Monday, 29 December 2014

"The Grass Isn't Always Greener On The Other Side"

First Aid Kit - King of the World | Listen for free at

A year ago today I made a decision that changed my life. I was curled up in a ball, crying like a baby; hating that I was being torn from the cosy womb of routine and comfort. I could see the light but I did NOT want to follow it.

Kissing goodbye to my plans, I looked around my room for the last time. Leaving behind someone who had been the main ingredient in the layers of my happiness lasagne for 3 years was gut wrenching and heart bending. My arms ached for my best friend, but my mind ached for More.

More life, more love, more happiness, more adventure... there had to be more.

One thing that sticks to me about that time, was something my then next-door neighbour said to me in the days before I left.

"The grass isn't always greener on the other side, Rosie"

He meant it with care and warmth, but it did strike a little bolt of lightning fear inside of me. What if I never found anyone as awesome as Him? What if no one made me laugh like that, what if nobody else was as accepting of my flaws? I knew the meadow I was leaving was pretty damn green, even if there were a few cow-pats and mole hills that sometimes looked like mountains from far off. I left anyway.

What I learned, was that the goal isn't to be in the greener meadow on the other side. You don't need to claim someone else's meadow to be happy. The goal is to pack a backpack, and enjoy the hike until you find a meadow your own, to plant your own grass and nourish it how you see fit. To rub your eyes and look in amazement at the beautiful earth that lets us live here on borrowed time (and try not to topple over at how incredible it all is) instead of just focusing on the colour of the damn grass.

Maybe it's not just the greenness of the grass beneath you. The skies I'm under are so much bluer now, storms are rare and the scenery I've seen on the journey is incredible. I've passed through Barcelona and New York, skateboarded through the streets (with a little too much alcohol in my bloodstream) and driven with the roof down and my hands flailing, singing at the top of my lungs! Who knows where my feet will take me next - hopefully California and Europe, they feel pretty good right now.

I had an uncomfortable birth filled with complications. It was bloody, raw and painful as fuck. My initial vulnerability has gone - I can't remember where I shed it. But as painful as my birth was, the life that followed is rich in adventure, joy and dancing around the living room with my cat.

"Once you asked me, what's my biggest fear? That everything would remain so unclear?

That one day I'd wake up all alone, with a big family and emptiness deep in my bones. That I would be so blinded, and turn a deaf ear... and that my fake laugh would suddenly sound sincere. I wasn't born for anything, I'm just here now and soon I'll be gone. I'm nobody's 'baby', but I'm everybody's girl - I'm the Queen of Nothing, but I'm King of the World."

Saturday, 27 December 2014



Tonight, I am alone.
I get home,
and hang my thoughts
Those neat constellations
trapped inside that old closet mind;
and sprayed into chaos, confetti
a party for One.

The world unspins itself
Slower, slower now
Maybe I could drown for a while
in that sweet sugar water
Or lose my voice to those
who got stuck inside that box.

My thoughts simmer and stew
Until cooked, through and through
Outside, the rain taps on my windows,
the wind howls with glee
Perfect company
The universe, myself and me

Tonight; I am alone, honey.

I'm home.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

10 Things Every Woman In Her Late Twenties Should Know

I like the internet. It's a cool place. Not only has it birthed me a career, but it's introduced me to some pretty epic people who I call my friends, and taught me a whole lot about life, love and everything inbetween. Beneath my fingertips lies millions of minds, all sharing their own perspective, knowledge and creativity. It's pretty awesome.

The internet is also home to cool articles, and I stumbled upon this one today: 

I ain't gonna lie, I clicked. I clicked with excitement, and I'm not ashamed. 
Being in my early twenties, I was kinda hoping to be able to pinch some wisdom for myself, check in with my late-twenties female counterparts and see what I'm aiming for, here.

I was disappointed. No offence, but that list is weak and feeble and does our wonderful female brains and lives no justice whatsoever. I'm pretty sure that this vital knowledge is not what most ladies are proud of knowing after almost three decades on this incredible planet...? Right? 


So instead of bitchin', here's my own list
10 Things Every Woman In Her 20's Should Know

1. We are all hangin' out on a teeny tiny rock floating in a space which is so vast and large our minds can't comprehend it. But we're not teenagers anymore, ladies, so let's try and comprehend it:

"The diameter of the Milky Way is 100,000 light years. A light year is the distance light travels in a year. Considering light can travel around the Earth seven times in a second, a light year is a mind-bogglingly large distance. It would take our fastest spacecraft 18,000 years to travel one light year. And with the Milky Way, we’re talking about 100,000 of them." - Mind boggling facts about stars, Wait But Why

Let's bear in mind that The Milky Way is one of billions of galaxies, and that it's estimated that for every grain of sand in every desert and on every beach on Earth, there are around 10,000 stars. Gulp.

So let's all take a few minutes to bask in our unfathomable insignificance and let our eyes widen at the fact that we can see, interpret and enjoy the ridiculous stroke of chance - and feel lucky that we have been granted a few years to spend on this awesome random place in space. COOL. Or y'know, think about your facial cleansing regime. Whichever.

2. Every lady in her twenties needs to be familiar with another awesome female from history. And even though this is recent history, my chosen female to obsess with and aspire to (without the ending) is Sylvia Plath.

Sylvia Plath was an incredible writer, author, poet. Here's a summary of her life. She fell in love and married poet Ted Hughes, got cheated on a ton, and managed to channel her grief into some of the most beautiful combinations of words and visions that I've ever read. Sadly, she attempted suicide for the 3rd time in 1963, aged 30, and succeeded.

3. Society is a social construct, and you don't have to live life the way you are told to. Question everything. Make your own rules.

4. Every single person has good within them. Most people are really good people, kind and caring. They have families, people they love, friends they adore, cats they dance around their living rooms with. Even the murderers and people filled with the smallest percentage of good, still have good. As a race, we need to focus on this. Amplify the good you see in people, do not dwell on the bad.

5. We are more than our weight. It's no use being thin, fat, or anything in between if you're not satisfied with yourself. You have one body, and it's yours to carry your beautiful soul through this world. Your soul is the key ingredient, but if your body affects the way your soul feels, then improve away, my friend. Key here is to change if YOU want to. If we don't like an outfit, we change it. You don't have to accept the outfit. You can try something else on for size. But remember that looking like society's idea of beautiful won't make your soul beautiful, too, and it's okay to want to create yourself. But you are more than your weight. The biggest problems in life can only be solved by the soul.

6. Take a philosophical standpoint. My personal favourite is Existentialism - which is the view that reality and what exists is person to ourselves, in our minds only. Existentialism is awesome because it allows for everything to exist, and solves a whole lot of petty arguments. My favourite example of this is the religion/God thing - if someone believes in God, then their idea of this God exists to them, in their mind, and is just as real as the idea of no god in other peoples'. Because at the end of the day, the past is not tangible, not real anymore, all just a construct in our head of certain memories. The only thing that is truly alive is the present as it is through our eyes this very split second, and what's real in our minds in the present is what exists around the world. For me, as someone who isn't particularly interested in religion, it allows for God to exist and not exist at the same time. It allows for all opinions, interpretations and ideas to be true if I entertain them to be. 

7. Feminism is ridiculously important. If your idea of feminism is angry women hating on men, you aren't thinking about real feminism. 

Feminism is the notion that women are people. That we are more than just sexual objects, or decoration to a man's life. That our worth extends beyond our looks and ability to bear children, and that being a woman itself is not parallel to being weak, hysterical or anything less than a man. Extend that to issues of pay, harassment, the media, whatever you like. But this is the underlying notion.

Call it feminism, call it equality, call it whatever you wish. But we 20-something women have the right to be proud of our gender, to give ourselves credit, and to fight and talk about the issues that still face us in this world.

8. Our brains our incredible things. When awake, the brain generates enough electricity to power a small lightbulb, who'da thunk it?! I would highly recommend this talk by Jill Bolte Taylor for an enlightening, moving look at our brains, and her experience of a stroke.

9.  Relationships are a tiny slice of life. It look me far too long to grasp this, but I'm glad I got there! There's so much incredible stuff around us all on a daily basis - sometimes, when I drive, I literally flip out with excitement at the idea that I am driving on the surface of a planet just hanging there in space, like WHAT THE HELL HOW COOL IS THAT?!

There's so much knowledge to soak up, so many awesome experiences to have and fun to make, and I know from experience that a lot of ladies feel the pressure to constantly be on the lookout for a relationship of some sort. The pressure to have love in our lives is intense, and I would invite any woman to take comfort in the fact that she is already whole, no other half missing. Your time is ticking, don't waste it on a tiny portion of your life. Contrary to popular belief, love doesn't make the world go round. Science does. So go read up on some science. Science is reliable, science will put things in perspective and make you interesting, too! Go be in a relationship with science.

And finally

10. Don't just "Be Yourself". Create yourself.


Who do you want to be? Who is the person you visualise in all your future daydreams? 
At the end of the day, we're all sacks of pink slime searching for something, and I believe that to be happiness. So, my 20-something lady friends, let's go find out what makes us happy, and be that - do that. It's all fun, it's all just play. Soak that shit up.

Friday, 28 November 2014

A Year of Single: What I Learned About Dating

So... I've been single now for almost a year, and my oh my, what a year it has been.

I'm always pretty honest and open about my life on the internet, I figure - why not? People will judge you regardless, and at the end of the day, you're only ever really what you choose to reveal. And if you're a good person with good intentions, honesty can't really backfire too much, I hope.

When I first became single back in December 2013 - my first instinct was PANIC. For three years I'd known routine - and even though my happiness levels had plateaued below a comfortable level, it was still a daunting feeling to have to start from scratch. Square One. I'd made the fatal error of allowing a boyfriend to become more than just a boyfriend - my social life was lacking, my business took up 50% of my life, and he was the other 50%. All of a sudden I had this gaping hole in my chest and in my life, and my mind was screaming, FILL IT. FILL IT. 

And that's what I did. I jumped head-first into the first guy who caught my eye. 

Lesson 1 - Panic dating is not a good idea. 

This guy was lovely. Great conversation, nice stable job, great with kids and seemed to really care about his future and want to settle down. No drama, nice upbringing. He was ready, I was ready - what could go wrong? A lot, apparently. Whilst I won't get into the details, I learned from this lesson that's when you're panic dating, you ignore a lot of the essentials that you had forgotten you required. His offer of stability made me totally forget that I thirst for someone who has adventure coursing through his veins, who can get up and go exploring at the drop of a hat. In fact, I've never really liked stability at all in a guy. I've always been attracted to guys who are searching for something, yearning for something, constantly trying to put their finger on what it is about life that makes their feet want to run. And after a couple of months, and the initial post-break-up mist had cleared, I realized that I had completely forgotten what I was looking for.

Lesson 2 - Recognising a Summer Romance

This year, I also had my first ever summer romance. As soon as I met him, I knew it wasn't meant to be anything more than a friendship. And yet he had a music taste that had me yelling "I LOVE THIS SONG!" every time he shuffled, and a backpack that was ready to go at all times. Hiking, adventure, camping, guitars, roadtrips. Exploration at every corner, and just a real fondness for each other. In recognising he was a summer romance, I had no desire to assert any kind of control over his life, or attempt to divert it's course. It was incredibly liberating. I've always been a hopeless romantic and a relationship-girl. As soon as I see a guy isn't for me - I carry the hell on and don't look back, and I'll usually know in a matter of weeks. This time round, though, I let myself enjoy the friendship. I let myself get close to someone, all the while knowing the expiration date would come. And we left it on great terms, with an incredible summer of memories, and a fantastic friendship that will last a long time. It was one of the only "relationships" I've ever had that have been nothing but positive. When he set off on his next adventure, I felt zero pangs of sadness, no yearning, no "what if". Just a "Have an amazing time! Catch you soon, friend."

Lesson 3 - Tinder is not good.

Tinder. Well. Tinder made me feel very good about myself - new matches all the time, endless inquiries from an ever-growing queue of hopeful suitors. I think I was one of the lucky ones never to get harassment or straight-up sexual offers, I was always very much treated with respect on Tinder. I went on a couple of dates with incredibly lovely guys, but the experience as a whole on app-dating was horribly unemotional. 
I found myself in bars mentally swiping people that I walked past, and men felt so easily disposable all of a sudden. I never knew how MANY guys were out there until Tinder. "Good looking? Check. Ambitious? Check. Well travelled? Check. But wait - he lives 53km away, and is 23 when I ideally want someone at least 25?... NEXT."
It was TERRIBLE. I enjoyed the ability to swipe for around 3 weeks, and then deleted and began properly enjoying getting to know people again. No one should have access to that many options - because as Sylvia Plath put it -
"I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet."

Well said, Sylvia. Who knew your gorgeous poetry could describe Tinder so precisely?

Lesson 4 - Single is a default, not a status

I feel sometimes that as a woman, we are conditioned to spend our whole lives waiting for Prince Charming to rock up and give us permission to finally begin enjoying our lives. From every DAMN DISNEY MOVIE EVER forced upon us as children, to every teen magazine emblazoned with ways to impress men, be attractive for men, EXIST for men - to romantic movies (or, every movie I can think of), - I found it a very uncomfortable situation to have no romance brewing at all, whatsoever. Zip. Nada. Hmm.

There became a time when I was wide awake on some random Tuesday at 3am. I was considering re-downloading Tinder, I'll be honest. And then I thought, "I love Sylvia Plath quotes, but I don't know anything about her." And I wiki-ed her. 

This 3am changed my life. For the next month, I spent every night from 1am-6am (some nights, I didn't sleep at all) LEARNING. I googled every single person I could possibly think of - Plath, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Shakespeare, The Bronte Sisters, Frieda Kahlo, Timothy Leary, Steve Jobs... I started INHALING wikipedia at an ungodly speed. I watched documentary upon documentary, I invested all my time into everything and anything that captured a moment of interest in me. I wrote poetry, I started conceptualizing for photography again, I listened to incredible music, I learned, I learned. 
I learned about Islam, I learned about the universe, the Fermi Paradox, I blew the dust from old Philosophy textbooks, I learned about revolutions and stepped back in utter wonderment at this incredible world I had been apart of for 23 years, that I had only ever skimmed the surface of. 

At first - I was captivated. Gripped by this unfamiliar thirst for knowledge, amazed at the people who have stood on this same earth and stared at the same stars as ME! And then, I was sad. I was disappointed in myself, in society, that I had allowed myself to be deprived of so much wonderment for so long. All that time I had been waiting for Prince Charming, I'd been waiting at the window for his car to arrive, only to ignore the fascinating, captivating, incredulous world that lay on my doorstep, waiting patiently at my feet to be acknowledged. 

I was saddened that society does not teach women to search for this. How had I missed out on all this LIFE? Why have I been brainwashed to need a man, when all I need is the dirt beneath my feet and the infinite galaxies that hang above my head, just to feel alive? Single is not a status. Single is my default. I am an incredible being - I can move matter with my mind. I live in a universe which mysteries remain unsolved and I have the opportunity to ponder, to question - and this ENTIRE time, I've been taught that I should be thinking about what colour to paint my nails to best impress some guy?! EH?!

But you can't dwell on the past, and I have a lot of making up to do. Big lesson, that one.

And so,

Lesson 4. Wait for the "Fuck Yeah!"

In my opinion, the "Fuck Yeah!" can only come when you know yourself, and the world, very well. I have not known myself for 23 years.  I have not known the depths of my interests and the depths of the worlds behind my eyes, until now. I am so enthralled by being alive, and learning, that right at this moment - I could happily be by myself for the rest of my days. Just give me some wi-fi and my cat, and there will be no problems here, my friend.

The "Fuck Yeah!" comes when someone shows up in your life, and you question what it is they can bring to your already fabulous, fulfilling and exciting existence. And they impress you. Not with promises of escape, romantic gestures, expensive gifts or rock hard abs. Oh no.

I have found myself impressed with a man that can teach me things I've never considered. I am turned on by an extensive vocabulary, by a man who knows even more than I do, even after months of wiki-mania. The conversation is fluent, unfaltering. The wit is perfectly timed and the laughter is belly deep and leaves my jaw-aching. To stay awake and discuss philosophy, science, dreams, art - not because it's cute to do this with a guy because I saw it on a movie or a pinterest list somewhere, but because I need to know if he knows himself, too. I have to know this guy. I have to turn him inside-out and empty his body of all his knowledge, and pour it into myself. 

Do I need a man in my life? Nope. I don't. Do I need this man in my life? Fuck Yeah.

And if he doesn't seem captivated by me? That's alright. Because I have a world at my fingertips that I can lose myself in, any time, any day. Rejection isn't scary when the alternative is time to learn, time to grow, time to build and conquer.  I mean, I am pretty awesome. I'm a total catch. Why would I spend any time on anyone who doesn't see the magic that's overflowing from my boots? Who can't hear the music? Who doesn't see the point of the excitement for life that's glittering in my eyes?
Oh no, no.

Wait for the Fuck Yeah.
Wait. For. It. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

In the meantime

Something switched in my brain this year, that has always been present, but dulled and somewhat faded the last few years of my life.
I've always considered myself a life lover, a feeling feeler and a world taker-inner. Nothing new there. It seems that my days alive right now are a continuous examination of my soul and what makes it tingle. It's as though my brain is a mass of mixed-up wires all tangled and messy, and as soon as the clock strikes 1am, I enter a mental quest to untangle myself, lay each strand down and study it, re-lay it, twist it around a bit, cut it to pieces and stick it back together or just shut it in a drawer and forget about it.

Music seems to make sense, it seems to capture feelings so very well and I love music for that. I read last night that other people can never fulfil your needs, only distract you from the intensity of said needs. That resonates. In my earlier twenties, I didn't really know what my needs were, let alone how to achieve them. So I've written myself a nice little list, in the meantime.

My needs:

1) To be kind, happy and peaceful.

Can't have any of the above without the other. I'm very pleased to have ticked this one off many years ago... at about 17yrs old I found being kind was the answer to most of life's immediate problems. Walk down the street and think positively of other people, and hey presto, meet Self Esteem. Not being negative about other people or circumstances welcomes an absence of bitterness and an overall sense of guilt-free living. So very, very important.

My needs require that I never forget the importance of being kind, and surround myself with people who are also kind. Win win win.

2) To Adventure.

Adventuring on your own is awesome, in the meantime. I highly recommend anyone who wants to, to leave their bed at 2am in the tumbling rain and simply run through empty streets and spin around a bit, in the comfort of being totally alone and totally free to do whatever you like. Feel like a kid again. Drink in the smell of the air and let yourself be brought to tears with happy memories.
This constant tugging at the corner of my mind's t-shirt from my little friend Adventure is both a huge blessing and a tiny curse. I struggle so much with this in relationships, because I'm forever unsatisfied and unfulfilled with anyone who doesn't possess the same magic beans. My needs require my mind to be forever captivated for as long as my lungs wish to exhale the air that I shall run in at 2am.

3) To be happy with an inexpensive life.

This is a relatively new addition to my list. As much as my pinterest boards burst with swanky apartments with huge windows and beds made out of wooden pallets, reality is very different. The worst times in my life are when I cannot sleep for worrying about money. My hair doesn't react well, either, and has been known to fuck off and leave me when times get rough. My needs require that I live a comfortable life in a place I feel cosy, homely and inspired, but also one which is not expensive. The ideal scenario is that England endures an unexpected, yet pleasant shift in climate change, which leads me to build a fantastic house-on-stilts atop a beautiful hill with breathtaking views and cheap floor-to-ceiling windows which can be slid open all day, everyday, with a lovely little lake to swim in each morning. Mortgage free and starry skies every evening. However. In the meantime, I shall make the most of my little lovely countryside apartment, keep it clean and cosy and put up more fairy lights!

4) To be loved in return.

I was having a big old sad think about this the other day - I think I've always been the one who loved more in my previous relationships. I've come to learn that we all express love in different ways though, so next time round I'm going to choose someone who I understand and who understands me, and who is as happy to communicate what they need from me as they are to give to me. In terms of what I need from love though... that's a whole new story that I'm still working on. But the list begins with kindness, magic and adventure. The rest is negotiable! In the meantime, though, fun and romance is always a winner. I've learned to cut my expectations right down and appreciate people for exactly what they are.

5) To learn.

So lately, I've been filling my 3ams with endless wiki-ing and reading and documentary watching, and I cannot believe I haven't done this sooner. The last week, I've thoroughly researched lives of Sylvia Plath (obsessed), Ted Hughes, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Steven Hawking, The Bronte Sisters, Steve Jobs, Shakespeare, and Anais Nin. I've watched documentaries on the universe, started reading my old Philosophy books, and generally begun my slow metamorphosis into a sponge. The more I can learn about this world while I have the time to do so, the better. So much out there. What's the point in being alive if you aren't going to learn as much as possible? My needs require that I always make time for learning, and spend time with people who can teach me new things always. Everyone knows something you don't... and in the meantime, I'm on a mission to find it all out.

In the meantime, I plan on being the nicest, coolest, happiest and best person I can be. I'm gonna leave this world with stars in my eyes and grass stains all over my clothes. Yep, yep. That'll do it.

Monday, 18 August 2014

mumblings from someone who cannot sleep

People ask me all the time, "Why did you take up photography? What made you start?"

And I tell them a fun story about MySpace and vanity, being a teenager, going with the flow, luck and chances and here I am.

But in reality there is so much more, I'm an escape artist, you see.
The last few months have reignited that spark in me in different ways. It's always when I'm single that I feel most myself. I guess I have a tendency to bury myself in other people when I love them, and that doesn't feel so bad. But when you're out in the cold at 4am on the street where you used to live, it all flows back through me and I remember why I took up photography.

Ever since I can remember, I've loved writing, stories, poetry, words, art, paintings. Music is the ruler of my soul. I'm listening to this right now, after spending the last 30 minutes in silence, studying my current state.

I don't think it's a desire to avoid unhappiness, and I don't think I necessarily want to run away from anything or anyone. I just have this underlying thudding in my chest which forces my legs to run once in a while. My heart seems to connect to moments once in a while, usually in the wind, and I just get this feeling of magic and peace which floods and overtakes my entire mind, body, everything. And I know there's more, I've felt more before. I've gone to places in my mind which I didn't know existed, I've felt 10-second euphoria of feeling like I was standing in a strobe light, all the atoms and molecules of my hands becoming the surfaces they were touching, I've switched off the left hemisphere and all I can remember is feeling like I was running, out of breath, towards an edge of some sort. Swinging from rung to rung of an old ladder, out of the skies to that next place. That Next Place. It's like a recurring dream. And I'm stood there, breathless, just trying to scoop up all my favourite memories into my arms and not let any of them fall away. I know this place exists but it's in my mind, and there is a sweet, sweet sadness in that. 

So I take photos. I leap into these worlds which are in my head, which exist in songs and poetry and art. There's something else out there, there's a freedom which you can't grasp. I hope my soul goes there when I leave this world, I hope that death is the sweetest feeling, that familiar run, trying desperately to hold tightly to those precious memories and feeling them slip quietly through my arms, into some vast empty space. Who knows. 

I can't ever explain it properly, because I'm not you and you're not me and we'll never quite see things the same way. I don't believe in God, but C.S Lewis summed it up best when he said 

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

For now, all I can do is visit these places in the only way I know how. With my camera and my mumblings of a mind which cannot sleep.

Monday, 14 April 2014

A Cool Breeze in the Morning

I will never feel lonely again, because the wind will always run it's hands through my hair
I will never feel lost, because my feet have learned to wander
and my hands feel that everywhere is home
The cold wraps around me like a blanket now
and when the light blinds my eyes, I can see clearly again
The rain washed my skin back to soft, childlike
And the smoke cleared from my lungs as I welcomed the alcohol into my bloodstream
I like it this way
I will never feel lonely again

Monday, 7 April 2014

Learning To Be Free

What an eye-opening month it has been!

A month ago I felt very lost. In a 5* Hotel in an amazing country. 
I was sitting there, crying like I hadn't cried before. Like a teenager rejected by her crush. Like someone trapped. Like I had nothing to look forward to. I didn't feel like I had anything to look forward to.

I looked at my life and I didn't like it. But I had it all?

I have an amazing job. My Facebook posts get a ton of likes. I get to go to 5* hotels for FREE because an awesome celebrity took a liking to me and made me her friend. I had endless inquiries for work, endless people tugging at my sleeve, endless people telling me I was great. And I have never felt so empty, and never felt so ungrateful.

I'll tell you what, money ain't all that.
The high life ain't all that.

What I thought were my life-goals, dreams a few years ago have turned out to be very empty and shallow without the magic ingredient which is passion, which is happiness.

Since stopping taking on paid work, I have felt alive like never before. I fill my spare time with endless googling, endless searching for inspiration, endless planning and friends and life and enjoyment. It's raining so hard right now and I'm pretty sure that after I post this I'm gonna go for a run in it.

Instead of listening the song, I started to feel it.
I've let my imagination override my compulsion to work, 
I've let my desire to create override my desire to earn

And maaaan it feels good.

The thing that scares me in this life is making the wrong choice. I'm scared to have no money, scared to be alone, scared to be unhappy, scared to be a failure, scared to be a bad person. I've been so terrified of all these things, I haven't let myself enjoy life like I could. And that's okay, because I'll enjoy it so much deeper now. That rain is going to burn through my skin and fall straight into my eyes and I am going to really, really feel it.

I am a storm. I am a force. I don't care. I am going to get drunk, throw my head back and dance like I am an awesome dancer. I am going to love so fiercely and be so kind and sing so loudly to songs that I don't care if you don't like. I don't care, but I care about you. I care that you are happy, too. Like this. It's ace.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Big Change

I am making a big change. 

I've decided to take a break from client photography for a while - lately I've been having a rough time of it. Back in January I gave a TED talk on Creativity and Happiness, and while writing it I realised quite a lot about myself.
I had fallen into The Hole without even realising.
The last three years, I've been on work-overdrive. Trying to pay my way in life, trying to be someone else's vision of successful, trying to bury myself a little here and there.
Photography is so much more to me than a way to earn money, photography has been my way of expressing myself, for the last six years and trying to figure happiness out has been my quest for quite a while longer.

When I was 16, I lost about 1/3 of my hair due to a bout of alopecia brought on by stress, unhappiness and general lack of life enjoyment. 
It grew back, along with the smile on my face. 
I have lost the sides of my hair twice more over the last six years following, and this October it started happening again.

I took this back in October, it's the size of about the palm of my hand on both sides of my head.

Losing your hair is a very interesting experience. I've learned not to be bothered by it physically, it's pretty normal to me now. But it is a symptom, for me, of something a lot deeper which is growing inside of me that I need to fix in myself. There's a blackness which comes when my hair starts falling out, and it's been present with me for the last 6 months now. 

When I look at my life right now, it isn't where I want it to be.
My photography is my life, and for the last three years I have felt a lot like a slave to my clients - some of which I was gladly a slave to, I should add :) But I haven't felt like I've been able to take time to appreciate doing nothing, I have felt like I have had to put a price on myself, my time, and I can't do it anymore.

The last four months have been pretty soul searching ones for me. I've cried a LOT, had a breakdown, tried to throw myself into other things, other people, no work, too much work. I haven't been able to settle, because without the mask that is routine and comfort, I've been questioning pretty much everything about myself.

Heartbreak is a bitch, I've had some cracks open up in my heart which are finally getting some air inside them. I haven't properly experienced emotion like this in quite a while. I feel very raw, very vulnerable and very open.

Here is my hair regrowth, as of today! :D

So I'm going to be changing some things up to ensure that this newly treasured sprouts of hair don't go disappearing again for a while. 

  • I won't be taking on anymore paid work until I feel lighter again
  • I will be shooting, for me. I am so excited to get out and create something of me, put some more of my soul into my photos!
  • I'm going to be upholding all the workshop dates/current bookings, because I made promises

I'm also going to be changing my daily life - instead of it being work, work, editing, emails, work, work, sleep

It will now include things like
Going for a walk
Going to the gym
Seeing friends
Putting music on and just enjoying it for a while
Looking out of the window without feeling guilty for not being productive
Being unproductive
Being productive
Shooting personal work which I enjoy
Stroking my new hair growth
Cuddling my cat

I can't wait to feel more excited about life, I can't wait to feel happy again, I can't wait to wake up every day and look forward to what's coming. I can't wait to be able to balance my time when I eventually get back into work, but I will be doing so with a new mindset and a new attitude!

Thanks for understanding :)

Signing off,

Monday, 17 February 2014

What I've Learned About Love

It seems so long ago that I wrote this blog post about love, life and being alone. Probably because it was years ago. I've had so many ups and so many downs since then in that arena, and so many emails of support and love from you guys online when my 3 year relationship came to an end at Christmas.

It's been about 2 months now, and I've done lots of thinking in that time, as most people do. Where did I go wrong, again? Why does every relationship fail with me? I've picked myself apart, reduced my food>mouth ratio and thought about love as a whole, my attitude towards it and what I will do differently next time.

One thing though, as I write this, stands out above the rest.

"There will come a time, you'll see. With no more tears. Where love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears."

Good old Mumford & Sons, what would I do without them? I think one of my big problems was (and probably still is) that I have a slight tendency to let love conquer all. Including logic and my better judgement. Love is a magic plaster that seals all wounds, no matter how deep. It's an excuse for bad behaviour that applies to every situation, no matter how painful and no matter how you both agreed that situation would not ever occur. Love is a glue which stops you from leaving even though you know you should.

Learning and realizing that my idea of love wasn't the best one for me really hurt. In a way, I wondered if the next love I had would really go as deep as I wanted it to, if it wasn't all-consuming, all-forgiving, all-purpose love. And then I heard those words. "Love will not break your heart."

That's what I'm aiming for. I want a love that loves. Being in love with someone shouldn't be a painful experience, and I will never let it be a painful one for me again. It can be challenging, with obstacles, but not obstacles which are the results of unkind actions.

I don't feel bitter, upset, angry or numb. I feel healed. I don't harbour any negative feelings about my situation. I feel happy that I have learned more about what I need from the next person I choose to love, and happy that I have given myself the chance to find them.

I guess I just wanted to write this down, for myself to read back at some point. I'm not sure.