Monday, August 3, 2015

A Love Letter to You, Now.

I use to find it sad that people didn't know my heart but now I realize only few are meant to know the nights you listen to the commodores in your car and just think. The way you love sunflowers and carousels and flamingo lawn decorations. How you cling to summer with heart shaped glasses and books about love at beach houses. The times you cried and thought you wouldn't make it. The childhood years running through rows of apples trees because home was too scary, too loud, to hurtful. When you meet those people or maybe just one person you realize all those secrets are part of you, each a love letter to the person you are now.

The Other Side of Nostalgia

Last year, exactly one year ago I was on a cruise around the Thimble Islands. I asked the captain if anyone had ever jumped off and he said yes, a girl who got into a fight with her boyfriend ran and dove off (she swam to an island and was safe). I remember saying I could relate to her, under all the pretty lights in the Branford harbor that summer night. I could relate to feeling so stuck that you would launch yourself out in the starry night and into dark waters for some peace, some clarity, for a release from the pain. I’ve waxed poetic about love lost, about the times I sat by the water and miss eating bagels and people watching with you. We both aired our grievances over and over, we’d burn that vinyl record then put on a new one. But every time I give out my heart, my hand for support, or my ear to listen, I remember. I close my eyes and stretch my hand out to touch to your face but when I open them I’m just standing alone, in the rain. And I remember. I remember my face bruised, blue and black (then it turned a yellow-ish color) I frantically covered in too much makeup and would sink into my work office with the lights off, cowering in the darkness. I was ashamed, embarrassed and hurt. A year marks that time when I thought I wouldn’t – no, couldn’t – continue this life. But I kept going and found my happiness on my own and eventually with someone else. I had to know what true pain and hell felt like to decide to turn the wheels around and start building a better, healthier, happier life for myself.

The other side of nostalgia. The dark parts you keep in the secret dark gardens of your brain. But when those thoughts come flooding back, you remember. You remember you once loved chaos in human form. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sizzle in Sweltering Weather

I'm in shoreline CT where the heat and humidity make me want to lie in an air conditioned room and listen to music. But, there's so much to do and I don't want to waste my days inside. I found some of my favorite outfits that would look great and comfortable in this heat wave. 

I love crop tops lately, and think the scalloped skirt is such a cute touch. You can add the gold accessories for a summer night party or date or keep it casual without them and add some sandals and a floppy hat. Find it at Lulus

This romper and floppy hat are devine! I LOVE rompers. This one is perfect, I love the peach colors and the floral design. Floppy hats are great for some shade. Check out the beautiful fashion blog Gal Meets Glam for details!

I love this lavender dress. You can dress it down plain and still stun, pair it up with nice heal and a necklace and make it dressy or keep it cool and casual with some bangles, a flower crown or a headscarf.

I love the mixed patterns and the jewelry. For extra hot day: take off the cardigan! Or get a bigger bag and keep it there for extra chilly cafes, stores or restaurants. I even love her lipstick matching the flowers :) Find it at LoLoBu

I like the top and shorts, I might try different sandals and accessories though. Maybe some pink bangles and a longer necklace and black shades. I'd replace the flower crown with a floppy hat and keep the cardigan for the aforementioned cold stores/restaurants. 

What have you been wearing a lot this summer?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A New Chapter of Adventures

For a long time my heart yearned for a simple life, for deeper connections and time to create and evolve and explore. I spent nights that turned into years having to be out and about Fridays and Saturdays. I don't want to come off as condescending to anyone because I had my fun, I made a couple friends on the bar scene who became real life friends. But the feeling the party was over and I was still there clung to the air. I was not happy. I've been spending time over the year exploring, learning, writing, reading, delving into art and music. My heart wanted it and I finally listened to it and acted. That's not to say I'll never go to a bar or I look down on anyone in that phase of life. I wish those years were productive. I wish I wrote novels and sketched fashion illustrations and got into amazing music. But I got a deep lesson in life. It was an adventure in itself and I'm excited about the new adventures every step of the way that bring me peace and love and positivity and a chance to explore my heart and mind and this little corner of the world.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer: My life in Pictures

         You can follow me on instagram at _courtneyjuliet, but in the meantime here are the images of my summer thus far:

I love the bright yellow of daffodils and morning strolls.

What a perfect place to sit among the flowers and sunshine?

Blooming without bounds

A peak of pink

Soft serve vanilla in a waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles = yum

Stratford, CT marina

All photography by me, Courtney Barrett*

What does your summer look like so far?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

On Mean Girls, Kindness, and Rising above.

We all have our naysayers, our "haters" if you will. If you're a woman, I'm 100 percent sure you are all too familiar with the mean girls. The thing is, even out of school or work, there are mean girls. Even in the 40s, 50s, etc. It's almost too easy to be negative and bitter and let your anger, jealousy and frustration play out in social media in the form of bitchy memes or statuses. Life is hard enough and I enjoy instagram and all the artisans I have found and facebook to be able to stretch my writing muscles. Today, I let a negative force get to me and I resorted, immaturely, with one of those angry instagram memes. I took it down 10 minutes later, realizing I had played into the negativity. I also felt embarrassed and upset with myself. We all have lost people in our lives, and the people who really touch us, that we miss and love beyond earth, are the ones that showed us kindness. I truly believe kindness is the best legacy to live.

I thought of people during that time, that showed me kindness, that impressed and inspired me with their tolerance and love for the world. Thinking about people who inspire me, whether it was an act of kindness or a lifetime friendship, makes me want to do better. I thought about my cousin Maeve, who aside from her awesome Vintage wardrobe always stuns me with the most tolerant views and outlooks on society. It's a beautiful thing and often, after I read something on instagram, I think "why wasn't I this aware at her age?". I thought about an acquaintance, Liz, who messaged me Sunday after church to say how nice of a mass it was for my dad's. My heart hurt that day and that gracious message made me smile. Then I thought how I never put my best foot forward the handful of times I met her and truly felt sorry for that. It was a reminded to put the best version of myself out there and always be kind. I thought about my friend Rachael who's love and compassion for animals and the earth really opened my eyes to these issues and made me think how important passion is in a person. I thought about my neighbor, Jennifer, who is so sweet. It threw me off when my boyfriend said she had spoken so well of me. I've gotten so use to "mean girls" and the mean things people say, it throws me off when people are positive- but it throws me off in the best way. When I was going through all this, she knocked on my door while I was frantically looking for a shirt and decompressing all my thoughts (haha) all to give me some oracle cards. That act of kindness when my mind was racing meant the world to me, and I didn't even get a chance to see her. 

Positive people make me want to be positive. I needed a reminder today that kindness is everything. That the people who I look up to, admire, or inspired by, even if they don't know it - are all kind people who give positivity back. Those were just a few examples of people and moments of niceness that touched my heart. I know what some people think of me or have to say, and we all have our haters. But I'd rather keep living and trying to be the best I can be. It's so easy to fall into the negative, mean girl trap. I'll post a 1,000 flower pictures and 1,000 stories of good things before I let myself regress, before I ever fall into being a negative, bitter, jealous "mean girl". I had a human reaction of anger and frustration but it served as a reminder to do better. I'll walk away with sunshine in my head because life gets dark and cloudy enough without having to add negativity to it. I'm thankful for sunny skies, hydrangeas, a compliment, a good song on the radio but most importantly- positive people. 

"I believe in the magic of kindness"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Sometimes nostalgia hits me like a panic attack and it's hard to breathe, to realize all that time has gone, that person is gone, the person who I was is gone. I remember everything: somethings break my heart, others make my heart heavy. Night time car rides with power lines and sunsets outside our windows and talking geography, The light & music of a summer carousel, cafes playing Wilco on a rainy day. Journals abandoned by the sound of your call. I remember all those things but they are all images, thoughts, parts of my past that shaped my future. My life is calm, I've grown up. The waves have mellowed with time. But every now and then I remember the beauty and power of being inside that storm. All the colors, all the things that your heart feels but human language has no words for.