i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

paper dolls

We are not paper dolls
We are not
One-size-fits-all

We are unique
We are flawed
We are beautiful

We are human

We are not cookie-cutter cut outs
All smooth edges and perfect lines
We are not identical,
carbon copies
all produced on an assembly line

We are square pegs
in round holes
We are dissonant chords

And if we all sang
the same song
We’d be bored before too long

We are harmony
We are colours of the spectrum
We are prisms of light
We are scars
We are battles that
we’ve lost
and wars we rage
silently inside

We are loud
We scream out
We are not paper dolls
We are collections
of our fears, of our strengths
of our bravery and our tears

We are not perfect
and that’s exactly what makes us
Perfect.

We are proud
We are enough
We are worth it

we are worth it
we are worth it
we are human
we are worth it

© cjh
september 8, 2013

inspire me

Where do you find inspiration?

Is it in the sky? On the ground? The people around you?

Do you look at a sunset and it takes your breath away?

Do you listen to the trees and hear the stories they whisper to the air?

Do you spend your days with your head in the clouds, watching them slowly change shape and create something new with each wisp of the wind?

Do you draw your inspiration from friends and strangers? People watch and create their stories in your mind?

Do you ever wonder what the stories are behind windows and doors? Watch people in their cars as they drive by and wonder, are they happy? Do they hurt? Is there joy or sadness?

What inspires you?

I have a folder in my feed reader titled “Inspiration”. I started it when I wasn’t sure where to fit some of the blogs I was reading occasionally that filled me with a sense of wonder. These occasional haunts weren’t quite right for the “Random” folder I had set up. There was something different about these blogs, something brighter.

My Inspiration folder has a variety of subjects within it. Writing, running, fashion, crafting. Not all of the blogs within that folder are subject-specific, but they have something about them that fills me with… something. Feeling. Ideas. Dreams? I can scroll through the unread posts in that folder and get something from them that helps me take another breath, encourages me to go forward. Makes me feel like I can accomplish things.

One of the worst things for me about having worked in an office admin job for so long is the lack of creativity. I feel dull and heavy so often. There isn’t as much room to really create in that environment. There’s not much room for inspiration. I can cover my space in colours, stars and glitter only so much and it helps. But the space outside of that is still cold and grey. The work isn’t colourful and full of life. At first I could still come home and feel like creating and singing and drawing and just doing something artistic, but now? All of these years have chipped away at the core of me and I find it more and more difficult to tap into that space within. The space that needs nurturing and attention.

And I become restless and cranky. My body electric. Anxious. Out of tune.

But this summer I found that I was able to capture that little spark once in a while and fan it just enough to occasionally ignite the fire within. As I have been running (so weird to even say that) I find I become inspired to do MORE once I am back home. I am removing the dull, grey film from my soul while out there and suddenly I am finding cracks of light shining through. As I remove the stress of the day and the anxieties from this year, it’s like I am cleaning smudges from old windows and letting the sun through. Flowers will bloom and grass will grow and maybe I’ll feel more like myself again.

I read through my Inspiration folder and I find others like me. I find I am dreaming once more. Not as many nightmares but more hopeful, happy dreams. I will create. I will write. I will sing. (I will learn how to use Garage Band on this macbook and possibly record some of my songs? Maybe?)

I am now carrying around my paper journal, despite how heavy my bag has become. (Much to the chagrin of my shoulder.) I am writing with pen and paper more often and that is helping me almost as much as the running. School starts again in a week and even though I am only taking one course a semester, that course is forcing me to CREATE as I hand in assignments and projects. This semester will be all about sales & marketing for book publishers – which is what I want to eventually transition to career-wise – and it will be a lot of work (I am sure) and I will doubt myself (because that’s how I do school) and in the end, I will look back at what I created and what I learned and I will feel much more inspired about things.

So to those bloggers who write blogs that inspire me. Thank you. I will continue to have my soul sigh at a beautiful sunset. I will continue to doodle in my paper agenda. I will doodle and spit out words in purple, pink and green ink in my journal and I will blog and run and try to find some sort of creative outlet in my dull, grey job.

I will always look for something new to inspire me. I want you to inspire me. Of course, you already do.

august nostalgia

Sometimes I dream outfits so vivid and real that I am certain I have them in my closet. It’s never the case. This time I had a vivid dream of a burgundy blazer over a burnt orange top, paired with a plaid kilt in mustard yellow, charcoal grey and burgundy. It was so vivid I HAD to draw it, even though I haven’t drawn in over 10 years. (And never mind that I can’t draw feet, ok?)*

I have always loved August. I don’t know why exactly, I think it’s the light. August is always golden and warm. It’s not quite autumn but you know it’s on the way. Magazines and circulars are full of Back to School supplies and clothes and I used to love – LOVE! – when my August edition of YM magazine (and sometimes Seventeen) would arrive and I would hungrily look through the pages mentally shopping for my new clothes. The clothes that would make a New Me come the start of school at the end of the month.

A New Me never happened, of course. But there’s something hopeful and magical about getting new clothes at the start of a school year that makes you feel new. Even though once you walk through the doors into the school halls you always walk and everything stays the same, there’s something in the air. Everything smells new. Everything feels new. Everyone has new clothes, school bags, pencils, pens, locker decor.

Man, I miss locker decor. They have some awesome things now to put inside your locker. But I loved having my magnetic mirror, and collages of boy bands, friends and ads from magazines that made my day dreams soar. (What was it about Love’s Baby Soft perfume that made everything feel possible?! Also, I totally loved that particular ad.) Sometimes I really wish I had a locker at work. I don’t have an office or anywhere to hang my coat, because I have a stupid open concept thing, but a locker would be awesome. They make wall paper for the inside of your locker now. LOCKER WALL PAPER, PEOPLE!

I have always said that August and September mark a New Year to me way more than January 1st does. A lot of this stems from how much of an emotional impact my school years hold on me and the rest happens to be because I went from being a student to working in a school environment so I have pretty much been living an Academic Year since 1980. To me the year always goes from August – July.

Ah, August. Golden light, softer focus, stores chalk full of sweaters, wool skirts and scarves. Burgundy, gold, plum, navy blue, charcoal grey. Plaid. These are the colours of August in my mind. These are the colours that fill me up with anticipation of new things to come. These are the colours that swirl around and around behind my eyelids when I close my eyes at night. These colours smell crisp and clean. Safe. Solid.

The days are shorter and this makes me sad. The sun sets earlier and earlier but everything is enveloped in a warm, golden hue. I don’t even like the colour gold but I do in August. It’s thick and deep like honey. It’s sweet.

It’s hope.

I am often sad about the fact that I don’t really get to participate in Back to School sales now. I don’t go through school supplies like I used to. I don’t really need a pencil case anymore and I don’t need new notebooks or pens. I would LIKE them, yes. But I do not require them to go through my day-to-day business.

But my need to draw the outfit I dreamed the other night was SO STRONG it had me searching through boxes for my old pencil crayons and when I determined that I didn’t have them anymore (well, I have some stubs of colours I never used very often) I NEEDED to go out and BUY PENCIL CRAYONS NOW! OMG! So I was about to hop in the car all by my lonesome, but Shawn came with me at the last minute. Something about him not trusting me on my own in the office supply store. I haven’t a clue what that’s all about. *cough*

And we got there and the parking lot was packed. PACKED. And I realized… we were out there, at Bureau En Gros (Staples to the rest of North America) and it was 4:30 pm. On a Monday. On the Eve of Back to School week. Oops. One forgets things like date and time when one is on vacation and completely oblivious to what the heck day it is.

We braved the crowds of screaming babies and harried parents and I got my pencil crayons. And blank paper. And a binder to put the paper in, like I used to have when I was a teenager and used to draw all the time. And I bought an eraser. And some $1 folders for the office and it was whimsical and magical and everything I ever wanted.

I love the smell of new school supplies in the evening, or morning. Or any time, really.

I got my supplies and I came home and went right to the back yard, where I spilled pencil crayons all over the table, opened up my binder and drew for the first time in YEARS. I used to draw all the time. I used to want to make my own clothes – but I am useless with a sewing machine. I used to write, sing, draw. I used to CREATE. I don’t create anymore. Half the time I think of blog posts in the middle of the night as I am trying to sleep. I need to create more. So I followed the impulse, spent money we don’t actually have to spend on things I didn’t technically need, but my soul needed them. The gnawing feeling of HAVING to draw this blazer outfit was making my entire body vibrate. I needed to do this to calm my nerves. To humour the muse who abandoned me so long ago, but occasionally comes back violently and sudden. I have to listen to her because she won’t quiet down until I do.

And August makes me feel things. So many, many things. Vivid things. In warm, honey-golden waves. I need to listen to August because it’s a month of rebirth for my entire being. I even bought a paper agenda for this year. I am embracing the school kid I hated myself for being back then. I am loving her now.

August through July, yo! Fo’eva.

I need to tap into all that raw energy I used to exude when I was in high school and college. I need to tap into it without awakening the Major Depression Beast that lurks deep inside me. I often worry the energy and creativity was completely woven into the Depression but I want to try to pry them apart. I miss the creative. It’s like a black hole within me that sucks all the magic and wonder from everything and I am left with only a husk of cynicism and find no joy in anything.

August makes me want to create and battle my demons to save my muse and allow her to embrace the golden, burning ember days of August. I wish I could bottle that feeling and smell that those three little words, “Back to School” bring out in me. I wish I could hold on to it all year. Sort of like the whimsy of Christmas. I can’t. I know this, because I have tried.

But this August? This August I will allow parts of me to emerge that have been dormant for too long. This August I will embrace the hope and anticipation that I would feel from browsing those pages of YM magazine. I, too, am going back to school in a way. Both through work and by taking the third course in my Certificate program (OMG, class starts on Sept. 7! I am so not ready to give up my free time again.)

I will face this New Year with bravery and passion and I will allow myself to create and hope and dream and possibly, just possibly, by a really cute new sweater or blazer. Likely in burgundy.

*I have also been envisioning a navy blue dress with white anchors all over it and a bright red belt. I don’t know why. I don’t normally want to wear dresses and never with sailor motif. But, here I am. Wanting a dress with anchors all over it. Someone needs to make me these things.

ignite

Sometimes I can’t sleep
because my head
is filled with
possibilities
so bright and so loud

they keep me awake
my whole being vibrates
resonates

the excitement of the unknown
and the anticipation
of what could be

I’m surprised that it doesn’t
wake up the entire
neighbourhood
with its noise

possibilities
ignite
the dark of
night

truly outragous: one girl’s dream

When I was a kid, I was shy, nervous, anxious, worried that everyone hated me and I loved to SING. Between the ages of 9-12 there was one cartoon on TV that just made everything bad in my life go away. Jem and the Holograms was my solace and my dream. I used to play dress-up with my friends and I’d be Jem and they’d be my holograms. I had Jem dolls (my sister has Misfits, I think?). Jem was my dream, my inspiration. I wanted to BE her when I was a kid.

Jem sang. She had magic (well, holograms that seemed like magic). Synergy was beautiful and purple and could fly. Jem and her Holograms has brightly coloured hair. They were AMAZING!

If only real life was like Jem and the Holograms – with less orphaned kids and people always trying to kidnap and kill the orphans. (Zipper! Seriously! What was your deal with the always wanting to burn the orphans up? Therapy was obviously needed in your life.)

I never liked the Misfits much. I liked Stormer, with her blue hair and raspy voice, but I think that’s because she was the Misfit with the heart of gold. She was nice deep down. Not like Pizzazz and Roxy.

I always thought Rio was rather dumb not knowing that Jerrica and Jem were the same person. Heck, they SOUNDED the same. Also, he was kind of a jerk dating both of them and not telling either one about the other. (So many others in that sentence.) Often Jerrica or Jem would get jealous of the time he’d spend with one over the other and then I thought Jerrica/Jem was the stupid one because SHE could SOLVE HER OWN PROBLEM by just TELLING Rio the truth. I mean, really!

Showtime, Synergy!
(This is my favourite Jem dress ever. EVER!)

So, when I went to bleach the purple and pink out of my hair two weeks ago, in order to change it to something totally different and then discovered that the bleach had turned the purple light pink…

I looked in the mirror and thought, “Oh my gosh, I feel like my Jem doll from the 80s!” And as much as I worried I couldn’t pull off pink (and bleach blonde) hair, I kept it for a while (because the Internet told me to) and it’s grown on me. I felt like my childhood idol. I felt truly outrageous!

And then I found these on Etsy from a store in Sweden…

SuzywanDELUXE etsy shop  – making childhood dreams come true

And I knew I needed to own them. They were $20 and shipping was only $5 from SWEDEN. And, Internet? They were shipped on Thursday last week and they arrived TODAY. Even better, I am home today so I was able to get them moments after they were deposited into my mailbox and then rip open the shiny envelope and… look at them! LOOK AT THEM! They are awesome.

And now I, Internet, I am TRULY OUTRAGEOUS!

(and yes, I added more pink to my hair, thinking it would come out a little less bright. Now I have more Kimber hair than Jem hair… I shall bleach it a little more to lighten it. Truly outrageous hair is hard to capture…)

I figure, why not keep the pink hair a little longer, and get the earrings to match, right? Might have taken me almost 30 years to make this dream come true, but I’m totally going to milk it while I can.

Now I just need that record deal. Anyone? Anyone?