Last summer I chipped my kneecap riding a bicycle home from the beach at 3am in Cape May, NJ. Nobody was on the street, I was not steering to avoid some sort of road block…I just shot straight into the curb. At the time I felt it to be really important to go super-duper fast, realizing at the last moment that I was taking a wrong turn.
I crashed and burned and bled and cried. I am clumsy and irrational. I am reckless. I do stupid shit every day. But, post-collision, I stood up, got on the bike, and rode home. At least this is one act I’ve managed to make a habit of…getting back on my feet and moving forward.
I could make an analogy here about relocating to Paris, but if you’ve seen my Instagram, or have been following my journey for the past month, I shall spare you (for the sake of avoiding redundancy).
Change isn’t easy. We all hit bumps in the road (or perhaps some of us take it a step further and spaz out, flying face-first into the pavement after drinking too much red wine from a water bottle). Either way, the important thing is to just keep on going.
Do I regret moving here? Not at all. Do I regret the time fell off my bike like a freaking fool? Not in the least. I can honestly say it was one of the best nights of my life.
I went skinny dipping in the ocean, under a full moon, on a beautiful, empty beach. I laughed so hard and have memories that will stick with me forever. I am almost happy I have the scar to remind me of that night because it was just that special.
So here you see me standing in cute clothes by Roots, walking a very adorable bike in NoLita (one I wouldn’t dare ride on the streets of Manhattan, that’s for sure). The outfit makes me very excited for the fall weather that has already hit Paris, while at the same time evoking a little New York City nostalgia.
But, as Amelia Earhart would say, ” Everyone has ocean’s to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?”
At the end of the day, nothing cures those lonely blues like happy, silly memories… at any given moment they’ll stick with you, wherever in the world you happen to be.
Thanks to Wet n Wild Beauty for the opportunity to try out their newest and baddest Max Volume Plus Mascara in this sponsored post. Long lashes make a world of difference, I am sure this is something we can all agree on! A new go-to for sure…
Let’s be real, mascara is a magical thing. With the right product, properly applied, it can take you from “Wow, are you OK? You look really tired.” to “You look amazing!! Have you had work done?”. Somewhat JK’ing on the second comment…for now, at least. I do have my 28th birthday coming up, right around the corner, but ideally I’d like to remain botox-free for at least a few more years.
I have been using Wet n Wild Beauty products since I was about 13 years old. From purple eyeshadow to glitter lip gloss — it was my go-to for years. I must confess, I haven’t revisited their newer products until recently, but this mascara is actually THE BOMB.
You’ve seen me makeup-free (sorry about that), and you’ve seen me “regular”. Based on these images alone I hope you can see that their new line of Max Volume Plus Mascara is pretty legit…no lash-extension editing happening here, my friends. It’s the real deal.
Also, heyyyyy! Here is a tiny sneak peek inside my new “flat”, and courtyard, in Paris! I am so excited to finish decorating and share the whole shebang. I have had so much fun shopping and decorating a place of my very own for the first time in many years. Baby steps, almost finished!
(note from the sponsor: wet n wild’s #StayWild campaign is for the girls who are wild at heart. Who may have jobs, responsibilities, exams, kids…but who, deep inside, still embrace a wild side, their inner renegade that’s fresh, sassy, badass. Who love a strong black eyeliner, a fierce red lip, and loads and loads of lashes. For over 35 years, wet n wild has delivered the freedom to express your wild side for all women, inclusive of all age, ethnicity, skin color, and economic status. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, wet n wild continues to reach new heaccessibility and quality – giving women the confidence and freedom to #StayWild. Follow the campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, handle @wetnwildbeauty.)
In the same way that my personal style varies based on my mood, I have recently taken up a habit of changing my hairstyle and color depending on the way I am feeling. I think there is no better time to take hair risks than when you’re experiencing some kind of major life change. Like, say, moving to Paris!
I have tried out pretty much every shade in existence, aside from a radiant red one like this! It is playful, happy and I feel invigorated by the change. :)
*note from the sponsor: Bigen Vivid Shades semi-Permanent Hair Color allows you to “Break From the Herd” with 6 bold and bright shades that let you show your wild side. Conditioning, oil-rich formulas with no ammonia and no peroxide are so gentle on your hair you can color with confidence.
I’ve written a lot about embracing a wanderlust spirit, taking off and not looking back. Shot these photos at the NOMO Hotel in SoHo, where I enjoyed my last few days in NYC. Now here I am in Paris where I just signed a lease to live alone, in my own little “flat”, for an entire year. I don’t speak the language (though I sure as hell better learn…fast), and I am completely out of my element. I have nowhere to run and hide, and no real fall-back plan. This is it for now! Nobody forced, or even urged, me to take this leap of faith. But I am glad I did because I feel that perhaps it brought me one step closer to becoming the person I want to be.
I feel invigorated by this foreign sense of independence, and having a place to call my very own. There are other times, like when I am lying in bed, wide awake at 6am and letting my mind wander, where I feel scared as hell. It’s a combination of a surprising and indescribable calmness mixed with overwhelming waves of fear and panic. I think this is probably normal, and best that I try and embrace all the emotions instead of hiding from the ones I don’t like.
The concept of stillness has always troubled me, but not quite as much now as I would have expected. I am confident that in time, calm will defeat the chaos, and Paris has the potential to become a place where I belong. Even if it does happen to be a location where many odds stand against me.
I am not carefree. In fact, I have horrible anxiety. And the drastic decisions I’ve made are not because “all I need is myself” or I can find my bearings anywhere and everywhere I go. It is pretty much the the exact opposite…
Many would call me co-dependent or “needy”, and I hate these labels even though they do hold validity. Others tell me I am brave, which I rarely feel. Anyone who knows me will say I’m stubborn – this one I won’t deny. Taking a closer look, I suppose I am all of these things…the bravery stems from a desire to oppose that reliance on others for happiness. This is something I have committed to finding on my own, whatever drastic measures I deem necessary to do so (enter “stubborn”).
I read an anonymous quote along the lines of “if you could go anywhere right now would it be ‘somewhere’ or ‘to someone’”. The fact that this made me think twice felt disturbing. I’m not really sure what my honest answer is to that question. But I had to decide what I want it to be, and it hasn’t been easy. I chose “somewhere”, for both myself and the for the “someone” who made me wonder if that was the right choice. I know in my heart it was, but it still does hurt.
I want to find a love that’ll last a lifetime and enrich my soul, but not a person that defines who I am. I want to find a companion whose true being is complimentary to mine. Someone who isn’t just like me, but at the same time has the ability to understand who I am and and not just accept, but love me for it. I won’t be able to find that person, though, until I can really find, and love, myself again. It’ll take time.
There is so much of the world I still want to see, and so many personal problems I must conquer in order to do so. The fact that these words regarding a “person” or “place” stopped me in my tracks, also helped justify a daunting decision. One I will likely continue to question for a while.
So here I am, slightly confused, a bit lonely, and also incredibly excited for whatever comes my way. I’ve always been adventurous but I haven’t always felt whole without constant physical love and the tremendous emotional support of others. My quaint new setting, where I can come home and plop down in my pillow-filled apartment, has given me hope that I will be able to attain this sense of autonomy. I’m on my way to experiencing a new form of peace for the first time in a while. It is frightening, empowering and exactly what I need.
EDITED: If you read this earlier, I wrote the initial post from a “girl power” POV, and was being a bit dishonest with myself in the words that I typed out. Leaving love isn’t easy, and I’m not as immediately settled here as I may have implied (though I stand by my declaration to keep on fighting until I do find peace in independence).
I wrote about the place that I want to be mentally instead of were I actually am; not with the intention of lying or making myself sound stronger to others, but perhaps because part of me thought that in doing so I might be able to get “there” faster. This is not to say I’m not making major progress, and a lot of what I wrote did hold validity. But I am still human. I pride myself on being totally real here, and hopefully someone whose feelings and life experiences can be related to, as a result. So I tell you humbly, I had to take a step back and recognize that committing to state of being and actually arriving at that mental state are two very different things. Life isn’t easy, and I don’t need to pretend that it is to make myself feel better. And so I made a few changes, out of respect for you, my readers, the man who I was writing about, and myself.
Fun photo shoot in Nolita with Roots the other morning. This is a cool brand (with an awesome team) that I was just reintroduced to. I must say that Roots has evolved in an impressive, fashion-forward, and real kind of way. I totally identify with this Canadian company. 42 years running, their wearable clothing is inspired by music, cuts no corners as far as quality / design, and can appeal to just about anyone. Roots is on the pulse of what is happening here and now, but they haven’t lost touch with their origins.
You know me, once I get started on a topic I have a slight tendency to let my mind wander. Sometimes it is triggered by a creative idea, a person or place that inspires me, or maybe something so simple as a single word. Whenever I work on a project, as a blogger or for a client, I try and and let myself become enveloped in whatever thought stream ignited their ideas. What twists and turns collective minds took before reaching some destination. I am the same way with people, in trying to understand their actions and what drives certain motives. I see a sort of psychology in just about everything. It can result in complete confusion or open my eyes to unexpected clarity.
At least when I am feeling like a hobo (which technically I am, for another 48 hours or so before I move into my new “flat” in Paris), I can put on cute sweats thanks to companies like Roots, instead of wearing tattered ones from my boyfriend’s drawer that are 7 sizes too big…
And guess what else? No makeup is hot and so are baseball caps. Dry shampoo is made for a reason and it is a genius product. A solid pair of boots and some quality denim will never, ever do you wrong. Oh and backpacks are the absolute best.
I guess the point I am trying to make is I think it’s OK to lose sight of who you are from time to time. Or that not knowing what direction life is taking you in isn’t necessarily the worst thing. Maybe instead we should see weird times as exciting opportunities for self-exploration. Embrace the wind, and remember stormy times come and go for all of us. Creative expression comes in a variety of forms, and can be a great way to locate your center. Personally, I like to write, style clothes, and talk too much after many glasses of wine. Perhaps you like to draw, play the guitar, or run marathons in a neon unitard. To each their own.
At the end of the day I know where my roots are, and I know that they are strong. I stand on solid ground, but the only way I can keep on going is by letting myself flow.
For me, home is not a physical place. For most of my life “home” was a specific destination, sure, but not anymore. It was the comfortable shelter that I returned to after work every day, woke up in the same bed each morning, and snuggled up on a couch that fit my body just right. I cannot say that I don’t feel somewhat nostalgic of these days — the smells, the local “go-to” spots, the familiar faces you see each day while out and about. But there is a lot to be said about living on the move and embracing being, well, homeless (technically speaking). Now home is really just a state of mind. In fact, getting stuck in a redundant routine, something that once brought a sense of security, makes me feel more uncomfortable than being a nomad.
I like waking up everyday and having no idea what will happen, who I will meet, or what city I might be roaming off to that week. I like having friends and family all over the world, and being able to acclimate to just about anything. Home, for me, is not a place at all, but a feeling. It is being inspired by your surroundings, and comfortable but never stuck or tied down. Home is in hugs and cuddles having the ability to find your place in whatever environment you find yourself. Home is in pictures and memories and those random thoughts that warm your heart, move you enough to draw tears, or randomly start laughing out of the blue.
Last week home was in a very rustic cabin upstate with two owls named Hootie and Woodsy, the neighboring deer, and a couple of stinky cats. My office was a lounge chair on the porch. This week I am in the beautiful Nomo Hotel in Soho living it up in a plush suite in the sky. Just 10 more days and my plane will be touching down in Paris, where I will be living for the next year, at least. I plan to travel Europe and find a new home in every town I pass through. Not going to lie, this amazing Manhattan suite I am writing from will be a hard one to leave (highly recommend!), but I am excited for the many new adventures that await.
In life you will feel the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Sometimes you will feel both in the same day or even at the same time. I try my best to see the silver lining and be grateful that I am still feeling. That I am still challenging my chaotic existence and letting experience, love, pain, joy, peace, heartache, and every single other emotion permeate my skin and flow through my veins, even when this stings like venom.
Be captured, molded and learn lessons. Take every painful bite as an opportunity to become better. To lift yourself higher…
High-low is super cute if we are talking about a Halston dress, of course. But, when it comes to life, I say we strive to wear a miniskirt!