As I’ve mentioned before, I keep notes in my phone of things that inspire me. Sometimes it’s an idea, a quote, a song lyric, something bizarre I overhear in someone’s conversation or a half sentence that I think would sound good in a book. And sometimes I come across one so vague and without context that it makes me burst out laughing in a coffee shop 5 months later:
ANYWHO, I wanted to create a post featuring a couple of the quotes I’ve collected because they’re too good to keep locked away in my marbled iPhone.
“You and me is a place I hope we travel to one day.”
“Inspiration owes you absolutely nothing, other than the pleasure of its company.”
“You have to be in love when you don’t feel any particular tenderness, when bills are late or the trash hasn’t been emptied or you’re feeling underappreciated or when the ugly monsters from your past have convinced you that what happened then — whatever heartbreak exists in your memory — is here and real and will happen again.”
“How much of the suffering and anguish and white-knuckling that you’re doing in your life right now has to be there?”
“It’s so hard to write sometimes, I’m afraid of what I’ll read.”
“When you’re the most happening person at the party, it’s time to leave.”👋 -Kelly Cutrone
As I write this I am in a coffee shop and the man next to me is reading a book called Reaching the Animal Mind… out loud. I live for bizarre moments like this. I have been inspired to write so many times over the last couple of months but all I’ve wound up with is a folder full of drafts and a very tired mind. That being said, tonight I’ve rounded up a teeny collection of thoughts:
On the magic of bodies: Yesterday I was sipping a Bailey’s and coffee while surfing through photos from the summer and came across one I took of myself in my bathing suit. I took it because… I felt really, truly, terribly fat that day. At the time I was curious if I saved that photo and looked at it again in 20 years, would think I was crazy and be able to see myself more clearly? But here I am, just two months later, wondering what on earth I was so worried about. I do not look fat in it. I guess my point in sharing this embarrassing flaw in my confidence is to remind you that insecurity and crippling self-doubt is natural, but might be totally based on something make-believe. (Side note, the man from above^ just took off his shoe and smelled it)
On everyone else’s fleeting love: Lately I’ve been feeling a bit surrounded by crumbling relationships. I come from a long line of divorces in my family, and yet have never become jaded by it. If the phrase “hopeless romantic”didn’t make me feel like a dorky 13 year old I might add it here to describe myself, but I’m not going to so you’ll have to use your imagination. Since Tim moved to Vancouver in the middle of August we’ve spent a ton of time apart and some days it’s hard for both of us not to want to chuck our iPhones out a window and ask “What the f are we doing?!” all the while wondering if everyone else has it better- but I’ve yet to stop believing that we’re the lucky ones.
On being an introvert often mistaken for an extrovert: I get my energy from my alone time. I’m exhausted by small talk, big crowds, long nights with unfamiliar faces and public speaking- though I’m good at it. I can often be found belly laughing or “putting myself out there” on various internet spaces but the truth is I’m an introvert with a million things going on in my mind at once. I love to create, but praise embarrasses me. A month ago someone literally started reading one of my blog posts out loud and I nearly imploded. “Isn’t that why you write? For it to be read?!” they asked. “Absolutely,” I said. “But in your head and no where near me.”
On the best advice I’ve heard this month: Life is scary. Find your boo.👻
Today Tim and I played tourists in the city of Saskatoon to celebrate our last Saturday here together. I use the word “celebrate” loosely, because I am really going to miss visiting him here. I have fallen in love with the city and all the memories it holds of our relationship. Here’s to hoping Vancouver has a little space for us to bloom, too. ❤️️
Top Left: I think I could be a far more productive cubicle dweller if this was my chair. It’s a reasonable office supply request, right?
Top Right: When I found this picture it reminded me of all the things that inspired me to write when I first started this blog. I wanted a place where I could spew endless positivity and celebrate the little things- like pink donuts with police officer sprinkles. State & Occupation had it’s 2nd birthday last week and I found myself fondly reminiscing on old posts like this one, this one, & this one.
Bottom Left: I have found so much inspiration in the work of Chicago based artist Mari Orr. Like, you’ve got to be kidding me with this pineapple skin crocodile…
Bottom Right: I’ve never seen a psychic before, but my Nana recently sent over a recording of her visit with one from February. Though I’m not totally sold that this woman possessed a true magical talent, she did hit the nail on the head when she spoke about me, my love for my little brother and my relationship with Tim. She referenced his good looks and my Nana gushed, “Oh yeah, when we were first introduced I called him Brad all night because he looks like Brad Pitt!” Hehe- I’m definitely intrigued to see a psychic of my own now. Have you ever seen one?!
I have 10 days left of being 22! In my dreams I spend them under a palm tree in my new sunglasses listening to Lana all day long. In reality, I’ll be working and writing and dreaming and doing which I guess is all a 20-something can really ask for. I’m lucky and I know it, but it doesn’t keep my head from peeking up into the clouds every now and then.
Writing and managing social media for a living is totally a dream, but it definitely takes a toll on your creativity. By 5 o’clock Friday afternoon I can’t fathom crafting another Instagram caption… hence the tumbleweeds that have been blowing by State & Occupation lately. That being said, I have managed to launch one teeny tiny extra project (here!) that I am super excited about growing… I think I’ve finally found a home that my passion for vegetarianism can live in.
Recap of my 22nd year on earth: A year ago I was interning for the magazine company that published my very first articles, then I was busy planning the festivities leading up to my sister’s wedding and standing next to her as she became a wife, then I was on a surfboard in beautiful blissful Kelowna, then I was collaborating with brands for my blog, then we were frolicking through a pumpkin patch in Saskatoon during my month long visit, then I learned how to knit and made a mustard yellow scarf, then I was dressed as a piece of sushi for Halloween, then 2 more companies published my articles, then I was drinking eggnog in my coffee every morning, then I celebrated my 2 year anniversary with Tim♥, then I was popping champagne and fireball in the mountains with the boys saying “adios” to 2014, then came my obsession with reading and taking on 20 books at a time, then I went on a series of fun trips to snowboard and visit friends, then I was FINALLY hired to work full time as a Social Media Coordinator, then I walked the stage and graduated college. Now I’m here, munching on some pretzels.
It’s been a year full of laughing and smooching and wine drinking and writing and more inspiration than I could ask for. I am nervous and excited for what 23 brings as Tim moves a little further from me to pursue his dreams and I carry on with mine. Thank you a million for reading, and feel free to follow along on instagram for more timely life updates. xxo
Things my imagination is for:
Confetti and sunsets and colour and calm. For rose gold and balloons and baby kittens and endless beaches. For creating and writing and inspiration collecting. For nudity and betterment and loving against the odds.
Things my imagination is not for:
Rehashing, reliving and revamping old negativity. Mixing ingredients for worst case scenarios, blurring realities and tightening knots in my stomach.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” -Paulo Coelho
Left: As I mentioned a couple posts back, I’ve been on a serious reading streak. I finished reading White Girl Problems and its sequel Psychos a couple weeks ago and can’t recommend them enough if you’re looking for a hilariously addicting book. Inside you’ll find quotes from the faux author like “Sorry I texted you 93 times last night“, “I’ve learned that while ex-cons may not make the best drivers or boyfriends, they really are the best at getting you in shape,” and “That’s the thing about college—you pay a ton of money just to realize that everyone is a fucking moron.” She’s essentially this emoji 24/7. Middle: While I am sad to announce my days of working in my undies and knee-highs all day long are quickly coming to an end, I am unbelievably excited to announce that I have landed a really amazing job. Freelancing for the last few months has been a fun adventure that has given me wild amounts of freedom but I am so thrilled to be returning to stability tomorrow morning! Ps- this postmight come in handy for me this week.
Right: Have you ever wondered what your nude body looks like to other people? I found out- the teeny booty is my favourite part.
“Yes, this is a magical moment for us and I’m glad that us is an ever expanding concept.” –Dallas Clayton
A couple days ago a question asked planted a very uninvited idea in my mind. “Are you just going to spend your entire 20’s in a long distance relationship?”
My entire 20’s…? What a terrifying concept. I hadn’t thought about my age in a long time until that moment. I’m 2 years in to these 20’s and as I’ve said more than once, I often feel more lost than I did when I was a teenager. A few years back I swore I had it all figured out- but now shudder to imagine having acted on those things I thought I wanted when I was 16.. 17.. 18. Will I look back at 22 and be confused by my choices? I don’t know. What I do know is that I am really, really, really in love with someone who is really, really, really good to me. Someone that says things like “you wanna take a bath or something?” and swears I make him better. So why shouldn’t I have my head in the clouds? Why shouldn’t I bet against the odds in this long distance relationship? If this is the decade where we’re ‘supposed’ to do all the things, see all the places and experience everything- why should love be excluded from that?
– I have read this over and over and am still so inspired
– I need this on a shirt. And a hat. And a mug.
-If looking to Milhouse for vegan inspiration is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
– My last cloudy post, here.
This post isn’t about gumballs, but how much fun was my mini-series last week? It was incredibly satisfying to make something that people liked. I think I was born to love and create.
I’m finding that all I want to talk about lately is books and vegetables and I’m actually not sorry about that at all. This excerpt from the book Eating Animals stuck with me, I think it contains something big and important.
“Why is taste, the crudest of our senses, exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other senses? If you stop to think about it, it’s crazy. Why doesn’t a horny person have as strong a claim to raping an animal as a hungry one does to killing and eating it? And how would you judge an artist who mutilated animals in a gallery because it was visually arresting? How riveting would the sound of a tortured animal need to be to make you want to hear it that badly? Try to imagine any end other than taste for which it would be justifiable to do what we do to farm animals.”
I get that it’s graphic and bold- but it holds a lot of validity. As humans we tend to put our blinders on to the ugly stuff and I’ve been inspired to take mine off. I’ve coasted through the last 9 months of vegetarianism with the mindset of “I don’t want to push my views on anyone,” but the more I learn, the more I actually do.
If you’re having a hard time relating, check out this recipe for sautéed dog meat. What do you feel? I’m genuinely curious.
Any creative person has probably fallen in to the “everything has been done before” slump at some point. Today I am so inspired by the creativity of others that reminds me “no it hasn’t,” and by anyone brave enough to pursue even the smallest slice of their dreams.
Top Left: I came across this instagram account run by Marjorie Lacombe. She’s in the midst of a photo series called “Watch It!” where she explores how many things she can fit on a watch (so far she’s done limes, peanut butter and jelly, eggs, sprinkles, sequins, ravioli, pom-poms) and the photos are so pleasing for the eyeballs.
Top Right: Is there anything happier than little baby surfers in your morning coffee? (104 days till summer!)
Bottom Left: A quick peek at my inspiration-board will tell you I am reeeeally drawn to creative nudity and mixed media, so naturally this is one of my favourites from a photo series by Mashara Wachjudy called “Ladies of the Land“.
Bottom Right:Tim and I talk a lot about the fearlessness that comes with childhood. I have a million and one memories of being a careless little kid, riding the rides at the amusement park with no fear and complete trust in the carnies who put them together. I envy that feeling now when I find myself ferociously scribbling new additions to my list of worries (aka not trusting the carnies of life- ha!). I made a note for myself to remember that when the days feel too grey and everything feels bad it probably means I have slipped up on celebrating all the little things that I preach. Like this. And this. Or these. Or this.