Monday, July 21, 2014

Slow Down Summer

{Me in a tree!  © Copyright Mark L. Johnson -photographyselect

Slow down Summer, there's still so many excursions to private beaches and gardens I have yet to go, I still have maxi dresses and flower crowns to wear, boats to ride under the flamingo pink and bruised tangerine sunsets in the sound, there's still rooftop bars in the electric city I need to go to, there's vineyards I haven't been to drink wine and laugh under the sunlight, fields of overgrown sunflowers and butterflies I haven't ran though, pool parties on lakes I haven't gone too enough. I still want to see the lights and the beaches of Block Island and escape to Cape Cod. There's only so many sunsets, perfect shade, azaleas that you have, so I'll ask you kindly to just go slow so I can try and experience as much as I can.

Nominated for Liebster Blog Award!

First and foremost, thank you to the lovely and talented Velysia from A Mermaid's Rambles for nominating me. The Liebster Blog Award is being passed around the blogging community to bloggers who have 200 or less followers as a way to get to know each other. Nominated bloggers are to list 11 facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the nominator, then they are to nominate 5 other bloggers and list 11 questions for them to answer. It's a fun way to get to know other bloggers. 

11 facts about me:
1. I was born in New Haven, CT.
2.  I lived down south (Biloxi, MS to be exact) for a year and half 
3. My favorite sport to watch is Basketball. I love UCONN Huskies for college and Knicks for NBA.
4. Outside the US I've been to Ireland, Canada and St.Thomas (although that one doesn't count) 
5.  I've never been to Cape Cod or Block Island - two places it seems everyone from CT has gone too! 
6. I worked at Sanrio and had to dress up like Hello Kitty! 

7.  I love swimming!
8.  I love photography but hate my camera phone. I need to get a new phone or a new camera! My favorite things to take pictures of is nature, specifically - flowers, trees, the beach.
9. I love the summer time because I spent more time outdoors. I absolutely love nature and find serenity outdoors. 
10. I've always live by the coast.
11. I'd LOVE to live in NYC

Here are Velysia's 11 Questions and my answers....
1. What are the 2 words that you would use to best describe yourself?
Creative! I love having creative outlets, whether it be through this blog, writing stories, photography. Aware is another one. I'm always aware of my surroundings (especially since I have anxiety),  aware of my emotions and other people's. Aware that everyone has things they go through, aware that being judgmental and two-faced will get you nowhere in life and to be as open-minded and loving as possible.

2. When and why did you started blogging?
4 years ago if not longer. My first blog was more about fashion. It was fun I did sweepstakes but I didn't get to write like I wanted to. I wish I kept it up and had this one, a more personal one but I'm trying to combine the two. 

3. What's the meaning behind your blog title?
I took a picture of a beautiful flower about a year ago that was near out town library. It was so close you can see inside the flower, and I labeled it "the heart of the flower" The heart of a flower - the inside, the beauty, the pain, the life, everything inside that makes it flourish and also wilt away. The darkness and the light and all the shades in between.

4. Has your blogging experience turned out to be what you expected?
Ever since I turned it into a more writing-based blog and joined blogging communities, I really have been happy to find great blogs, follow them and have some followers. I hope I continue finding more blogs to follow and followers on my blog. It's great feeling part of a community. 

5. What's your favorite post that you've written?
My blog post "Poppy". It's very sad, and is about my grandfather's death. It's something I can always look back on. It was written so much sadness and pain and I'd like to do a follow up that celebrates his life. 

6. What are the 2 things about yourself that you're most proud of?
Buying my first car all by myself and when I got an apartment all by myself and had it for a year all by myself. It was a rewarding feeling.

7. What is the one thing that you like and dislike the most?
About myself? I like that I'm sweet, I see the good in people, don't judge and hate talking negative and perpetuating rumours. I dislike the fact I like confidence and I'm easily scared. 

8. What's one piece of advice that you'd like to share? Life advice, blogging advice.. anything!
When I was 19 and started having severe anxiety attacks a nurse told me, in this tiny hospital office, "It takes time, faith and patience". You can use that toward anything in life.

9. What do you hope to achieve 5 years from now?
I'd like to have my stories published, a family, and a nice house :)

10. What is your favorite quote?
"Make decisions based on love, cooperation, and prosperity instead of neediness, trepidation, and anger." 

11. Who are your top 2 blogging influencers?

All my followers either have already been nominated or don't have blogs, but if you'd like to participate here are 11 questions:

1. How would you describe your blog?
2. What is your current favorite song?
3. What's your favorite place you ever vacationed?
4.) What are some places you'd like to visit?
5) What are your summer fashion essentials?
6) What's your favorite blog post?
7) What are your favorite books?
8.) How would you describe your aesthetic?
9.) What are your favorite names?
10.) If you could raid anyone's closet who would it be?
11.)  Your makeup must haves.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Replay and Relating of Gwen Stefani's "Cool"

There are some days, songs come on the radio or my slacker that just fit. It might not even be something I'm currently going through, but it reminds me of my life in such a perfect way it was like I wrote it.  

"And after all the obstacles
It's good to see you now with someone else
And it's such a miracle that you and me are still good friends
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool"

For the most part I have to say, I've stayed friends with all my exes - some are just friends on facebook who check in every now and then to say hi, others we can have long conversations about our lives and hang out and there will be nothing romantic there. My mom always said "there's nothing more dead than a dead flame" and it's true. Sometimes when you've gone through it, you know how it was and would never go back the romantic side dies, but if you truly LIKED them as a person, and a friend and both can handle a platonic friendship then that's a great thing. Of course there is always boundaries you have to learn over time since there was a romantic past and you don't want to make anyone feel jealous or insecure. I've been blessed to say some of my good friends are people I dated, and I've come to form friendships with their lovely girlfriends, fiancees, and wives. 

Of course, this isn't always the case. There are some people you just have to close the door and not look back, but especially in relationships that were more light-hearted and started off as friendships it's easier to continue that. 

"Remember Harbor Boulevard
The dreaming days where the mess was made
Look how all the kids have grown
We have changed but we're still the same
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool 

And I'll be happy for you
If you can be happy for me
Circles and triangles, and now we're hangin' out with your new girlfriend
So far from where we've been
I know we're cool"

This part always gets to me, especially about much the "kids" have grown. Looking back from high school, college and now you see how much people, including yourself have changed. Sometimes you are saddened by the downfall of some people who found themselves in drug addictions or self-destructive lives, others you may have fallen out of touch with, and some you admire how much they grew and what they become. It's all a nostalgic whirlwind of emotion - thinking of the days, hanging out with your boyfriend and friends downtown and 10 years later you're in your car by yourself, your life completely different and that boyfriend isn't anymore, he's in another state and your friends have gone all sorts of ways.  That's life though, and it's so much nicer and easier now than it was during those awkward, aching teenage years.

The second part of the lyrics "I'll be happy for you if you can be happy for me" is something I've felt too. I've honestly felt happy for someone I once dated who moved on and was happy. Why care animosity and all that baggage through your life? Of course some relationships do leave us scars, some relationships you don't necessarily have the best thoughts toward that person but what I learned is to let it go. They aren't in my life anymore and the best thing is to move on and keep living. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

About the Heart

As I've gotten older and realized more and more every day how delicate hearts are, I go into relationships with the most honorable and sweetest intentions. I am careful with hearts because I know what it's like to have mine mishandled. Of course in the past I made mistakes. We all have. But with the understanding of what it's like to be hurt, I do believe you also get the tools to love better. In my office I was recanting last night to my co-worker and put my head down and said "...I just wish I was prettier" and he said to stop that. It's true. To assign yourself with negative feelings when someone was careless with your heart is insane. That's them, not you. As much as someone doesn't want us, that's okay. They were never ours to begin with. If they don't see your value or want your heart, it's okay too. It's your value and your heart. All you can do in life is be the best person you can be, to be compassionate and loving but to also know when to walk away, when to stop waxing poetically and realize you can live a life of love and wonderful things all on your own. People come in our life for a season, a reason or a lifetime. Sometimes that reason is a lesson, and for that I'm better than I was yesterday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The ways we find answers.

As much as I romanticize summer, and I think to a certain extent a lot of us do - I can't handle the oppressive heat. I find myself lying in the cool shade away from the sun, away from the world. In my straw fedora and summer dress and aching introspection, I find myself wanting all my answers to come to me, as if they were the singing beauty queens from Grease waltzing down with their roller wigs and capped silver dresses. As much as we need moments to exhale, to be in the shade, to close our eyes - some answers only come from action. Some actions come from trial and error. Some answers come to us while we are hovering over the flash and the soft rev of a xerox machine while we clock in more hours so we can afford the nice things we have, the things we need, and the things that just come up. Some answers we have to move out into the sunlight for. It's all so cliche and obvious, but for those who are struggling with confidence it can be daunting to move from a place that we have built for so long as a place we are so well acquainted with. Stagnant is existing, it isn't living. And as much as my fear can take over, I much rather move from the shade and live feel all the colors life has to offer. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Adventures of June 27th- June 29th

            I woke up this morning, saw my phone and was stunned at the date: June 30th. What? When did that happen. Wasn't it JUST snowing? 


Friday I woke up and had a sneaky plan, so I asked the boyfriend if he had coins since I need to print something out for work at the library and only had my credit card and I went over and printed out two tickets to see Chicago & Reo Speedwagon in August! Yay. I love summer concerts.

I work Friday until 6pm, so afterwords I trekked up to see my old college roommate Nick along with my friends Joe and Adrianna and their daughter Brianna. Brianna is absolutely precious and has the cutest craziest hair ever!! 

It was great seeing everyone but didn't get to spend as much time since I had a 50 minute commute back. 


Saturday I woke up sad. The whole day, just sad. My post earlier explains it, although that was my way of trying to remind myself not to be sad. Not to cry on summer days because it reminds me of my dad dying suddenly. Unfortunately all the plans I had that day fell through so I was faced with what I did not want: to be alone with my thoughts. But sometimes you have to, you can't depend on others for comfort and wisdom. I ended up going to the beach alone, the same beach I grew up in and reminds me of my dad. 

Later that night I ended up seeing my friends Sarah and Josh and we sat outside by a fire and talked. 

The sunset was really beautiful that night.  Reminders of even through sadness, there is still so much beauty in the world. 


Sunday I did a photo shoot with Mark Johnson, who I mentioned in a previous post and posted an impromptu photo shoot he did of my girlfriends and I. We took pictures by the Branford Green and this beautiful little private flower garden. I love finding little spots like that. So serene. 

Here's one of the pictures. It was fun to hang out in the sun during the day. Later on I hung out with my boyfriend and relaxed and ended up going to bed early. Some weekends are packed full of wonderful exciting things, others are days that test you, that you struggle through but as you learn and grow and live you realize how to navigate it all a little better.