Saturday, 29 September 2012

Just a thought

As I begin the final year of my degree at university and I become more travelled and experienced through my work as a model, in the sense that I am lucky enough to meet so many diverse people and wonderful souls, exchange stories and learn about life from other people's perspectives, it becomes ever so clear that our lives really are in our hands.
It's not fate, it's not written in the stars, and we certainly are not ever failing. It's as simple as this: life is what we make of it. We build it, we make decisions, and we live it.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Second home

Back in London, back in my second home. Just wanted to write this thought before I close my eyes and sleep. Please note.. Bed has never felt better than this does right now.

This entire summer has been spent moving house or packing or unpacking and living entirely out of a suitcase (my own choice - so I'm not complaining, just explaining). I have down-sized a lot of my belongings and been rather charitable in my donations to numerous charity shops along the way. This has served to provide me with a first hand realisation that inner happiness and peace really does not depend on our possessions, but is more a situational and somewhat individual state of being which depends on many aspects of life. Not only factual aspects, but more-so the way in which we view things and how we carry ourselves. The people we surround ourselves with, the choices we make daily which enrich and fulfil our lives, and the feeling of 'home', whatever that subjectively means to each individual. This is what defines inner happiness. Not the mountains of junk and pointless possessions we aimlessly hold onto, for fear that letting them go means that we no longer have a meaning or identity. Of course, it is human nature to need security and comfort, but these are much, much more than a pile of belongings.

A city underwater

Okay, so York is not quite entirely underwater, only partially. But nevertheless, it's quite an adventure. I am writing again while on the move (train back to London) as this seems to be the only available time for blogging and processing my thoughts! I spent a couple of nights back home as I had no castings or jobs and I needed to move into my new home and go to some introductory lectures back at university. It's been good to be home and make a start on unpacking my life so I can begin living life from a home again rather than from a suitcase. My mum kindly helped me move into my new place which is cool and I've sort of begun unpacking, but not really. It is difficult to mentally settle when I know I still have work to go back to in London. So I'm here, somewhere (Newark Northgate) on the train while I head back down. Perhaps it'll be drier.. York has been hitting the national news with it's flooding.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

It was a cold day

While I sit on the train and aimlessly browse the internet, I stumbled across these behind the scenes shots from a bridal job I did probably around November time last year. Totally cannot remember when, but I remember it being a freezing cold location but a lovely, lovely team. One of my favourite photographers to shoot with is Sarah Jones. She has an eye for beautiful things and a real passion for art, which I love.
I also remember the other model on this job had taken her mother with her just because she hadn't spent time with her mother for a while and she missed her. It was sweet and made me think of my own mother and why/how/what would make her come on a job with me. I think it would surprise my mum, maybe even make her a little more accepting of my job!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

to change or not to change?

I was watching Glee.
Yes, I was unashamedly enjoying my not-so-guilty pleasure of  Glee watching when something was said by one of the characters (Quinn - for those familiar with this wonderful programme!) in reference to leaving, and the sorts of words people tend to say to one another when they say goodbyes and part ways, not knowing when they will next cross paths.
One of those things people say, and I know myself - if I were to look through my high school year book, friends had written these words. 'Don't ever change'
But as Quinn rightly said: Don't people realize that change can be the best thing to happen to us?
We change, we grow, we evolve into more profound versions of who we were. Finely tuned, more confident  beings. We learn about life and living in this world alone while being surrounded by a human race which we may never fully understand. Collectively and as one, we become who we are. We change. It's inevitable, and I think it should be embraced.

Window gazing and hair braiding

Decided to go for a little something different with the ginger locks today

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Today looked like this

Casting and coffee
Typical me

Post man

One thing that keeps me going when spending time away from home, familiar faces, and away from friends is good old fashioned mail hand delivered by the post man. Although saying that, even when I am home, good friends are far away. I suppose thats what happens when you travel a lot and study in a University with people from all over the country. You develop good trusting friendships with those around you and then you part separate ways, but it's not quite like the school days when you would catch your bus to the next town each night when school finished and be re-united in the morning. Perhaps your parents would liaise over the phone and arrange weekend sleepovers at your house, or you may 'hang out' after school before going back home. But home was never too far away from your friends. As I've gotten a little older (and wiser, I hope), I have kind of developed a network of friends all over the country. Friends who travel, or friends who stay in the same city for the majority of their time. It is wonderful to know you are never quite alone, whichever part of the country you may be in, but it is also sad, when time comes to say goodbyes and you're not quite sure when you may see each other next. A good friend claims a space in your heart that can never quite be replaced. A space exclusively belonging to them. I am thankful to each person who holds a space in my heart. I know it sounds a little simplistic, but what else can make you feel so cared for than returning home in the evening with tired feet and a tired head to a hand written card from a good friend? I shall forever hold in my heart some of the good friends I have around the country. Thank you, Becca, for putting a smile on my face with your ever so personally thought out choice of cards!
This one is for us, through and through :)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A life of importance and day of productivity

Today was filled with 'important things'. 
I became one of 'those' people who quite comfortably makes themselves at home in the quiet corner of Starbucks accompanied with a large coffee and laptop connected to the Starbucks wifi (which yes, is 100% free may I add) glasses proudly on, sending 'important' emails to recipients of importance, and researching 'important' things. A young person trying to become capable of creating and continuing building this life for herself that will empower her to become more. It does one no good to just sit thinking about doing things.. Life doesn't just happen. Time happens, yes, and most of those around us seem to move on as time moves on. They just keep swimming or riding the wave, or rolling on, whichever metaphor suits best.. I would just hate to be left behind. 

It would seem that I haven't been working fashion week and haven't done any of the shows or castings, despite being in town. Of course this feels not great. This is what you pay for being a model and under 5'10 I suppose. But it has to be said; this break has gracefully provided a much needed life line to my skin, hair, and feet, which consequently feel amazing. I am sleeping and eating and feeling a little more on top of life. By 'life', I mean my other life. My two lives do co-exist so much so that I am trying to get a step ahead of the game. Re-enrollment for third year has been done, I have checked my lecture timetable, contacted my work placement who seem more than happy to have me back this year, located and contacted a few 'potential jobs', emailed my lecturers regarding references for these said jobs, considered fine-tuning my dissertation plan, AND even researched post-graduate options. There are so many plans buzzing around in my mind today. It certainly feels productive and positive. Long may this mind-set continue.
Seek good things, and good things shall happen.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

behind the scenes at Colenimo

I shot a lookbook this weekend for an amazing Japanese team. Here are a couple of behind the scenes snaps, shot by the designer while we were on location :)

Favourite things #3

Good Yorkshire tea and almond biscotti in my home town with a good friend (who goes by the name of Steff) during my brief visit to York (the land of the North) where the wind is a little chillier and people tend to walk slower, and ironically there are considerably more Asian tourists taking photographs of grey buildings and skies, navigating their way through the city centre with small over-priced pocket maps than there seems to be in London.

This is a city where I actually feel that at times I look/am a little different, and truth be told, I have grown to quite like the things that make me different. Being a slightly taller than average pale red head studying for a degree at University while travelling and modelling and meeting artsy, creative types, not drinking beer and 'bumming' around, and laying in until lunch time.. not to paint a picture of your average stereotypical student. (damn, I hate stereotypes) But I do know a select few students who live this way.. and each to their own.

Perhaps me feeling slightly different to the rest is just a case of 'I think, therefore I am' - who knows? All I know is it is in stark difference to life here; a daily life in which it sometimes feels that I pale in comparison to the majority of London, particularly because when modelling here, one can easily feel like a small insignificant needle in a rather large and prickly haystack of lots of other models, each one taller, thinner, and more eternally beautiful than the next girl in line.

You need something more than this in order to stay sane (although this is arguable in my case)
These simple things make life more enjoyable. September is already flying by.
Let us live, and enjoy.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

One of my favourite things

step by step

'one step at a time'
Often, when myself or a friend is feeling overwhelmed when faced with decisions about plans, life, commitments, etc.. the best advice we have to offer is to take things one step at a time. Each small managable step towards the finish line. It is such simple advice, yet the best and sometimes only way to move forward in  manner which feels controlled and comfortable really is by breaking down our plans into steps.

This being kept in mind, I booked a night back in the north to view houses for when I move back to York for third year. Steff and I met for tea and we went to view a house which I instantly liked a lot, called the landlord, and the next day, had confirmed it. I cancelled the other viewings we had planned because keeping things simple seemed like the best option. Plus, I may have fallen slightly in love with the house. It's a small two bedroomed house in an area I love and know very well, to share with a girl who already lives there and is a year older than me, studying her phd.

I have so many positive feelings about this coming year. I'm excited to return to York and complete my degree. I have been uncertain about this for so, so long. Uncertain as to whether I'd stay in London for a year, modelling, and defering my third year until I feel ready to go back. As much as this idea is still srangely appealing, it's not realistic for the here and now. In (almost) nine months time I will have finished at University and will be able to move here to London, but I have to firmly keep my feet always touching the ground. My head belongs in the sky, up in the clouds.. It always has done and most probably always will do. I day dream and I enjoy co-existing in two beautiful, parallel worlds. The world in the sky allows me to day dream and fantasise and live in a way which the realities of the boundaried world doesn't always allow. It keeps me on my toes, living on the edge, as such. I can take risks and seize the moment and live like all the great philosophers wished they had done. But my feet? They always, always, remain on the ground. I would lose myself entirely if I didn't remain in touch with reality. The part of me which exists with my feet on the ground allows me to plan ahead, to think with clarity, to understand that I will grow older and I WANT to be happy. I want to have created a life for myself that fills me with happiness, security, and one where I never fall into such a mundane pattern that makes me wish I had the courage to lose the will to live completely.

So my conclusion? It was wonderful to be on home turf, if only for 24 hours. York feels so much like home. Yet the most strangely wonderful feeling was, when I was returning back to London. I was leaving my home town feeling very happy about life, but it felt like I was coming back home to London aswell. Where is my HOME!?? I suppose I am lucky to feel comfortable and familiar with the city I am working in, so much so that it stops me missing the life I go back to next month. But it doesn't prevent me looking into the future with happiness.vIt's a fine, fine balancing act, living in the moment with enough awareness that tomorrow comes and sometimes the moment isn't enough.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Today I feel lucky to be alive

This is me, en route back from a good day. I had a busy morning of castings, followed by an entire afternoon sat in Green Park, the beautiful rays of sunshine beating down on my oh-so very pale skin (do not worry, factor 50 was protecting me), and a phone catch up with Anna bean.
Of course Green Park was beyond busy. But somehow, dispite the madness of the city; peacefulness was felt in the atmosphere and the sun shone as bright as ever. Just perfect. Life is really good today.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

On the road and in the sun

The times of the in-between

I only seem to post on this blog at extreme times. The extreme times being either exciting times when life is flying high at one hundred miles an hour, or the low times whereby I wish life would zoom on past and conveniently leave me behind somewhere I can comfortably hide and while each moment away.
I feel extreme. Which is a paradoxically strange notion for such a reserved being.
What about the forgotten middle ground? What happens to the times of the in-between? The times no one really cares to think much about these days? Are they so insignificant that we must cast them aside? I think not. Not a day goes by, and not a thought crosses my mind that is so undeserving of some form of recognition and validation. I shall try, from now on, to acknowledge that these days of the in-between are just as important as the next day of extremeties. I shall not cast aside and forget these days, because I fear that my life as I know it will disappear into the oblivious land of the forgotten. I don't want my life to be forgotten. I don't want to wake up one day unable to recall each step along my journey.

This week is an in-between week. I have had two days off, with not much exciting news to post in terms of work or castings or friends or family. I suppose this is the in-between. I'm unsure of how this feels (work is my mind's distraction) but it seems a shame to neglect this blog simply because I don't feel that i have produced a life that is worthy of stringing a few sentences together as I sit in cafe Nero with a coffee.

I am really enjoying London town in the sunshine. The scenery is good. And similarly I am enjoying staying with my grandparents in the sunshine too. The south east of England is well known for avoiding the gloomy grey-ness that the majority of England seems to account for. It can only bring joy :)

As much as I feel lonely at times, and as much as the unsettling lifestyle of living out of a suitcase makes me miss my home a great deal.. I am pretty content. Perhaps the solidarity is a little easier to manage as opposed to last summer in Japan because i haven't found a house yet for October when I return. Home is a city.. But not a house. It shall be a house when I locate a new one; which is also really exciting to be searching for.

Motivation has found me at last to begin some prep work for third year at university. I'm planning my dissertation, I have books and study materials ready, and I have a mind that is so excited for learning.

Motivation has found me, or perhaps I have found my motivation? Je ne sais pas.