Let the fool love.

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Last Friday, I finally finished making my Christmas presents for this year. And it was about time because I was going crazy with the accumulated (self-imposed) pressure and the lack of actual fun.

Don’t get me wrong, painting is fun and I love it. And I did have fun making my presents. But I made five paintings in under three days. Never touched my guitar. Then went on spending my little free time of the week working on another one. (I’m not complaining at all, just laying out the facts so I can make my point.) I got very little sleep and ingested too much coffee. I did get a few breaks being with the kids the afternoons and spending my Sunday afternoon and evening with Esther making some cool memories! But it was so much work in such short time and I barely allowed myself any actual breaks… It was always on my mind anyways. I couldn’t think of something else since it was set in my brain as top priority. In the end, it squeezed a lot of life out of me although it was still fun to do.

Sure, Xmas isn’t a surprise and I should have gotten down to it wayyyy earlier than I did. And nobody forced me. Nobody but me. Except, it was not forced. Don’t put it like that please. I did put a lot of pressure on myself and forced myself to keep working at it even when I got really tired. But it was never a forced thing. More like an impulse, something I couldn’t help. My love bursting to get out on time for the occasion. I definitely should have been more prepared which would’ve avoided me a lot of unnecessary strain and pressure. But it was not forced. Just brutally natural.

I know I should have started working on them long ago so they wouldn’t have been rushed and messed up a bit(you’ll see what I’m talking about if you click here). But I’ve been very busy ever since I started as an au pair and managing my time and tasks hasn’t been super easy. Realizing that I was running out of time to make a thousand personalized paintings for each special love of my heart before the big day should’ve been enough to trigger the Reason in my brain and make me turn to a wiser choice (like an album photo like my host mom suggested or just buy a simple thing, a card, flowers, a thing), wouldn’t you think? But… The what you said? Reason? Meh. I actually honestly considered it for a bit because I was thinking how hard it would be to get everything done for everyone on time. But I can’t give up on shit. I just fucking can’t give anything up.

And so I sat down with five pages in my sketchbook ready to become ugly drafts of what would later become the love infused (maybe “stuffed” is a wiser word to use here) Christmas paintings and ascended down a slippery path coated with coffee-gone-cold and affection-turning-chore. I know I make it sound super dramatic but it was pretty intense. It’s easy to lose your way sometimes in the midst of brush&rush. I was so stressed out… My little outing with Esther helped release the tension a bit but it was not enough obviously. I was drowning in it.

Buying presents is rarely a thing I do. First of all because this girl has no money. And secondly because I never really find anything that matches my idea of what the person should receive from me that would both materialize our relationship and also bring a little something more into their life. On the rare occasions I will find a thing that will be perfect. Usually has to do with inside jokes tbh. But more often than not, it’ll be a battle lost.

When I make something, I’m sure it’ll have enough pieces of me in there for the person to feel obliged to like it. Just kidding. Ha! I think it just feels more special when it’s been made by you for the person you love. There’s a different warmth to it. And I think that’s important. Especially when I’m sending gifts to my family more than ten thousands kilometers away from me. It needs that warmth and those little sparks that feel like me in it so they can feel it and receive my love with an approximately 96% accurate translation. Handmade feels better to me.

And although I’m “super hard on myself” when it comes to what I make, if you make me something, it doesn’t matter how clumsy it is, how small or how rickety it looks to you, I will love it for what it is, your best effort and a condensation of your love translated through your stupid hands.

Let’s talk about that “too hard on yourself” bullshit now. Which is actually the main reason I started writing this post.

During my relentless rush to bringing my love to life on five canvases before Christmas, I got a few comments on the way I was doing the thing. I should take a break, shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself or simply should stop if it is so stressful. And it’s not the first time I hear it. And, no different than usual, I don’t wanna hear it!

I try my best to remain calm and polite when given those comments because usually, they come from people whom I love and are just trying to look out for me. I know they mean no harm and they’re just trying to save me from the hands of my over-demanding self and her too-high-for-this-life standards. But here’s the thing lads, you’re not helping and you’re wrong.

No, I should not take a break because you feel I’m too tired to work. No, I should not simply give up on my making presents for my family because that’s putting too much on my shoulders. No, I will not slow down because it’s my fourth coffee and it’s a beautiful day to go out and sniff out some flowers or whatever. No, I will not do things differently because it doesn’t match your vision of life and work and love and whatnot. No, I do not have to lower my standards or do anything just because you think I should.

My ways might not be perfect. They might even seem crazy compared to your ideas of what should be and how it should be. But they’re my ways and I don’t think I should have to change them so they fit yours. It doesn’t have to feel right, normal, okay, to you, for it to actually be it. Now, I know most of you are just doing what you think you should be doing, looking out for me or whatever. But, just don’t force your ideas onto people like that. Because it is kinda rude and mostly annoying, especially when I’m in the middle of losing my mind over all that makes me and that I’m making. I could snap, I swear. There’s a fine line between a caring advice and an invasive unsolicited opinion. Just shush, please.

One thing I feel can’t be dissociated with a life filled with love are sacrifices. Whether they be about the tiniest little things like sharing the last cookie in the jar or much bigger ones, they’re part of the deal. There’s a part of selfishness in love but there’s also a part of selflessness in there, and hopefully, a bigger one. I do sacrifice a lot, which I usually realize later because it doesn’t matter when I give it. I give it all. It’s free. Take it. I love you, I give, take all you can, I keep giving on.

Making these paintings took hours from me; hours that could’ve been spent sleeping, playing the guitar, eating chocolate, going for walks, etc. It took precious time but I wouldn’t want it back. I had to give it all I could in such short time, especially since it was for my family so far away from me, whom I might not see before long… I had to compress as much love as I could between the layers of paint, infuse it with parts of me so that they feel my love once they get it. But even to my Irish family and friends that I have barely met I gave my precious time to leave my heart’s footprints in a last minute handmade gift. I just do it like that.

I’m not saying that those that do it differently love less or badly, not at all, just differently. That is my way of loving and I know it’s not the universal way to love, I’ve been around long enough to know now that everybody has their own scales and standards. And things hardly ever mean the same to anyone, even when they do. We might both feel intensely about something, but even then, the intensity might vary because we are different even in being the same.  I’m not saying you’re doing it wrong because you’re not doing it like me. We’re not the same, I accept that; I accept the fact that our truths are not the same although we’re all believers. So stop telling me I’m doing it wrong. Stop telling me my love is too crazy because there’s no such thing. Let my fire burn bright and focus on yours!

For me love is all about that. Dedication. Sharing. Caring. Selfless when you can but still charged with your pieces. You gotta be invested. You can’t love part time. You can’t love half-price. All or nothing. ❀

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2017 Christmas paintings!

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Just as it happened last year, this year’s Christmas presents were… uhm… rushed for a little bit? And almost lead to a mental breakdown and coffee overdose. Good times. All in the name of love! Ha ha

No charcoal this time. All acrylics. On small canvas. Don’t remember the dimensions but pretty tiny squares and then a bigger one for my Irish family.

So, I made a portrait of my little nephew for my sister. And then painted two pictures from this year’s New Year’s celebrations for my mom and brother (on which they look nothing like themselves). And finally, I made a portable peaceful shelter for my best friend so she can always have a place to turn to when stressed out/depressed/in need for more dreams and less life.

My mom is a beautiful woman and my brother is a pretty silly boy so I felt terrible while painting these because their faces were so distorted. But it was made with so much love and they loved it in the end so that’s what matters. And my bf just received hers as I write this and she told me she shed a few tears. Soo… Mission accomplished! Not perfect work but intense love for sure!

Then, for my Irish family, I painted that one picture of us that we took on the night of the Late Late Toy Show on December 1st. Which is the only picture of all of us together we had at the time I started it. I wanted to make the smiley faces at first but I must admit that when I laid it down at first, I decided to go for the actual faces… However, since I was exhausted and running out of time, I ended up covering them up with the bright yellow smiley faces in the end.

My host parents loved it so much and it makes me SUPER DUPER happy! The real big gift was being with them this whole blessed season of Christmas. A home away from home. I have so much love and admiration for them.

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Although I am not a 100% satisfied with the end results, I am delighted that my love got through and that they all appreciated the fruit of my hard work. And that is what truly matters in the end, to hell with perfection!

That was a lot of hard work in such short time. I’m glad I didn’t actually lose my mind to it! And it was actually a very condensed practice for my drawing and painting skills also which will, I sure do hope so, prove to have been very efficient in the future. I don’t know when I’ll try to paint again because that was a lot at once and I might need a looooong break before the intensity and bittersweet aftertaste fade out in the echoes of their thank yous and smiles.

Also, I’d just like to let you know that trying out new techniques, new things, straight onto a project that is important and to be finished fast is not really a super wise idea. But if the pressure gets you off, who am I to judge? πŸ˜‰ I had never used a palette knife before doing my nephew’s portrait and I have zero experience painting people, but I jumped right in. Sometimes leaving yourself no choice is the best way to take a leap and learn to fly??

Until next time, keep the love flowing! ❀

Uncage the Night, chapter VIII

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Make sure you read chapter VII before you go on! Or if you haven’t read anything at all, click here to go to chapter I and brace yourself! πŸ˜‰

In this chapter, we follow Leslie’s mother, Sophie, as she returns to her hotel room with Nicolas on that very same Saturday night.


Sophie dropped her phone on the bed and stared at it. She was thinking about the words her brain had just absorbed from its bright screen; digesting them. She bent down and reached for the red laces wrapped around her toned calves to undo the knots. Doing this always left her feeling dirty; the kind of shame that you have to scrub off for hours in the shower. Digging through her daughter’s blog and social medias weren’t her proudest moments, but that was just the way things were ever since Leslie’s…

She couldn’t bring herself to speak the word, let alone think it. A tragedy, was the word she’d rather use. They used to be so close, so bright together. But ever since the tragedy struck their family, she looked at her daughter differently. Leslie felt different, she was different. She had always been different but Sophie could now see all that was wrong about her. She used to only see her as her baby girl but the tragedy had opened her eyes and she could barely cover it up anymore.

Leslie’s stay at the rehab center had cleansed her and Sophie thought she could have had her baby girl back. But it was only temporary. A year for a year; now she was falling apart again. Something in her was broken and it would always keep breaking as long as she lived and no amount of cleansing would suffice. Leslie was broken and nothing was the same. They weren’t friends anymore, they weren’t the same as they used to be, much as they tried to pretend. Something had died in Leslie and with it went their bond.

Sophie still had hope, hope that somehow everything would fall back into place. And that was truly why she dug through her daughter’s online bubbles, not only to see if she was breaking down again but seeking signs of her getting better. She had hope that Leslie could go back to being who she was, her friend. She kept looking for progress, for sparks in all the darkness that oozed from her daughter’s mind. She desperately sought proof, clues, hints, that Leslie could be normal again, in one piece inside, and that they could be friends again. Sophie still had faith that things could be okay, even when all she could find was darkness and helplessly witness what was left of her daughter fading away. Continue reading

My three months as an au pair

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Today, November 25th, at 4:40PM (Irish time!) precisely, marks my THREE months being in Ireland!

Time flies…

…but in that weird way where it all happens so fast yet the days seem to drag with every breath you take. Only a week in, I felt like I had been there for twice as long but the week had went by so fast it almost slipped out of my hands. And now, three months in, I feel like I’ve spent over a year with my family and at the same time, I realize it’s been so little, but the days just fade fast. Maybe that’s what settling in feels like?

All that means is just, I guess, that I’m very lost in the now, which is a good thing. It means that I’m so absorbed by what I’m doing that I can’t quite grasp the passing of time. Which doesn’t mean that my days and weeks don’t get long or anything; not at all. It just happens so fast no matter how slow it gets. And sometimes, it leaves me with such an overwhelming feeling of helplessness which strips me of all pressure.

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Naked trees inspire me

When that solid thought hits me that Time just glides on me and I’m simply fading fast through life, I feel so… Lightweight. Like I’m just floating through life, never grabbing onto anything heavy enough nor going to any solid shelter. Like I’m just a candle burning away and my flame will die, sooner than later and I won’t even see it coming, and I’m fine with it. Like opening my eyes only to realize that my body is free falling and closing them again, accepting my impending fate and smiling to the thought of it. Sometimes, I give myself up completely to the insane flow of life and Time thinks, for a second, that it’s won. But it’s not and it won’t get the best of me.

Sometimes I feel so small and I feel lost, but I’m not losing. I’m learning and growing. And although it doesn’t always look like it, I’m not just fading through life. I’m leaving a mark everywhere, my soul-prints are everywhere. Even when I’m just running my fingers along the walls as I float by, I’m still leaving traces. Even when I’m not being productive, working hard enough on things that are dear to me, I’m still existing and I still mean something. Because there is more to life than purpose and solid things.

Life is an experience and being human revolves a lot around your senses and feelings. Maybe the real purpose of life is life? It’s to just learn to appreciate it, ups and downs, scars and smiles, blood and light, and go through it with an open heart, let it fill you?? I wouldn’t know, I’m just a kid after all..

Time flies but my broken wings can still carry me; I’ll run, faster.

The road so far!

I think I only have five medium-sized “buckets of thoughts” to share about my experience so far. I’ve been trying to write this post since last weekend, in the hopes of scheduling it for today but it was all just a big struggle and so I end up only finishing today. Some thoughts just weren’t ripe enough to be written out so I kept them for another post and we’ll focus on things I can actually put into words right now.

βŠ—Β I found a home here. I am filled with love.

The parents, kids and I all adapted to each other almost instantly. I feel like we were meant to be. It’s only been three months but there’s so much love, trust and happiness going on.Β  We know each other and we can be real together, you know what I mean? It’s all so natural. I feel like an actual part of the family; it’s a lovely feeling.

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Tiny blurry family in the woods

We were comfortable from the get-go and only grew closer by the day. We had this instant connection. Especially with the kids! I thought it would take them a while to open up and get used to me and accept me as a new part of their life but not at all. We’re super buddies now and they give me so much love sometimes I don’t even know what to do with it. Ha ha!
Although we don’t spend as much time together as I do with the kids, my host parents and I are pretty close and we know we can count on each other and it is all oh so very beautiful. I can have really deep and sincere conversations with them, wear my heart on my sleeve and it’s mutual. They confide in me sometimes, no questions asked; just come to me after a weird day and tell me what’s on their minds. We can also be silly-goofs together and joke about the hard times. And they’re also really supportive and encouraging of me and honestly, how did I ever get in such a good home?
Simply put: we’re the perfect match and life is awesome.

βŠ— I went to evening art classes at the community school…

Which was okay. But I’m not going anymore because it is not teaching me anything and, although it is a cool place to be, I don’t want to invest any more time in it since it doesn’t bring nothing much into my life.IMG_20171116_220949_329.jpg

I didn’t make friends but I think it was still a nice experience somehow. I got to focus completely (well, 90% at least since, you know, my mind is always roaming and am always obsessing over several different things) on making a thing for two hours one night every week and it felt really good. Sure, I never once finished one thing in class since I’m an art-snail but I finished them at home anyways. I made things and it was cool. But, no more. I think my time should be invested on something else.
I talked about it for a bit on my second channel the other day, you can watch here.Β 

βŠ— I’m rediscovering the joy of friendship and simple acquaintances!

I’ve met with other au pairs and while some of them have become really good friends, others are just these familiar faces added to this very new environment of mine!

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Esther, Aidana and I

With my new friends, we do things together and it feels good to have people other than my Irish family to turn to and make new memories with. I’m so thankful that I met them because they are lovely people. We get to hang out on the weekends and sometimes even during the week if we’re lucky. And it feels good, you know, to just know that you don’t have to go alone to that art exhibition or you can definitely go grab a coffee when you’re a little blue and need some company.
With my past being what it was, I had almost forgotten how good it felt to hang out with people. Just going out for a drink or simply hanging out; going shopping together, being silly together and exploring together. Just last weekend I went to the art gallery with Esther and I had an amazing time!

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“fish alcohol” ewww

And the start of a friendship is such a beautiful thing by the way. Getting to experience all of these feelings feels like a first time again; it is scary but enjoyable. After all, this is a fresh start for me, and, maybe not a new life, but a new chapter and I have a better grip on my story. Forever afraid to be loved but, remember what I say guys, use the fear as a fuel, don’t let it consume you. I’m learning to walk with my shaky legs and go through life again, even if I’ve been burned in the past. Learning to give second chances to everyone and myself.
I am so happy to have people I can call friends already! I just can’t wait to get to know them a little bit more and do more things together. Just be friends!

βŠ— Everything is routine.

The kids are going to school after all, so it is normal for life to follow a very repetitive schedule which doesn’t make it any less fun. During the afternoons, after homework, sometimes we make art together or music or they just go outside play with their friends and I sit on my lonely ass and watch haha But having that structure is actually really helpful to get your shit together and build your own scheduled life around it and get to do your own things too.

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I will fully place my heart in these tiny hands.

I still struggle to wake up in the morning. I’d like to wake up at six so I can get a few things done before I wake the kids up. So far, I’ve only failed. But, I’m getting there. I usually wake up with my alarm but snooze until at least half past and sometimes all the way to ten to.
I’m doing my best, for once in my life, to lead a more organized existence. I’m not one for plans because WHY? and also because they aren’t compatible with the way my mind works. But, I’ve got goals and loads of things that I want to work on while I’m living the good life with my lovely Irish family. There are simple things I can do to make sure I can fit all of my hard work in my free time and not let my dreams sink instead of just giving into the laziness and fun side of life.

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*wink wink*

It isn’t that hard to be invested in what you love. As a matter of fact, if you care enough about something/someone, you’ll find the time, energy and motivation for them. You’ll make way for it. Because there is always a way and if you’re not willing to trade some TV time for guitar practice or whatever it is you’re all about, then, maybe it doesn’t mean so much to you after all. You just have to care enough. Think about it like dessert after dinner; sometimes you’re full but you always manage to fit that delicious dessert in, don’t you? πŸ˜‰
So, I’ve started a bullet journal to help guide me into my weeks and make sure I get work done and also, to keep track of me and see the big picture. So far, this first week of it was a disaster. I was not productive at all although I did get a few tasks done and I’ll blame it on my period, yes. But even though my journal has yet to be the magical cure to getting my shit together, just having a visual representation of all the things I didn’t do is helping me (beat myself up some more). And I definitely think that on the long term it’ll be a great guide and it’ll document my progress as a functioning adult artist.

 

I’m all settled in the school routine now so all I have to do is manage to fit my many passions (not hobbies, actual rocks that make me, my life an actual thing) in there. SQUEEZE THEM IN I don’t care, I have to fit them all someway somehow. And I think the key is to let go of foolish things like snoozing, tv shows and laying around (and only keep these for “lazy days” like Esther would put it πŸ˜‰ ).

βŠ— Oh and yeah, I bought my dream guitarΒ β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯Β (And there finally is a post about her on my blog here! )

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Dramatically chilling into the night

Therefore I am finally able to work hard on my dreams again and not feel so alone on those bone chilling lonely days.
Haven’t really been working hard, to keep this post honest, but trying! Like I said, I am indeed learning to organize my life and fit everything I do in there, so my hard work agenda has been wibbly wobbly these past few months. But I’m getting there. Step by step.
I have almost regained all the left-handed skills I had! My strumming is finally coming back quite nicely and my fretting hand is doing better by the day too. I’m making a point to practice my scales everyday even if that’s the only thing I pick up my guitar for.

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Eat it maybe?

(Which can get really frustrating sometimes cos I want to play and have fun, not just go through my scales! It isn’t that boring a thing, but you know, it’s like having simply salad for dinner. Doesn’t suck so bad but could’ve used something more…)
I have also gotten back to my music theory study and trying to keep the knowledge in my brain and also translate it through my hands to the guitar/eyes/ears. I’ve been making these little flash cards to quizz myself but I’ve found that it’s not enough to help me digest the knowledge. Or maybe that’s just cause I haven’t been working on it every single day too… hehehe :3 But I’ll study better and harder, promise!

New guitar, muscle memory and brain abs!

Looking forward..

..to life, more days. I’ve had very dark days these past years that were so heavy they left deep marks on my shoulders that have yet to fade. I’ve had days where I was unable to even look forward to my next attack on myself. I’ve had days where I clung onto the tiniest piece of light I had found in the back of a dirty drawer all the while wishing for it to go out. I’ve died a thousand times, like they said, and wished for thousands more.
But I think that at this moment in my life, I can tell that I am in a better place, a better headspace. I am not cured, of course not. My cuts have not healed and my darkness has not just disappeared. But I’ve regained so much of that light I thought for real that I had forever lost.

orca-image-1511295523619.jpg_1511295523859.jpegI’m happy. I’m alive. I’m living and enjoying my every days. Sure sometimes time flies and I feel like I’m so powerless and falling behind. Sometimes the storm sends big waves my way and I have to face them in a very adult way, meaning mostly keeping a face for the kids and keeping a happy house while I crumble inside. Sometimes shit sucks. Sometimes I suck. But I’m happy here. Almost. I’m okay. I’m fine.

I look forward to getting back more seriously into music. Writing songs and trying out open mic nights and maybe even busking! And I’m looking forward to feelings and emotions and connections. I look forward to progress and feeling myself evolve into a better singer/musician//artist.Β  I know that there’s so much bottled up inside, so many ideas just macerating in dark or dimly lit corners of my mind and I can’t wait to be able to turn them into actual things.

When I look ahead, all I hope to see is a life filled with all arts, human connections, smiles, laughter, friendships, adventures, LOVE and so much more! I can’t wait to create more. I can’t wait to meet more people and allow my current relationships to get deeper and brighter. I can’t wait for new things and feelings too.

I’m just overall excited about life. I guess in a very calm and normal way, which I’ve never been used to. I’m just like “Wow, tomorrow I’m having coffee with Esther; this is AWESOME LIFE IS SO BUSY WOOT WOOT”. Life, guys, life! There’s art, there’s love and there’s darkness too. I’m still me, hey. Looking forward to the light and the darkness; to the love and the heart-rips; to the bigger and still-big-but-less-bigger things.

I’m looking forward to more life, that’s it.

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Emily “found” a flower in her mandarin peel the other day and it was the prettiest thing

So, yeah, three months gone! Living the good life with the loveliest family and making warm memories. Discovering myself and learning on and on. Living and breathing and struggling to reconcile all of what I do with my new lifestyle and happiness. Excited, alive and burning brighter.

I’m trying hard to get things done and build my little empire so that I can work in it in order to build the bigger dream-empire. But, I’ve never learned how to be organized nor productive since school has taught me all the opposite; I’m really good at last-minute-intense-pressure-what-the-fuck-am-i-doing type of scenarios but not so good at spreading things over the week. I’m learning and I’m getting there. Hard to allow organization and a free mind to coexist; one just like to roam and go with the flow, it’ll happen if the feeling is there or not, while the other is all about this-should-be-done-right-now and I already know what we’ll do tomorrow. And, it’s hard. I’m learning.

I am thankful and I am happy. It’s lovely, it’s amazing and I’m glad that I took the leap, that I came here, followed my guts, stuck to my words and I just want more. I love my family, I love my city, I love my few friends and I love life.

Thank You, Universe! And to me too! ❀

Ready to go out by myself and rock my own world?

P.S.:Β  Tonight I am going to this really cool art-related event and it’s probably going to bring big things into my life so stay tuned, I’ll probably post about it soon!!! πŸ˜€ (still leaving some room for disappointment so that if it ends up not becoming too big a thing, my heart will break a little less harder. Just in case. You never know. I believe it’ll happen. But I can’t let myself fall completely into the arms of any fantasy anymore; I don’t want to burn too hard sometimes. Nothing wrong with that. Expect the pain and embrace the surprise of life.)

My sister’s birthday present!

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It’s about time I share with you the painting I did for my sister’s birthday back in September!

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I was a little late since it was on the 29th, which was five days after Adam’s birthday and I honestly FORGOT. First time it ever happened to me to actually forget something so big! But I was just so focused on my little boy’s birthday present and also my whole au pair experience that I literally forgot about my amazing sister’s b-day! I remembered the night before and I knew I was fucked…

So, as the thought brutally hit me and the Universe reclaimed my heart back since I didn’t need one anyway, I jumped on my sketchbook (that she gave me btw) to find the best idea. And, thank G*d, I figured it out almost instantly; it was pretty easy.

My sister had been harassing me for the past few days with a tutorial video she found online about how to paint a tree using acrylics and she was like “I want a blue, a green, a red, and also a yellow one” or whatever. And I told her, “Well, you better get to work now!” And she insisted “But I wanted you to paint it for me… *puppy eyes*”. And so did I, “I gave mom a few brushes and nice acrylic paints too the other day. You should borrow it from her and practice for the trees.” Of course, in the back of my head I was thinking of making one for her eventually one day but little did I know (I should’ve!) that her birthday was just around the corner…

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Sacrifice ALL THE SLEEP WHO CARES?

Of course, just the tree seemed a little too “basic” for me. Like, “you’ve asked, there you go”. And that’s not how birthday presents should be. Sure, it’s more than okay to give what a person actually expressed orally that they wanted. But is that really enough? Not for someone that matters this much to me. Happy birthday means thanks for existing (still) and I’m thankful to have known you for so long. And my sister has practically raised me alongside my mom. She was my second mom as I used to call her, or more like my dad since I used to give her the school’s presents for Father’s day haha So I had to bring some more symbolic in there and make her feel something more intense when she’d look at it!

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February 1997 (a 5-month-old piece of fat)

And so, I thought about this beautiful picture of her holding me as a baby. It’s one of my favorite pictures ever and since I have it with me, I figured I could easily blend it in the painting of the tree; some way, somehow. And so I did.

Blended her body with the tree’s trunk and roots because she is my roots and solid ground. She carried me along the way, lifted me up and made me into the strong woman I am still becoming. She is my mom and my home. And so here we are in the center of the painting, hugging and glowing together. Her favorite color is green and one of mine is yellow. And the reason I went for blue for the leaves rather than her favorite color is because it is my mom’s favorite color and the ocean’s and it has always been for me a motherly color. A strong and warm(yeah I know it’s not technically but to me, yes), comforting color, surrounding us, holding us together.

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Sure, I was late and I got the idea really quickly, didn’t put a large amount of thought into it. But I put lots of hours working on it and lots of heart into it also! There’s a lot of meaning in there and it’s also very pleasing to look at. And most importantly, my sister loved it! What more could I ask for?

Until next post, love, love with all you’ve got! ❀

P.S.: If you’re reading this, je t’aime Lucie πŸ˜‰

One month gone already!

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Today, it’s officially been one month since I’ve joined my lovely host family and since I am literally living in Ireland. It went by soooooo fast! So, after this busy week and busy weekend that I’ve had, I’m taking some time to breathe and look back a little, acknowledge what happened and squeeze out some more good juice out of these past few weeks.

The first two weeks went by in the blink of an eye. The kids adopted me pretty much instantly, to my greatest surprise. And I felt comfortable from the get-go. I knew from the moment I skyped with them that they were gonna be amazing but when I met them IRL, and after having spent just a day with them, I realized they were much more awesome than I could have imagined. I know I like to exaggerate and this might seem like it, but really, it isn’t. They are good people, so nice to me, easy-going and I feel oh so good around them.

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The routine wasn’t so hard getting into. It’s pretty simple really and it’s just a matter of getting used to it. I am still not able to wake up at 6am in order to have breakfast before the kids and get on with my business before I wake them up, but I’ll get there eventually. Having not had an organized life for the past two years and especially these last six months where I would just sleep whenever and paint/sing all day and sometimes go out to get food; it’s understandable. I need time. But this is just a detail. Once you know it, you just do it and it slides like butter on bread(what).

So, those first two weeks, I spent just adjusting to the schedule and trying to learn how to fit my painting and music in my free time. I spent a lot of time in the house; scared to go outside. But eventually I got to meet some Spanish au pairs and we hung out in town together. And just last week I met some French ones. Knowing that there are a handful of people other than my host family that are aware of me, is reassuring and I have no doubt that I will be able to build strong bonds with a handful of people during this year. I had a lovely weekend with Marta, a French au pair who lives really close to me; I really like her. And, surely, I will meet more people with whom I “click” and can enjoy something bigger together than just hanging out(nothing wrong with that but I need to walk in deeper waters, ya know).

I haven’t had much adventure going on just yet. Nothing crazy to tell. No big stories really. It’s been a really chill month. I adjusted very quickly and so did everyone else. I feel like I belong and not like a weird parasite that’s just sucking the life out of them. I feel good. They truly are amazing. And, having heard some other stories from the au pairs that I’ve met, I can only emphasize how LUCKY I am. My family is just the best and I’m happy.

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Blackrock Castle

I love feeling how we’re all just growing more and more comfortable with each other each day. Like I said, we were already pretty okay from the get-go. But we’re getting closer and it’s such a nice feeling to experience!

I love the talks I have with the parents in the mornings or evenings, when I’m having tea or when I get back home after a day on my own. And I love the different feelings I get from talking to the mom and from talking to the dad. The different topics and perspectives. They’re really cool people, sweet and chill; I love them. They care about me and it shows and I’ve grown so fond of them already. Like they’ve been gone all afternoon and evening to a wedding, and I swear I’m already missing them but I won’t admit. Ha ha!

I love the kids and how they try my patience sometimes and I just have to learn over and over. They help bring out the best of me. It’s not always easy, but they’re very sweet kids and they fill me with love. And my favorite thing right now is that, three days ago I taught them how to say “I love you mommy”(Je t’aime maman) in French and they just keep saying it to me. And it is so cute and, man. Pinch me, I’m dreaming! LIFE IS REAL

Simply put, I love everything about being an au pair, here and in this family. I know everything would’ve been and felt much different with some other people. But what I have right now is more than gold. I am so thankful!!! And I can’t wait for more days!

I will have more to say as the weeks and months go by. For now, this is all there is to be said. They rock, I love them, the city is beautiful, I’m happy and ready+fueled by their support to reach for the sky. This is more than I had dreamt of and man, is it beautiful to be where I’m at right now in my life.21935605_1575832765817460_1439178978_n

This week I’m starting my art class and I can’t wait to see what that’s going to be like and what it’s going to bring in to my life! I still have so much to see and so many people to meet. And I still have so much work, so much to build before I get those dreams of mine running. I’m excited and I’m on my way.

Up we go! πŸ˜‰

It feels weird to be treated so well, to be in a non-toxic environment, to simply be a person among over people… I come from a polluted place; I stomped outta the door, my feet are clean now. I let go of those toxic relationships I clung onto for the last few years and I felt so lightweight… So lightweight that the winds of change flew me away to a land of greener grass. Honestly, not holding any grudges but fuck ’em. Thank you guys, but fuck you. I’m glad you’re out of my life, leaves more room for better friends; I’m glad you aren’t taking up all of my time/thoughts, leaves more room for love and light which I’ll now spread. I am very much alive. I am happy. And I’m only getting started.

Until next post, don’t stop believing. ❀

GOING HOME AGAIN!!

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I am going home today and gosh I’m really excited.

I’m really happy to be going home again! It’s only been about six months since I last seen my family and homeland IRL but somehow I was craving it way more than I did after having been away for a whole year and a half! I’m going to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while also, like highschool friends, and my lovely lovely cousin whom I haven’t seen since we were kids somehow! I’m really REALLY excited! So many memories to make and a lot of fuel to stock up on!

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I’ll be staying up until mid-August. And while I’m there, I’ll get to play some (right-handed… </3) guitar and bit of piano too but I don’t really know how to. So I might be able to record something slightly more interesting to put on my youtube channel and same for #2. I’ll probably hire my little brother as a cameraman or just borrow his tablet to record things. And I’m excited about that too!

And I’m thinking that I might actually get around to finish a song that I started back when I still had Glitch but never got around to finish or maybe even write new ones! I’m just really dying to play some music again so I think that the melodies might just flow out of my mouth and break my fingers. Which is such a good thing! I can’t believe that I went six months without a guitar/uke and am still alive! I really didn’t think it was possible and yet, look at me. Starving for some strings but still breathing! *clap clap clap*

I’m going to be jumping straight off a cliff after that (not literally; don’t worry) but there will be a really pretty and warm net to catch me and so I’ll get to build my wings with a little less pressure! And I’m excited about that too. I actually still have to deal with some paperwork to get everything in order for that next travel while I’m home (which sucks but is for the good cause).

So yeah. Family. Friends. Art. Mountains. MY OCEAN. Rain. Lots of rain. This is just going to be awesome and I really can’t wait!!! But I really should go to bed now as I have to wake up at 5 or something to make sure I have enough time to get ready and check everything before I leave for the train. I’m going to be so tired and such a mess!

While I’m gone for a long long long day and until I can get something better out there, maybe enjoy this 5-day-old good enough cover?…

Cheers!!! I hope I can sleep because I won’t be able to drag that heavy ass suitcase around if I don’t. So many books. What am I?

Until next post, don’t forget to remind those you love how much you love them and how precious they are because you never know (and especially before you step on a plane because sometimes they just fly into another dimension and what the fuck). ❀