Thursday, October 8, 2015

creative process // reflections


"Anyone that encourages intellectual, emotional, artistic and spiritual growth is worth keeping. Don't let them go."

As a creative person, I knew that I would never truly be happy if I wasn't fulfilling part of my personality. But something happened, something shifted. Growing up I was full of confidence, no one could bring me down. Whether it was creating music, singing, acting, painting, photography, writing - I was always creating. My mother and father always nurtured my need to be creative. They always gave me every opportunity they could for me to have a creative outlet. My father would take me on photography trips where we would explore nature and both take our cameras. My mother was always pushing me to pursue my musical talents. They both individually gave me the courage and strength to be who I am, who I was meant to be. I never really noticed how lucky I was to have such supportive parents. I think it's common place now to see parents discouraging their children from pursuing their creative talents as a way of life, and instead treat them more like a hobby. It's actually very sad. 
I unfortunately got a glimpse of this after my parents had both passed away, and I was pursuing my career in design. Many of the adults in my life expressed their concern for the amount of money I would be making, and how hard it is. I had never received such advice from my family or my parents. I was always told to do what you love, and the rest will follow. This was the first ounce of discouragement I had ever received about my creative passions. This plagued me, brought me down, made me feel really, really awful. For the first time, I felt like a fool. In my previous relationship, I didn't feel emotionally supported. I couldn't really express how I was feeling because there wasn't really a way to do so. I fell into this long-term moment of suspended self-doubt. It's in moments like these that I cling to order and I found comfort in structure. Following the rules, order and structure turned off the creative side of my brain and I began losing myself. So, I got myself a job, a job for making money. And that's all that it was. I wasn't happy. At all.

It wasn't until the end of said relationship, that that part of me came up for air and rejuvenated itself. I woke up one morning, standing in my kitchen drinking my coffee, looking out the window and it just hit me. I remember this moment so very clearly. I had classical music playing in my living room, and for the first time in a long while, I felt quiet and still. Followed by the feeling as if, there was surge to my brain, and burst of inspiration. I remember saying to myself, "what am I doing?!" and then I felt crazy. I immediately went to my computer to start writing, I do this almost every day. I write. It's the only way I can release what's going on in my head sometimes, well that and running.

Anyways, I noticed what in my life had changed what brought about this change in me. I recalled the evening prior to this shift and I laughed. Brenton and I had just spent the whole weekend together. It was that weekend that I think we both really felt that there was something real there. It just happened so fast, and because we both had difficult past relationships we were both hesitant. However, it finally came to a point that we couldn't deny it anymore. He and I are so incredibly similar, more so than I have ever experienced. I remember one night we shared our dreams and aspirations and ours were so remarkably the same. That night he held me, and for the first time since I was little, I felt safe again. I don't exactly mean physical safety, but the kind of safety I had been lacking since my parents died. I knew I could trust this man with my heart and soul.

Since then, it has only gotten better. Brenton, who is also a designer, and I support and push and challenge each other creatively. We collaborate and trust each other. I had been lacking this and I couldn't even imagine how truly amazing it is to be in a relationship with such trust and support. Creative people are certainly their own type. And finding someone who complements that part of your personality is very important. My equal.

I never knew this was something that I was lacking, or needed until it hit me that one morning. It takes a long time for someone, or at least me, to figure out what I needed. This was just something I never knew I needed until it was no longer there and then had it's chance to appear to me.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

colours & hues // reflections



I think it's safe to say that I sort of gave up on the whole blogging a few years back. I remember when I would post every single day. It's sweet to hear from those of you who wonder where I am, how I'm doing, what I'm doing. It warms my heart in so many ways. The thing is I'm just starting to figure things out after several years of coasting through life, pretending. It's been like waking from a really long and miserable dream. Sobering really. I know I'm better for it, but man it took every possible ounce of strength and courage I had left to finally confront the truth. To be perfectly honest, I'm still not really ready to talk about it in detail. I was hanging on to something that wasn't there. Ever. The most important thing I learned was if you're not true, and honest with yourself, and follow through with said truth -- you'll be sorry. You're basically living a lie. It's true, you might hurt someone, someone you don't mean to hurt. But in the end, you'll be honest with yourself.

I think that's what my lesson all boiled down to. Instead of confronting my truth, I coasted and settled. It was safer that way. Little did I know, I was losing a piece of myself every single minute. And by the time I figured out it was time to bring it all to a close, I had very little of myself to hold myself together with. It was my own fault. Stick up for yourself, don't mind what other people might think or say. If you know what you have to do, do it. And be happier with knowing you're doing what you desire to do.

I know this all very vague, and I apologize for that. I'm not trying to be dramatic. It's just, unfortunately, that's the way the internet works these days. I'm not about to air my dirty laundry and begin to name call. I don't know who still reads this.

However, I can tell you now, as I am writing this I am sitting next to the most wonderful man I have ever know/met (and of course Minnie is on the other side of me) and I am happier than I have been. I can't even explain this happiness. It made all the hardship and emotional agony that seemed self-inflicted worth it. And I can without a doubt know that I made the right choice in doing what I did. The universe works in mysterious ways. Truly.

In all the madness that I've lived through, and survived, one thing and one thing only rings true. That is that every thing really does happen for a reason, the way it should. I believe that. Also, every thing will work out, in the end it will. I was raised by a very selfless woman, who never complained, she must have bestowed this knowledge on to me. I try very hard not to dwell on things, or over analyze. There's really no point. Most of the time, life's struggles are out of our control.

I am a stronger and better person for the conflicts I've faced. Oddly, I am grateful for the experiences.

Also, there are some really exciting things on the horizon, and I cannot wait to start sharing things with you all again. And to those of you who have been supporting me over the last... decade, thank you. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

finer feelings // reflections


I've been known to be really hard on myself about meeting my own expectations and the expectations of others. I mean to the point of becoming depressed over it. Lately I started realizing, what's the point of doing that? I have these little pep talks with myself, like a coach before a big game, "Come on, Hayley... you've been through so much worse. Pull yourself together." Over the last six months I've become more attuned to my own self than I think I ever have. From a very early age I was caring for my little brother and my mother during a very trying and difficult time in her life (losing her mother and two sisters) and then years after through out her illness.  I've always had to be the strong one for every one else. Developing my own self was the cost in which I paid for all that time spent. So, really I'm quite a late bloomer with this whole growing up thing. Although it has taken me a little longer than my peers, I have to say I am damn proud of where I stand today and damn proud of myself for being here. Small victories. I did it all on my own. It's a shame that we're seemingly wired to only dwell on the negative and let the positive roll off of us, but honestly, I think that's what makes us strong  - we learn from our mistakes. I just need to remember to praise myself and thank my blessings a little more. It's too easy to get caught up in all the doom and gloom. 
I think it's safe to say that over the last few months I have done a lot of growing up. I've parted with baggage that I've held on to for over a decade and healed from it.  It's time to start a new chapter and this one selfishly so, is all about me. Things are really looking up, I have a few amazing opportunities at my feet and I have an a amazing human being by my side. I couldn't be more happier. I feel lighter and happier than I have in years. 
Here's to listening to that little voice in your head and doing what you feel is right, no matter what. I now know what I want and I won't settle for less.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

moment of clarity // reflections



How he captures me. 

Where do I start? I suppose, Happy New Year is a good place to begin. I cannot even begin to describe the happiness I've been experiencing lately... 
The week before Christmas I experienced one of the lowest of emotional lows that I have ever felt. My loneliness swallowed me up, completely. It was the final rock bottom to cap off six months of continuous, torturous,  emotional agony. From July until then I was just coasting, barely getting by my heart broken into pieces, nothing to hang on to. I was so broken, I lost fifteen pounds, I was wasting away. It took one final confrontation with my demons to set my spiral even further downward. It was a dark place to be. Through my own strength and the strength of my loved ones I persevered. It was in this reawakening that I started to push myself, push myself to find happiness - I refused to suffer any longer. And just like that... the day before Christmas Eve, I met him
I'm seriously floating on cloud nine with happiness and joy. I've never had such an effortless connection with someone in my entire life. We just click. He's kind, intelligent, makes me laugh, we're both designers (artistic minds) but most importantly, he makes me feel adored and worth being loved. I don't think I've ever been this smitten, honestly. 
I've made peace with my past, and my ghosts. They no longer have any hold over me. I've released you. Goodbye.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

part of me // reflections

 My Mother in Williamsburg '82. This is how I remember her, that big goofy smile - I can almost hear her laughter. 
I've realized too, that I make that same goofy face. I can't even express how much I miss her.
December 17, 2008.  Six years ago today, I lost my best friend, my mother and a huge part of myself. I remember getting a call from the hospital early in the morning, on the only night that I actually went home to try and sleep, they told me that there was a change in my mothers condition, that I should immediately come to the hospital. They could not share the details with me, and could not reach my stepfather who was working at the time. I called my brother and we rushed to the hospital, it must have been about five in the morning. I remember it all like a blur, my brother and I got into the elevator to head up to her room and my phone rang, "Hello?", it was my stepfather, "Hayley... She's. Gone." I looked at my brother and he just knew. The doors of the elevator closed as I let out a loud cry, and I collapsed. My brother held me and pulled me out of the elevator and I just sat there crying, shaking. I swear in that moment, a part of me just snapped -  it died. I haven't been the same since. Two days after she slipped into a coma, she was gone. Up until then, we were talking about how she wanted to decorate for Christmas, the things she wanted to change in her life. She was doing better. I really had hope, then during the night her cancer spread almost tenfold and she was in a coma. The doctors were shocked, "I've never seen anything like this before".  I knew then, she was going to pass on, but I never imagined how fast it could happen. 
Needless to say, on this day, along with November 3, the day I lost my father the year before, I'm not myself. Unfortunately, these dates are a part of who I am. I don't believe I will ever truly recover from the weight that these days carry on my soul, my being. Every one in my family shares in my pain on these anniversaries. The last person, I devoted my life, and my heart to completely neglected to remember, even when he lived through these days with me. Apparently, these events had no effect on him, I was alone in my suffering. He once told me that two years was long enough, that I had to get over it. I can't believe I put up with that. How disrespectful. I need someone who is strong enough to help me through my continuous battle with grief. I need to be supported emotionally, not criticized. I need someone who understands suffering, someone caring. I need a safe place to share my emotions, rather than hide them. I know I'll find it.