I am absolutely one of those people that is super affected by their environment and by their surroundings. When life is a bit crazy, (as life nearly always is isn't it?) and if my most intimate environment is crazy too it's not long before I, myself, turn into a bit of a mess.
I think it is important to have a space, even if it is only small, that you can call your own. A place to keep things of both much importance and of very little importance. I love living in our new place. So much freedom.When we first looked at the house as potential renters I spotted this little nook right away. It's really a bit of a non-space. Juan and I wanted the bedroom to be simply a bed and a place to watch movies. DONE. no clutter. easier to fall asleep at night. DONE. Then Juan's line of work makes it pretty important that he has his own study/studio. I'm cool with that. DONE. The kitchen's the kitchen, the lounge is the lounge and then there's this little area right opposite the top of the stairs.. an area to put my space? DONE. I baggsied it then and there and it's turned out to be perfect.
Very simple and very little fuss but I've managed to fill it with just enough positive and creative inspiration to inspire me to well, be positive and creative. (Along with having space to conduct the odd bit of occasional billing paperwork and the not so occasional homework sesh.)
On the wall; Two small poster boards with a few special tickets, some old letters/postcards from last year and a sunflower tea light my mum gave me. Next to this; an issue of blogosphere hanging from a binder clip. On the desk; A few special notepads, one from my mother with a map of London on it and one bought for me by my husband on our honeymoon. My prose diary. My most useful book; "A Concise History of Opera" amongst a few trinkets given to me by my best friend Lucy and my two favourite cameras. A Polaroid bought for me one Christmas by my dear friend Dani and the other given to me this last Christmas by Juan Carlos. Beautiful things from beautiful people that love me.
To sound braggy really isn’t my intention here! I also do not intend to come over at all materialistic. I have realized, more especially since moving away from home, that there is something wonderful about objects of meaning and attachment and that they can invoke surprisingly strong feelings of positivity. For me, these small things help keep me saner and help me to simply -- just feel happier.
I was also very lucky that Juan Carlos found a new desk for his study and decided to give me his old one along with his old piano keyboard. (It's been a long time since I've made any music.) There is also a beautiful little window overlooking some trees situated to the left that acts as a perfect muse. Creative space creates creative thinking and helps to keep your mind decluttered. And it's really simple to achieve. A few personal objects and anything that makes you feel calm - and if looking at something chaotic helps you feel that way then create that too!! There is no limit to what you can do and you can do it with so little and within the teeniest of spaces.. So go.. create-to-create.
In my late teens I loved dressing. Cute summer dresses, disgustingly floral shirts and pretty much anything that was under a fiver from my local charity shop. It was all just very fun to me at that time. Then after 6 years of having to make practical dress decisions over fun ones - due to my line of work at the time - and a couple of bad break ups later - I'd lost my lust for anything to do with style, fashion, and even basic make-up use. I was lost.
Since getting married though and moving to the States I've managed to find a bit of life in that area again and I'm loving it. Weird, when I think about it, as I'm pretty sure that stereotypically once you get married aren't you meant to let yourself go a bit?!!
I don't know. I think maybe my perspective is based on the concept that because I feel more comfortable with myself, I therefore feel motivated to care more about how I present myself. I think another part that comes into it is being able to look nice for your partner too.
I think this can be such a controversial topic. But let me explain. I know there are many out there that would say 'it shouldn't matter what you look like - your partner should always love you, be attracted to you, etc. etc. no matter what' and yes, for the most part I agree with that - however, there is nothing wrong with keeping things fresh for each other. Isn't it nice when your partner tells you that you look good today or when you see your partner looking good and are reminded of a more romantic notion - something other than, I wonder if they changed their socks or brushed their hair this morning? (this is not me picking solely on my husband by the way, I am an absolute culprit for skipping the hairbrush some mornings)
One of my favourite quotes that sums this concept up quite nicely is from one of the lds church officials who says 'even an old barn can look better for a lick of paint'. I just love this statement, and really that's kind of my ultimate point with this.
Plus. dressing is fun.
My day now starts at either 7.30 or 8.30 mon-fri and I've found that getting dressed has turned into a small 'getting-out-of-bed' motivation for me. It does also help that we now have a whole space dedicated to getting dressed. I've also managed to collect a lot of second hand clothes over the past year and a half from various friends and family and I love the challenge that comes with 'how to wear something that wasn't originally bought by/for you'. And then mixing it with something super random, an old bag, a distinguishingly vibrant lipstick or a random piece of jewelry. Every day is different and it's absolutely ridiculous how what you wear effects not only your own mood but how the people around you respond to you.
I'm currently studying as a voice major and get to go to all these choirs and different classes like opera workshop etc. which quite frankly, what better excuse to dress a little more outlandishly. Studying something like opera definitely gives you an excuse to wear long dresses and super baggy shawl-like clothing.
I want to make my disclaimer now and tell you that I absolutely do not consider myself to have good fashion sense, or any fashion sense, for that matter. But I am dressing like me again, and that feels great!
Being dressed like yourself can make all the difference to your temperament. You just have to find what that means for you. I also think it's interesting to add, and without going into too much detail, that as a member of the lds church, I am required to dress with certain standards. These standards mainly effect modesty, based on not showing too much skin; that kind of thing. I am not going to lie to you; sometimes I find this quite difficult. Especially in the hot weather when I just want to wear something cool; a strappy dress or a pair of daisy dukes but just recently I've started to embrace the modesty of it all and have decided not see it as a limitation but as a stylistic challenge.. oh fancy phrase..
dressing fun and loving it. I invite you to join in on the clothe fest with me;)
Brit. U.S.resident. Lover of Opera. Believer of dreams.