January 31, 2011

sound advice

I've had this idea percolating for awhile, and I decided it's time to act on it. So I headed to the fabric store today to enrich my stash, and am getting ready for a sewing marathon as I prepare to open... my very own etsy shop!

I was feeling excited this afternoon, but really nervous too. I've never invested in myself this way, never felt supported enough to try such a venture. I spent a pretty good chunk of change on the fabrics, and afterward I was like, Oh no! *bites fingernails* What if I made a mistake? What if I totally blow it?!

Then I opened my fortune cookie after dinner, and I had to laugh.

Thanks, fortune cookie! Sometimes all I really need are a few words of encouragement.

January 30, 2011

by popular demand

Well, here it is. My room, filled with things that I love...
Thanks for caring. You guys are the best. <3

Hold shift + click to view larger image

January 28, 2011

much excitement

I've got a lead on a nanny job... Eeep! Interview this weekend. Fingers crossed.

UPDATE: The interview on Sunday went well. Could be a really good fit, if only I can figure out my transportation issues. Here's hoping!

January 27, 2011

and NYC

Look, another! I do love a good timelapse...

video by Mindrelic, discovered via SwissMiss

Speaking of lapses in time, however: it's been a difficult couple of days. Most of it is kind of a blur. I got a voicemail on Tuesday night, and needed to return the call the following morning and talk about some really unpleasant family/legal stuff. And it was upsetting. It made me sick to my stomach, in fact. But you know what? I made that phonecall. All by myself. I called the lady back, with no prodding or stalling, even though I (really really really) didn't want to. And that, my friends, is enormous progress. When I hung up, I felt all trembly and sick inside -- but I felt a little bit like a lion, too.

I spent most of the rest of the day playing Free Cell on the computer (my main coping superpower) and didn't get anything else accomplished, and next thing I knew it was nighttime; but I am totally okay with that. I am still just so proud of myself for picking up the phone, and dialing the number, and doing what needed to be done. Tuesday night was definitely hard, and last night was hard too. But I am doing better now.

I am feeling more and more like a lion.

January 26, 2011

Le Flâneur

video by Luke Shepard, discovered via {bits of beauty}

Omg...! *swoon*

January 25, 2011

tres chic

I got an award! For being stylish! Ooh la la.

I was chosen for this award by Jessica of Too Beautiful for Earth. Thanks, Jess! (You should all go see her, by the way. She's so very nice.)


Now, as per my instructions, here are some random things about me:

1. This is secret, ok? Well it won't be anymore, I guess, but whatever. When anyone near me sneezes, I say "bisou!" intead of "bless you" and then giggle to myself, because I just exclaimed 'kiss' in French, and they say "thank you" because they have no idea that I am a nerd and get a silly kick out of homophones. And for some reason I just think that's a great little inside joke -- every time.

2. I rearrange my furniture about every three months. Except I've been in my current room for only 7 months, and I'm on my third arrangement already. This way is my favorite so far. Maybe I'll show you some photos... Do you want to see photos? (Leave a comment, please.)

3. When I was growing up, we never had nice linens, so ever since I've been on my own that is one thing that's really important to me. I love pretty sheets and towels and blankets! I have to be careful not go overboard when I'm shopping for them.

4. Speaking of shopping... Omg. I love shopping. Shopping is my favourite.

5. Spelling words with an unnecessary 'u' is also my favourite.
(Harbour! Colour! Catalogue! FAVOURITE!)

6. I like most veggies, but I hate green beans -- because they are gross!!
Ugh, green beans... *shudder*

7. Since I began working at age 15, I have been: a childcare worker, a fitting room attendant, a nanny, a sales associate, an archives assistant, a preschool teacher, an office manager, a housecleaner (homes), a housekeeper (hotel), a newspaper delivery person, an administrative assistant, a childcare supervisor, a professional photographer, a museum rep, an office administrator, a personal assistant, and a customer service supervisor. Also possibly maybe a few other things I can't remember right now. And sometimes I did two or more of those things at the same time. (Whew! Not sure how I managed that, actually, but I know that I did.)


So, those were my seven random facts about me, and now I would like to pay it forward by highlighting a few of the 'Stylish' ladies recently added to my blogroll. They rock! THXTHXTHX, Smile and Wave, Enjoying the Small Things, Made by Rae, One Charming Party, and -- last but not least -- A Field Journal

January 23, 2011

you're a bold kid


I can feel myself taking up more space these days, and I like it. But when other people notice, it comes as a shock. I have this need to joke about it, especially when I get hit on by some random guy, because it makes me so damn nervous. I come back from a solo foray to the restroom or the grocery store, mention it in passing to whoever is around, and then shrug: Crazy, right? Heh heh...

I'm really just looking for someone else to shrug too, to agree that yeah, being hit on by a total stranger is kinda weird but still, it happens. No harm done. The wrinkles in my forehead are begging you for comfirmation. No harm done, right? I'm okay, and he's gonna forget about me in two seconds, right?


I am positive the increased notice I've been garnering lately is because of this whole "confidence" thing I'm trying out. In the past, any time I was more bold or open in public I'd get attention right away -- and that would make me promptly clam back up. (Like New Year's Eve, Pammy! Omg, mortifying.)

Anyway, I don't want to do that any more. And I don't want to be afraid. I think I've said that a million times by now: I don't want to be afraid. So I'll be brave, instead. And I'll keep up with my experiment. And I'll make eye contact with strangers and fend off unwanted advances (with wit, I hope) and believe that yes, most guys will forget me in two seconds.

Because as it turns out, there are actually very, very few people in this world who want to hurt me. In fact, most of the people on the planet do not actively want to hurt me! Which is pretty awesome, don't you think? I feel so much safer, when I think of it like that. And it makes me happy, that I can feel safe.

*big points for you, if you know the title reference ;)

January 20, 2011

take a breath, take it in

A little bit of fizzy sweetness for your afternoon. :)

January 19, 2011

because it is within you

Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away.

Tom Clancy

now we are six

When I was one, I had just begun.

When I was two, I was nearly new.

When I was three, I was hardly me.

When I was four, I was not much more.

When I was five, I was just alive.

But now I am six! I'm as clever as clever...

So I think I'll be six: now and forever.

Love you, sister-friend!

Poem "Now We Are Six" by A.A. Milne
All photos © Vera Kate Hadley

January 18, 2011


Everything I touch this year is going to turn to gold.

January 17, 2011

variations on a theme

I've been thinking lately about how the first event of my year seems to ultimately wind up being its thesis. Going to The Center last January was such a huge precedent for the rest of 2010. Last year was about separation, and also integration. It was about sorting things out, about turning the topsy-turvy world I'd always lived in right-side-up.

I was absolutely driven by the idea of distance. I wanted distance -- physical and chronological separation -- from the past and from the people who had done me harm. And I found that the farther I got from Them, the closer I got to my Self. And that was good.


2011 began, for me, in Australia; and I don't see how anything could really be a better prelude to a year of Potentially Unmatched Awesome than that. I hope that this will be a year of saying "Yes!" and of taking hold of whatever other priceless opportunities come my way, big or small. Of being less sensible, and more spontaneous. Of being bold. Of being free.

Of being.

When I was in Australia, I had this sudden realization that I was the person on Facebook who was getting to do something completely awesome and talk about it in my status updates. That I was having this experience, and it was happening right now. I have (and had) such a hard time being totally present, but there were times when I know I succeeded, and that is comforting. I can see my growth. But I want more. I want this to be the year when I come into my power -- and not quietly, either. For the first time in my life, I want to be noticed. (Which says a lot, actually, about how much safer I feel in my own skin these days.)

I have a good feeling about all this. I hope it doesn't fade. I hope that by the time Christmas comes around again, I am spending it with Pam and Gretchen and Jill and Jeff and the kids... and that I am positively crackling with vitality. Watch out, my dears!! It's gonna be awesome.

January 16, 2011

journal entry

Oh my goodness! That has got to be one of the most amazing stories I have ever read. My heartrate is up now, I was so into it. It was exciting and lovely and terrifying, all at once. And oh, does it make my mind race! Such ideas! Such things to fill my head and my dreams. Such possibilities.

But combined with my jetlag, I feel marginally insane. I remember this feeling, thankfully, so I can tell myself that it's really okay, that I'm not crazy and I'll feel better soon. But the paranoia is overwhelming. The sense of
wrongness, from being awake when everyone else is asleep. Messing with circadian rythms is not for the faint of heart, I tell you what.

I cannot get over the story though, the convoluted genius of it. Incorporating dreams and magic and tea and ballgowns and life and death and love and family and
time. All the things that I like best. Amazing. Just amazing. I am literally in awe. I am in awe, and I am paranoid and feverish and my head is filled with dreams and possibility. And hope. And fear. And the future.

Also phlegm.

And I think I will remember this, now, this night. Feeling so full, after finishing that book. The pain in my back and the heat in my face and the inumerable irrational fears that I feel -- feel in my
arms, of all places. And some sensible part of my brain telling me I should stop this silly gushing and go to sleep, and most of the rest of me coming to the slow realization that I kind of hate that sensible part, and wish it would just shut up for awhile, and relax, and let me be.

January 15, 2011

this time with alacrity!

I am making a very deliberate effort to not give in to my tendency toward gloom. I started at least four different posts over the last week or so, and didn't let myself publish any of them, because they were too depressing. Today I deleted every single one.

It's not that I want to deny my sad feelings; it's just that I am so very tired of them. They make me tired. There are enough things to make me tired every day without adding to my own misery by plunging down a well of despair.

I am still grieving. I am still picking up the pieces of a very shattered life. I'm not happy -- but I want to be. For the first time, I really, really want to be. I want to try. My apathy has dissolved, and I want to be happy, and I'm scared to death. Possibility has always frightened me so much more than dead ends ever did.

I want to stop thinking about things that are unchangeably sad, and put it all as far behind me as I possibly can. Not to pretend it didn't happen, but more to hit a pause button of sorts, and focus on something else for awhile. Right now, that feels different from denial; and I fervently hope that it is.

It doesn't mean I won't have hard days. It's just kind of like an experiment, I guess. An experiment in raised expectations.


Can I tell you a secret? I have such high hopes for this year. By the end of it, I want to look in the mirror and at photographs and see the version of my "grown up" self that I envisioned when I was 19 years old. I want to see a smile that is completely genuine, and an expression that is wide open to the world. I want to wake up in the morning and be excited; excited that I'm here, that it's another brand new day. I want to be the life of the party, the star instead of the sidekick. I want to "go confidently in the direction of my dreams." I want there to be room in me for other peoples' successes, and their failures as well. I want there to be room for boldness and spontaneity and rebellion and grace. I want to not be so fragile and afraid.

(All images via weheartit.com)

I want to learn to be who I am, and not who I think I'm expected to be. And I never want to go back.

January 12, 2011

all aglow

I couldn't have done it without you, Pammy!
Thank you. Your help meant so much to me.

January 11, 2011

this day, this beautiful day

Laundry hung carefully on the line. Sudden rain.

Sitting in the car with an oceanside view, eating takeaway pizza. Walking down the beach in a mist of drizzle, arms flung out into the wild wind. Whisper-soft sand between my cold toes.

Movies in the afternoon. (It's what you do, when it rains. You curl up on the couch and watch movies. Right?)

Lamb for dinner, lamingtons for dessert. Authentic Australian.

Drive to find the perfect beach. A million soldier crabs, the sound of them skittering along the shoreline. Two hours searching for a spot with no crabs or people or waves. (Or crabs!) Finally, found.

A small break in the clouds. Stars.

Assembling lanterns in the dark. Lighting candles against the wishes of the whipping wind. Pam burning her thumb again and again, determined to get them lit. Photos. Exquisite pain.

(I remember you, lost babies. I remember you, lost mamas.)

Ocean and wind and heartbeat and breath.

Tiny fish jumping in the shallows. Building a fire on the beach. Feeling so thankful for my amazing friend. Imprinting memories behind my eyes.

January 10, 2011

missing you already

It's my last day in Oz. *sadness*

I have a few posts in draft, but haven't wanted to spend too much time on the computer, so they will remain there till after I'm home.

I am going to miss this place. I've been here just long enough to feel like I belong; just long enough to make my other life, my life in the states, seem like a dream that I once had. Then I know I will land in LA and Australia will seem like the dream, instead. One of the best dreams I've ever had.

January 6, 2011

speaking of stars

Long after dinner was done and the coals in the kettle barbeque gone nearly cold, we stoked them back up again and toasted American marshmallows over the low flames on fondue forks scavenged resourcefully from a kitchen drawer.

Hovering too close for comfort over glowing briquettes, fingers and tongues both burnt willingly on molten globs of sugar. The scrape of the spade across the grate, making golden splinters of light fly in every direction. The unique, peculiar sound of a marshmallow, burning. (Have you ever sat and listened to a marshmallow, burning? It's fantastic.)

Overhead a million million stars glittered in the night sky, like a massive firework whose sparks have never stopped falling toward us. And I thought to myself: I am happy. In this moment, I am as near to happy as I have ever been.

January 5, 2011

the stars lean down to kiss you

As many times as I blink / I'll think of you tonight

And I'll forget the world that I knew / But I swear I won't forget you
Oh, if my voice could reach / Back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear / Oh darling, I wish you were here

January 2, 2011

sharing is caring

Creme de la Creme is up.
So you should, you know, go check it out... if you want.

I am feature #132.

January 1, 2011

Hello, 2011

Spent the first day of the year in Penrith with my quietest friend, indoors, hiding from the heat. Curled up on the lounge, under the air conditioner, watching B movies on tv.

A nice, lazy precedent for a brand new year.