of all time, The Picture of Dorian Gray, found in the preface (a poem of sorts written by Oscar Wilde): “All art is quite useless” (a link to the full quote is here). Of course, by this, Wilde meant that the only point of art is to exist and be beautiful. While I do think there are other uses for art, this quote is particularly special to me because it releases art from having a purpose; it allows people to make art for art’s sake. Next, a quote from the Lion King: “You can be a big pig too!”, which of course is from the scene in the movie where Timon and Pumbaa are trying to distract the hyenas. This quote is handwritten in approximately an 80- point font on a piece of neon yellow bristol board because it is that important. Finally, the quote “Where is fancy bread, in the art or in the head” which is written in stylized calligraphy by my youngest sister. Avid fans of Shakespeare may recognize that quote, as it appears in The Merchant of Venice, with the crucial difference being that “bread” is actually supposed to be “bred”. This quote also appears in the 1971 masterpiece Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, when Willy Wonka randomly says it after Violet turns into a blueberry. For YEARS, my sisters and I have wondered what he meant by “fancy bread”. This dumb moment is now immortalized on my bedroom wall. 

6. Write why being strong matters. 

I think this question was meant to reveal something super deep, for instance my reason for being alive, which has been hidden from me up until this point. Unfortunately for putthekettleon.com, this question is very easy for me to answer. I need to be strong so that other people feel like they can confide in me or come to me when they don’t feel strong. People I have been friends with for 10 years have never seen me get genuinely angry, yell, or cry. While I’m the first person to admit that I have hard times, I will never let anyone see how badly things affect me. That’s all I have to say about that. 

1. What was your favourite childhood book? 

My favourite childhood book was this book called Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver. It was a story about a little girl who was locked in her room by her step-mother and made friends with a ghost named Po. They ended up going on an adventure that I can’t recall, but I remember the book being very comforting to me and my go-to for book reports. I think I must’ve done at least four book reports on it during grade school. I also loved The Hobbit and the Nancy Drew series. I was a very curious child, and I absolutely loved putting together the clues and trying to solve the mysteries as Nancy did. I also loved The Magic Tree House series and I still own all of them (up to the point I stopped reading them, I’m pretty sure there’s many more now). I think the main thing I can take away from my favourite books is that I loved books that could teach me things, and I also loved adventure. 

29. What are your favourite hobbies? 

Again, this one is slightly boring, but I made a promise to answer these randomly, and I will keep that promise. I love to draw and paint. Sometimes I hyper-fixate on a certain topic, and all of my drawings will be on that specific topic for a long period of time. Recently, that topic has been Marilyn Monroe. Over the past two years, I’ve collected over 30 drawings of her alone. I’ve been moving into a sort of pop art phase lately. Anyways I love art. I also have started collecting old movies, mainly those starring Marilyn Monroe (I am obsessed), but also some classic murder mysteries like Dial M for Murder and other classics like My Fair Lady. I love to read. Lately, I’ve been too tired to concentrate much on reading not for class but I do have a TBR list a million books long, which is a true sign of someone who loves to read. Finally, I love to cook. As I’m writing this, I’m already anticipating the baked feta pasta I’m going to make tonight (a viral TikTok recipe that I missed the first time around). 

So there we have it: five randomly answered self-care writing prompts. I hope you enjoyed it! 

Giulia Vilardi is an undergrad student in the Behaviour, Cognition and Neuroscience program. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing flute and making art. She always appreciates a good music recommendation and can't get through the day without at least two cups of coffee!
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