In typical Londoner fashion, I instinctively put aside whatever it is that I'm doing to step outside as soon as a sunny day presents itself. It hurts too much to waste a beautiful day cooped up indoors, especially considering how gloomy the weather is most of the time. The last couple of weeks have been exceptionally gorgeous with the abundance of blossoms everywhere (sponsored by a very generous springtime) and this is the first of many looks to come that I've shot in London's stunning parks.
On this afternoon, Trishna and I visited Broadway Market, where we stuffed our faces with street food and fresh fruits before deciding that we definitely needed to walk it out. We strolled along Regents Canal, trying our best not to get knocked down by cyclists, till we arrived at the ridiculously scenic Victoria Park. After an hour of soaking in the sun, close encounters with goose droppings, running away from bees and getting our stuff slobbered over by a naughty pug named Stewart, it was time to head back and hit the books. Because life *insert shrug emoji here*.
“Let there be no scales to weigh your un-known treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.”
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Last spring, I drove down south with Melody to visit this breathtaking place - the Seven Sisters cliffs. Best two and a half hour drive ever. If you're ever traveling to London, you should definitely think about seeing the chalk cliffs.
Being surrounded by nature as far as the eye can see, with little trace of human presence, is without a doubt one of the most incredible sensations I've ever felt. We were really lucky that it was a quiet day and we got the entire beach to ourselves. It's exciting and makes your heart flutter, but at the same time instills tranquility in your soul. It's a reminder that harmony exists in this universe. It's a reminder that I am a small, ephemeral fixture on this land. And even smaller are my problems.
Looking out into the sea, I realise that it has no beginning, no end. Boundless. Despite the chaos of crashes and sprays of salt, it is inherently serene. Each flowing body of water is somehow connected to one another, and they connect the rest of the world. Like the unfathomable depth of the oceans, the potential each and every one of us hold inside ourselves knows no bounds.
Whatever we seek without, can be unearthed within.
Shot at Seven Sisters Country Park, Sussex.
As we enter a new year full of hope and revived vigour (and a few extra kilos), here's something to consider - are we getting too comfortable in our lives?
Let me explain. Resting on one's laurels never gets them too far ahead. If we don't ever leave our comfort zones, we remain stagnant. How then can we possibly expect to propel ourselves towards whichever direction we're aiming for? By now I've deduced that I'm a person who, probably out of fear, tends to steer clear of change. I've repeatedly closed myself off to new possibilities and new ideas over the last several years. I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who feels this way. We know what we want but never allow ourselves to seek it out. As the cliché goes, you are the only person standing in your way is you. Or rather, your resistance to change.
Only in the last four months or so have I decided it's time to face life's only inevitable constant and proactively push myself to feel uncomfortable. It may sound strange, but discomfort really is a great catalyst for gaining knowledge. You get opportunities to see the world from a different perspective. So take that chance and cross new lines.
By mid-December, it's not very often that we get to see London drenched in beautiful sunlight. In fact, most days I can barely see a few hundred feet ahead of me with all the fog. So when the sun does come out, I rejoice. When it shines, I shine too. There's something about a sunny morning that makes want to jump out of bed and get going. It makes me feel optimistic. It gives me hope. And let me tell you... Optimism is a very hard thing to find right now. I don't know if it's because I've become more proactive in learning about the world or because the world really has gotten so bad in the last twelve months. I'm hoping it's the former and that ignorance has let me live so blissfully thus far.
If you've kept up with current affairs, you'll know that this year has been a devastating one, to say the least. From Brexit, the US presidential election and the onslaught of bigotry it's brought about, to all that is happening to innocent people around the world. Beyond the comforts of our four walls, the world is experiencing its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. I will not get into the details of it, because to adequately tackle such a topic is simply beyond me. What I will tell you is this - be aware and be positive. Learning about the injustices around the world is difficult for me, because it makes me feel so helpless... However, I've learnt that all change begins with the smallest of intentions. As individuals, spreading positivity is the least we can do. Be kind, be understanding, be loving - but neither does that mean you should sit down quietly and take it when you witness something you cannot and should not tolerate. Raise your voice, get angry. You will find other like-minded individuals and you will be heard. In the dark, we ourselves must shine and be the light,
Shot at Notting Hill, London.
Photo assistance - Andrea Cheong
Wearing: Zara - Embroidered jacket // Uniqlo - Turtleneck HeatTech // C/MEO Collective - Jeans // Alexander McQueen - Patent leather skull slippers // Chanel - Wallet on chain
A couple of weeks ago, Trish and I decided to explore South Kensington, in search of this insta-legendary wall of scarlet leaves. Needless to say, it was a success. Kynance Mews is by far one of the most photo-worthy spots in London, at least on a gloomy autumn day. That's what I love about this city, you never know where you're going to run into a delightful little corner.
On another note, lately I've been questioning the lengths I go to for my blog posts. Why am I doing what I'm doing? Yes, on one hand I want to share my experiences and journeys, but so does everybody else. That's what social media is for. I started to think back to what inspired me to start blogging in the first place. I remember when I would spend most of my time online admiring the most wondrous blogs, like Gary Pepper Girl and Missing Avenue. The photos created and the stories shared, they filled me with wonder and excitement. Five minutes on either of those blogs and I felt so inspired to not only go out and explore, but to create. And that's when I realised that I wanted to make others feel the same way that I felt. So I hope that I'm on the right path, that I've instilled some form of inspiration in at least one of you. But if not, tomorrow is a new day to try again and better myself.