Cracked But Not Broken

21 Jan

Cracked But Not Broken

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed

“The scar meant that I was stronger than what tried to hurt me.” -Anaïs Nin

I frequently talk about troubles, struggles, triumphs, crashes and burns. I talk about how, after crumbling into little pieces, I’ve attempted to glue it all back together and move forward – stronger than I was before breaking.

Not to be dark and dreary, but I am convinced that, as women, we may never stop facing struggles, unfortunately, on global scale. It’s something that is hitting particularly hard today, Inauguration Day, when all you magical females and males are standing strong and defending our rights by Marching. FUCK YES, I wish I was in Washington, holding hands and waking with you…or in any of the many cities that are walking for an important cause and defending our rights. Perhaps we don’t have a president that makes us proud to be Americans, but we still have each other – and its days like today that show just how strong community can be.

Currently I am in London, feeling wimpish and incapacitated, due to back pain and spasms in my neck, stomach, ass, legs, and a terrible ache in my head (I know, waahhhh, get over it – but it really hurts). This is all a result of a pretty crazy surgery I had over a decade ago, when I developed scoliosis after making the decision to end my 11 year career as a gymnast. I completed my third year at level 10, just before entering Elite trials, and checked out — you can see my last competition HERE. As a result of the quick termination, my back completely spazzed. I went from being a national champion, to ignorantly checking in to HOAG Hospital for a very intense operation, thinking nothing of it. I had no idea what I was in for.

To backtrack, I was training about 30 hours per week (5 hours a day, 6 days a week), and when I stopped, had an unexpected growth spurt. I went from being a tiny little 5 ft. nothing powerhouse, to a flaily 5ft. 5 in., spiral spined disaster.

One of my ribs was protruding, so I was brought in for x-rays a couple months after I quit gym. Doctors told me I had scoliosis, but it was minor and I should return for a check up in a few months. When I did, my spine had swiveled into a 48 degree curve, and surgery was the only option if I wanted to have a “normal life”.

I remember the night before like it was yesterday, but I wasn’t particularly nervous. I was more annoyed that I couldn’t eat a Happy Meal or drink water.

They took me in, drugged the shit out of me, and put me under. I “woke up” in the ICU, after 6+ hours under the knife (they took out a rib, collapsed my lung, removed a number of disks between my vertebrae in order to straighten it out, fused my spine with my ground up rib bone – as you can see in the first image above – and put in two metal rods and 10 screws). They inserted a chest tube that reached through to my stomach to drain the blood. I spent three days in the ICU and was then moved to my own room, where I spent the next week, on a Morphine pump…I remember very little, just pain. I remember them removing the chest tube and I definitely recall the pain I experienced when I got home, where I remained on bed rest for about a month, and experienced the deepest depression I hope I ever have to go through.

THIS WAS THE WORST, SCARIEST, BEST, AND MOST PIVOTAL EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING.

I was in misery. So much pain. My mother sent my brother and sister, who were also young at the time, on a trip to Europe with my dad, so they wouldn’t have to hear me wailing in agony. She stood by my side, took me to the bathroom, bathed me, and nursed me back to health.

Eventually I realized, after plenty of time spent pitying myself, I was SO FUCKING LUCKY to have the opportunity to regain my health again. Somewhere during the depression that came with living inside of a drugged out and horrifically pain-filled, broken body, I recognized just how fortunate I was. Mostly to have my mom and the knowledge that I would heal eventually. Not everyone heals after varying traumas, but I finally hit a point where I got out of my head and recognized I would. Some people lose their arms, their legs, their ability to do the things most of us take for granted…FOREVER. I was going to get better.

Now I wake up grateful for my my arms and legs (even if they hurt). I wake up proud of my accomplishments and excited for what I might be able to achieve in the future, since I have these blissful abilities. I wake up and don’t take my life for granted. Recently I wake up hoping, as an American woman, which I am lucky to be in the grand scheme of things, regardless of everything, that none of this will change…

I got pancreatitis from what was basically an accidental, prescribed drug overdose, dropped 20 pounds (from the 105 I currently, healthily weigh), couldn’t keep food down and was rushed to the ER. I was injected with anti-nausea medication through an IV which I happened to be allergic to – only about 1 in a million are intolerant of the drug. The allergy results in a “psychotic reaction”, which involved me tearing the needle from my arm and pretty much flipping my shit for about five hours. It is difficult to describe the feeling of fear pumping through your blood…

I was poked with Benadryl until I stopped screaming, and they would let me go home. The doctors informed my mother that they haven’t seen this deadly disease in anyone under the age of 60. It is typically drug addicts and alcoholics, who have been abusing for decades, who get diagnosed. I was only 16. I weighed nothing and had probably ingested a total of six Smirnoff Ices at this point in time.

Being young and resilient I fortunately was able to shake the illness, and went back to my senior year of high school, a sickly waif in agonizing pain, only to receive positive reactions from the “popular girls” who asked me about my diet secrets (no joke). I was appalled and discouraged, but also tremendously vulnerable. Was never one who cared that much about fitting in, but really, bitches?! Not all women are great, but three fucking cheers to those who are — and there are plenty of us out there. THANK YOU.

I tackled the 2-year eating disorder that succeeded this weakness, and have been battling the physical and emotional issues that accompany being a woman ever since. From WEAK, sad females, or men who have sought some kind of gratification or feel a pathetic sense of power through sexual abuse. NO. No more.

This is why I praise you who Marched. We are power. We are strength. As women, we bleed every month, we give birth, and we experience more than any man will (but MAD LOVE TO THE MEN WHO WENT OUT TOO, we are all equal after all). And I am no man hater, but I am all about girl power, and the men who recognize it – there is NOTHING stronger.

The world is in a place that bums me out a lot, and I know I am certainly not alone here. Fucking shit, DONALD TRUMP is president?! Yep. But you know what is amazing? Taking a bad situation and finding the great in it. What I saw today, while basically bedridden in London, was people all over the world Marching — standing strong. And even in the smallest of cities, attendance was higher than the number of supporters who showed up at his inauguration.

The best we can do with a bad situation is stand strong, speak out, and UNITE.

People, politics, experience, health, life…it might try to break us. But with guts, guidance, perseverance, unity, strength, and a genuine belief that you can do anything you want to (YOU CAN),  we will WIN.

*photos by Gus Melton at Nick’s Cove

Scent Of A Woman

11 Jan

Scent Of A Woman

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories

As a hopeless romantic, traveler and lover of light, beautiful fragrances, I immediately fell for Fictions, and the stunning products this one-of-a-kind collection has to offer.

Fictions, publishers of fine perfume, partners with remarkable creatives to conjure the scent and story of a woman in LOVE. Intriguing, collectible and eminently wearable, the fragrance brand’s editions are set in the iconic cities of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Sydney and its latest edition, Istanbul.

Not only did I connect with Fictions for their classic-yet-unique fragrances, but all the cities (Istanbul aside) are places where I have either lived, been in love, or both. The romantic stories associated with each bring me back to magical times on a personal level. It’s not only clever but poetic, in a way – especially since scent is so closely tied to memory.

Beyond that, their packaging is exceptional. As a marketer and someone who works on branding businesses, the way in which Fictions has successfully created a product that’ll truly take you on a journey, rather than simply having a pretty scent, is exceptional. The boxes alone are practically collectors items. Mine reside on a shelf in my apartment, right next to some of my favorite novels and love stories – just where they belong.

Currently I’am visiting London, so I brought my Mini Eau de Parfum for both this city and Paris, where I’m headed shortly (perfect for travel – same with the Hand Cream).

If you care to join in on some spontaneous adventures, be sure to follow along here and on Instagram, where I’ll be documenting my European wanderings. And check out all the amazing Fictions products, sold exclusively at Anthropology. You literally can’t go wrong with any of them (as you can see, Ringo agrees).

 

One Foot In Front Of The Other

28 Dec

One Foot In Front Of The Other

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

I have been angry for months. Am I entitled to these feelings? I think so. Has it been constructive? Not particularly.

I grew up incapable of staying angry at loved ones for more than 24 hours (and my family and friends could attest to that). Conflict resolution, for me, has typically consisted of a convo along the lines of, “OK, lets talk about it, I love you, how about we hug it out, this was a stupid argument, can we go get 3 bottles of wine now, please?” That girl changed, and it has been really hard to keep my sadness and resentment under control lately. However, it has come time to release the negative energy and let in the light, if you will.  Not because I forgive, necessarily, but I am ready to forget and move forward. Wear some cute, comfortable shoes and put one foot in front of the other, prepared to take life as it comes.

Christmas came and went, and while it’s always a bittersweet time of year, for whatever reason, at the end of the day I am very grateful for my life…for my family and all of the beauty that surrounds me. I want to enjoy the blessings I have been given, and celebrate. There is enough animosity going around right now, and my “problems” are pretty small in the grand scheme of things. Not only that, but as a result of recent projects I am seeing how badly the world needs LOVE and support. Why waste my time hating and hurting, when I could be spreading joy, happiness, and focusing more on what’s actually important? 

I am working with a small team to help an amazing mother of four, who is very ill with the rare disease, scleroderma. Please check out Stephanie’s story. Any contribution counts. Social sharing is just as important as monetary donations – so please, please join us in helping to spread the word for a family, and friend, in need. It would mean the world to this awe-inspiring crew…the kids need their mamma. Just click here and share the video on your Facebook page. <3 Christmas may have come and gone, but the season for giving is year-round. 

As humans we must not forget how important it is to feel. Not just for ourselves, but others as well. Feeling comes with both positive and negative emotions, naturally, and we shouldn’t necessarily shy away any of it – we were built this way for a reason. But we should also try our hardest to channel our feelings, and do something good with them. Life is short, and it is also what we make of it. Be good to others. LOVE. If you don’t know how, now is as good a time as any to try and figure it out.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anger is a burden that will only set us back, as a community…LOVE and KINDNESS are what ultimately define us as human beings. We will experience trials and tribulations but we don’t have to let them derail us. I, for one, have decided to make an early NY resolution and kick my roadblocks aside, and continue to move forward. Being able to do so while wearing cute shoes is a bonus (thank you, Aerosoles!). You’ll likely find that in letting go of anger, more joy and contentment will come into your heart. When you are filled with love, you will give off love…and that is what we need these days – people who can be kind, who want to help, and will do what they can to work toward building a better world.

*head to toe: vintage grandpa sweater, LNA tank, Rag & Bone cutoff shorts, Aerosoles Trend Setter ballet flats

Photos by Jonothan Mariande

It’s In The Bag

21 Dec

It’s In The Bag

(VUSE paid advertisement)

New York City, LA, SF: Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: In the bag, daily blogger essentials, burgundy leather tote, VUSE Vibe vape

I am one of those gals who never leaves home without all her essentials in tow…a notorious “bag lady”, if you will. As a result, I’ve become a huge fan of oversized totes and enormous satchels, which I jam-pack to the brim with personal necessities to kick off busy days that, oftentimes, feel never-ending. And it all starts by being fully prepared for whatever madness might get thrown my way.

From lip balms and lotions to a good pair of sunnies, my cell phone, keys, wallet, cigarettes (or, lately, my favorite vape, VUSE VIBE), and of course a quality notebook so I can document my miscellaneous, meandering thoughts while on-the-move. I do my best to show up, chin held high, and ready for action…that’s how I manage to run a growing business. Gotta learn how to hustle, especially if you decide to go out on your own!

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: VUSE Vibe vape, ecig, what's in my bag, velour skirt, leather notebook, fresh cut flowers, best headphones, daily essentials

Life doesn’t slow down, so we must manage to keep up in order to avoid a crash. One way I’ve been able to do so, after bouncing around nonstop for 12 years and living in four of the craziest cities in the world, is by making sure I am stocked and ready to conquer every time I step foot outside the door.

Yep, I am a smoker, and have been for years. But VUSE VIBE does genuinely offer a different experience compared to traditional smokes. To be clear, I am not encouraging anyone to begin vaping, but if you are a smoker looking for an alternative to cigarettes, try out VUSE VIBE’s nectar flavor – one of their many delightful options – it’s pretty much the bomb. And I love how simple it is spin on a new flavor to match my mood…a solid variety!

Bottom line is, here’s what I carry around to keep me ready for anything. I’ve learned to do what I’ve gotta do while trying to stay as classy as possible. Be chic, sleek, discreet, and smell. And don’t forget the other important things you need, as previously mentioned. Especially a notebook! We’ll actually want to remember these hectic moments one day. Or at least have our experiences written down somewhere so we can reference them later on in life when things start to feel dull and chaos becomes a thing of the past.

*Sponsored by VUSE VIBE. VUSE contains nicotine extracted from the tobacco plant. Nicotine is addictive and no tobacco product has been shown to be safe. Not for sale to minors.

Only Fools Are Satisfied

18 Dec

Only Fools Are Satisfied

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Austrian Suite, Marie Antoinette, silk nightie, ombre hair, pajama photoshoot

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Austrian Suite, Marie Antoinette, silk nightie, ombre hair, pajama photoshoot

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Austrian Suite, Marie Antoinette, silk nightie, ombre hair, pajama photoshoot

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Austrian Suite, Marie Antoinette, silk nightie, ombre hair, pajama photoshoot

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Austrian Suite, Marie Antoinette, silk nightie, ombre hair, pajama photoshoot

For the record, there is very little planning that goes into my blog posts, and they all mean something to me. These photos were shot after a sleepless night I spent working (I happen to suffer from insomnia), while on a recent road trip up the coast with a very special person who I am lucky to have in my life. My smeared makeup was the result of an unwashed face from the evening before when I got dolled up in over-the-top attire and ate a steak with 3 martinis while watching an older couple conquer the empty dance floor. So much fun.

What you see here is a series of small documentations from real experiences and a glimpse into my weird world.

I shoot on the fly, and wear what I would be wearing if I didn’t have a blog. Yes, you will find a sponsored post here and there, but even though I am dirt ass broke at the moment, I would never promote something insincerely.

I started OnTheRacks almost nine years ago, and it has always been a side project I’ve maintained because I genuinely love it. I will never be the most popular gal on the internet for multiple reasons, one of them being that I’m not willing to sacrifice my authenticity. This is a platform where I can be who I am and share my experiences with likeminded, down-to-earth individuals who might enjoy reading about some crazy girl’s life because, to an extent, it resembles their own. I just want to keep it real and hopefully provide others with a reminder that they are incredible by encouraging self-acceptance…flaws and all. Nobody’s perfect.

Perhaps these photos were wonderfully shot, when the light was just right, and sure, it may look like I am living in a fairytale sometimes. But smoke, mirrors and fine photography aside, this incredible, golden headboard is actually made of plastic, and the hotel is in the middle of nowhere and as kitschy as they come. However, that is what makes it so charming, in my opinion! IMPERFECTION.

The Madonna Inn is about fantasy, themes, and transporting yourself to a different world, where you can temporarily escape reality, with its gaudy decor and imaginary elegance. I am not Marie fucking Antoinette, but I certainly felt like it for a hot second while rolling around in this extravagant bedroom setting, wearing a silk negligee, and being told I am beautiful.

People frequently message me with congratulatory notes about my “success” but, while I do feel proud of my accomplishments to date and am always flattered by the kind words, I still have a long way to go before I’d call it that. We’ll all get there, so long as we remain passionate and willing to work hard.

At the same time, these past few months have been wearing away at my soul for a number of reasons (I’ve touched upon a few of them already here and here). Along with kind comments, I also encounter animosity for “sharing too much”. This is my platform and I don’t feel bad for expressing my emotions, in a respectful, appropriate manner. For those who have felt offended, please know that I am suffocating under a mountain of pain and betrayal, with many details that do remain undisclosed, because I have class, respect, and some dignity (though I was also robbed of quite a bit, to be frank). I am human. And I happen to be a human who is cordial, intelligent, loving, forgiving and thoughtful. I won’t apologize for having a voice. If you don’t want to read what I have to say…don’t.

I like to take the high road, as my amazing parents taught me to do, knowing that not every scenario will work out in my favor.  I cannot complain about life – I’m no different from anyone else who faces ongoing, day-to-day hardships. I’ve put my photos and thoughts on the internet for my own reasons, but that doesn’t make me superior, nor does it make me right, per se…but I am still allowed to share them.

When I think about my friends, family, colleagues and even strangers I encounter, I like to believe that we are all innately kind-hearted at our cores, and just trying to get by…we’re doing our best.

As Billy Joel says in the song posted above, “You can’t be everything you want to be before your time.” My friend Liz also describes the message I’m trying to share perfectly in her Instagram bio, “Don’t compare your behind the scenes life with other people’s highlight reel.” So true.

Lately I feel the internet is encouraging a distorted view about what life should be like, rather serving as a platform for inspiration, support, and open conversation – something we need now more than ever. There are many bloggers who post staged content, laced with glitter, portraying a false reality of what life should be. Superiority complexes are masked by illusions of rainbows and butterflies, and updates about cupcakes are hypnotizing followers for the sake of getting that extra “like”. But there are also a handful of content creators who aren’t playing that game. It bums me out that there’s now a stigma attached to the whole thing.

I have a therapist in NYC who I do video chats with on the regs. She keeps me “sane”. A friend asked me the other day if I thought she needed to see a psychologist because she continuously pushes away men and, when meeting new people, she’ll try and and scope out a dark side before looking for their light. She also happens to be one of the most grounded, level-minded people I know, but my answer was a solid “yes”. I feel that all of us can benefit from talking about our lives with someone qualified to provide insights as to why we might be feeling certain things or acting out of character. Sometimes it is hard to pin down what is triggering specific emotions, and it’s good to vocalize what’s going on in our busy minds. Not only to help figure out why you feel a certain ways, but also what you can do to improve and live a happier life. Nobody should feel a need to trap their demons…it’ll only make them multiply. So whether you choose to do so on the internet, with a parent, sibling, friend, behind closed doors with a professional, or all of the above…vent.

I have been going to therapy for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I met the right woman, back when I was living in the City about 3 years ago, that I finally got it. Finding a good shrink is seriously a lot like dating – it took me ages to meet “my match”. But now that I have it’s significantly transformed my general outlook. She’s the reason I started writing (and, sure, sometimes rambling). Now I have a closet filled with journals, and some of the content isn’t even that bad. I’m also working on a bigger literary project as, thanks to her, writing has become my favorite pastime.

To sum it up, remember that you are unique and rad, just as you are. But stay grounded and acknowledge the things  you want to improve upon. Don’t stop trying. We all have weaknesses, and the ones who pretend they don’t are probably in a lot more trouble than those who aren’t scared to admit it.

Don’t be ashamed to express yourself! If you’re genuinely happy, awesome and congratulations. But if you want more, don’t settle with where you’re at because that’s where society says you’re supposed to be. Forget the rules. Something or someone good will come along, trust me. If you live with bright eyes, an open heart, ambition, honesty, love (for yourself and others), and an ongoing desire to move forward, eventually the broken pieces will fall into place.

Keep your passion. Keep your pride. Keep on dreaming. And remember that “only fools are satisfied”. You aren’t a fucking fool.

You Crazy Diamond

6 Dec

You Crazy Diamond

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Missoni dress, holiday sparkle, cobalt maxi dress, retro sunglasses, pool party, West Coast road trip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Missoni dress, holiday sparkle, cobalt maxi dress, retro sunglasses, pool party, West Coast road trip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Missoni dress, holiday sparkle, cobalt maxi dress, retro sunglasses, pool party, West Coast road trip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Missoni dress, holiday sparkle, cobalt maxi dress, retro sunglasses, pool party, West Coast road trip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Madonna Inn, Missoni dress, holiday sparkle, cobalt maxi dress, retro sunglasses, pool party, West Coast road trip

My dirty 30’s are fast approaching, and I really thought I’d have life “figured out” by now. It’s likely quite obvious that I still have one or two (or, like, a zillion) things to learn, but I’m actually cool with where I’m at.

I may be single with a colorful personality. I’m unpredictable and tumultuous, at times. But I can’t imagine maintaining enough energy / spirit to move forward without enduring life’s twists and turns with an open mind and an open heart. Excitement is what makes my blood pump. Our quirks keep us different and fucking special. Sure, I’d take back a drunken text or two if I could but, all in all, I’m proud of the woman I’ve become, and excited to continue on my journey.

I was, for years, a creature of consistency and thrived through structure…a way of life I swore off completely a while back, upon realizing that NOTHING was turning out “according to plan”. Taking life one day at a time has opened up a whole different side of me — I approach the world with fewer expectations, bright eyes, and a hunger for the mystery of what’s to come. I feel free.

Life will inevitably throw you curveballs. None of us know what each day might bring. We will experience heartbreak and joy. EMBRACE IT ALL…cry, laugh, enjoy, and progress. Grow stronger. Trust me, it’s a lot better being caught off guard, holding a fucking bat that you’re ready to swing than getting knocked in the side of the head.

People say I am reckless, and perhaps they’re right. But I wake up, work hard, play hard, and seize the day…every chance I get. Sometimes I bitch and complain, but it isn’t because I feel slighted (not a morning goes by where I don’t thank my lucky stars). However, I am opinionated and honest. I speak my mind. We’re all going through something, and fighting our own demons…I have never understood why people have such trouble talking about the fact that life isn’t actually always rainbows and butterflies. We’re all humans, shouldn’t we be helping one another instead of faking it to feel superior? And, p.s., those of you who do…you’re not fooling anyone.

Feed your hunger for adventure and discovery. Get to know yourself. Embrace fear, challenge, confusion, misery, anxiety, joy, weirdness, surprises. I want to make memories and have so many strange stories that I cannot keep track and have to continue making more. I want to love — both myself and others. I want to experience absolutely everything.

I want to drive, move, explore, see new places and meet interesting people. I want to expand my horizons. I want to be semi-drunk at 9am taking photos in a magical, sparkly M Missoni dress just before diving into a swimming pool in my underwear at the kitschiest hotel in California. I want to go where my heart leads me, free from doubt and without thinking twice.

Let go of timelines and expectations. Life can be grey or it can be glittery…a decision we all must make ourselves. Take comfort in the bizarre and know that the term outlandish is a compliment because you can’t be put in a box.

*HEAD TO TOE: VINT & YORK MOLL SUNGLASSES, M MISSONI METALLIC LIGHTNING DRESS (PRINTED VERSION HERE), SHOT AT THE LEGENDARY MADONNA INN

Keep On Truckin’

1 Dec

Keep On Truckin’

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Denim on denim, boyfriend jeans, oversized jacket, vinatage truck, west coast roadtrip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Denim on denim, boyfriend jeans, oversized jacket, vinatage truck, west coast roadtrip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Denim on denim, boyfriend jeans, oversized jacket, vinatage truck, west coast roadtrip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Denim on denim, boyfriend jeans, oversized jacket, vinatage truck, west coast roadtrip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Denim on denim, boyfriend jeans, oversized jacket, vinatage truck, west coast roadtrip
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Denim on denim, boyfriend jeans, oversized jacket, vinatage truck, west coast roadtrip

I have been doing some personal reflection lately, after falling into a somewhat disgruntled frame of mind — a state of being which has actually become an unwelcome tradition for me this time of year. It tends to start out that way, at least…

When it comes to my personality, I’m stubborn and far from complacent. In describing myself as such I am not being self-deprecating — the opposite, in fact. When things go wrong, I do everything possible to try and find a solution. 2016, however, has probably been my strangest year to date (and trust me when I say there have been some pretty weird ones). The past 11 months were filled with experiences I will never be able to comprehend or resolve. Some of them terrible and some of them beautiful beyond words. Throughout the process, I have learned to accept that not every problem has a solution and that, in itself, is a big step. Also, I am now capable of finding joy in the “little things” I used to disregard. Don’t let a day go by without looking around and appreciating what you have. Sometimes its the fleeting moments and unexpected memories that pull you through tough times.

When I find I’m falling into a rut, I have to credit myself for never ceasing to at least make an attempt to do something about it. I’ve traveled — roaming around Europe, as I did last year, or taking a road trip, like I have done many times before. Nothing clears my mind and helps me organize my thoughts more than going on a road trip – driving anywhere, everywhere, nowhere…taking in new surroundings and getting to know inspiring people on a deeper level, along the way.

Everyone sees life through a different lens, and has gone through something you have not. I am a firm believer that we can never stop learning from others, if we approach the world with an unbiased mind and a welcoming heart. You’ll meet the right ones when you least expect it. Maybe they’ll open your eyes to an important part of life you were previously blind to. Perhaps you’ll find yourself revived by a story that moves you or be inspired by their unique approach to viewing the world and overcoming hardships.

While I by no means look forward to this recurring loss of creative energy, inevitably accompanied by an indescribable feeling of emptiness, I must say that each time I have gone through it (and done something about it) in the past, I have come out more revitalized and prepared for what is yet to come — in life, love, loss and any other unpredicted twist or turn.

Life is fucking weird, and it’s also what we make of it. So I decided to head out, yet again, on a random journey…starting with a night the hills of Malibu, sleeping in a Mongolian yurt at Great Spirits Ranch (highly recommend). After that I continued up North for a week and a half…spontaneously stopping at a couple familiar spots, while also seeing a few incredible new ones. I find it best to steer clear of redundancy. Travel and taking in the new will help fill those empty gaps and put you back on the right path, even if it is a different one than you expected to be on.

I learned a lot along the way and look forward to sharing more about the rest of my journey…stay tuned!

*head to toe: Ray-ban Clubmaster sunglasses, Citizens of Humanity boyfriend jacket, The 5th Brooklyn watch, T by Alexander Wang Superfine v-neck tee, Citizens of Humanity Melanie wide-leg crop jeans, Jacob Ankle boot via Urban Outfitters, Ringo the Dog via @RingoKnows