How I know I’ve become a basic white girl

Alternate titles:
– You can take the girl out of Jersey but you can’t take the Jersey out of the girl
– Why I didn’t really fit in when I lived in Bushwick
– I’m not sure who this person is that I have become
– How I know I am not a hipster

Latte art

As I write this, I am sitting in a Starbucks on my laptop, drinking a venti quad skinny vanilla latte with coconut milk. Let’s start there. When I commute to Brooklyn to work, I would rather stop at Starbucks in Penn Station on the way, than wait to go to the overly trendy coffee shop across the street from the studio. There, although the cute barista girls create awesome frothed milk art, the lattes never have enough espresso and I never remember to, or care to for that matter, stop at an ATM to pay for the ‘cash only’ establishment anyway. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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I am wearing uggs. There, I said it. I hate the idea of them. I know they’re ugly. But y’all have to admit they are damn warm, excuse my french. And when its a Saturday and I’m spending my weekend at a Starbucks doing freelance retouching, all I care about is warm toes and comfy vibes. Sue me.

kate and jersey cupBut I didn’t really come to this realization until I realized I was unconsciously (subconsciously? I forget which is fitting here… guess I didn’t learn much in that Freud class after all…) listening to Taylor Swift as I was editing, bobbing along. I found myself thinking, “Yeah girl, I know what you’re saying! Dang Taylor, I feel you!” And right there I realized, I’ve fully embraced the basic white girl in me. When your life is relatable to a TSwift song, there’s not doubt about it. And ya know what, it’s sort of a relief to just accept it…

And let me tell you – after only six months of living in Brooklyn, acting like you’re too freaking cool for everyone and everything all the time is exhausting and sooo totally boring. So I’ll raise my Jersey cup (what my hipster DJ roommate called my reusable plastic tumbler with the plastic straw and lid – see attached photo to the right of my Irish bird rocking her gifted Jersey cup after her pilgrimage to ‘the Shore’) and embrace who I’ve become. And laugh at everyone who hates on me for it 😉

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Let’s talk about ruts

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You know what I mean… Those times where you feel totally lost, completely stuck and don’t know where to go or how to get out?

We all have them.

They can be lonely and scary sometimes. So let’s talk about them. Because it’s often best during these times, and quite necessary, to hear you’re not alone. And when you know you’re not alone, it makes feeling down-and-out much less scary.

I get it. I’ve been there – in the very very recent past, in fact. I know what it’s like. Let’s be honest… It’s the worst.

Life is a series of ups and downs, highs and lows. But ultimately what makes the difference for those who are consistently happy is seeing the positive in all parts of life… Even the dark and gloomy and truly scary parts.

Sometimes for me the idea of blogging and being a part of the blog world is intimidating because so many of the ladies (and gentlemen!) of the blogging community seem to have it oh-so together. This is why for a long time I’ve just been an outsider; enjoying others’ blogs from afar but always judging my own potential contributions before I could even muster up the courage to blog for myself. And that’s what blogging is ultimately – the courage to put yourself out there. For all to see. And for many (thanks Internet ) to judge.

Part of gathering myself out of my most recent low period, was creating this blog, along with making a list of goals to attain in the upcoming year. I didn’t want them to hold the tune of New Year’s resolutions- in fact I wrote them back in November and started working towards some then. (Y’all- I taught myself to crochet!)

So for me, the first thing I did was write out some things I wanted to accomplish that I thought I could manage, to start to make a dent in working on myself immediately – read a book a week, learn to crochet, shoot more portraits, etc. I started with little things that I knew I could sit myself down and begin to complete. And you know what? Very often the best way to get your butt in gear is to start with the small steps. I can attest for myself – finishing a new book felt good and so did the tiny square of fabric I made! (Even though it doesn’t have much use and is a bit off, I still did a thing!)

No lifeguard

I am (working) to make a career out of my creative passion of photography. Another thing that often helps me when feeling uninspired is to simply create. I know you may say you’re not the creative type, but we all have some creative spark in us! We just have to let it out, or at least give it a shot. I promise going to that pottery place in the mall and just spending an afternoon focused on painting away will make you feel at peace. And when you get your shiny new mug back you’ll be able to smiling knowing you did that yourself!

Of course I would be fooling myself if I didn’t say having a support system of people you love, and above all else trust, around will also help beyond measure. If you are living somewhere new and don’t know many people yet (maybe because of your rut?) Take this time to create a supportive community around yourself. Hey, maybe you’ll meet a new friend while you’re painting your pottery! I promise having at least one person in your life who you feel like you can trust to listen to you without judgment, but with an open mind and open heart will make everything a million times more bearable.

Another thing that always seems to help me is treating my body well. I’ve found when I get out and get moving I tend to feel restored afterwards. There’s usually no better instant therapy for me than a sweaty run. Or even just getting out to take a walk around the block for some fresh air really helps to clear the head. I also know for me, yoga and guided mediation definitely help. I have spent time searching for the things that work best for me. There’s tons of activities out there to help you get up and moving. Sometimes the search to find what clicks for you is part of the fun! Heck- even putting on some feel-good music and dancing around your room is great! And be free with it- no one is watching!

Of course there’s also no finer way to make yourself feel better than to treat your body with kindness by feeding it the good stuff – I’m not talking go on a diet or change your life plan. But some extra veggies at every meal and less processed foods can truly do a body and mind well.

Ocean Grove beach

A suggestion a dear friend of mine recently told me she uses when she’s feeling dejected is to sit down make two lists – One filled with the things you love about yourself, and the other being things you want to change. I’m sure we can all endlessly list things in the latter but let’s focus on the good qualities you already possess – maybe you’ve been neglecting to remember them but they are most certainly there. It’s always nice to remind yourself of the good in you.

Finally, if this rut is a bit more then just a temporary slump you should never feel bad about reaching out to a professional for help. Talk to a trusted teacher or your school councilor. Usually these people have experience with these things and know just what to do and how to help. It’s important to remember needing help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s just you, taking care of yourself.

Go time for glow time

It’s been snowing and raining and hailing and windy, but it’s oh so truly beautiful!

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Here are some snaps I’ve taken in the last few days around home.

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Isn’t winter light to die for?! I completely cannot resist.

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The one thing this weather does make for is some scary driving! Hope everyone stayed safe in the storms.

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This evening, I found myself on my way to a photo gig and once I got a bit more south I was greeted with the most breathtaking sunset (and bizarrely enough not even snow on the ground!) I couldn’t help but think of it as a little light at the end of the tunnel. This phone snap doesn’t even relatively do it justice, but it really made my night!

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52 in 2015

bookstack

As mentioned in my prior post, a main purpose of this blog is to hold myself to my goals this New Year. I thought that publicizing them would hold myself more accountable to them and help me on the follow through when I start to slack off. But in order for this to work, I have to publish my goals! So I am going to start with one I find very important this year…

I want to read 52 books in 2015!

I know – seems kind of lofty right?! But I thought to myself what’s a challenge without the struggle.

This idea came to me after I found myself reading multiple articles and books about successful people in business and how one common thread they all account success to is constant reading and learning. I found this striking – of course! Reading! I used to love to read, why had I stopped?! I thought to myself.

One word… school

Who wants to be reading for fun when they have hours of mandatory reading every night for class? Definitely not me! Of course I would read a book for fun over a school break or when I found myself having a lot of free time commuting. But most of the time, with my college course load, I was just too tired to keep my eyes open and on the pages of a book if I didn’t have to.

But in 2015 I will find myself class-less for the first time in basically my 23 years of life. So crazy! But I hear if ya don’t use it, ya loose it. So the time has come for me to catch up on all those books I’ve been meaning to read (let me tell ya – the pile is high…) But I’m really looking forward to it.

I have gotten some suggestions from friends, and I have a list already started. I’m not sticking to a strict schedule or anything in terms of the order I will read the books on my list. But I am trying to keep a manageable book-a-week schedule.

And I’m proud to announce on January 16th – I’ve already completed 2 books! (OK – 1 was small but its still a book!!)

The more I look for interesting titles, the more excited I get about this challenge. I can’t wait to reacquaint myself with my local library. And this will also give me a good excuse to go through my personal library and reorganize. And how cozy does snuggling up with a good book sound during these cold winter months? Maybe with a hot cup of tea? Perfect.

It’s important to note, I am also allowing myself to let audiobooks count. It’s a personal choice, I don’t want the majority of this challenge to consist of audiobooks but as a photographer I find myself with a lot of traveling time and days in front of a screen editing and I think these will be perfect opportunities to get some quality reading in!

I’m looking forward to getting lost in some literature this 2015! Take an adventure with me if you please! I’d also love to hear any of your book suggestions that made for a great read!

Honest to Blog

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I am the world’s biggest procrastinator. I have sat here for hours today just trying to think of a catchy, fun, all-encompassing title of this blog just to avoid having to actually start the blog itself. But I’ve come to realization, with the urging of outsiders *cough boyfriend cough* that right now the most important thing is just to begin. So here I am, ripping off the proverbial band-aid.

I have tried to blog before. Usually it lasts a minute or two. Honestly I just searched and found my last two attempts and lemme tell ya – awkward. But here I am, again, third time is a charm right?! I hope so.

The real purpose of this blog is to hold myself accountable – publically. I’m sure the readership will exclusively be the aforementioned boyfriend, three of my best friends and maybe my Dad when he Googles me again and consequently stumbles upon something he wished he didn’t. Awk times two. I mean he hears enough of my malarkey on a daily basis IRL as it is…

But I digress. I hope this space will be a place to write my goals and wishes and hopes and dreams, along with little glimpses of my daily life – triumphs and struggles alike. I’ve heard telling others about your goals will help keep you accountable, so I figured why not tell the whole world on the internet?! That’s a really great and supportive place right?! Sure…

I don’t want to make rules or guidelines really beyond that about what this space will or will not be. I feel like those sorts of ideas are what have held me back before. So I’m excited to just let this unfold – thanks for coming along for the ride.