Long lost images from my Fourth of July weekend in Montauk. Montauk Point Lighthouse is one of my favorite places in all of Long Island. The sea here has so much richness and texture and tonal ambiguities to it. Each rock and pebble tells a unique story. Together, layered upon each other, their stories weave in and out like something out of a dream. I can’t take my eyes off of any of it.
The way the water looks and feels here is so romantic to me. Both calm and eager. Held back yet bursting at the seams at the same time. It reminds me so much of one of my favorite Cat Power songs. If you follow me on Twitter (or Spotify), you’ll know how much of a Cat Power fan I am. When I get nostalgic, Cat Power is the first thing I turn on to match the melody of my mood. I have recently made a point to start practicing this one song on my dusty acoustic guitar that I am actually quite lousy at playing, just so I can strum and sing it for the boy that I will truly fall in love with someday.
Fashion, Outfits, Photography
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley
Things that make me unhappy:
Shoes that make my feet hurt
People who never smile
War and death
Things that make my happy:
My family and friends
A really spectacular hamburger
The Manhattan skyline
Dance parties on rooftops
Skype sessions with Mom and Dad
Peach nail polish
Cheap Chinatown massages
Pictures of Cuba
Sheer cotton peasant blouses
The feeling of sand beneath my feet
Now that I look back on this list, I can see that a lot of these things on the lists are tangible and material. This quote is a reminder that despite the things we literally have in our hands (or don’t), it can never measure up to the experiences that are impressionable on us for far longer than a quick moment, or a trip to the shopping mall for that matter. I have a place to live. I have pretty clothes to put on my body. I have money to fill my belly with wonderful things. I have access to a lot of THINGS. Which is nice, but it’s not what is the source of my happiness and inspirations. Especially since I didn’t always have some of these things. The true source of happiness I have come to find, comes from the people who have made an impression on my soul and life decisions. The people I love unconditionally and have gotten to know personally. Who have gone through the ups and downs with me, and have reflected on them with me. Those who I will be paving my future with and looking back on where we came from with fond feelings of both heartache and joy. Those who have joined me on travels to wonderful places and have made memories to laugh and cry about forever and ever. Those who make me want to smile more, follow my heart, do better and go above and beyond the ordinary.
When something has me feeling down, irritated, annoyed, unhappy, nervous, lacking in confidence, bored, like I’m missing out or just completely off balance, I just think of these people and these experiences and the feeling of love that I get from them on a daily basis, and everything else fades. Even on my shittiest days full of long subway rides and obnoxious people and heavy air. Only the good remains, and the good is what keeps me going. The literal things don’t matter. It’s spiritual connections and the gratefulness for the strength if these connections. I hope these are the types of good things that keep you going, too.
In the words of my favorite girl band, First Aid Kit, “And it’s one life, and it’s this life, and it’s beautiful.”