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Finding Peace With Where I’m At

July 7, 2016

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Innika Choo smocked blouse
Siwy jeans
Vintage belt
DRESSHIRT silk neck scarf
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I love being a New Yorker, but there are a few things that make it quite a rough task. It’s that feeling of never ever fully winning. That a job is never done unless it’s perfect. When we know deep down inside that perfect doesn’t really exist even though we want it to so dearly. At least with things in respect to ourselves. Why is it so hard for us to say out loud that we deserve a pat on the back? Or deserve a break? Even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Why do we beat ourselves up so hard about things? And why do we judge others just as hard or harder than we judge ourselves? To make us feel better about ourselves? It goes for so many aspects of our city centric lives. Our careers. Our dating lives. Those we bring into our social circles. And those we make sure to keep out. How we view ourselves in the mirror. How we overanalyze situations to the point that they crumble. How we compare ourselves to this person and that person and those people. These feelings, they can be fleeting, but they are a part of a cycle that repeats over and over again. A strive for perfection that seems manageable but in reality is more than unreasonable a lot of the times. Add the subway at rush hour, highly egotistical people in our faces for 85% of the day, rent, the annoying dude at your subway stop that keeps purposefully breaking the subway card machine and making you an extra 10 minutes late every single time, transportation delays, loud tourists, overpriced fruit at the bodega, and a whole lot more things that go along with big city living. Well these things can keep us high strung, and in no mood to find peace with ourselves, nor anything around us. It’s not a healthy relationship.

How did I find a way to break the mold of the typical go, go, go, one track minded New Yorker that is endlessly looking for the next best thing?

Well, I stopped looking for the next best thing all the damn time. I made a commitment to slow things down by telling myself that is what I had to do to keep from getting jaded. I took notice when my stress levels went up, or when my mood was more aggressive or the world seemed much more near the end over the tiniest of things (all feelings that are so unnecessary), and it was these days that I tried to find new ways to take a few steps back as everyone and everything seemed to rush, rush, rush. I stopped comparing myself so much to other people (even though I catch myself sometimes still doing so, and I quickly snap myself out of that funk). I stopped being impatient (I even tried smiling when the people in front of me were too slow). Instead of swearing at the heat and crowdedness of the subway, I embraced the extra time I got to listen to my music and turned it up, up, up. I started to look at the sky more, and the details of the buildings, and the faces of interesting looking people. Soon, I felt like I began to enjoy things so much more and in a much better way. I always got my job done, but in this new way the process felt sweeter and more long-lived. Just because I live in NYC, doesn’t mean I always have to keep up at it’s pace. This decision was also what saved me my sanity. And in NYC, that is a lot to say. It was all baby steps, don’t get me wrong. And there are still days when I want to kick and punch something because this city gets me so annoyed sometimes, but I know I wouldn’t and couldn’t be anywhere else right now. And that’s because I’m doing the city on my own terms. It can be done. Just take a second, look around you and find the things you love and that inspire you to love. And then take a few more seconds, or minutes or hours contemplating these things. It’s the best way to make time slow down in this city, and it won’t drive you as mad, I promise. There are more gems than pieces of junk, although it seems the opposite a lot of times. But our minds can have a good way of turning things all around to the way we want them to be when we really need it. And thank goodness for that. If you ever find yourself falling into a rut, feeling low or just straight up fed up, you can also just imagine yourself running in a field of flowers. It’s a magical remedy.

For me, right now, the greatest feeling is one of content, but still with a calm and steady eagerness to grow and create. How about yours?

*** Images shot in Squamish, British Columbia

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36 comments

Bonnaroo | The Immortal Love of Sun and Music

June 23, 2016

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There were many things I took away from our trip to Tennessee for Bonnaroo. But there were two that really stuck out to me. The fact that everyone looks good with sunshine on their faces. And the second fact that everyone looks good with music glistening onto their souls. Sunshine and music. They are two things that will love of us unconditionally forever, as we over time will come to love them in the exact same way. Two things we find all around us in the summertime, but that we can sometimes overlook unless we take a second or two to really stop and notice. To feel it being caressed onto our skin and massaged into our brains, signaling things that science can only really explain in the deepest of detail but that our hearts need only a few faster than normal fluttering beats to express. The heat and the vibrations. The way they make us feel the moment they hit us. They way they soak into us and wash over us in a way that is always reliable and always constant. No matter how many times we’ve felt it. No matter how many times we’ve heard it. No matter how many times we’ve danced under the same song and under the same old hot as heck sun, we take comfort in the good feeling they give us and the dreams they instill in us. The way they make us feel better and stronger in the first few seconds. How they give us confidence as if we’ve had years of practice in self-worth. They give us so many good things and we don’t even really need to understand why. We don’t need to understand all the characters all our favorite songs make us want to be. We don’t need to understand the chemical reaction that happen between the moment the sun hits the skin and the first bead of sweat is created to cool us down. We just need to let it be and to enjoy it. When you are feeling lacking in something, know that the sun and the music is always there to make you feel like the strongest beaming light. The music and the sun will bring you back to life again. It is an immortal love that we humans will never have to lose trust in. Together they make something that it is our best friend. Something to share with our best friends. And for those two things that summer brings a plethora of, I am grateful. And because I am grateful, I will dance. Nashville, you had a whole lot of both, and for that I think you are really, really fab. Even with all the cheesy country music and cowboy boots and fried this and fried that. I find peace in the chaos of what makes you come alive. It’s as simple as appreciating all that. But first we must appreciate the sun and the music. And hopefully, all the other things come swinging on in just as easily.

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Desert Road Trips

May 9, 2016

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Tularosa dress
Matisse sandals
Brixton hat
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When I was kid, I HATED Palm Springs. Everything about it. Everything was too hot. Too flat. Too dry. Everyone was too old. The sun too hard and bright and blinding. And well, I guess there wasn’t much for a kid to do in the desert back in the day. I still have fresh memories of the long drive from Los Angeles in the back of our stuffy family van. My right shoulder starting to burn from the sun through the window. Fighting with my sister and wishing I could throw her out the other window. Mom and Dad yapping far too much from the front seats and me just trying to fade all the noise out. During those long desert drives were when my imagination went into overdrive. My brain pulling from the movies I watched, and the books I borrowed from the library that I devoured like a hungry animal. I imagined for myself a future of outlandish adventure. Now looking back, what fiction those stories were, but how real and close to me they seemed back then. Just a 10 year old in the backseat looking for a way out. Not really hating the world, but knowing that somewhere else was her true place, and waiting for that with a longing so hard it sometimes almost hurt. Those drives were always so long, but without them, I would never have dreamt up the things I wanted to be. I never would have found my “me” zone in the back of my mind where everything seemed possible SOMEDAY. Someday far beyond the back seat of our minivan way out in the desert.

And now, here I am, much more of an adult than the little punk I was back during those desert road trips with my family. I find myself back in the California desert very rarely now, but the times that I do visit have become a large part of me. They have grown on my like vines on a brick wall. I have come to find comfort in the hotness of the desert. The rectangular shapes. The dryness. The brightness. The oldness of the people and the way things look. I appreciate it’s archaicness and the way my skin feels baked after a few minutes in the sun. I love the drive-thru chain restaurants and the unlimited Diet Cokes I can take away from them. I love the flat rooftops that make this place seem like it’s own world within a world within a world. The pools. The golf courses. The windmills. The white, white teeth to complement tan, tan skin. Wrinkled knees and freckled faces. The windy palm trees that are statement making in their height and like dancers bending in the direction of the wind. They are now landmarks. And they are so much of what is home, dabbled in every single nostalgic thought that runs through my brain. And even when there were days when California bored me like the hum of the car on those long, hot desert drives, and I wished I could get as far far away as soon as possible, those palm trees were always reliable. Always there. Always tall. Always forgiving. Always a reminder that home is never actually that bad at all. That actually it is unique and it is famous and that it is the foundation that built my dreams that started as a way to retaliate against any sense of boredom. It kick started my freedom. And for that I can say that I am lucky that it can be called mine. The desert. The valley. The city. The boonies. Every single part of it. Now every time I go back to the Californian desert, I look at those flat topped homes in admiration. They inspire me to see things in new ways, different from what my eyes see everyday in NYC. Different from what I see on my short trips to Paris. Different from the lushness of Southeast Asia. And every time I go back, I see that something different, and that is the best thing of all. It’s never too late to keep on exploring and finding new things after each and every cycle. As long as you open your eyes, and let the good things rush in . . . home will never feel old and redundant this way.

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25 comments

Alright, Alright, Alright

March 31, 2016

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CAMP Collection tee
Cotton On denim overall skirt
Sabrina SL and Giles & Brother cuffs
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“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” – Hugh Laurie

Alright, alright, alright. That’s my answer to that one. Alright to embracing the now. Alright to maybe NOT thinking twice for a second. Alright to just going with the flow, but going with the flow on your own terms. Alright to being unsure and being totally okay with that but just jumping in messily and figuring it out along the way. Alright to the ADVENTURE. This quote has always lived in the back of my head, but it hasn’t actually spoken the loudest to me until more recently. Which is funny, because one would think that the older we get, the less we want to take chances. The more careful we are about the decisions we make and all the possible outcomes we could weigh before actually settling on something. But really, I think the pressure we put on ourselves as adults is what is really holding us back. Instead of being creative, we think it’s more smart to be practical and systematic. Instead of lightening up over a deadline and maybe taking a little break, we force ourselves to stay up late with serious face on until our heads are spinning in circles over the same damn thing for over an hour. We look down upon coloring outside of the lines, when really that is exactly what we should be doing if deep down inside of our bones we feel that need to just LIVE A LITTLE. We waste time trying not to waste time. You feeling me? Alright, alright, alright.

How about for this Thursday . . . in celebration of the upcoming weekend (and hopefully good weather), you take this one piece of advice and promise to live a little bit more (or preferably a whole lot more) of an ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT life. Basically the same thing as a FUCK YES type of life, but a whole lot more chill. And I like the sound of it better. Not an alright, alright, alright like you are giving in after some tugging and pulling from outside forces. No, an ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT that is dancey and happy and upbeat and maybe even a little bit goofy. Feel free to dance, as well, of course. So make no plans and last minute take your friends someplace epic at midnight and see what happens. Flirt with that boy you keep eyeing on the subway. Close your eyes and put your hand on a map and go wherever your finger lands. Try raw sushi because you’ve never had it before. Wear no makeup and embrace it. Go out dancing, but this time do it really as if no one is watching, and then love it when you find out that they are. It might surprise you how adventurous you may really find yourself to be. You just have to allow it come forth.

Appreciating the now and a more spontaneous mindset to complement it is such a nurturing act. It’s good for our souls. And it’s good for our bodies. Like that of a child, it allows ourselves to open up to so much more within a smaller amount of time and with no real sense of time. Putting ourselves on the spot can be the best way to get to know ourselves because we literally are faced with new situations this way that hopefully will challenge us and inspire us and make us think harder and smarter on our feet. Because it is what it is, and sometimes you just have to go. Right. Now. Alright, alright, alright? ALRIGHT. That’s the spirit. Try it this weekend, and let me know how it goes. Love you all.

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