Mount Moments 10…

 

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19.06.18

Rise and breathe fire, however timid the flame, a simmer even is a victory to you, gentle one…

…Today when they talked, all easy chat and arrogant air, I managed to bend my focus away from their faces and instead tuned into their words. Pretty people bare flaws too, pretty people bury self doubt beneath carefully presented layers, pretty people are not always pretty souls. The universe is at play. lies are told, I am not my features and neither are they.

Today I chatted to two very handsome men, with no stutters, fumbles or fiery cheeks. Today I made myself proud.

(I almost didn’t share this entry. It’s embarrassing to admit really but something I struggled with a lot up until recently. Attractive people used to make me feel like less of a person and that is outrageous but, sadly, not an uncommon factor in many peoples lives. I talked about this very thing with a close friend recently and had to post this because it’s so important to be honest with one another and find some kind of shared experience in it.)

23. 06. 18

You’ve been lost for so long that you begin to wonder if there really is such a thing as found. You become your monsters, your fear, your doubt. You become a shell of someone you can vaguely recall in rose tinted memory but fail to piece together as a whole image, let alone a tangible woman. It breaks you, it claims you entirely and reduces you to time blunted shards, impossible to build, untarnished, again.

30.06.18

On a bus again, a plane again, feeling that thrill of living again. I see Melli at the airport and this light fills my chest, I slowly ease back into that best me: reckless, young and brave. From that moment until  my departure there’s a current consuming me that I should never allow myself to live without. I’ve been so severe on myself in these past months, unkind in the way I’ve allowed my happiness to rot. I promise never to be so careless again.

07/07/18

1 Month until home.

I can’t recall ever being vaguely excited, let alone ecstatic, about returning to Newcastle. Maybe it’s that the parents have no clue I’m headed back, or the relief of accepting the nagging urge I’ve had for months now to return to England, or maybe it’s just the ever giving gift of being on the move, of the unknown future and embarking on another great quest. But just in case, if future me is reading this, this ones for you:

You will romanticise this period in your life, you might regret the decision to leave, perhaps you’ll exaggerate the exhilarating snippets of the mediocre whole (like I know you to do so well) and god were there some wondrous moments. Worst of all, it will be the people you’ll regret leaving, forgetting that they too will have moved on, either physically or in some other inevitable development of life. Regardless, all of this will happen as you expel the awful recollection of the grittier realities. I hate to remind you of the consuming loneliness, the constant anxiety, the sense of losing yourself when that’s the one concrete thing you should always have to depend on. Instead please take this as a thank you to yourself, a reminder that home was everything you needed right now. That I’m so proud of you for admitting the problem to yourself, for being brave enough to book that flight and that it was the most perfect act of self care. I hope you’re well, that you’re happy and that our next adventure brought so much more growth and love.

This little series probably got the most attention on my blog. Of course it wasn’t all of the nitty gritty parts of my journal but it’s been an odd kind of release to publicly share some of the elements of me that I’ve been so careful to hide away for so long. This year has been a huge struggle but now I’m back home in Newcastle, England, and have been for over a month and though I’m already plotting my next escape I’m happy and hopeful in the present. There are more entries from my time in New Zealand but 10 seems an appropriate time to finish and the last entry I’ve shared is a lovely little conclusion. As with all of my decisions in life I’m grateful that this one happened, mostly because the people I met in Mount Maunganui were some of the most inspirational but also because I managed to surprise myself, again with how much I fight through the fear even when it almost cripples me. To all of those other souls out there suffering at the hands of your own head, or heart, I hope you’re aware of just how courageous you are, how impossibly brilliant it makes you to go through all you do and still get on with things, no matter how mediocre they seem.

Love and Light, N x

 

Manchester on Film…

 

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Funny how a city can host a personality before you’ve even visited. Alive in a picture of people who’ve existed there, bands rooted there, a history learnt though documentaries on times long passed.

Manchester begins in dribs and drabs of estate housing and graffiti-ed red brick, a lineage of its industrial past. But there’s a certain warmth in the grottiness, maybe it’s the familiarity to me, that I can relate it to the streets I grew up in back in Newcastle.

I meet Amy and we play a game of musical chairs: alternative bars and cafe eats, vegan diners and dive bars, catching up on the year that’s passed like no time passed at all. A friend like a sister, a soul piece, a revelation. We’re well and tipsy and happy to be in the city discussing the deepest things in life: love, ambition, purpose and growing up. It’s been six years since we were let loose on the world, finding a grounding companionship on that first night of university. We haven’t changed much but then we’re completely different people, it’s a weird place your twenties.

Film camera tour stops, another cheeky brew at Jimmy’s, spontaneous tattoo’s and canal side goodbyes. It’s short and sweet and nothing spectacular at all yet I leave a piece of me there in the heart of Manchester and watch as those same red brick factories and terrace houses pass me by.

There’s something very humble about being back in England. An appreciation I failed to have before but I’m proud of where I’m from, not for the politics, for the societal decay but for the people up in these Northern towns, of the grafters, the artists, the people who paint the streets with their wild. We’ve got a riotous little core and theirs pride to be had in that.

Love & Light, N x

Mount Moments 09…

 

 

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12.06.18

Meditation. Focus on breath and body, those two components as a unity. A gentle practice but with unruly, forced intentions. I urge it to fix me. When it gets to the moment when my guide suggests I allow my mind to wander where it likes, I’m taken to a green meadow scattered with blossoms, an array of colours against a healthy green. It isn’t a tame lawn but a wild garden. I’m younger here, sprawled on my back in the midst of it all, all alone but content in the solitude, bathed in the warmth of the setting sun.

So this is where my mind wishes to reside? A reprieve from the hurricane thoughts I subject it to, soaking up the serenity I deprive it of. It doesn’t matter how much I push for that control I just cannot attain it, and the realisation of that swells in my chest, my careful breathing falls erratic and tears emerge from some shuttered space inside. It hurts me some, that I’m the one damaging myself whilst being the only one who can save myself.

15.06.18

Another adventure with El. A bundle of laughs but a lot of heart opening too. I need to get a handle on that, I’m anxious I’m becoming a bit of a burden to be around. But these people, just strangers three months ago, can’t even begin to understand the security I feel, admitting my darkness and catching a sweet glimpse of release. People hold so much power, even when they don’t realise it.

17.06.18

Paula retells her engagement with the sweetest of indulgence. There’s something timid about it, like it takes a lot for her to share this precious moment and I hang on every word she says. She’s sun kissed from her time on the island sure, but the blissful expression is something else entirely. A fraction more warmth, a little bit subdued. Paula is a romantic. gentle and kind and someone maybe a little too good for most people in this world. But it’s that tenderness that makes you triumphant that good things are happening for her, she deserves all of the pleasures in life.

18.06.18

We discuss energy and presence and manifesting your dreams like it’s small talk. I’ve known Paige for barely anytime at all, yet we discuss elements of life I barely even touch upon with life long friends. It’s odd to me that Paige doesn’t see the world as a ruthless place arranged by obstacles but instead a challenge of a platform from which we can communicate strength to mend each other in unity and conjure some kind of equilibrium. She’s a careful and grounded structure to my restless flighty one, a beacon of wisdom in this riot of obscurity.

Light & Love, N x

Glasgow on Film…

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The nostalgia of the train journey from Newcastle to Edinburgh. Memories planted with the wildflowers in the country. The incomparable sweetness of reuniting with a friend who beams, always, like sunshine. The magic of childish giddiness that keeps you from sleep.

The calm of belonging walking through Glasgow, that liveliness that exalted you on your last trip four years ago. The music: buskers around every corner, vinyl stores, advertisements for bands big and small, venues aplenty. From the uniform Britishness of the city center, to dilapidated store fronts, businesses too poor to prosper, to quaint hipster cafe’s and picturesque town houses. The levels of a city baring the trail of time.

Drunk in the sunshine. A parade of decorated bodies, slurred lyrics and mosh pits. The unity of strangers in the sunset light screaming lyrics to a song you know so well, but which takes on whole new meaning in the moment. The heart surge when the intro to your favourite song starts.  Jumping and losing your mind like you’re fourteen again at your first ever concert, of your most favourite band. That naive certainty that your whole world exists in this songs course. The frantic debrief afterward. Weary and strolling through the city streets, your mate squatting for a piss on the side of the road, chip shop chips, zonking out as soon as your fuzzy head hits the pillow.

More reunions with friends who seem fictional now, existing somewhere that isn’t the world you created together on the other side of the world. The simple contentment of eating good food and chatting good chats. The gratitude that consumes you, being surrounded by inspirational humans that make you believe the world might just be wonderful.

The rarity of a full heart rather than a heavy one as you say “See you later”, because you don’t really believe in the definiteness of goodbye anymore, and hop on the train home, excited to be back in a city that filled you with nothing but dread for so many years.

These shots were taken on a disposable with Ilford black and white film, and whilst the disposable was fun I’d prefer the freedom and the skill involved in an actual film camera, so if you have any advice for beginners I am so very super keen to hear it!  Annnnnd on another note if you ever get the chance to see Catfish and the Bottlemen live, run with it, even if you have to sneak into the venue. One of the best live bands I think I’ve ever seen.

Love and Light. N x

15/08/2018…

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My blog these past few weeks has been a little quiet. There have been shifts in my life, both place and state of mind, that have dominated my time. But I’m back at it and feeling a little reflective. My favourite posts have been the Mount Moments series for a while now, a very raw and honest look at life and travel. Now I’m back “Home” in Newcastle, England, and I want to keep that same uncut, artistic, feel to this space. Of course there will be more journeys and certainly more coffee’s but I want to embrace every element as a means to create.

In saying that, here are some very standard, amateur, shots of some pretty wildflowers found on a hike in the Cumbrian countryside.

Light and Love. N x

Mount Moments 07

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05.05.18

How do people make time to settle? Months clip by like meagre days and there’s no second-guessing when your life is passing you by, no settling for a job you hate, a place you can’t grow, people who don’t inspire you. How can you even begin to feel contentment if you don’t give yourself the fundamentals? Surely a basis to bloom, create, go mad with passion and love for all elements of your day to day life, that is the most important ingredient to self-love?

‘If we were meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet.’

08.05.18

Deep chats with empathetic souls. El feels trapped too, wants more than whatever the present has to give. We grab drinks up the road and I chat her ear off, it’s all about idea’s and feelings, the topics that make me think and leave me feeling renewed: politics, feminism, youth, travel, work, philosophy. El is a refreshing change. She’s intelligent, self-aware and she just gets it. I don’t feel pessimistic when we discuss things, more contemplative. It’s the same for all the ladies surrounding me right now. At work, they’re all a force to be reckoned with.

12.05.18

Barred, enclosed in this paracosm,

grey world ignited in rose illusion,

tinted scenes from a novel land

embraced in a fairer story.

14.05.18

You are HERE, in THIS place, with THESE people and THESE opportunities. You have THIS face and THIS body. THESE are your words and your thoughts. NOW is where life is and I hope so ardently that you won’t waste too much more of your life away in that hopeless yearning for another self, time and place.

18.05.18

They approved my second-year work visa, I met the news with no such excitement. Everyone around me is overjoyed, they know how much effort and money went into the application, how daunting the six week wait was to find out the result. But it obviously isn’t what I want. This proves that. But where to next? Home? What’s there?

 

Light and love, N x

 

A Promise to 24…

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You’ve exhausted yourself poor girl. Unable to create yourself like everyone else, unable to stop craving otherwise. You take your circumstance for granted that’s true but it isn’t you, it’s her and still you fail to make peace between the two of you. Of course you only want the best for yourself, a rich tapestry of life. Late nights with the ones you love, to get lost in grand cities, to feel so utterly insignificant that there is nothing to you but complete freedom. You want the world to ravish you and you’ve succeeded mightily at times but this is the year we try to make it stick. – Journal entry

Twenty Four is my wild year, the year I push and push until the paralysis crumbles under the pressure of my ferocity. Every day I’m taking minute steps toward it. I’m hungry for liberation, I never suited this timid creation, not with all of this abundant aspiration, this urgency for living, this need to seek out the characters in the crowd and befriend them.

“I never really understood New Year. To me, my birthday was always my chance to start over or keep on with the good.” – My work boss.

Wellington reminded me of all the things I love about living. Scattered routine, talking late into the night with exceptional humans, dancing around completely oblivious to reality, shitty places painted pretty in shades of memory. I missed my friends, I missed the adventure I came here for. The past few months haven’t defeated me, I’ve defeated me. But I’ve had some crazy reboot, less to do with a birthday and more to do with getting away for a couple days. I never knew a place could be so claustrophobic.

Light and love, N x