Stars and Rainbows

"Life is much too important to be taken seriously…"

Digging Deep.

For the last 10 minutes or so, I have had my foot resting on a speaker, and have been playing songs that I once used to have on repeat, all day long. Trying to rediscover music. Trying to be brave.

The whole music thing has been hurting me, on and off, for the last few years. Ever since my hearing dropped, pretty drastically, a few years back, my relationship with music has been rocky. Whereas I once had a deep bond with music, these days it has filtered out to be almost none-existent. It’s not for a lack of trying; believe me, there have been many points over the last few years where I have sat myself down and tried to force my hearing aids to recognise all the beautiful notes of songs, but it’s something that needs a lot of bravery and persistence and time and determination, all at once.

And now? After this year? I feel stronger and more willing to expose myself to things that scare me. Why would music be scary? Well, quite – why is music scary, Sarah? It’s not so much music itself, it’s more the feelings that come up to the surface every time I try and relearn to listen to music. It reminds me of what once was; I could once listen to music without any aids, whatsoever. All I could hear was the bass notes, but that was how I liked it (back then I had a “seaslope” hearing loss – most of my high frequencies were gone, but my low frequencies were still there). I could recognise songs, sometimes even quicker than my hearing friends/family. I could walk into a shop, and all I could hear was the song playing on the loudspeaker, and if it was a song I liked, I could recognise it. It’s very different now, which makes it hard, and it hurts sometimes, but I need music in my life. Which means I need to get past the hurt…and keep going.

Yesterday, someone said to me that as introverts, we dig deep. We dig deep to find the courage and confidence to socialise, to put ourselves out there, to live in a very extroverted society. Dig deep. It applies to other parts of life too; we have to dig deep to find the strength to push past hard feelings. Right now, there’s a lot of digging deep.

The past week was heavy, and a lot of repressed feelings came out, mostly from others, and it was good for them to get it all out. At the weekend, the boy and I took a trip up to Cambridge to see my granny (she’s currently in the middle of a 2 week stay at “rehab” – not rehab rehab, but rehab to help her get moving again post-op), and we stayed in the bungalow on our own. On Saturday morning it was so lovely to wake up slowly, and just be with the boy; just the two of us. We had coffee, American-style pancakes with maple syrup (yum!), and plenty of soul searching conversations. It was a good morning.

We spoke about the last year, and why certain things had been the way they were. I slipped into another depressive episode, from September until around May; and whilst it wasn’t as extreme as it has been in the past, I made myself numb. I didn’t want to face the feelings, so I just numbed myself to it all, and it wasn’t the right thing to do but it is what it is – I can’t go back and change it, but I can try to understand it now. Dig deep.

With everything that has been happening lately, I feel strong; I have dealt with it all remarkably well, I think. My feelings haven’t been getting the best of me. I’ve tried to stay calm. I’ve kicked anxiety in the butt. It’s all about how you face the “problems” in your life, and often they will appear better or worse depending on how you cope with them, and how you think about them. So look after your precious brain, it’s a marvellous thing…but it’s a very powerful thing too. Treat it well, and you’ll reap the benefits.

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Dig deep.

Thoughts on a Monday.

This weekend was spent in Cambridgeshire, and there was plenty of time for reflection. Friday was a hard day, but all is smoothing out now. Love overspilled this weekend, and really, love is all that matters. The next few weeks may involve shuttling between London and Cambridge, but the person at the middle of it all is a tough old boot – and that came from her very own mouth! It all began in the early hours of Friday, and from then on, Friday flew by in a frenzy. My beloved Granny had a fall, broke her hip, went to A&E in an ambulance (wherein my mum met her), and by the afternoon she was being prepped for surgery for a hip replacement. The hospital are looking after her extremely well, and in spite of the pain, she is still her usual chatty, positive self! She’s truly amazing.

So, today, back in London, I am feeling calm. A little restless, after the get-go of the weekend, and strangely, I am actually eager for work to start now. Got a couple of hours to kill, before I have to go, though; will most likely fill them with Pinterest, coffee, and writing to-do lists. Today has been slow; but maybe that was needed.

Over the last month or 2, I have begun to think about meditation. More specifically, Mindfulness. And even yoga. Bear in mind, I am a novice here, and have never tried either before! But I think Mindfulness (and yoga, perhaps) will really help me. It will create time in each day where it is quiet; no voices (either my own, or others), no distractions, no busy-ness…just, calm. It helps you to live in the moment, to be aware, to find peace in a hectic world. I really need that, and I suspect it’ll be good for my mental health for years to come. Do any of you do meditation and/or yoga? Please share your experiences, I’d love to learn more.

Let the week ahead be a good one.

Here’s to recovery.

Here’s to love.

Here’s to life.

skyline

10 Things I Love (via Pinterest)

It’s been a while, but these lists always bring me back. Back to the little things. Back to the happy things. Back to gratitude.

Pinterest, for me, allows me to cultivate things that truly make me happy. I follow other pinners who may post beautiful quotes, pretty/wacky/calming/eccentric interiors, cute cats and/or dogs (and kittens/puppies – how could they not make you smile?), clothes that I’ll lust after, activities I want to try (paragliding over the sea, anyone?)…and many more. It all combines in a lovely way, so that when I stray over, there is always something (more often than not it is many things) that I’ll want to pin. So there is more than enough to make a list of 10 things I am loving right now…

1 ♥ Suffering/overcoming:


2 ♥ Cute, cute, cute:

 

3 ♥ Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup:

 

4 ♥ This gorgeous little window nook (and a DIY for the throw):

 

5 ♥ Worth loving:

6 ♥ Quilt love:

7 ♥ Pretty (lightbulb) upcycling:

8 ♥ 1950s Headscarf Tutorial:

 

9 ♥ Summer bike rides:

10 ♥ What if you fly:

 

Have a wonderful Wednesday; go ahead, fly.

Capable.

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~ Nelson Mandela

This is for all those I love; and for all of you, because I am sending love out, from the bottom of my heart. I am not going to lie; this year has been hard. And in that hardness, I have felt no pull towards the things that once used to interest me. But I do not want to dwell on that, I want to move on. For the past few months I have wondered, and wondered, and wondered some more, about whether to keep going on here, or to start afresh. That answer has still not yet come to me, but either way a change has taken place in me, and that means that things may be slightly different around here; for now, I am still here.

I am here, and I am getting there. I will get there. And the radio silence will end, I promise, but for now I can only offer love through this little space on the interwebs, and hope that even if you have felt neglected, that you know it is not you. It’s not you at all. The mind works in mysterious ways, and life does too. We live in a world that is so busy – or perhaps that just depends on which corner of the world you reside in. London…? Busy. My mind…?  Busy. Everything, combined…? Too much. But life is ever changing. And in this moment in time, that is a positive.

I hope life has been kind to you, and if not, I hope you have the strength and courage to keep going.

With love, as always, Sarah.

Time and Space

Me

Me2

 

I am in a strange place right now. A place where I feel the best thing for me is time alone. Time to sort through all my thoughts. Time to figure things out. Time without pressure. Time for space, space in which I am not made to feel guilty.

More than ever, I just want to take off. To get lost. In a beautiful place. Some of my greatest realisations were realised in places that are not familiar to me, or at least, not places that are everyday to me.

Life is complicated; yet, at the same time, it really isn’t. It’s complicated in that answers aren’t always immediately obvious, but it’s uncomplicated in that we should search for the simple things, and create our lives around those simple things. Simple things like love, which is actually a huge thing, but the concept is simple, in it’s purest form.

Creating your own path in life is not easy. From an outside point of view, it may seem pretty enviable, but when you have only yourself to answer to…it’s not easy, that’s all.

I may not be able to just up and go, but I can attempt to create a little time and space right here, right now. I have to use what I have.

The lack of blog posts recently is because of all of this. In the midst of feeling a bit lost, I’ve not had the energy to blog. Yet, I know how freeing it is, to be honest about how you feel. So I feel the need to remind myself of this, and not stop.

Time and space. Right here. Right now.

Me3

Rain

Rainbow Love

Something about rainbows always lift my spirits. The sight of one in the sky will almost instantly put a smile on my face. Then there’s all the rainbow inspired art out there. There’s décor inspired by rainbows. Clothes inspired by rainbows – I even have a dress that I call my ‘rainbow dress’, that I’ve kept for over 6 years now. When I lived away from home, during my first year of Uni, I made sure my room was bright and colourful – which meant I had every colour of the rainbow in there! This obsession of mine with rainbows has never waned, and I hope it never will. Hence, here’s a rainbow appreciation post; enjoy!

RAINY © lora-zombie

WINDSWEPT © Linzi Lynn

Mix and Mingle © Ryan Taylor

12 flavors © Kim Ripley

pile o’ cups © Lisa Solomon

Balloons © Giusi Barbiani

A Geometric Rainbow

Colourful rooms:

I am currently obsessed with decor/interiors, which is why I begun to stray towards beautiful colourful rooms! Moving along…

Rainbow hair:

A bit of (rainbow) dance love:

Colour inspires me, and I am forever drawn towards them – especially yellow and blue. Show me a rainbow of colours, in any form, and I’ll be happy for a while. And Dr. Seuss is sure to put a smile on your face too:

“In my world, everyone’s a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!” 

 

Happy Friday!

For the Future

…whatever it may hold. 

For my future child/ren, I promise to support you in the best way I know how. I will try my hardest not to put pressure onto you. I will love every single inch of you (although I can’t promise I’ll be a fan of what comes out of the other end when you’re tiny). I will try to make sure I show you many ways to achieve the things you want to in life. I will be there. 

For my future self, please, please, don’t be so hard on yourself. You take each day, and do the best you can with the day you’re in. Some days will be amazing, some will be good, some okay, and some will be downright awful. But just do your best, and if you need it, treat yourself at the end of the day. Or, if it’s really that bad, treat yourself in the middle of the day. Heck, treat yourself just because. Don’t need a reason. Also; let go. Enjoy the simple things. Carry on. 

For the future life I will be leading with the boy, I hope we still say ‘I love you’ umpteen times each day. I hope we remember to always be kind to one another. I will continue to listen to you. I hope we will still be inspiring each other to grow and constantly be becoming the best possible versions of ourselves. I will love living with you, I know that for sure. I hope you won’t get too grumpy with me when I am occasionally messy. I promise to tidy up the afore mentioned mess. 

For the future, I send lots of love. 

For the future, I lend a hand. 

For the future, I feel confident in what I am doing. 

For the future, I give a sense of calm. 

For the present? Just keep doing what you gotta do, day by day. Always, always, always try your best. And don’t define your life by the bad days, because the bad days aren’t the be-all, end-all. Start moving towards your future, and just…be. 

Lately; and things I’m loving.

On Sunday, I was in the midst of writing a blog post, but got distracted. And it never got posted. It just slipped away from me, and it’s just as well, as it was rather scattered.

That’s kind of what life is like at the moment, things are scattered, and my thoughts are scattered as well. Everything is scattered. Scattered, scattered, scattered. I like the word. But the reality is rather…odd.

I’m at a point where things are soon-to-be-happening…but not quite yet. Which means that I am scrambling to try and fill these days in the best way I know how.

In the meantime, I am consuming many cups of coffee. Fueling my mind with energy to zip through all these scattered thoughts.

~

Winter is coming, I can feel it in the air. It’s turning cold. And whilst there are still golden leaves in the trees, it won’t be long before they’re bare. Another season begins, and I have blankets, hot chocolate, and all things comforting at the ready. Winter, bring it on.

© Joni Niemelä

This post. The photographs/cinemagraphs. New York.

The beauty of Marilyn Monroe:

I am in love with black and white photography at the moment. So beautiful. There’s just something about it that is drawing me in like a magnet. Hey, not complaining. Any creative inspiration is being lapped up right now.

Cassettes, they remind me of childhood. Of having fingers that were small enough to stick in and rewind (rather than needing to use a pencil). They remind me of days when I use to throw my hearing aids out of my ears the minute I got home from school (yeah, we didn’t really get along in those days). As much as technology is amazing, I do kind of miss the days when we had less technology. When things were chunky; big laptops, massive mobile phones that were only for business people, speakers that had to be lifted by someone strong. There’s a nostalgia that is attached to these little things called cassettes, and one look at them brings back so many memories.

I need things that feed my love of visuality. I need photographs. I need expressive languages. I need typographies, because they put words into little pieces of art. I need to be surrounded by things that make me happy, both online and in real life. It’s why I am addicted to collecting together bits and pieces on Pinterest, it’s why I am drawn to Tumblr, it’s why my room has always been full of things to look at. I could not work in a space that is bare, I suspect I would go crazy. Well, even more crazy than I already am.

And I love bedrooms. Which is evident from this post, but yeah, I can’t get enough. Aaaand I love the internet, for always feeding this obsession.

Fairy lights are a year-round thing in my little corner. The soft light that they cast make them perfect for the evenings. Perfect for bedrooms too.

Bedrooms, photographs, Marilyn Monroe…and a bit of this, that, and everything. Yep, scattered, I told ya.

Happy Tuesday.

And one last thing, don’t you just love this French word, and it’s meaning:

Retrouvailles: the joy of reuniting with someone after a long separation. 

 

Find happiness in the scatteredness.

The Project of You

It’s the biggest, baddest, most amazing project you’ll ever take on. Because constantly working on ourselves, throughout our lives, will always pay off.

Self-love.

Self-acceptance.

Self-improvement.

There is that internal tug-of-war, because focusing on ourselves must be a pretty selfish thing to do, right? To this, I answer no. You, in all of your entirety, are so worth it. The time we take to spend on ourselves will surely affect those around us in positive ways. For if you’re happy in yourself, you’re much more likely to be kinder, nicer, and more helpful with others. Though, I do believe that most of the time we are a work-in-progress; at least, I know I am.

Whilst I am more sure of myself than I was a few years ago, there is still so much I have to learn. But that’s okay. I have made peace with that. I am also learning to make peace with all the ‘blips’ on the horizon. All those times when I’ve felt like, oh hell, what am I doing with myself? Because life is messy. Life isn’t perfect, no matter how many people make it look like it is. Let me tell you, it sure isn’t perfect – but you can find so much beauty in the imperfect nature of life. Now, that is pretty perfect.

Early last night, I found myself sitting in a coffee-shop with a bit of time to kill between two jobs. And in between people watching and sipping my hot chocolate, I came across this gem in Daring Greatly:

“Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance. That just jumped out of the page when I read it. Something about it just made so much sense to me. It can be very hard to feel like you fit in, when in your head you are being so critical of yourself, your choices, your life. The whole thing about comparison being the thief of joy is very relevant, especially in our society at the moment. The way I deal with it is to remind myself that we are all on different paths, and even if the paths look similar, we are at different points on those paths – so comparing our lives with others will never bode well. But that whole self-acceptance thing? Definitely, definitely worth it.

It’s worth the time.

The project of you is worth it. Why? Because in order to be happy with many things in life, we have to first be happy with ourselves. Whilst this may seem like a hard task, that is totally okay, because it won’t be a smooth journey…but you will feel the benefits of it. You will feel better in yourself. The voice within you will grow kinder. You’ll look in the mirror and not feel so critical. You will feel more comfortable in your own skin. You may even begin to push yourself further. It may spur you on to greater things. The time and energy that we invest in ourselves is never wasted.

This is as much for me as it is for you. Lately I’ve been veering between being kind to myself, and being incredibly critical. I’ve been getting into a position where change is becoming essential. And I’m welcoming it. This is the best project, it really is.

“You are enough. Paint it on your mirrors, on the back of your eyelids, drown it in your stomach, sing it in every word you say. You are never too much. Eat your food, sleep eight hours, walk like you love yourself. You are enough. Say it in your sleep, mantras to carry you through your day. There is never enough of you. You are a thirst that is never quenched. I crave you when you’re away. I love every piece of you. But I cannot make you love yourself.” ~ Michelle K., You Are Enough 

You can love yourself, no matter how long that journey is. And you will have bad days, but you’ll also have good days. Awesome days. So keep on going. Keep on growing. Keep on evolving.

You’re in this for you.

Monday, Monday…

You’ve rolled around again, eh?

Today was spent productively, and a certain project book is beginning to slowly fill. All the research is being poured into it – and I shall reveal soon just what it is I’m working on.

But for now? I feel the need to post lots of typographies, quotes, pictures…all things good. Let’s spend these last few hours of Monday (well, depending where you are – but it’s currently 9pm here in London) being inspired.

Need a little bit more? How about collecting together some of your favourite quotes/words, and write them down on a piece of paper? I did this a little earlier, and it made me feel inspired to be writing them myself – there’s something about doing this that reinforces the messages to you. And if today wasn’t too kind to you?

Lots and lots and lots and lots of hugs and good thoughts.

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