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Sister Got My Back

September 22, 2016

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It might be the hardest thing to explain . . . one’s relationship with a sister. It’s a fascinating dynamic, that’s for sure. Years of entangled memories that seem to stick more than anything else as the years flash by. So many bruises, so many inside jokes, so much name calling, so much of what can feel like hate and annoyance, but most of all . . . so much love. Together, sisters can take over the world, but there are moments when the momentum goes far to fast for its own good that all there is left is to crash and burn . . . only for the cuts and broken pieces to be mended back to brand new in just the next day . . . maybe in the next few hours . . . but even more likely in the next few minutes. Unconditional love is a real thing when it comes to the stories of sisters. Take my sister Natalie and I. We’ve seen each other at our worst, but we’ve seen each out at our best, and our moods are a steady pendulum that swings between these two extremes. But every little moment in-between counts for something special, as well. Together these little moments are a steady beat with bumps and leaps that is exciting to say the least. A reminder that our lives are like a song. There’s gotta be a break somewhere. A repeated chorus. A verse that stands out the most. A fade that lingers in our mind for what seems like forever.

There hasn’t been anyone before where I could be my total and complete self. Unafraid to show my vulnerabilities, my confidences and strengths, my deepest and darkest secrets and my biggest dreams (most of which we share). It’s quite an an amazing thing to read the mind of someone and not even know you are doing it, and they can do the same thing back. It’s almost magical. With sisters, this feeling is just normal. Involving work into our relationship may seem like too much of a strain on something that can be explained as the strongest and most endless of friendships, but somehow we balance everything out perfectly. It’s also the biggest challenge, but who ever said things always have to be easy? Our biggest challenges, our biggest fights, our most frustrating of days . . . they all remind us to take a step back and realize that beyond all of these there, there exists something really simple and bared down . . . the fact that we will always have each other . . . each other’s trust, forgiveness and reliability. And that is all that really matters. The bare bones of it all. The most loveliest of bones. Love ya lil sister.

We are both wearing Zimmermann dresses and M Missoni purses.
Photos by GenStreetStyle

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Makes Me Believe in Something

September 6, 2016

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“Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.”

I’m still trying to find out who the originator of this string of words is, and I may never ever find that out, but whoever that person is . . . they understand this certain feeling. These type of people, you might meet once, or maybe they will stay for just a little while, or maybe just maybe they will stay forever. But for that time being, when you are with that person, it’s like having that feeling of a little red string that delicately ties around your pinky finger and makes you feel like a floating balloon that will never get lost.

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The Art of Independence

August 25, 2016

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Cienne overalls
Stylestalker tee
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After three years of being a New Yorker, there’s one thing that I’ve learned. Being independent is an important quality to have in this city. In a city that seems to continuously be going in all directions and with new faces crossing our paths on the daily, it can be easy to be overwhelmed. I’ve thought about this a lot since I moved to NYC three years ago. And I know for a fact that my first few months here I would not have survived so easily if it wasn’t for my sister already being here, and instantly becoming my closest friend here. She still is. She was the person who calmed me down when I got lost on the subway and felt so frustrated at life. She was the person who listened to me vent when my boss at work pissed me off so hard I wanted to cry and kick and quit on the spot. She was the one who gave me a shoulder to lean on when I needed a place to escape from an evil roommate situation. And she was an open door when I needed to get out of my place and just shut things out for a little bit. The world outside one’s doorstep in this city can be a hurricane, with the looks of a bully that cannot seem to ever be conquered alone. Which is why I understand why the idea of seeking refuge with people who are friends or acquaintances, at all times, is a form of protection in this city that is a sea of ever-changing experiences and characters that can sometimes hurt us or knock us down. And the idea of facing it all alone . . . well that’s quite scary right?

I once wrote a blog post mentioning how NYC can feel to some, like the loneliest city in the world, despite all the bodies and all the action and the endless amount of things to do. That’s the thing about NYC, there is so much going on at once, time feels almost useless because there is never enough time for it all. Never enough. And well that sort of passing of time, of having what seems like the world at our fingertips, but not enough time to grasp at it, that can be a pretty lonely feeling. And yes, I’ve had that feeling many a times. And in times like these, I always try to change things for the better.

Instead of feeling swept away by time, I made the decision to use every second of my time. And I started by looking at the idea of loneliness and how I could change it with different sorts of perspective into something that I shouldn’t be fearful of, but something that I would want to embrace and embody. Loneliness vs. Being Alone. It’s a sometimes confusing concept, but there really is a major difference between the two. And the concept, for me, heavily relied on my sense of independence. How strong am I on me own two feet? How often do I rely on others for supplying the answers? How much do I motivate myself, without the approval by others? How confident am I in situations where I won’t have someone there to back me up? These are all questions I asked myself, and they all involved qualities that I knew were things that would help me survive the city that I live in in a positive and self-empowering way. So, I worked on strengthening these qualities, little by little every single day, during the times when I had a little more time on my hand to be alone with my own thoughts. Little old me, myself and I. NYC really is the perfect sort of city to be independent in. You can get lost in it an amazing way. A way that is much different from feeling lost in a lonely sort of way. Take away the crutches and find ways to utilize your time independently. You can’t always rely on a friend or a family member or a co-worker to be there for every sort of situation you find yourself in. So being prepared to have your own back is key. And you yourself should always be the first person you confide in before anyone else. You’ll find that by doing things alone . . . getting a slice of pizza, checking out an art exhibit, going to a movie you really want to see, taking a walk to the park, people watching, introducing yourself to someone new who seems interesting, etc. . . . are in ways the baby steps to becoming your own best friend. You might be surprised at how far from lonely you will feel after seeing how far you can get by just relying on your own two feet. Having your friends and family around the other times, well those are just extra perks.

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Allow Your Story To Be Told

August 10, 2016

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525 America sweater top
Citizens of Humanity overalls
Converse sneakers
Vintage neck scarf
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“In the end, people don’t view their life as merely the average of all its moments – which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people’s minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves.”

– Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

My friend recently showed me this quote because she said it made her think of me. This made me giggle a little bit, especially since I know she is so on point with this. We are always being told . . . don’t be too stuck in the past. Or don’t focus too much on the future because no matter what it will always be unknown until it is the present. The present moment is supposed to be the key to happiness. It’s true that not every present moment is going to be a perfect picture, but that doesn’t mean they have to be forgotten. And it doesn’t mean that the past needs to be brushed away to make way for the new. The importance of life is more about the story, and how every single part of our lives connects in someway. Hopefully they will go beyond even our own existence eventually. Make an impact. Like the quote says . . . a purpose larger than ourselves. What an interesting thing to think about.

We can’t just define our lives by the number of happy moments and the number of those moments that are the complete opposite and see which outweigh the other. If we did that, then we are basically doomed in life, and the idea of complete happiness (whatever that really means) flies out the window. Or counting only the happy moments, and forgetting completely all the other parts. That’s not telling a story, that’s just a one-sided chunk of it. It’s okay for our stories to have some some conflict and some climaxes (negative and positive ones, highs and lows) . . . no good story was ever an easy one to tell. This quote talks about our lives as a story. A string of all the moments, all the torments, all the tears, all the heartache, all the laughs, all the accomplishments, all the failures, all the bright lights that touched us . . . those of the past, those of the present and those that maybe will or will not come to us in the future. The twists and turns of moments that develop into something greater than what is just the moment. A story that goes beyond our physical being for it is connected to everything we touch, and even those events and people we didn’t even notice. A bigger picture. The moments that seem insignificant, or negative or harsh or just simply random and small, they are all pieces of the puzzle, too, and that are meant to be cherished. Because no good, worthwhile moment can be as good or worthwhile without having a component to balance it out with. It’s the bigger picture and the bigger perspective. Great things don’t just come from happy moments, it comes from the understanding that the linking of all our moments in our lives creates something unique and purposeful. In this way, life isn’t being measured exactly, but it is being felt. From the beginning to end. No pieces left out. Each one existing directly because of the one before it and the one that may be soon to come.

Right now, I’m allowing my story to be told. In a way, we all can be the artistic directors of our own lives. We make decisions that affect our futures, and we make decisions based on what has happened to us in the past. But most of the time, it’s better to let things go where they were meant to go naturally, and sort of out of our manipulative hands. Without too much contemplation. I never forget my past. In fact, I love to remember things that have happened in the past, even the bad things. The mean words said to me by others that have made me cry. Someone who was a friend but no longer provided a shoulder for me to lean on. The projects that were swept from under my feet that made me feel unsuccessful. The fights with my sister that of course happen sometimes and make me feel very alone (even just for a few minutes). Even things from the near past, like the boy that I am seeing currently who is away for a while and that hard feeling of being apart for an unknown amount of time. And then there is that thing . . . the unknown. And of course I think a lot about that. I do contemplate what my future could be . . .  the good things and the bad things that could happen. I look at my future as both a dreamer and as a realist, but I don’t let myself get too ahead of myself with it. I like the free feeling of letting whatever happens happen. And even if it feels so out of our control that way, I like to think of it as a roller coaster with a purpose. And that purpose is to live life to the fullest, and to live it freely, and to share it open-mindedly. One can never truly control the future, so no point to get worked up about whether things will work out or not before it even happens. The thing to accept the most with the great unknown is how exciting the unexpected is to our personal story lines. The unexpected things, for me lately, have been the most beautiful and most delightful. Maybe a little scary because you never know what can be taken away from you, but walking on the edge can be a very liberating and poetic thing.

Shop more Citizens of Humanity overalls that I love:

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