2017 YOU WERE...INTERESTING

It's pretty hard to dodge that looming sense of reflection that creeps in every December without fail. I'm not particularly festive and often find the societal pressures of "fun" and "cheer" anxiety inducing and pretty exhausting (although, I do always end up having fun) but still, thinking about the new year and resolutions are almost unavoidable.

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2017 was interesting for me in that I went from taking my jolly good time and being extremely comfortable to what felt like an extended period of uncertainty and transition. Some of it was intentional, some of it was everything that I'd hoped and prayed to the snack god's for but it may not have gone down the way I'd imagined it. Some of it was not so amazing but none of it was bad. 

It's easy to fall into the habit of looking at things through the rose tinted glasses or "glass half empty" but as the year has gone on, I've learned to just be thankful. Because really and truly, there's nothing that I need, per se. Yes, I have goals and aspirations to own a house some day, to live comfortably and to never have to worry about money etc but for the most part, I'm doing ok.

SO. How do I feel at the end of 2017? I have a lot of things to be grateful for. I was able to manifest change and put myself on a path that seems to be a better fit for now. Yet I still feel a little melancholic and...stagnant. To keep it 100, I have almost crippling self-doubt and, as I write this, it's rattling me.

I'm just reminding myself that life is a journey and that it's unrealistic to expect results overnight so let's just roll with it.

Here are some moments from the last 6 months that I've not shared on here.

HNY, u guiz

MANIFESTATION

Whether you're thinking about change (see previous post) or praying for a miracle, "thoughts and prayers" are kind hearted gestures but both ineffective without action.

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We live in a world with an amalgamation of religious and spiritual beliefs which, however you feel about them, often guide people through their daily lives, offering support and structure. Personally, I'm not religious, I am spiritual, I do not align myself with any particular dogma and, whether I agree or not, I respect that other people have beliefs that are different to mine.

I wanted to talk about the idea of manifestation and the role that we, as individuals, play in shaping our lives. I'm somewhere between "what's meant to be will be" and "we design our destiny".

For example: I believe that we are supposed to meet certain people along our journey of life but I also believe that the type of people we attract is largely determined by our actions. Who/what are we seeking? What are our boundaries? Do we have the ability to be firm in our convictions whilst remaining fluid in our interactions with each other?  

In regards to careers, where are we placing ourselves? Are we in a position where opportunities thrive? If we're seeking change, what are the types of changes that we're looking for and how can we position ourselves in order to reach those goals? 

These are the types of questions that I ask myself when I feel like I'm conflicted or at a roadblock.

For the most part, we reap what we sow. So what are we doing in order to reap the great things that we are thinking and praying about? Thoughts and prayers are a great place to start but in order to manifest, we should take action.

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Images by Niesh Vanterpool - Bali, Indonesia

CHANGE IS GOOD

I like change - but only really if it's at my liberty. I'm not an avid planner but whilst I'm definitely a "go with what feels best" type of person, I like to know what's going on, you know? Consistency. As I've gotten older, I've learned that change is seldom a bad thing. Even if it seems catastrophic in the moment, "it'll all come right in the end, sweetheart" - as my boyfriend regularly reassures me. 

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For the longest time, I've been trying to make safe changes. Only putting myself out there when I could pretty much guarantee that it would not return to bite me in the ass. Minimal risk. 

I went into certain situations, expecting a lot more than I was willing to put in and, even when I lay all of my cards on the table with only a little left in the arsenal, things still didn't go my way. Peak frustration.  I had no idea what I more I could do to yield the results I was looking for beyond this one thing that I wasn't prepared to do.

I felt trapped, smothered and claustrophobic. I'd reached a dead end which resulted in meltdown. I picked myself up, wiped my tears and carried on as usual. When I least expected it, the change that I'd be yearning for was put upon me. My hand was forced and suddenly, I had the freedom that I'd been seeking. GAME. ON.

I keep an analogue diary in the form of a bullet journal because it's not every day digital, man (*see below for BuJo inspo!). I log everything that I have planned for the month, week and day and I also write down things that've happened that day, positive or negative. At the end of each week and month, I flick through, write reviews, make a note of what I'm thankful for and lessons I've learned.

When the pressure is on, you will do everything within your power to stay afloat. I'm thankful that I have a support network that never lets me down. In the past, I've been too proud to ask for help but, after 4 weeks of phone calls, emails, meetings, interviews and project submissions, I'm on a career path that feels right for me so I wanted to share some of the things that I've learned over the last few weeks as the lessons are invaluable. I also feel that women often feel inhibited by loyalty and fear when it comes to asking what for what they want (and deserves) when it comes to careers and the work place.

1. UTILIZE YOUR CONTACTS

Over the years, I've made many connections, bonds and friendships that have been nurturing but also extremely helpful. Don't be afraid to utilize your contacts. Respect boundaries, of course, and try yourself first but it's important to remember that we all need help. No woman is an island! Whether it's a contact, information or assistance, don't be afraid to ask! You'll be surprised by how far your network can reach and who will be willing to help.

2. DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT

Afraid that you're giving too much detail or information? Don't be. List all of the things that you're passionate about, that you're good at and see where you can go from there. Where can your skillset be applied? Is someone missing a trick?

3. BE PERSONABLE

Whether you're selling yourself or a product, it's important to have self-awareness. Show interest and that you're knowledgable. Be engaging and don't be afraid to speak about personal experiences! No one is a machine. Our interpersonal relationships form our paths! The lessons that you learn outside of the work-place are just as informative.

When was the last time you took a leap of faith or made a major change in your life? How did you navigate it?

 

(**BULLET JOURNALLING: watch Ryder Caroll's video for comprehensive breakdown on his system! Here's another couple of videos for bullet journal inspo - Rachel Nguyen, Gemary, Kicki Zhang). 

IT'S BEEN A MINUTE...

A New York minute, to be exact. I've been away, relaxing and getting my head right, in NYC of all places. Most people go for resorts, beach holidays and anything that isn't a major city but New York is like home for me so it was nice to get away but still feel familair with my surroundings.

More on that to come but I wanted to stop by quickly to let you know that Glossier will be shipping to the UK starting from tomorrow - Monday 9th October! What's in your basket? I'm tryna cop the Wowder, Super "Glow" Serum, the Galaxy Green pack and Invisible Shield sunscreen!

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Make sure you're following Glossier on all social platforms to get the 411 and get 10% off your orders here

CALVIN KLEIN BY RAF SIMMONS SS18

I tried you guys. I tried really hard. I looked regular ways, sideways, upside down. I just wasn't into it. I'm not someone who gets a kick out of being a Negative Nancy and this is no attempt to bring someone down or their work. There were some great pieces and some amazing looks but, overall, it just wasn't for me and that's perfectly A-OK. If we all loved everything, the world would be a really strange place. Right? Right.

DISHOOM

I've never been to India so I can't say that I've had real, authentic Indian food but I know good food when I see it (and taste it).

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I first tried Dishoom last year but only recently went for breakfast and it was everything that I could've imagined and more.

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MASALA BEANS YOU GUYS. I wasn't ready. 

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"No Petting (heavy)" 

OK, pause for minute. I've only just noticed that the last the word "caste" has been crossed out on the list of rules. I've been aware of the meaning of this word for as long as I've been aware of racial and cultural differences. 

"Half-caste" (*wince*) is a misused, outdated term used in this country to describe people of bi-racial parentage (typically black and white). A quick search on google gave a more accurate definition:

Each of the hereditary classes of Hindu society, distinguished by relative degrees of ritual purity or pollution and of social status

Typically, the caste system was pretty divisive so this is an awesome nod to inclusivity.

[ Note: No apologies for digression. These things are always worth highlighting. ]

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The interiors and the atmosphere are always great and there are so many good options for veggies and vegans. I love sitting and observing the chaos. ORDER THE CHAIJITO.

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This dress is an eBay cop (speaking of which, I'm selling some Alexander Wang, Margaret Howell and Comme Des Garçon pieces here). 

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I was looking for a decent quality slip dress but wasn't prepared to commit to the price in case I wasn't feeling it but this one from Mango (via ebay) ended up being perfect. I styled it over a plain white Dickies tshirt, Gucci Princetown loafers and my favourite Edwin leather jacket (similar here).

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Hats and sunglasses are my favourite way to accessorise. I wear both pretty much every day. This fedora is an oldie from Primark (similar here) but I'd really like to go find a stockist and try all of Janessa Leone's hats. They look so cool! Sunglasses are Monokel.

If you're ever in London and you're stuck for somewhere to visit/want to try Indian food, I'd definitely recommend Dishoom! In fact, I'm headed there this evening...

SAMPHA - LIKE THE PIANO

I can't watch this video because the song is so moving and seeing Sampha singing is it is just all too much. Especially because I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed at the moment. But you should definitely watch it. 

Congratulations on your Mercury Music Prize, Sampha. I'm still not over your set at Lovebox and then seeing you come out with Solange. There is no one more deserving <3

RACHEL COMEY SS18

How is it Fashion Month already? And already half way through New York Fashion Week at that?!

Alrighty, you know the craic. I'll be reviewing fashion shows and presentations on my Instagram stories (make sure you're following!) as well as sharing the highlights and the not-so highlights with you here.

First up to bat is Rachel Comey. Leggo!

ALL SUMMER '17

This summer was intense, to say the least. I spent a lot of time, working on bettering myself and furthering my career. There was frustration and some doors were closed but invaluable lessons were learned. You can't put a price on that.

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As we move into September, I look forward to the last quarter of the year with excitement for a couple of trips that I have coming up - NYC and Bali, Indonesia! New York is my home from home from home but I always discover new thing every time I visit. I've never been to Bali before! I cannot tell you how excited I am to explore somewhere new. 

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What're your plans for the last quarter? Where are you going - literally and figuratively?

Ok, gotta go walk the neighbours dog...

(PS: Glossier starts shipping to the UK rill rill soon! Are your pumped? What're you looking forward to getting your hands on??)

Hat - Nike x Skepta

Sweatshirt - Glossier (gift)

Skirt - Edwin Europe (old, similar here)

Sneakers - Converse One Star (old, similar here)

Sunglasses - Monokel Eyewear

SHEER POLKA

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I'd be wearing a sheer shirt.  

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Not at all. However, I saw this cute top on Lizzy Hadfield of Shot From The Street and loved the look so much that I wanted to recreate it with personal touch (let's not pretend like we were the first ever to create "xyz" look. We all draw inspiration from somewhere!).

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I styled it with a loose fitting, black sports bra underneath (i'm also wearing a regular bra), cropped Khaki's and a leather jacket. Summer weather in London is...unpredictable to say the least so I always layer. 

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This leather cap is from eBay. A few seasons ago, Acne had a satin baseball cap that looked as though it was leather and I decided I needed it. It's been a great accessory whilst growing out my hair. The sneakers are Adidas Hamburg's.