You probably don't know who that guy in the image is, but he's the guy that made me buy my first film camera and almost get forced by my dad to come home for spending his money on it. Little did I know that that film camera would become my most precious possession.
I am very, very hungover right now. Lately I've been drinking way too much when I've been going out and waking up very embarrassed from the poor decisions I made. Today has been one of those days and I've been in a pretty melancholy mood because of it. I've been thinking about the big word, life. More specifically, my life and what the heck I'm doing with it. If you don't know me, I'm a pretty ridiculous person and if you've just met me in the past few months, it's very likely that you know me as the drunk girl who is too young. Believe me, it isn't the most ideal impression to leave on someone, especially someone who you might fancy, but it is what it is and I guess I just have to laugh at the situation.
I want a share a little bit about myself, but I am not about to recap last night as an example. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't. So, that leaves me with the other option, recapping the last 14 months, since I've been living in Brooklyn. I figure the best way to tell you who I am, is by telling you about a few experiences that have shaped who I am today.... Well, not today specifically, because that would just be a hungover twat.
This is a photo of me, taken roughly a year ago by my boyfriend at the time. I can see a lot of the 4 year old girl in me in this image and I think it really captures how clueless I was to the fact that this relationship I was in was about to teach me one of the most important life lessons. I had the best time of my life when I was in this relationship and I really was living in the moment, but by living in the "moment", I sort of forgot about "grown up stuff", like what happens when this guy that you are pretty head over heels for has to go back to London and what happens when he never talks to you again.
It wasn't long until I too, had to go home to Australia for the break. This has been the most crucial part of my life so far because long story short, I was going through a pretty tough time in terms of identity, loss of love & the big one, change. Things were changing very fast for me and for the first time, I found myself completely confused and disrupted because up until then, I had been pretty much smooth sailing. Anyway, I'm not going to get into that because that shit was weird. But I'm thankful for the people who made me smile and laugh and then smile and laugh some more.
I headed back to NYC at the end of September, two weeks earlier than I had planned in the hopes that I would feel better and get back into the swing of things. I walked through my front door, threw my bags on the ground, headed for the window and yelled these exact words: "Does anyone wanna get a drink with me?" (Now, I'll remind you of the fact that I'd just been in transit for about 30 hours). Two dudes on the street yelled back, "Yeah!" and off I went, to my favourite bar around the corner from mine with two dudes that had also just met that night. There we were sitting at a bar, all three of us complete strangers to each other.
It was a pretty stupid thing to do, especially because I had just ruined any hope at curing my jet lag, which meant that I'd just set myself up for a few weeks of sleeping issues. Little did I know that this was the least of my problems... I was about to embark on a very foreign journey... Anxiety! Even the word is gross. All of the emotional chaos in my mind that had been built up and pushed down unleashed like a wolf and the next few months was the most challenging few months of my life, but I learnt that the only person who can change the situation was me and instead of getting into this yuckiness, I am just going to say, I did change the situation and I learnt a hell of a lot about myself and my own strengths and weaknesses.
It was the moments like these (in the photographs) and the people that filled those memories that made me feel like my world wasn't completely tipped upside down.
I continued to party hard and surround myself with things and people that made me happy, which I often confused with boys and companionship. However, I was never into boys as much as I was into photography and writing in my journal and these things really inspired me to be happy.
I carried my camera around with me loads and this hobby quickly became my newest obsession. It still is.
By November, I was pretty much back to my ridiculous self and continued to fuck around and have a lot of fun. A few of my closest friends were visiting me in NYC in November and December and I knew that a few more were coming in the next few months too.
I had class six days a week... Yes... On Saturdays, and I was determined to not have my weekly Friday night antics ruined, but this meant that I was lacking a lot of mental clarity on Saturday's... And Sundays... And eventually, Everyday. I felt suffocated by school, especially because it was at this point that I decided that everything I had ever hoped and dreamed of becoming, wasn't acting anymore. This is a big, scary statement because I've wanted to be an actor since I started performing on the coffee table when I was four. But don't worry, I continue to do that anyway.
This picture that Elli took above is pretty significant because at this point, I was really in my quarter life crisis. That book that I'm holding was my "next career move" - The Business of Artist Management. My bag also contained the book, Learn how to speak French: The fast and fun way because I wasn't just determined to be a band manager, I was determined to be a fluent French speaking band manager.
When I wasn't figuring out what the fuck I wanted to do with my life, I was drinking a huge amount of alcohol. My friends were here in NYC and I'm Australian, so of course I was going out every night, going to sleep at 3am and waking up at 7am for class. The lack of clarity I had was enhanced by the fact that I didn't have my bedroom, bed included to myself for 5 weeks straight. Sound stressful yet? Believe me, I was S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D, but I was having a good time, like a really good time. But, I was tired. Really tired.
I needed to be alone.
When my friends left, I finally got the alone time that I deeply craved. Although I love partying and dancing until the sun comes up, I really love to be alone which is something that a lot of people don't know about me. There's nothing like sitting in bed and writing in my journal my deep and dark secrets with my "own thoughts" playlist on shuffle and there's something about commuting alone with my favourite songs in my ears that I find so desirable too. Sometimes I'd find myself sort of forgetting how to stay still. I had been non-stop for so long that to sit down and do nothing on a Friday night was completely unfamiliar to me, which to be honest is still something that I'm working on.
Though I could finally choose whether I wanted someone to share my bed with me or not, I guess a part of me still wanted that connection, or what I thought was connection. I sort of developed a bit of a crush on someone, but I knew that was not what I needed and that I what I really needed was to continue my journey in self-love and mindfulness.
December began and I was getting very excited about my trip to England & Paris with Fints and Yazz. I needed to get on a plane and leave the city because my mind and body needed clarity.
London was a bloody fun time, but it was Paris that I was absolutely in awe with. It was my first time in Europe and I instantly fell in love. It was in Paris where my soul felt most at ease and I didn't feel like going out and getting wasted once. It's an interesting correlation - I spent so much time walking around alone and witnessing the beauty of the city, having my breath taken away from me with the people and architecture, so there was no reason to go out drinking to have fun because I had everything I wanted from the pure simplicity of the city.
I missed NYC a lot and was happy to come home when we did. I was keen to get back into the swing of things, but it's no gentle transition when you arrive in New York. It's more of a throw into the whirlwind of the craziness. This city is both a blessing and curse.
More of my friends were visiting me in NYC, which don't get me wrong, means the world to me, but it also means that I was about to step back into the hectic lifestyle that comes with that and school.
I was back to partying and going out, but I was pretty ready for it and I had such a fucking good time. The things that happen on a night out in NYC are only things that can happen on a night out in NYC, like entering a hole in the ground to a famous speakeasy where a private David Bowie themed party was going on... With an open bar. That's what happened the night that photo above was taken.
I also had some tragic nights where I woke up, like today, feeling embarrassed and stupid. This was mainly due to my poor decision making and marketing of myself, which was mainly due to fact that I still have the hots for the dude I mentioned before. Now, if you throw a great guy in my life, you know I'm going to ruin any possible relationship! (This is my current life lesson that I am learning). I'm pretty hard on myself and sometimes I feel like maybe I am too young for this shit or maybe I'm supposed to be making these mistakes so that one day, I won't wake up hungover and regretful.
So I'm sitting here, feeling hungover and regretful but this time I'm smiling. I have to remember that everyone drinks a little too much sometimes and everyone feels a little embarrassed sometimes, I'm just getting my full dosage now.
Now, while I'm experimenting with alcohol and decision making, I just recently picked up the electric guitar. Which, ironically, was purchased with alcohol in my system, so I guess that was one good decision I made because I can't put it down. I'm not Johnny Winter, but I'm determined to be. You might also note the drum sticks in the corner. Yes, I also picked up drumming last year and yes, I know I'm in my quarter life crisis. Picking up instruments has allowed me the beautiful time to myself and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
So this is where I am today. I kind of forgot what the point of all of this was, but writing this has made me realise that a lot has happened in a year, but everything has happened for a reason and I'm doing okay.