Creative Procrastination is good for you

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The pain of creativity is something I spend countless hours mustering courage to fathom.
A friend of mine seldom speaks of his work kindly both during and post creation, he goes through an internal struggle to piece each part together and then when it all fits his eyes cringe to watch it.
I asked him why he does it, why after the seemingly tumultuous process he then bends to make more time to fulfil another idea that will no doubt put him through the paces of that familiar stress.
He laughs without an answer and we nod on the phone giggling at how stupid we must seem.
His work is always beautiful, whether it be comedic or sentimental, it's always beautiful.
I don't know if his modesty blocks his perception or if he truly doesn't see it- but he still seems compelled to return to it week in week out.

I understand it with great compassion both because I observe a huge chunk of my friends go through the same cycle constantly and because I find myself peddling in it too.
I've always said I love writing but I curse it more often than I praise it, lying on the sofa mid afternoon forcing myself to let my fingers tickle the keyboard uninspired and unsure.
I feel angry at writing, unsettled by language, furious that I can't sing or paint or film - which is silly as I'm sure I'd only feel the same frustration if I could.

It's this kind of angst that sometimes makes me feel untalented but what it should be telling me is that I've not yet earned the right to unlock it all yet.
I'm pulling out saplings that haven't had time to understand their purpose and instruction.

As unstable and as unreliable as a method could be, I've stopped forcing myself to make, which means for now it's not my living. That' s okay. It doesn't feel oaky, it feels lazy, but it is more than perfectly okay.

We are often foolish in that we let our obsession with creation, following the force of sizzling anxiety and adrenaline to put the intangible into a product, take over the bare materials we need to do it well: living. Taking stock and thinking. Reading, watching, crying, eating.
Our brains don't just stop because we're not wrist deep in paint or late night loomed in stanzas.
They're preparing for the next project.
They're recuperating, tidying tiny pieces into their boxes to make enough room to lay out the new ones.

Stop watching the blue line on an empty document dance, put the lens cap back on, let something real bother you.
Let the rain piss you off and Loose Women irritate you, let a boy make you dizzy and your mother feel warm.
Read a book you should've studied or a film you never quite understood.
Hell, go out until three in the morning until life throws something at you that makes you feel something mad.

You'll create when it's right, push yourself when you feel, but don't forget it's okay not to live it all the time.
Stop sprinting for the exhibition, you'll run straight past it. 

A Trip To Paris With The Marriott

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

We arrive in Paris and it's hot. Unusually so.
So much so that everyone we meet errs on telling us that our sweaty upper lips are running with beads of luck. 
I like Paris, the architecture has a charm I think London might have once been on the cusp of attaining but just missed. 
I don't however usually feel all that safe.

My senses are knocked as we're thrown into the back of rickety looking  2CV's and get pushed into the middle of the chaotic chords of traffic with no more than a wary metal frame to separate us. 
The fear doesn't last long as it's almost impossible to allow it, our driver Romain is comfortably sweet with a brilliant british nod to sense of humour and we drive avoiding shade for an hour or so.He takes us past recognised landmarks and through a few I've never seen.

We stop at the top of Montmartre outside Sacré-Cœur and I get my first chance to try my secondary
school French with Emma Pelloux, a beautiful Parisian blogger who scoops me under her wing and recites stories of where she grew up across the view. 
The afternoon beats on and we take refuge at Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero and fill our plates with a buffet of incredible food, gazpacho in glass bubbles and serano ham wrapped in newspapers, the grounds of the hotel are like a tiny oasis that you'd never imagine to stumble upon in the middle of the bustle. 
Blissed out and contented but not for too long as we run straight over filled to the brim to the Grand Palais to gorge on a different sort of treat- Jean Paul Gaultier.
I felt so immersed, so relaxed, so ready to take on my own Paris adventure and pushed ahead from the group to reinvent myself as a chic arty local (far from the sticky, sweaty tourist I looked) and glided around the halls.
The evening in short was perhaps the happiest I'd felt all year.
We checked into the Renaissance L'arc De Triomphe, cooled down and headed to the roof terrace for champagne and dinner cooked by this insatiably hot chef who'd won the Euro version of Master Chef.
The champagne continued, a confident Charly Cox paraded, I waved goodbye to the english language and exercised whatever drunken french I could muster. 
We went on a magical after dark tour of the city that I flinched at people watching through a screen, my camera stayed firmly in my bag and I wandered through it all with a drink in hand knowing I'd possibly never get to see anything this special again. 

Ending up in Paris' version of Mahiki I was sceptical, but we celebrated on at new friendships and a successfully organised day and as the others started to flit back to their beautiful hotel rooms I stayed out with one lovely french man to be greeted with Kool and The Gang performing a set.

Kool and the god damn GANG!!!!!
I danced, I danced, I danced, until he reminded me I had a 7:30am Eurostar to catch and he walked me home.
We stopped in the middle of the street, the chaos from earlier asleep, to stand in the rain. 
He kissed me opposite L'Arc De Triomphe and I officially became whatever sophisticated Parisian woman I'd hoped I would before I arrived. 
It should merely be a dream, but for some strange reason, reality granted me a very special few days.
Thank you Marriott, for changing my perceptions of Paris and showing me the best side of travel.

Not Coming Out

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Infatuated by falling in love, I am often the carrier and crisis of my own romantic adventures and tragedies.
From my first heartbroken nosebleed, to the wine washed poetry that proceeds it proudly, the excitement and relativity I feel when getting to know and later idolising a human being is one of which I have the most spiritual space and time for. 
Locking eyes from across a bar or four am instant messages, there is a frightening honesty entwined within the face value and personal discovery of fancying another person that can be easily misconstrued for lust or hormonal confusion. I enjoy it, I relish it, I continue to seek it out in whichever thorny path I must trudge to see it- regardless of gender.

In the past I have been poked at for making connections very easily (something I don't think should be ridiculed) that I treat whoever is interested as my new found soulmate.
Boys whose lips I've kissed and girls whose hands I've held, always have my underlying intentions queried. 'Does this action mean that? Are you sure you should be doing it?'
Why not? Is my simple justification.

We are who we are because of the people we meet and those who we choose to learn from, so why should we limit ourselves from such a beautiful and innate education with a parameter that doesn't have to exist in the crass and conflicting barrier that gender is often negatively presented? You might love a man you might love a woman you might not know whom you love more - who am I to demand your reasoning? Why must we think a resolute understanding is the treasure under the X? The treasure is the discovery writhing around sure or not sure on top of the sand.

As a citizen of a sympathetic and awakened generation - it excites me that I can write this unscathed and fearless of judgement. How lucky I am to argue to my peers against my predecessors that gender holds no limit or anxiety against my fundamental right and need to show love. 

A label and a statement I feel is unnecessary, why when an assumption over my 'stance' will have been cast a thousand times by those who know and care for me and those who have just shaken my hand that has never effected nor bothered me be something I have to justify? To suggest is wrong? To confirm is correct? 

My love is for those who I wish to learn from, those who I can help and those who want to grow together with me. 
Man or woman, compatible energy is not born from their gender but from a shared desire to be. 

Should we now in an ever flourishing and understanding world still have to feel the pressures of coming out? The anxiety of being unsure? 
It seems ludicrous to me, violent to me, backwards to me. 
So this is me not coming out, this is me declaring my personal future as my own private adventure and search for a fulfilment much deeper than massaging societies norms for the sake of conformity. 
I love love, not one sole gender. 

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel - Kings Cross.

Monday, 29 June 2015

It is a Monday afternoon like no other.
June has finally arrived, sun speckled spots float through the glass onto my face and I cry. 
I stand, shaking with awestruck disbelief at the bedroom before me, turning on my heels to peer at the bathroom once more and try as I might I can't collect enough reasoning for what good things I must have done in a past life to be here in this moment. 
'I saved twelve babies from a burning building,' I settle.
Surely, that must be it.
If only for a moment I manage to harness an iota of composure, after flattening down my nightdress onto my bed for the evening and taking a quick shower, I run down the medieval halls to begin my first sampling of the Renaissance Global Day of Discovery. 
The Booking Office is filled with a sophisticated bustle, crisp white shirts and patterned ties parted straight down the middle by a hoard of London and Parisian bloggers.
As plates fly off waitresses hands, confit pork and artisan burgers take centre stage for all of several brief minutes until they are devoured lens first by excited mouths who wash them down with an expensive trickle of champagne cocktails. 
I was always so certain of what it was that I'd order unrestricted as my last meal but I now know several readjustments will have to be made - I want Booking Office chicken salad and I want twelve servings.
We eat, we drink, we jump into a cab and head straight to Carousel in north London to catch a secret SoFar Sounds gig in the basement. 
Thrown into a whirlwind of adventure in my own city, there is a smile on my face that had been lacking for so long - no unsolicited social anxiety, no '...or I could just jump back into bed',  simply a fever and excitement that lacked such obvious parameter I could only see this feeling for days. 
I giggle with my friend Olivia, Snapchatting arrows and hearts around a beautiful bassist, fifth summer-cup cocktail in hand. 
Arriving back to my new home for the night, we kiss-hug goodbye's until the early morning and I call Adrian to come and check out the strange fairytale I've fallen into. 
"You really are a Baroness now..." He splutters at 2:30am, as I slide around the bath bigger than my own bed at home. 
The St.Pancras Renaissance Hotel is that of my wildest fantasy. 
I want to get married here. I want to have parties here. 
I want to move in and write novels here. 
Instead, all I have time for on this trip is to read a good book in the early morning glow and pack my bags for a 7:30am Eurostar that is conveniently, just underneath us.
The adventure continues on tomorrow's blog post... 

Talking Therapy

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

"Why can't you write about something positive?" My friends and family have jovially thrown from one occasion to another upon reading another "Oh god, my life is filled with so much grief." article that I've stashed and later posted.

I think about it often, querying what it is that seems to make my literary intentions jut out so morbidly from my other internet professed pals- those who deliver exciting travels and clean eats, the ones that epitomise earth shattering hope and frivolity from a single instagram caption.
In all of its glorious irony, I would love nothing more than to explore why it in yet another heartache dribbled essay for all of your eyes to see but tonight I have decided against my own creative will and thrown a curveball at my judgement to write these few lines instead.

I, like you, am a perpetually lost individual giggling and whimpering my way through a crisscross path of adolescence and unsurprisingly it is pretty fucking difficult, so do it unapologetically.
It is beautiful in its romanticised nature but as a topic to examine, it would make an ultimately dull, smug and useless piece of documentary to share if it simply highlighted the manic insomnia of getting off with Z list sons of actors and receiving the odd hefty paycheque from a Z list singers record label.
"Today I got a new job and I'm on top of the world!"
"I slept with a ten last night!"
- Are the lines for my diary. The bits I have to read occasionally to remember it's not all empty medication packets and missed trains and unpaid invoices.
I didn't know how important those parts were to share.
I never realised how much impact and responsibility I'd have to take on by posting my inner most dark corners of my brain online, as naive and as idiotic as that sounds, I just wanted to help.
I thought by stripping my psyche naked I might help some other girl from across the pond on the brink of a break down call a doctor or put down the scissors and know she wasn't alone.

The truth is, it has also opened up a different pocket of the internet that whilst I had always dreamed of finding, was suddenly being forwarded to me.
Every week for the last eighteen months I have received harrowing tales from young people.
Stories that correlate almost impossibly with my own and ones much worse. 
It has in many ways opened my eyes up to the prospect that I'm not the most hurt, unhappy individual to walk the planet post Morrissey from The Smiths which has been hugely helpful in an incredibly selfish light, but it's also forced me to realise how serious and important it is that we keep this topic open and up for forum.

I honestly am not the right person to plea to, whilst I am slowly trudging along a path to what hopefully has sanity signposted nearby in a few years to come I am irrefutably not there. 
I'm still in the middle of the road with my thumb out praying for a lift.

There are however people who are.
Doctors, despite their schoolmaster authoritative demeanour can variably be tiny fluffy sparkly rainbow filled angels that have landed in your gaudy 1960's GP office to shed some light on why things will get better. 
Friends, despite their own issues and hang ups are even more important - whether you've met them online or happened to fail the same maths test together. 
Reading up and understanding your feelings and condition, despite a little daunting, will also help you understand why you are doing what you are and why you're crying in the shower even though there feels like no resolute reasoning. 
You are not defined by these moments of desperation, you are defined by how you come through them, and you can. - This is coming from someone who three days ago sat on her kitchen floor and thought 'don't fancy this anymore' at life, I'm still not all the keen but my god do I realise how glad I am that I want to give it another try.

I write this now feeling hugely overwhelmed, like I found some broken twigs in my brain and set them into an all encompassing fire on a desert island which people mistook for me sending out a 'LET'S ALL HAVE A PARTY OVER HERE!' flare.
I don't have many answers, but have learnt more so than I knew possible in the last few days that talking to people you know is the most important first step into any kind of physical recovery. 

Now get off here, go and call your mum.
Or your best friend.
Or your doctor.
Or your old boss who seemed a bit mad when you worked for him.
They really, truly can help you make sure you get back to being you again. 

Samaritans - 08457 90 90 90

Crisis line - 775-784-8090

People I Love - Ben Brown

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

It's pissing down with rain by Old Street Station on a Thursday morning, I'm cold and edging dangerously close to furious.
"More late boys!" I rattle fists at no one but myself with a sad damp scarf draped over my head.
The miserable distance fades from unpromising to enthusiastic futures.
Louis, Ben and Steve pace with sure direction towards me, mob handed with point and shoot cameras and coffee cups.
This is the first time I meet Ben Brown.
I suffocate under his charm as we all trudge towards the Indian Embassy in the dregs of nowhere and I find a quickening smile echo throughout my cheeks slicing the stress of a five hour wait for visas.
A small encounter with potential to be nothing more than a work fuelled greet extended its arms into the embrace of the beginning of a very poignant and fulfilled friendship. 

Ben has seen me through a totally bizarre part of my adolescence. He met me when I was cocksure and loud and watched it melt and mould it's way into being a little bit lost and apologetically young. In the middle of last year we found ourselves in the endless and formless ocean sharing a kayak, a tactful ploy by me as alone I'd have been eaten alive even by the dullest wave and we paddled sun beaten and content. 

I continued once out of the boat to nip at his heels whenever distance allowed and ensured dinners and adventures and chats like the sea saddled speeches we'd had would always prevail. Since, he's picked me off bikes in the midst of panic attacks and listened to my monotonous drone of first world issues as though I really matter and I leave wanting to hit myself knowing I ever looked at him begrudgingly for leaving me in the rain that one East London morning.

Bens talent baffles me, I write with no intention of sounding as though I'm about to embark on a parody of one of his old school reports, but it truly does.
It follows him around like an excited nagging child, this thing that begs to be fed and answered to, to be challenged and paraded. Somehow, he manages to harness it in so many tangible ways that he transforms it modestly into gold medals and daily videos and stunning visuals beyond what I know.
Try as I might, I've still not been able to kidnap it.

It's not very often people happen to you, but Ben very much happened to me. 
He happened to be a voice I didn't know I needed and a hand I wanted to grip, he happened all at once and suddenly even from miles away to be someone I happen to have as a big brother forever. Relatively, whether he likes it or not.

Writing this almost feels like a premature wedding speech or a big birthday amorous announcement, but having had him home back in London where I can squish his face and steal his coat and ask him umpteen questions about nothing in particular over several sherbet dibdabs, I just feel like it's right to do it. 
He's filled my life with laughter, unwavering advice and introduced me to people like his beautiful girlfriend Nicole who I also admire and adore from across the pond.
There are few people I know who I could spend eight hours walking around a flower show and find some sort of ludicrous Pimm's fuelled adventure with.

I bloody love the stupid sod and I think if there's anything he's taught me so prolifically is that there is no time like this very second to do things. 
So I'm doing a thing, a public appreciation, a friendly awakening and a heartfelt shout to all those who have a Ben in their lives to say "hey man, you're pretty special." 
because if they put up with you as much as he does with me, inspire you furiously and make you feel worth something a little more than you are, they bloody well deserve it. 

Mindful Chef

Discussing my eating habits online is something that I err on the caution of in the same way I always feel a little strange about talking on the topic of beauty products. 
Whilst emotional and physical flavours roll off of my tongue with perhaps too much ease, they are although empirical to me something I feel are useful to relate to.
 I am overtly aware that the other two are very much tailored to both my own individual lifestyle and financial budget.

Eating healthily and cooking are things that I've always had a great interest in, but I'm not always as proactive with them as I like.
In short, cooking healthy, organic food is often incredibly expensive and time consuming to construct interesting.
One parade around Whole Foods and I'd struggle to find 3 conscious meals that don't cost more than the insurance of the bottom square of Taylor Swift's calf. 
I found Mindful Chef within their first week of business, two perfectly regular looking twenty somethings promising that they could deliver a box of enough fresh, organic ingredients and recipes to my front door for three meals in under £25.
I near close had a fit. I wanted in. 
I was tainted with a little scepticism, but I dropped them an email asking if I could see what the fuss was about and thank guacamole I was so far from disappointed I've been incredibly excited to share this discovery with you. 

It's not a new concept, but this foodie venture feels a lot more honest and the price is genuinely unbeatable.
Adrian is relatively adverse to the kitchen (sorry love!) so I armed myself with the box and headed to his to give it the proper idiot proof test.
Even he managed to follow one of the cards with not so much as a steam burn on his wrists.
Everything is already measured out for you, there is no waste or lonely avocado halves to leave in your fridge for past eternity and all of the packaging is sustainable. 
They also offer three sorts - Paleo, Vegan or Gluten Free. 
Having experienced an ill spell a few months back from introducing a vegan lifestyle into my own, I opted for GF. 

Mindful Chef for me is a huge game changer, I had no idea that it was possible to fill my body with all of the good stuff Gwyneth Paltrow style and not have a Gwyneth Paltrow style budget. 
It also felt so good to have control in the kitchen, know exactly what it was that I was fuelling myself with and feel excited about cooking up something more adventurous than a stir fry. 
Solid job guys, look at that smile. Bloody delicious.
You'll definitely be seeing my name on your orders list once a week.

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