Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Here's to you.

Oh, 2013.

You had me laughing, and crying, and breaking, and healing.
You had me hoping and hoping again and again.

This year, I visited the Georgian Bay, had my first poached egg, and drank too many lattes.
I officially became Canadian.
I designed my first set of wedding invitations, and created alphabet letters out of sticks and leaves.


This year, I took a bus and said hello to Montreal, once again.
I connected with friends with hearts bigger than mine.
I adventured far, but also travelled 5 minutes from my house. I found beauty there, too.



This year, I woke up to see the sunrise. Twice. And went back to sleep afterwards.
I collaborated with my best friends to create something quite unique and beautiful.
I chose to chop my hair off.
I said hello to the West Coast for the second time with family, and fell in love with the ocean all over again.



I saw lakes and oceans and waterfalls.
I saw tall trees and foggy beaches.
I flew by myself and visited Vancouver, BC. 



And with every fall and hurt, I learned. I grew.
With every fear and worry, I saw You nearer.
And nearer.


And yet, I am still learning to be.
I am still learning to love.
I am still learning to breathe.

Here's to you, 2014. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

'Tis the season (for DIY cards)

The past few years, I've enjoyed making my own cards for the season. Or for any event, for that matter. This Christmas, I'm continuing the 'tradition'. I bought a card + envelope pack from The Paper Place and drew out illustrations and text in pen.

Unfortunately, I chose not to sell any cards this year (partly due to time), but I sure hope that the dear people in my life who receive these will enjoy them just as much as I did creating them.

I hope you all have a joyous and peaceful Christmas,
and I hope you can find inspiration in the simple and the quiet.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Autumn's story

They say the changes of Fall don't only affect the leaves.
They say the crisp air is a good reminder that we are alive.
And the rain, a good reminder to slow down. 
They say September is a better-suited "New Year".

And they, whoever they may be, are right.

were right.

Every ending looks the same, it seems.
The cringing, the blank stare, the bittersweet heart twists and the stubborn I-can't-let-this-go.
The tight grip, the standing still, the breathing in,

and the good-bye.

Every ending looked the same, until I met Autumn.

Autumn, this character I've come to fear so much, is becoming one of my best comforters.
She arrives, a little early at times, but never unexpected. And there she will be, ready to speak, ready to tell. In all of her beauty and all of her splendor, she tells her story of death and letting go, change and farewells. And with every fall, she whispers, "It will be okay."

It has only been a couple years since I've been listening to her story, or even realized Autumn had something to say. It has helped me to embrace her, and through her silent words, I have found comfort in change. Change is not easy. Endings and deaths are not easy. Being human is not easy.
But somehow, Autumn has taught me something quite extraordinary.
That something must die for new life to enter in.
That endings and beginnings work together with time.
That change and growth look just about the same,
and there is beauty in that.
There is beauty in all of this.

This year, I'm listening very closely. As frightening as the changes are looking to be, I am finding the mystery and this 'unknown' to be more beautiful than they have ever been.
In every change, there is growth,
and wonder, too.

And with every fall, she whispers, "It will be okay."

With every change, she whispers, "Just wait, and see."


Photos from my recent trip to Vancouver, BC.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Instagram, etc

It's difficult to predict where you're headed when you're jumping head first

eyes closed,


We are people of plans. Of agendas. Calendars and clocks. Timelines, lifelines - oh deadlines, too.
And don't dare taking risks. (They're not part of the plan)

I think vulnerability is a risk. See, I think it takes great courage to expose,
and reveal what lies under your skin,
what make your bones shake.

Our culture runs on the constant search for being accepted, longing to belong as if we've already been rejected somewhere along the line. And we fight to prove ourselves, waiting for the "you're doing well"s, the "I'm proud of you"s, "wonderful work"s, and the 'like' on that Instagram photo we posted an hour ago.
The sharing has become that much easier with platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and we become exposed to the bits and pieces of each other, only now, our need to be socially affirmed has become louder, and much more desperate.

It was only one year ago that I bought my first iPhone, chose to document personal moments through a phone camera, and post them online. I didn't think it would lead to such a community. I didn't think it would become a part of me. I didn't think that it would impact me so much. But eventually, it did.
And oh, the learning. There is so much to learn in the process -
this process of sharing, exposing, being vulnerable.

I'm learning that my worth is not emphasized by a 'like' or the lack of.
I'm learning that it's okay to be honest about the bad days,
but it's okay to be silent about them, too.
I'm learning to embrace the desires of my heart,
and do and post what I enjoy
without comparing.
I'm learning what it means to be genuine,
even behind a screen -
that there is beauty in sharing your eyes with another.
I'm learning how to invite another into my mind,
and be okay with their response.
And I'm learning to let go, allowing the pieces I share of myself take a shape of their own.

It is a risk to be vulnerable. But one worth to take.
Know you are strong, worthy of sharing your eyes with him, and her, me. Know you are courageous with a story worthy of telling. Know you have a voice, know that you matter. And know which parts of your heart to guard and keep safe. Don't fear. Jump in, fully alive, and see where it takes you.

Recently, I had the great honor of being featured on VSCO Cam's blog, with a little interview, which you can read here. I came to realize what privilege we have today: our ability to share the very depths of our beings and our minds and our spirits with the whole world. Our voice can be heard continents away. Our thoughts can be read by an audience of one, or an audience of millions.

And it matters just the same.

Be brave. x

Here are a few of my favorite shots that I've taken over the year



Instagram: @themelodyh