Threads + Thoughts | Changes of Scenery, Changes of Pace

There is a strange juxtaposition occurring in my internal life now. This odd fissuring of who I was and what I want to be creating an anomalous sense of instability. I suppose I write this in part to define this sensation to myself, as well as to others. I’m only just beginning to comprehend how drastically and suddenly my life has transformed (as it often does) and exactly what that means.

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I grew up in the mountains, on the shores of a lake so big and blue it’s sometimes called “The Lake of the Sky.” I grew up playing in the woods, beneath towering pine trees, in the coarse sand of a dozen alpine lakes. I spent summer nights under stars that burned bright silver in a velvety, blue-black sky, the milky way strung across it like a gossamer veil. I walked home under those stars in the freezing winter, the only sound my own breathing and the crunch of my boots on the snow. I grew up with camping trips and bonfires and hours of hiking trails. With snow days and hot chocolate by the fire place and socks damp from snowmelt. My legs were always covered in scratches from running through the brush in shorts. My arms were always sunburnt and freckled from hours spent beneath the high, hot summer sun. I built forts by the river and spent autumn evenings writing in my journal on a rock in the middle of it’s lazy flow. My youth was an idyllic one, I must admit, with a closeness to nature that made the woods a sanctuary and the wilderness a church. But by the time I was in high school, I wanted nothing but to flee the silence of that cathedral. I wanted light and sound and motion. The rush and press of city streets and the chatter of a thousand voices lulling me to sleep each night. Thats the life I imagined for myself when I was a restless, angst-ridden teen, adrift in a town where I didn’t really connect with anyone. Those were the years I dreamt of San Francisco and New York and a career as a fashion designer or magazine editor. I had grand schemes of a cosmopolitan life full of glamorous parties and beautiful people and opulent clothes. I wanted art and music and lavish parties attended by interesting people from all over the world. I wanted to drink in all their stories, all their varied experiences. I loathed my small town and what I deemed to be it’s small-minded people. I was convinced I belonged elsewhere, in some bright and glimmering city.

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Now I want something somewhere in between. I want the art and culture and creativity that I found dripping off the walls of San Francisco’s multi-colored victorians. I want the community and collaboration of living around a bunch of like-minded people; artists and musicians and writers and creatives of all varieties. I want a bold art scene, a raucous music scene, a plethora of culinary options to choose from. But I also want stars over my head and the quiet of the deep dark night. I want early mornings with the mist on the mountains and the sun creeping across the window panes. I found my soul depleted by the constant noise and rush of the city, by all those people, all those stories, all the endless things to do. I found myself strangely overwhelmed by it all and there was a longing for that old peace, to escape to the solitude and silence of the woods once more.IMG_2616

Ojai is it’s own little bubble of juxtaposition, a tiny town nestled in one of the few East-to-West running valleys in the world. It’s considered by many to be an energetic vortex, and is well known for spiritual retreats and it’s artsy-hippie residents. I have the strange sensation of being called here, summoned by some external force whose intention is still unclear. Before a few months ago, I only knew of Ojai peripherally, vague mentions of this beautiful place from friends, the suggestion that “Ojai and you would get along famously” from a dear friend whose grandmother lives here. And then, as I got closer, the word Ojai came up again and again for me. In books, on podcasts, in movies, in passing conversation with strangers and friends. J visited Ojai with his mother while I was working in San Francisco and he called to tell me “You will absolutely love this place.” As soon as I set foot on it’s soil I knew, this is where I want to be. Everything about it felt so right, from the towering mountains that ring the valley to the eclectic citizens that roam the streets, I fell instantly and irrevocably in love with Ojai.

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I wake up every morning to the sound of roosters crowing and I watch the sunlight stain the mountains outside my window. I go to sleep each night to mockingbirds songs. I took these photos on my porch, as the sun slipped down towards the horizon and the valley filled up with gold. The contrast is sharp to where I was only a year ago, with the sound of the city right outside my window. I am sometimes still surprised by it, the strangeness of how drastically my life has changed in the space of a year, but I also find myself exuberantly happy. Thrilled each morning to wake up in a place so naturally beautiful.

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outfit details | knit top :: thrifted | woven leather belt :: vintage | blue high-wasted shorts :: vintage | flats :: reef

Brain Clutter | 03.28.15 | the demise of Neverland, preschool for adults and spring cleaning for the soul

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☽The vibrant, graphic work of Elena Boils is really doing it for me now. This piece is called Flowers and is from her Timbergram series.
☽I started reading BrokeAssStuart before I even moved to San Francisco and his cheapskates guides to SF were my tour guide to the city when I was still living on hostess wages and paying obscene amounts of rent. He’s sort of an institution there and for many of us he’s the Patron Saint of Living Well When You’re Broke… so this post he did for the BoldItalic, on how even the king of being poor in that city is terrified of losing his home due to San Francisco slowly shifting away from being the neverland of perpetual pixies, punks and pirates that I fell in love with absolutely broke my heart.
☽So, the entire internet is counting down the days until April 12th premier of the new Game of Thrones season…and this new trailer and set of behind the scenes videos is not helping my withdrawals.
☽This perfectly preserved 1950’s era kitchen is so Barbie Dream House it hurts. That fridge!
☽The water out of the tap in Southern California is notoriously bad, and according to the Coveteur, might be what’s been messing with my hair and skin. This shower head filter could solve the issue.


☽This acoustic performance of Ghost by Halsey, off her recent EP, Room 93 is just the sort of soulful, husky-voiced vocalizations that I love.
☽This solar distiller that turns salt water into drinking water could save thousands of lives, as well as help CA out of it’s droute.
☽A Brooklyn based preschool for adults. Any bets on how long it will take this to become a thing on the West Coast?
☽The conversation around Mental Illness is becoming less guarded in our society. It’s great to see Celebs speaking out on how mental illness has affected their lives.
☽Here are 6 reasons to start your day before 6AM
☽…and 7 Habits of Truly Genuine People.
☽There are so many lies our culture tells us about falling in love, here are the worst of them.

“I believe it takes more love to listen well and clearly articulate your thoughts than it does to buy into the myth that true love “always knows.” True love works hard to know.”

☽The things American parents nag their kids about haven’t changed much since the 1985, when Mike Cohen recorded his Mom and Dad hassling him about cleaning his room.
☽A beautifully photographed guide on how to dry and preserve medicinal herbs.
☽Say what you will about the crazy color schemes and questionable upholstery choices, the 70’s was an era of fearless interior design.
☽Career Girl Daily did a great roundup of little tips to boost your blogs popularity and how to actually do whats on your To Do list.
Katie Horwitch talks about spring cleaning for the soul and how it’s a lot like spring cleaning over on the Chalkboard. Also, this post on how to change your life.
☽True talk about how awesome Adventure Time is.
☽I just started reading Jessi Kneeland‘s blog and loved this post she did on her epic self-love secrets: ogling yourself in the mirror.

Drift is an app that guides you on a walk through your neighborhood (or anywhere really) using randomly assembled instructions. Sometimes the best way to explore is to just get lost.
It always works better if you’re enjoying it.
☽My intelligent, articulate and super-wonderful friend Ally writes about the importance of non-judgment and patience and trying to pee on an airplane during turbulence.

 

Dangerous Thoughts | Don’t Forget To Ask “Why The F*ck Not?”

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I’ve been having this thought a lot lately. Reconsidering these strange notions I have about what I can and cannot do. The limitations I put on myself, for no other reason than I am afraid or unsure. I’ve realized that most of my life I have allowed by doubts and insecurities to get the best of me. I’ve allowed a sense of crippling inferiority or inadequacy to dominate so much of my life that I find myself, at twenty six, utterly and completely adrift. My goals and ambitions put off and self-sabotaged by a serious lack of self esteem and commitment.

But lately. the narrative in my head has changed a bit. I am suddenly feeling compelled to ask this question; Why not me? Why can’t I have everything I want? Why can’t I achieve the goals I set for myself? Why haven’t I allowed myself to be the person I so desperately want to be. And, invariably, the answer is always just that. Because I haven’t allowed myself to. Because I’ve allowed my self-doubt and insecurity to trample my intentions and ideas. Because I’ve put aside my long term goals for short term pleasures. Because I haven’t really pushed myself past the procrastination and the uncertainty and allowed myself to see just what I am capable of.

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I’ve read a million and one self help articles, I’ve consumed every magazine I come across that promises to transform my life and make me into the person I ought to be, and while I’ve retained some valuable information that will surely help me along the way, I havn’t gotten a step further along that path. Why? Well, the answer is both incredibly simple and incredibly embarrassing. There is only one reason I’ve not achieved every thing I’ve ever imagined for myself and it’s Me.

There are aspects of my personality I am not proud of; a tendency towards laziness and procrastination. A stubborn streak that makes a mule look obliging. A short fuze and a fiery temper that burns straight through the filter on my brain, so that I say things in anger that I usually regret later. A generally poor sense of self confidence and a serious issue with perfectionism and fear of making mistakes, or worse yet, failing. This all ties together into a lovely little package of anxiety and self doubt that has made it nearly impossible for me to finish or achieve anything. I am constantly second guessing, putting off, or talking myself out of projects and ideas which might, if given the proper attention and effort, be wildly successful. I become so consumed with minutiae and getting every little thing perfect, that no real progress is ever made. I grow frustrated easily, my impatience for results or immediate gratification frequently results in a “well, fuck it” attitude that’s gotten a whole lot of nothing accomplished.

Why The Fuck Not Me?

So, this quote from my girl Mindy Kaling is my new mantra. Why the fuck not me? Why the fuck can’t I go after what I want? Why the fuck can’t I do and achieve and be any goddam thing I want? Give me one good reason….and then I suppose the key is to ignore my overly critical brain and just go and do the damn thing. So maybe I’ll mess up. So what? At least I will have tried. At least I will have given it my all. That’s worth a hell of a lot more than just holding all these ideas and ambitions in my head and not doing a thing with them. It’s certainly more satisfying.

PS; Pardon all the cursing, I’ve got a wicked potty mouth. 

Images via ShopAnnShen, Adam Trageser, LoveThisPic

Happy New Year! | Mantras for 2015

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Well, hey there 2015! I can’t believe you’re already here! I was just trying to think back on 2014 and everything that happened during this hurricane of a year. So. Freakin. Much. I can’t even.

I’m spending the evening drinking excessive amounts of champagne and dancing my legs off with some of my favorite people in my hometown, which is a strange throwback to my younger days, but I’m pleased to be surrounded by such loving energy as I ring in 2015. How are you celebrating the new year? What are you’re resolutions for the next 365 days? I put together a couple of ideas I want to build the coming year on, a sort of framework of advice for myself to follow as I tackle the stuff I have planned, check em out!

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1. Just Ask. I have difficulty asking for things. Not in the “please pass the salt” kind of way. In the “I want/need help/support/advice” kind of way. I recently stayed in San Francisco for an extended period and, when my original housing plans fell through, I kind of had a panic attack because I had no idea where I was going to live during the 20 days I was supposed to be in the city. My ever-patient and oh-so-level-headed man calmly instructed me to phone up some of the many friends I have in the city and ask if I could stay with them. Initially, this idea rankled me. I hate asking favors, I hate being in other peoples debt. I don’t know, I suppose that’s a nasty side effect of being painfully independent. But I sucked up my pride and made a few phone calls, and within hours I had not just one, but four separate friends offering me a temporary home. I realized in that moment that I was not only extremely blessed to have so many generous people in my life, but also that just asking never hurts and can often result in you getting not only the thing you want, but much much more.

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2. Slow Down. I’m always rushing. I eat to fast, I try to do to many things at once, my brain is a mess of a million racing thoughts and questions and ideas. I’m frequently running into things and dropping stuff because I’m just hurrying along and not really paying attention to what I’m doing in the moment. I need to slow down, be more intentional with my thoughts and actions, take the time to focus on one thing at a time and give it my full attention.

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3. Be Present. This is part and parcel to the above mantra. I’m terrible about projecting my thoughts into a future that might or might not be a reality and writing my own little mental movies of how I think/want things to go down. Time to be more grounded in the Now, pay attention to how I’m spending my time and whether what I’m doing right now is really mirroring and furthering my goals.

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4. Get to Work. No more excuses. No more “I’ll get to that eventually.” No more procrastination and waiting around for the perfect moment. The time is going to pass, regardless of what you do, so you might as well do what’s going to make your dreams come true. You know what you have to do, you know that sleeping in or messing around on the internet isn’t pushing you forward or helping your cause. So stop it. Stop making excuses for yourself, stop shirking your responsibility to yourself and your vision. No one else is going to do it for you so pull up your big girl panties and get to work.

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5. Commit Completely. No more games. No more back-burner plans and half-baked ambitions. No more back-and-forth with yourself over whether or not this is the right road for you. You know what you want, you’ve known for years and constantly questioning yourself does nothing but paralyze you. So kick the doubt to the curb and remove all obstacles from your mine. This is what you’re doing. This is what your life is about. Go out there and get it.

Fit Friday | Weekly Check In – 06.27.14

Saturday – Day 15 | Owwwww…my legs are so tight from the nearly 2+ hours of yoga I did yesterday, so the Non-Stop Standing Flow Routine was rough. My forward folds were shaky and strained and holding the chair pose made me suck air like no other. Felt good to stretch those tight muscles though. I followed it up with a Yoga sequence by Adriene designed to combat the winter blues. I am fully aware it’s not winter, but SF has it’s own climate and it’s cold and grey and blustery outside my window right now. Besides the fickle San Francisco summer, I’ve just been feeling kind of blah lately and was hoping this would kick some of those feels to the curb. I realized I absolutely love bridge pose. So much. Makes my back and hips feel amaaazzzinnnggg. Can’t believe I’m already halfway through with the 30 Day Challenge! 46 minute practice.

Sunday – Day 17 | Changed things up a bit and did this routine in the evening after work. Lit some candles, got my zen on. Or tried to. A huge focus of this particular video was foundation, which requires a great deal of strength and self control to maintain…and I just didn’t seem to have it at the end of the day. I felt weak and shakey and had a hard time maintaining my breath. I ended up stopping the video halfway through because I didn’t think I would finish the 30DC Video for today. Then Erin pulls out Yoga for Learning the Splits and I nearly gave up halfway through the routine. My legs and hips are incredibly tight, and as she slid effortlessly into a full split I was nearly gasping the back of my quads and hamstrings were squealing. Then she told that story about the monkey and I got back into it. Funny how a little pep talk can put you back in the zone.

Monday – Day 18 | This slow, full body flow routine was exactly what I needed to recover from yesterdays frustrating session. I’ve been feeling discouraged, since my body has been so tight and resistant to this new routine. Everything hurts. Isn’t exercise supposed to make you feel good? My back and shoulders ache, and my legs are masses of tense flesh. I don’t particularly feel like I’m progressing, even if I know that I am. I guess this is sort of the point where a lot of people lose motivation, just past midway through. I’m determined to get myself through it. I realize this is just my body adjusting to the new muscles it’s building. It’s reshaping itself, slowly, and that is not a painless process.

Tuesday – Day 19 | The Head to Toe Yoga Sequence was exactly what I needed to restore my faith in myself. Moving through the poses felt fluid and natural and much less strained. I had heaps of energy left over so I threw on my running shoes and took a run. I signed up for Runkeeper the other day and set myself the goal of completing a 5k using their phone app’s training feature. I surprised myself and ran nearly 3 miles. Not bad for someone who hasn’t run for further than a block since high school. The interval system of 1 minute running, 1:30 walking was a nice easy segue into running for someone who starts panting after 30 seconds. Golden Gate Park is a beautiful place to run. I had been feeling pretty emotional and upset prior to my run, but getting my blood pumping seems to have helped me work through whatever was going on with my emotions. Came home and busted out Adriene’s Yoga For Runners Cool Down Sequence, which felt amazing. I always get this kink in my hip when I run, and this routine stretched that right out.

Wednesday – Day 20 |

Thursday – Day 21 |

Friday – Day 22 |

 

Thoughts: I am frustrated with my body. With the way it looks, with the way it feels. I feel unattractive and lumpy, bulky and unweildy. I am trying to be more conscious of the ways in which I allow my body to be unhealthy. I feel as though the more I try to be healthy, the more unhealhty I actually feel. Maybe it’s because I’m actually paying attention to my body and what it’s trying to tell me. I don’t want to lose my motivation, but I want to see some tangible progress.

Brain Clutter | 11.02.13

Halloween has come and gone. alas, but this super cute Wes Anderson parody by SNL is both adorable and terrifying. Enjoy.

Personal Style | No Place To Be Alone

I snagged these super spiffy purple pants at the big goodwill downtown and now their one of my new favorites. The color, the fit, and the amazing embroidered details on the belt loops are all so perfect I can’t get over it. And, to top off their perfection, they seem to go so splendidly with so many things I already own. For example, this vintage top with its red, gold, black and purple stripes accents them so splendidly. Threw on my trusty red flats and my ubiquitous denim jacket and felt like the classiest of ladies.

 

I snapped these photos on the steps of a staircase in Golden Gate Park that I thought might grant me a little privacy, since its a bit hidden at the back of a field and nestled amongst trees. But as soon as I pulled my camera out it seemed to become a primary thoroughfare. So I sucked up my chagrin at being the strange girl taking pictures of herself in the park and managed to capture these images in between pedestrians.

This might be my only real complaint about living in the city. As a child of the mountains, I am unused to having such a difficult time finding a bit of seclusion. The city is no place to be alone. I live in a house with four other people, on a street constantly mobbed with tourists and transients alike. I work a job where one of my primary duties is to be gregarious and charming, and while I love my roommates, my city, and my profession, at times it can be a bit much to be always “on” for someone. At times, a body just wants a bit of solace. And finding a moment to be alone is an entirely different thing in the city than it is in the mountains, where the solitude of nature can be reached within steps of ones front door.

{blouse | vintage a perfect match}{pants | vintage Mo Hee}{flats | thrifted MIA}{jacket | vintage Climate Control}

Here, you must seek silence. You must hunt for it like a lost set of keys. Finding a quiet spot to think, or read, or take photos, or just sit in contemplation is a rare respite from a city thrumming with curiosity about it’s inhabitants. Most often, one finds their solitude in the crowds. In the anonymity of being a member of this teaming metropolis. By sitting quietly on the train without making eye contact, secluding yourself with head phones and far-away stares. But finding a true moment of isolation, of pure aloneness, is rare.

 

personal style | a circle around where you are now

apologies for my absence. i’ve been in the midst of many a personal crises and haven’t known what to do with myself. but things are better now, settling into a rhythm i can rely upon. i am feeling calmer, clearer. my sense of purpose restored. for the first time in a long time i feel like i am exactly where i’m supposed to be.
{vintage skirt | thrifted} {leather purse | thrifted} {f21 blouse | thrifted}{shades | buffalo exchange}

Blog Crush | Dos Family

Chanced upon these images over on Dos Family, a lovely blog by two even lovelier ladies based out of Sweden, where they share their inspiration, style, and design aesthetic. Needless to say, I’ve been a fan for a while.
but then they had to go and post this and I was forced to decide that i sort of have a blog crush on both of them. how genius is this little fashion spread, featuring none other than Barbie in some rugged menswear borrowed from Big Jim.
They’ve done a few other spreads similar to this featuring the aforementioned Big Jim and you really should go check them out. In addition to the genius of Gender Role Reversal Barbie, they have an entire blog full of awesome for your eyeballs. Check these ladies out.

Model; Off Duty

These are a few shots from a photo shoot I did with the incredible and sweet Marlon of MH6 Photography. It was a fun shoot and afterwards, Marlon agreed to shoot a couple of me in my street clothes. Their film shots, so even though the shoot was weeks ago, I’m only now getting my grubby little hands on them.

Head over to MH6 Photography’s website to check out the full shoot. Otherwise, I’ve got a little sneak peak heading your way in the next few days!
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