Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Monday, 23 April 2012
You might not believe me if I said I never really thought of myself as a city girl, but New York has such a perfect, gritty kind of beauty to me. A beauty that is impossible to imagine until you experience it.
I think the photo of a dirty sidewalk strewn with pink blossoms kind of sums it up though.
I hope you had a beautiful week.
Saturday, 21 April 2012
This is the view from my friend's roof... (!)
Another quiet week on the blog, but I'm sure if you're a some-time follower you'll know that means I've been having lots of fun! I've hopped around to Brooklyn and Jersey, made several new friends, strolled in the sunshine, driven beside the city sky line at night, clambered rocks at midnight and seen a racoon up close. I've gotten addicted to Starbucks' iced vanilla soy lattes, been introduced to the American pitcher of beer, eaten a $1 pizza slice, gone vintage shopping and much more...
I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed in myself for not getting a writing schedule together, I'm sure you'll understand that I'm finding it tricky to strike a balance between working and playing in this crazy city...! I want to find a way to continue having all these great experiences whilst using my time without a 'real' job to write up a storm! Any tips?! Leave'em in the comments, I need you!
// Lovely reader Amber who sponsored Charade a little while back has a lovely new look on her lovely blog (lots of lovely.)
// Justine Musk on how to figure out your purpose/passion/just what the hell it is you want.
// I must have these bedside tables, on wheels. Big love. (The wallpaper is also something to behold - I'm thinking of papering my bedroom on my return to Bristol...!)
// Leo discusses doing what you love.
"That’s the amazing realization here: that we rule out the possibility of great change, because it doesn’t seem realistic. For nearly two decades I focused on going to college, and working at a day job that I sometimes enjoyed but often dreaded, because that’s what we expect should happen. Starting my own business, pursuing my dreams, doing something I loved? Crazy talk."
// Watch this and love it. The final quote is just...wow.
I hope your weekend is feeling miraculous and magical!
Monday, 16 April 2012
My pad. The kitchen is also kind of the bathroom... Don't ask.
Craftacular! A little disappointing, to be honest. I looped once around and nothing grabbed my attention. Still fun though!
Pink. The city is still in bloom, and I love it.
Fresh lemonade. Ain't nothing better for the soul on a hot city day!
CAKE! The place where this is from is next door to where I live. Next door. God help me.
Greenwich Village. Where I ate a pizza slice followed by these yummy cold noodles. If it wasn't for all the walking, NYC would be making me pretty chubby.
A walk in the park, fo'real. A particularly beautiful Sunday strolling in Central Park until the sun went down. Bliss!
What kept you busy this week?
Saturday, 14 April 2012
My, doesn't it seem a long time since I've cobbled a Salute together? Well, being on the interwebs has not been top of my to-do and thus I've had very little in the way of links to offer! This week, however, this girl's finally got a little home away from home to call her own (pictures tomorrow!) And what does that mean? Plenty o'time for surfing that great goddess we call the World Wide Web. Et voila:
// Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie fame is Still Figuring it out.
// How to Release Emotional Attachment with the “I Don’t Care” Game from Jessica Mullen.
// I adore this Ampersand Screen Print.
// Quite in keeping with my post on Floods-of-Tears Thresholds is Sarah Wilson's article Jump. and *then* you get your wings.
// I'm going to the Bust Magazine Craftacular today! Yippee!
Hope you're having a sublime weekend, sugar.
Friday, 13 April 2012
Thursday, 12 April 2012
Image thanks to Cari Ann
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love."
Many of you will know how scared I admitted to being in the lead up to my adventure across the Atlantic. There have been a few times in my life when I’ve felt that fear. They have tended to mark thresholds of great change and adventure, and they have been united by one defining feature: deep, core-shaking, floods of tears.
I felt that fear when I passed through security at Gatwick airport; aged eighteen and bound for Australia completely solo. I was only taking carry-on luggage and had foolishly forgotten the souvenir penknife I’d packed inside which my parents had bought me as a going away gift. The guard rifled through my backpack to retrieve it.
“You want to go back and check this in?”
There wasn’t enough time. I watched as he threw my familial parting-gift into the trash. My face flushed as I walked away, and my lizard brain took the opportunity to pipe up. How could you do something so stupid? And right at the offset? How the heck are you going to survive on the other side of the world if you can’t even manage to pack right? What an idiot.
I made my way quietly to the toilets, locked myself in a cubicle, and cried.
I felt that same fear when I decided to go and spend a year studying in Spain. Once again: an airport. Once again: floods of tears. I turned to my boyfriend as he stood with me in the check-in queue. He’d left his van in the 10-minute parking zone.
“Will you come with me?” I stammered.
“Afraid not” he laughed.
The tears came faster as I watched him walk away.
I felt that same fear when a new emotional journey began. When, a few months into my Spanish adventure, the same boy told me we needed to talk.
“Don’t you love me anymore?” I was able to choke.
Floods of tears. Resolution.
But, in all these scenarios, there was one more thing that was always the same: my commitment to ignoring my fear. My ability to take a deep breath, wipe my eyes and face forward.
And then something interesting happened. Three weeks ago I found myself in another airport. Alone again. Bound for a journey I’d been fearing every minute of the entire preceding week. But instead of floods of tears, I found an immense sense of calm and ease. I chatted freely on the phone to my best friend in the departure lounge, laughing at how, almost, ridiculous it was that I wasn’t nervous about flying half way across the world. I boarded the plane. Flew for seven hours. Found myself in a sticky-hot New York City. Hopped on a bus and watched the sky line glimmer into view beyond the hot freeway. I kept waiting for the fear to kick in; kept waiting for the tears. Nothing.
How did I interpret this? I chose to fit it to the motif of this year for me: a personal evolution. I’ve got into the habit of ignoring my fear, and I’ve evolved to meet these thresholds with trust, and joy, and excitement. I’ve learnt that my fear doesn’t make me any less able to meet these challenges, and that any nerves I feel aren’t communicating my inability, they’re simply asking “are you really ready for this?”
How do I think you should interpret this? I want you to realise that fear is not a reason not to do something. That bravery is a practice and not necessarily a natural ability. I want you to know that there is power in ignoring your fear; that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. And tears or no tears, the thresholds are waiting for you to cross them.
...they know they are a city like no other.
Monday, 9 April 2012
Yosemite Valley, California (spot the waterfall!)
"Try and fail, but don't fail to try."
I've spent the last few days in Boulder, Colorado hanging out with some new friends. Tonight I'm flying back to NYC to begin a new phase in my adventure and I can't wait! This phase will consist of writing. Lots and lots of writing. And a chance to finally share a tonne more pictures with you all! See you there.
All my love from the USA ♥
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
"It’s one of my theories that when people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past."
Life is tough. Somehow they forgot to prepare you for that when they were convincing you Pythagoras’ theorem would come in handy. It hasn’t.
I don’t profess to be a guru in life-living, but I’ve survived so far. I’ve survived heartbreak and sour friendship and overseas adventures and language barriers and family hardships and the education system – and doing all that without forgetting to dress up and have fun every now and again. I look on that as rather an achievement.
So, without further ado, 30 survival tips for modern living. 30 tips to myself. In the past, and for the future.
1. Everything passes. This is the one thing you can trust in when you can’t trust in anything else.
2. Love doesn’t just hurt, it’s tortuous. And it will make sure it throws you into ecstasy before sneaking up behind you, clubbing you over the head, and rubbing your face in the dirt with it’s foot. Love is sneaky like that.
3. ...but never close yourself to it, because you can withstand more than you think you can, and for the right person it’ll be worth it.
4. ...and love hard, because it is a blissful torture, and you’ll have few opportunities.
5. The ‘right person’ might be a myth. Sorry about that. But there’ll be a whole crowd of nearly-right people. Invest in one of them, and realise that the investment is where the magic is.
6. Life is rife with contradiction. Accept that now and you’ll enjoy things a lot more.
7. You need people. It’s okay to admit that.
8. ...but prepare for those people not to be the ones you expected to need.
9. ...and learn to be alone, because sometimes those people won’t be around. Remember that if we don’t teach ourselves to be alone, we will only know how to be lonely.
10. Learn to apologise, and to forgive. All progress stems from this.
11. Prepare to have your mind changed, over and over and over again.
12. Your grandma was right about everything.
13. Your parents were right about most things.
14. You weren’t right about much.
15. Travel will heal your soul, and introduce you to major parts of yourself that you haven’t met yet.
16. Celebrate every chance you get, because it’s why you’re here.
17. Find your mentors. Teachers. Idols. Whatever you want to call them – people to learn from, and look up to. I say ‘people’ rather than just one person because I think it is unwise – and unfair to yourself - to expect to learn all you need to from one person. Choose a few mentors for your career, a few for your style, a few for how you want your relationships to be. They can be people you know: friends, family members – or people you don’t know: celebrities, authors, bloggers.
18. Stop just reacting. Sometimes I feel myself poised in this empty void just waiting to react to the next thing – the next email, phone call, deadline, place to be, person to see. This is so not the way to go about life. Start acting. Start asking questions.
19. ...and make sure you’re asking the right questions – be sure that they are your own. Life is basically a series of questions being asked and answered. What do I want to be? I’ll be this. Who do I want to love? I’ll love this person.
20. Meditate on Bliss. Sit and feel out all the parameters of your potential for joy.
21. Zoom Out. Sometimes, marred by the minutiae of day to day existence – participating only in the tiny pixels of our bigger picture – we fail to see the grandeur of the life we are illustrating for ourselves. It is important to visualise your life in its whole state.
22. ...and live in the moment. I am terrible for not doing this – one facet to being ambitious and goal-orientated is that you are perpetually living in the future and never appreciating what you have right now. Imagine that you were suddenly plonked into the life you have now from another – see it as a whole life in its own right that isn’t missing anything, and live it for what it is.
23. Whatever happens: rejections, dejections, deaths, disasters... Repeat after me: still, you go on. Be comforted by that fact alone; that your cogs keep turning even when each turn breaks your heart a little more.
24. Take every catastrophe as a catalyst for change and even more excitement.
25. It is only by being unapologetically yourself that you will attract the people who don’t ask you to apologise.
26. There will come a point, if it hasn’t come all ready, where you realise learning is fun. I know. When it does, make like a sponge and gather up all the information you can.
27. ...and you should read books. Lots of them. Not the boring ones you read at school. There are ones that will feel like you are reading the narrative of your own imagination. Ones about sex. Ones with passages and entire chapters that will honestly change your life. Go and find them.
28. Go to the place you need to go to feel alive. I think you already know where that is. If you don’t, start saving for a round-the-world ticket and find out.
29. Do the thing you need to do to feel alive, and do it as much as possible. I also suspect you already know what that is. If you don’t, start doing one of those self-help-book-exercises you always overlook, every day. There is a distinct possibility these might open up a conversation between you and your inner-self, and your inner-self knows what’s up. Books to start with might be The Artist’s Way or The Fire Starter Sessions.
30. We are called human beings, not human doings. Try just being.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Monday, 2 April 2012
“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.”
Susan Polis Schutz
A thousand apologies for my extended silence! I've been enjoying the city of San Francisco and the snowy mountains of Yosemite National Park. More pictures to come this week... watch out, gang!
In other exciting news: I'M HEADING BACK TO NYC! TO RENT A ROOM FOR FIVE WEEKS! IN THE EAST VILLAGE! Three words: Living. The. Dream.
Take care pretty girls & boys.