#Travel, Lifestyle

An Ode to Going Back Home

To all my fellow immigrants,

Who left a part of themselves back home,

I see you.

I know the feeling of leaving all the love that is back home and venturing into a foreign land that may or may not accept you.

I know the feeling of yearning,

Yearning for the familiarity that you grew up with.

Longing for the friendly neighbour who lived down the street from you,

The neighbour who would let you pick mangoes from their tree.

Missing the aunty (who was not really your aunty) who lives up the hill,

The aunty who knew all the details about your life and accepted you as their own.

Yearning for your grandmother’s food,

Food that nourished your soul in no other way anything could.

I know that sometimes, you ask yourself if going abroad was worth losing all that for a while.

I mean, we are always told that the grass is greener as soon as you board that plane,

But you learn that the grass has always been green at home.

The earth has always been rich,

Your ancestors’ energy has always been the strongest.

dsc_1337

dsc_1153

It felt so good to be back home.

It felt like this is what my body has been telling me to do since I left.

To come back home.

dsc_1325

To all my fellow immigrants,

Take pieces of your home with you.

Pictures, jewelry, recipes, anything.

If you haven’t called your grandparents in a while, just know they miss you, and they love you. So call them.

And lastly,

Try visiting if you can. Go back and remind yourself that you have a place that will always accept you. A place that will always have love for you.

A place that you can always call home.

Standard
Advice, Lifestyle

Fragility in the Modern Age

unnamed

Someone once told me, the ability for one to feel and to display vulnerability and emotional fragility, is a pure display of the epitome of human existence. Darwin’s theory of evolution aside, the complexities of human emotion and the innate ability to discern these emotions is our super power. In this day and age, we have inherently managed to strip a part of our humanity away by trying to numb our emotions as much as possible, lest we are perceived as ‘weak’. Love, anger, happiness, hate, passion etc. These are all waves of energy moving in and out of a bigger wave of energy known as the human body. With humans being considered top of the food chain, we could really learn a lot from our fellow animal species. For instance, if we spent a day in the life of a puppy, you’ll notice in awe at how they are fully able to dive into their emotional energy. This allows them to exist completely in the present. That’s what real living is. Time non-existent, heart open, using emotions as an extension of our deepest core that would otherwise never get the chance to be expressed.

No one really knows why we’re here, or even what ‘here’ is. All we can be sure of, is what we feel, and what we do with what we feel. We are in the age of mistrusting what we feel. We question, we deny, we distract. However, the body never lies. If you listen closely, your body will tell you everything you need to know. When we really tune into the energetic humming of our heartbeat, our breath, our senses, at that moment, nothing else really matters.

IMG_0228 (1)

Emotional vulnerability is not and never will be a weakness. In-fact, it’s a bridge that connects us human beings by extending those deeper ties. Now, I should probably address the elephant in the room. One of the main reasons people fear being vulnerable,  is the possibility of them being hurt in any way. This possibility far outweighs the benefits of having a life changing connection with someone through emotional vulnerability. We(or dare I say our egos) are so afraid of being rejected & hurt that we have become capable of coexisting while successfully dodging  intimacy. Yes of course there is going to be rejection and everyone is going to get hurt at the hands of someone else. That’s one of the inevitable conditions that accompanies life’s one way ticket. But being hurt due to having a deep emotional connection with someone does not diminish the existence of that experience and the lessons that you could learn from it.  The human experience is laden with connections. These connections allow us to learn from each other by learning about each other. Personally, being a very passionate person about a lot of things, emotional vulnerability comes very easy to me (Too easy sometimes). However, I can confidently say that it’s these emotional connections I’ve had that have taught me the significant lessons I needed to learn.

So my friend, I urge you to remain open. It will be a whirlwind at first, learning how to feel. But humans endured building Rome for 276 years, I’m sure you can handle a whirlwind of emotions.

Until next time,

Vi.

Standard
Advice, Inspiration, Lifestyle

(Almost) Quarter Life Crisis

Sunday morning, fall sunlight, 90’s music in the background, wake and bake. What could be better than that right? However, as I sit here, in my new apartment right in the middle of one of the biggest cities in Canada, I can’t help but think “Is this is what adulting is like???”

Enlight121

See the thing is, no one ever really tells you about the early twenties. All everyone ever talks about, is your prime years being 25-30, getting married and having kids in your thirties while hopefully having discovered your dream career and taking vacations every year to (Insert any tropical island here). So today my friends, we are going to talk about my official almost quarter life crisis.

Being in my early twenties, I feel like (I should be) an adult about 70% of the time, the other percent is represented by me trying to get away with childish tendencies.(Audience laughs). I mean, as much as I am trying not to grow up too fast, I also want to establish myself and create opportunities for myself in this world. In all ways that applies to. BUUT at the same time, I’d rather not deal with figuring out how to get my taxes done or colour co-ordinate my furniture. Sometimes I want to be, just be, without all the complications and responsibilities that come with adulting. For me, growing up has been about creating a home for myself, within myself. But how do you even begin to create something so intangible?

Trying to create a home away from home is all about creating a space that makes sense for you in whatever period of life you are in. Some people even create homes in other people. Being in my early twenties, I have had to think about what a home means to me, and who I am when I leave home. Do/Can I necessarily take it with me? If I plan on taking part in the nomad life for a while, will home be something I have to recreate at each destination? But if we go with the alternative, which is home being a place I can always get back to, then won’t I feel a sense of incompleteness if I’m not at home? I know, these are definitely the kinds of questions everyone should ask themselves on a Sunday morning.

A lot of the times, it’s easy for our minds to rush to the future for what life is going to be like at your “prime”/best years. To quote one of my favourite authors, Eckhart Tolle, “You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection.” In this case, the mind projection being unnecessary worries about the timeline of life, which is clearly imposed by societal standards. Well, all I have to say is fuck society and its timelines and YES to taking each day as it comes.

At this very moment, on this Sunday morning, I am enjoying my cup of tea while basking in the morning sun. The feeling of home is closer than ever, and being in my early twenties has never felt so good.

Enlight120

Standard
Inspiration, Lookbook

Blush

Enlight36

Summer is FINALLY here. It feels like life has been bestowed back into the world again. With great weather calls for more photoshoots and that means more blog posts. Yay!

Today’s outfit is more on the business casual side, as I find that is the style I lean more towards nowadays. (Does this mean I’m finally becoming an adult?) The era for high waisted shorts and crop tops is coming to a fateful end, as fun as it was. It’s important not to sacrifice comfort for trend. I mean the more comfortable you are in what you wear, the more confident you feel overall.

Enlight52

Top: Forever21                Trousers: Thrifted

Enlight53

Blazer: Topshop              Earrings: Forever21

Enlight54

Shoes: Forever21

This hot weather gives you a great opportunity to experiment with pastel and brighter colours. After realizing that 90% of my wardrobe is black, no shame I had to go out and bring some brighter colours into my life. Learning how to work with a multitude of colours can give your closet more variety when it comes to mix&matching, colour blocking, and self expression in general.

Enlight50

Enlight51

Gold Crystal Bracelet: Urban Outfitters

 

 

 

Standard
Advice, Inspiration

Life is Cyclic

Happy Saturday my loves, guess who’s back from the depths of the earth after a long long long period of silence! Today, I want to talk about exactly that, something I have been struggling with for some time now. I very much believe in the power of transparency and vulnerability. I hope that sharing my journey with mental illness will inspire others to do the same, and through opening up to one another we can spark conversation and crush the stigma that divides us all.

At the end of the day, none of us are perfect obviously, and we can’t always be happy, joyful or present all the time. We are all struggling with something. When I decided to start a blog, my aim was to connect with and reach an audience, and hopefully inspire people along the way as well. As my blog has grown throughout the past few years, I have found a sense of community, where you can discover that other people are going through the same things that you might be going through, and that you are never alone.

Today, I want to talk about my struggle with depression. Struggling with depression has been incredibly tough and has knocked me down more heavily than I would like to admit. Having grown up in a belief system that mental illnesses are something you just need to “Get over”, I have had to sit down with myself and accept that yes, this struggle is part of my journey, and yes, this is something that I am not ashamed of despite the stigma around it. For all the times when I’ve been told, “Why are you depressed you have so much to be thankful for” or “Why are you always so negative all the time” or “Just calm down and relax and everything will be fine”. For all the times I have felt guilty about being depressed because yes, I do have many many things to be grateful for, but yet I still questioned why I felt that heavy feeling of sadness and dread over my shoulders. It’s important that we educate ourselves on how to approach and have conversations about and with people who are suffering from mental illnesses.

Through my struggle with depression, I have learnt to hold myself, and to comfort myself through the pain. I have learnt to lean on others and be okay with it, I have learnt that getting help when necessary is nothing to be ashamed of, and trusting that I will always find a way to get through it. I have learnt that my depression does not and will never define me, that I am a whole person outside of my trauma and obstacles that I face. I have learnt that yes, it’s completely okay to take some time off from the mediums through which I choose to express myself to the world, such as social media, and even my blog.

Taking time off to take care of yourself is necessary, because as human beings we are constantly giving off our energy into our careers, relationships and friendships. I am lucky enough to have people who support me and push me to be the best version of myself, despite seeing the “not so good” sides.

Life is cyclic, there are days when it’s incredibly hard to get up in the morning, and it’s not because of lack of sleep. There are other days when I can’t wait to see another day and experience the world for all it’s splendour. It’s important that despite everything, we embrace ourselves for who we truly are, in our entirety and not see ourselves as a reflection of our struggles. After all, we are only human, and we are doing our best at it.

Standard
#Travel, Lifestyle

Hello Vancouver

A few weeks ago, I bought a one way ticket, packed up and moved to the west. If you had told me a year ago, hell a few months ago even, that I would be living here I would never have believed it. However, one thing I do believe in is making spontaneous decisions. Without spontaneity, life would simply be boring. Putting yourself in a new environment with unfamiliar faces forces you to adapt to the change. Change. Change is very good. Because without change, there’s no growth. Personally, I felt like I had hit a roadblock with my growth process, not just emotionally, but mentally as well. I needed to challenge my beliefs, question what I thought was right and/or wrong. Rearrange and shift my pieces, in order to see where I really stood.

The first time I visited Vancouver, I was in awe. For a city girl, exploring every nook and cranny of this city has been my goal. Trying out the best restaurants, visiting must see attractions and of course experiencing the night life. I haven’t felt so alive in a long time, and I guess in the end, isn’t that what life is all about?

Of course I took pictures, and narrowed it down to the ones I felt captured the city the best. But obviously y’all got to come see it for yourselves, pictures hardly do any place justice.



 

Until next time,

Cheers!

Standard
Inspiration

August Book Review

Hey y’all! Hope everyone is enjoying their last few summer weeks. For all the bookworms out there, this post is for you! I have been eyeing these books for a super long time since I heard of the spectacular authors behind these masterpieces. Nayyirah waheed is a well known African-American poet who has written two books so far, Salt(2013) and Nejma(2015). (And hopefully many more to come). I discovered Nayyirah on instagram and have fan girled at her poetry ever since. I even went ahead and got a tattoo of my favourite line in her book Nejma( See last picture attached ).

Salt was her the first book to catch my eye, and all I can say is the book sells itself. I had read multiple reviews online before my purchase, and ALL of them were good. And I mean ALL. Honestly this book applies to everyone, not just females. It offers a very unique look into the female mind, more specifically the mind of Nayyirah. She has her way with words, and a simple sentence could make you sit and contemplate for hours. (I did this) This book takes you on a journey through the themes of identity, race, love and feminism.

The second author I’ll be talking about is Ijeoma Umebinyuo, an uprising African poet. Questions for Ada is currently her only published book, but she has been featured in various magazines and has participated in a TEDEX talk. My take on Questions for Ada is that Ijeoma definitely has her own unique raw writing style that captures your attention from beginning to end. She covers various issues such as love, abuse, race and identity.

After Salt was published, Nejma followed two years later, and I think people expected the same kind of poetry that was in Salt, but Nayyirah showed that two different kinds of works can be made from the same writer. Nejma consists of a collection of poems that explores all emotions from angry to tired to peaceful, that leaves you hungry for more.

Standard