365 Project – Week Two

I’m playing catch up. I spent the past 10 days traveling through Virginia and Chicago and unplugging from reality (kind of). It was a really special trip and I am back home feeling incredibly energized and creatively charged. I’m doing relatively well keeping up with my photo challenge but definitely am missing a few days here and there. Here are my daily images from January 3 – 9. I’ll be back later this week with the other images from my vacation to get fully caught up. I’m loving this challenge and already feel like my photos are slightly better simply because I’m more thoughtful about having my camera on me.

January 3
January 4
January 5
January 6
January 8
January 9

January 3 – A Homemade Breakfast Sandwich
January 4 – Hot Air Balloon Photoshoot for Hoot & Holler
January 5 – Packing for Virginia & Chicago
January 6 – Last Minute Flower Crown Photoshoot
January 7 – Travel Day to Virginia, Forgot to Snap a Picture
January 8 – A Driving Tour of Virginia
January 9 – A mouth-watering lunch at Chez Francois

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365 Challenge

I’m still building my list of goals for this year (and still working my way through my list of 101 in 1001) but I decided that I wanted to improve my photography skills this year so I’m picking up on the, now very dated, 365 challenge. I’ll do my best to post them once a week on Saturday and share bits of pieces of life. Hopefully this will also force me to be creative on days when I feel stuck. Here are days 1 & 2.

January 1, 2015

A New Year’s brunch with family at N Counter.

January 2, 2015

Light fixtures above meetings at Liberty Market.

Did you make any New Years Resolutions? Link up in the comments. I’d love to follow along :)!

Girls like you…

‘Girls like you’ your mother says
‘are going to be disappointed a lot.’
She’s chopping coriander so fast that her hand is a blur
and you’re 12 and you’re standing
like a tremble, grubby knees and tear stained cheeks,
an offering in front of her
‘Why?’ Your voice is a quiet shake.
She puts the knife down and calls you ‘jaan’
she holds your face in her wet hands,
you don’t flinch because this
is what love looks like
she kisses your forehead like forgiveness
‘because you mean what you say,
you think other people are the same.’
She tells you that she spent four years
trying to learn their language
but people ask how you are
and walk away before you can tell them.
‘I’d rather be silent.’ She says.
‘At least being quiet is honest.’

You’ll come home seven years later
wearing your heart like a bruise
on the inside of your sleeve
‘mama,’ you’ll say, voice like a thunder crack
‘he said he loved me, and I believed him,
I shouldn’t have,
I think that he lied.’
She’ll be older then, but she’ll kiss you
just as tender, just as birdlike.
‘Is it my fault?’ You’ll ask.
She is half lioness, half woman. She is all roar.
‘Listen to me’ she calls you her soul again.
She says it in your language so you know
that she means it.
‘You are so infinitely tender,’ she takes the frown
of your face in her hands and holds it carefully

‘People will not always know what to do with that.
You can’t ever be sorry for the way you loved,
You can’t be sorry for who you loved.
Don’t ever let them bend you backwards
don’t let them make you hard or bitter.’
Her voice turns into a growl

‘You did not get this from me.
Somewhere inside of you there is rain.
Somewhere in your stomach,
something beautiful is growing
and it is infinite.
Don’t you let them try and take that from you,
you are open and you are a flood,
someday someone is going to want to die in you.’”

Azra.T,

A Moment of Gratitude

gratitude-post

I’m having a real moment today. I had the same moment yesterday as well as the day before and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will return tomorrow. I’m having a string of these moments of intense gratitude. I’m feeling insanely grateful for my life and I thought in the spirit of Thanksgiving (Hallo-whatttt?! Give me turkey), I’d write about it.

I’m grateful to own my own business and for the fact that complete strangers want to pay me to do what I love. I’m sorry, but what kind of dream world am I living in? I’ve wanted to be a business owner since my early days of barbies and dress-up. As a kid, I subscribed to magazines like Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living. Instead of watching Saturday morning cartoons, I flipped the channel to watch Martha in all her glory (pre-prison, ya’ll!) I’ve always had a box/drawer/closet/room stuffed to the brim with craft supplies from various hobbies I’ve picked up (knitting, painting, drawing, sewing, scrapbooking, fashion design, making miniatures, doll-making, paper-mache, calligraphy, jewelry-making, beading, weaving, baking, and so many more). I’m grateful to my parents for funding all that shit and allowing me to create with my hands rather than rot behind a TV screen.

I’m also grateful to my parents for pushing me and never allowing me to settle for being average. I’m grateful to them for believing in me even when I do things that are nontraditional like going to art school to get a marketing degree or quitting a stable job to be a florist with almost no floral experience under my belt. Even when they give me sideways glances I know they believe in me and will do anything in their power to help me succeed.

I’m grateful to the internet for existing and allowing me a platform to spread my ideas to people I might not have otherwise reached. My years of blogging have taught me how to connect with strangers through this new format and it has also opened up my eyes to a world of creatives bringing incredible ideas to the table every single day. The inspiration is overwhelming and also insanely motivational.

I’m grateful for my youth and my lifestyle. I love living in a girly apartment in the middle of a city surrounded by insanely kind and talented friends. I love the late night laughs, spontaneous beers, crafty nights, Gilmore Girls Netflix binges, stories about awful blind dates, and shared meals with these people. I’m so grateful for the ability to wake up every day and choose how I spend my time. I’m in love with this life I live. My heart is so full of gratitude and love for everyone and everything. I love that I am a woman and I have the options to dress how I please, say whatever comes to mind, work and support myself, go to school, and be autonomous. I know this is not an option for ladies in certain parts of the world and I do not take this opportunity lightly.

Recently these feelings of gratitude have had my heart so full I’m pretty sure I’m going to burst. And I know this is just the beginning of a long road. So, to those who believed in me, thank you. And to those who did not believe in me, I want to thank you too. You are the fuel to my fire and are just as responsible for these incredible days as anyone else in my life. I have some exciting projects in the works and I can’t wait to share my life and dreams with you as it all unfolds.

xoxo

So apparently I’m a feminist

had-shit-to-do

There’s this big resurgence of the word “feminist” going around. I have to somewhat shamefully admit that I was really opposed to this term until very recently (and I still cringe a little when I say it). But the older I get, the more I realize what feminism truly is and it’s an idea I can really fucking stand behind.

The past four months I have been working full time for myself. I am building a company and, much to my very pleasant surprise, I’m finding that this is something at which I can truly excel. When you’re in the trenches of starting a new business it’s basically the only thing you think about/want to do/want to talk about. I’ve had to actively force myself to calm down on the shop talk in other aspects of my life because I think my friends are getting sick of it. No matter how much success and happiness I’ve created in my business, I still get one comment that just fucking floors me. Every. Single. Time.

“Don’t focus so much on your business that you forget to find yourself a nice guy”.

I’m sorry but whaaaaa…..?

If I was a young man building an empire, I am confident no one would be concerned about my marital status. BUT because I’m a lady, everyone feels it necessary to remind me of my place in life; which, apparently, is in the kitchen with some homemade buns in the oven and perhaps a bun in my own oven… I find it deplorable that I am constantly reminded that being single is something to be ashamed of when my male counterparts are encouraged to first chase their dreams and once they’ve done so, then they can find a pretty trophy wife to lean on their arm and bask in the glow of how great they are.

So, to bring this bad boy full circle, I want to extend a challenge to all my free-thinking, feminist ladies out there. Chase your dreams, girls. Don’t let society tell you that your dreams can wait until you’re in better shape / you’ve found a man / you’ve finished school / you’ve worked X number of years for someone else / etc. etc. Do your damn thing and once you’ve built your empire, hit the streets and find a trophy husband to hold your hand so you can bask in the glow of how great YOU are. OR, better yet, find a man who has been out chasing his own dreams. Find the Jay to your Bey. Ladies? We flawless.