Friday, August 18, 2017

Finding The In-Between in Life

I'll be honest, I haven't seen real sunlight in about two weeks now. These recent long work days means I basically get in before the sun gets all sunshiney, and totter out sleepily of the building then rinse and repeat for five days.

Taking a break from the regular programming of my Japan posts, I'm going to keep it real and say that finding an in-between and a right balance is something I am struggling with at the moment. I'm tired and frustrated, and feeling like I can't change anything... basically a mini existential crisis, shall we say.


Finding a balance is something we talk about so much these days – a need to recalibrate, having equal measures of work and pleasure, and yet, it's increasingly hard to achieve this seemingly easy idea. For me anyway. Endless to-do lists, more chores to do, a totally senseless overconsumption of information and Life in General stops us from the necessary pauses of life, making it hard to find clarity and calm.

I wish I had the magic solution to these troubles, but I don't. What I can say is this: I'm thankful for the 20 minutes bus ride into work where I can plug into my newest podcast (current play: The Art of Charm) and concentrate on something else other than chores and work emails, at least. I used to spend my evenings watercolouring and learning a new language from my app, but it's proving to be hard these days when I don't even have time to eat dinner at home.

Maybe it's as simple as taking a 5 minute break just to have a chat, or watch a funny YouTube video. We're often too busy to afford even our own time, so we end up spiralling into a maze of anxiety and panic. Or maybe just me?

When we shot these photos last Sunday, strolling down Bermondsey Street on the way to BBQ ribs (!), it was nice, being able to walk around and think of nothing for a while.

Taking these photos were much easier than normal too, and I didn't have to keep asking for them to be retaken and I could enjoy my lunch and the post-stroll afterwards. Thinking about it, I think a large part of tuning out for me is the enjoyment of dressing up, styling outfits and feeling good about it - playing around with colours, textures and fabrics. The thrill that comes with seeing the complete outfit put together, from head-to-end, is a small victory in the mindless iterations of everyday life.

We shot these photos as part of the Boohoo Summer Day into Night challenge - using this vibrant floral frilly skirt* as the highlight, my daytime choice was a sweet scalloped top* (actually a bodysuit) which makes a fun silhouette to match with any bottoms! I threw on a soft duster jacket* for the occasional breeze and it was up to me to sashay down the streets... We saw 42nd Street the weekend before and I can't get over the dances, such mad love (side note: y'all should watch it it's amazing)!

My PM pick was a sensible one: a long-sleeved blouse* which was still floaty and breathable for the suitably erratic midsummer evenings. It has the softest material ever and I love it! Paired with my ever-trusty Clarks mules (I love Clarks so much, guys), it was like I was almost a cool blogger. I try, you know?


The process of creating these outfits was filled with excitement: choosing the skirt, matching it with the right shoes – and brought me to me think of how I should be the same finding pockets of time to achieve that glorious 'in-between' which I allegedly found burdensome; these moments of creative joy, as simple of picking an outfit for work, choosing pearl earrings over studs, doing the crossword. I suppose in the end, it's about finding joy in the everyday things, and appreciating the magic of these small wonders. 

Just as how I enjoyed wearing and picking these outfits, I'm now semi-convinced that there can be happiness is doing the dishes (I hope?) or taking a shower that's longer than usual. Hug more, listen more, breathe... more. 

I know I don't get too personal on here (part laziness, part real struggle) but this year was one where I worked on decisions that I mentioned at the beginning of the year. Learning to shift perspectives has made me aware of so much more, and learning to be kind is a continuing lesson that is teaching me compassion and understanding in many new ways. I know this is all very vague, but I have a feeling that the in-between is vague and unpredictable, like so many things in life.

(Brief comical pause to break the almost-awkward flow: look at my upside-down bag and me tryna act all cool LOL who am I kidding.)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend - it's an extremely busy one for me so wish me luck! Share with me your in-between moments and what you do when life is getting too much?

*Outfit kindly gifted by Boohoo

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