April 27, 2015

Boom. And the new chapter begins..

I signed a lease for a place to live and bought a car. I bought a car. Double up the commitment and leave me panting for breath. Here we go!

April 17, 2015

“Let’s” – Together we go.

A last few days…

I had lunch with Jason with PLU and we discussed visas, arts in Paris and grassroots activism. I really appreciate seeing / hearing other peoples perspectives of their or other’s worlds. Or seeing yourself through their filter. Bigger picture and wider vision is oh so important.

Time to reset my own perspective once again.

First of all… I saw and realized my own needs over the last 6 weeks. My freedom, independence and personal space are vital to my singular contentedness. These are basic human rights no?

Second of all I realized how much of an awful and selfish person I am. Short tempered, impatient, ungracious. Self conscience, anxious. Considering the moment I’ll allow my self the self loathing.
I can hardly stand to see myself. It’s a wonder Amel put up with me for so long.

I love this woman dearly.

After lunch I went to craft café and worked like a dog and knocked some serious work out. Amel met up with me and we took crepes just around the corner. We were joined by a French Algerian girl whose arm was in a sling. She was a baby (22) and had more sass and gumption than most grown men I know.

From there I met up with Rapha for a post work drink. It was great to see him and catch up. 3 years of time was evident on him. No longer the white sneakers and tshirt or suit that didn’t fit. Before me was a man, close shaven beard – fancy shoes and slick blazer carrying his briefcase. We talked of his girlfriends (a few of which I’ve met) and how happy he is and hopeful with the current. He was the first person I met when I arrived in Paris 3 years ago. He too “feels like home”.. fun memories and the time and space that was shared at that flat will be with me always. I’m glad I didn’t stay there this time. It was (and is) time to move on to create the next chapter. When we parted ways he showed me a photo of all my Paris postcards that are on their living room wall. He told me that they will all be moving out soon and for sure will fight over how to split them up.

I always leave Paris feeling “unfinished”. I always want and need more time there.

My final day was breakfast with Amel and our favorite L’industrie. We walked Bastille and laid in the grass under the pink blossom trees an lined the canal. The weather has finally turned fucking gorgeous and every tree bud is a bright green. What once was a cold and skeletal gray paris is no popping with color. Everyone feels it and all the terrasses and are bursting with people.

I walked seine, isle saint maire, over to Hotel De Ville and went to the Magnum exposition there. I bought Amel and present and then walked home through the marais taking pictures along the way. One last stop in place de Vosges and I can hardly recognize the place since spring was now in full force.

Almost complete silence from Kyle in the last 10 days. I felt the distance too strongly and decided to say something. Maybe is better to face these things head on and but response I got was a devastating one. He’s decided to move back to Colorado. In simple enough words he said “I can’t fall for someone like you”. “someone like me” I said?” “gypsy” was his response.

I thanked him for his honesty and let a tear fall.

Like hozier said “ every day I fall in love, I fall in love a little more every day”. I suppose by letting myself fall 2 times a year isn’t that bad. It’s nice to feel those things every once in a while.

I had made reservations for 4 people at a crepery that had been recommended by the farm. Ambroise, Lili, Amel and I savored the deliciousness. These three people have meant so much to me this trip and I wouldn’t have wanted my last evening any other way.

I’m on my way to Vegas to rendezvous with my favorite Australian I met in a hostel in London over a year ago. I love this sweet sassy girl and I’m so excited to spend her 30th birthday with her. Esther is joining me as well as Angie. It will be a great time for sure.

Culture R was bursting with people. Their space made up for the dropping temperatures of outside. I needed a kind, comforting males presence and Ambroise was just that. He told me of a rooftop bar nearby and we wandered over and ordered fancy cocktails and tried our best to communicate through our lack of the other’s language ability. Amel, Ambroise, Esther and I are going to meet up in NYC in just over a month from now. I cannot wait.

Amel met up with us at the hipster beer bar around the corner. We drank fancy brews and bitched about whatever giggling about every other thing in-between until the bar closed.

I don’t want to leave. I love these people and this city and this way of life. I don’t want to leave.

April 14, 2015

Rien n’est jamais fini pour toujour.

I chose – friends, new places (Belgium, Nice, Romania), working hard, letting go, dancing, good food, hikes in forests, fancy dinners at rue saint honore, baby photos, friend photo parties, late night beers with the locals, baby cows, taking care of my body, homemade meals, friendship, building relationships and communicating gratefulness. I chose to try to commit. I guess that means I chose awareness.

Sunday I hosted along with a friend a photo apero. It was a perfectly warm and sunny sunday afternoon with the sweet people I have gotten to know here in Paris. Everyone has different ideas on how to keep me here or how to get me back.
It is nice to hear that I am wanted here. Their talk gives me hope that it would be possible to be here.

April 10, 2015

So many things on my mind today -

Commitment, gypsiness, photography careers and travel.

I am wracked with anxiety for the wedding tomorrow and the shoot next week. I don’t know why. Because it’s in France, different customs, expectations? I don’t know. Good news is that we are all a part of the snow ball that is running down this hill (ie wedding day). Can’t really go wrong I suppose. Tell a story, hands, emotions, light. Tell a story. You’ll be fine.

Many conversations with Amel about relationships and commitment. Me realizing I have a huge problem committing to anything aside from my clients. It was part of the problem that contributed to the car issue with D. I like being free, not held down to anything or anyone. It saves me from anxiety and worry/pressure. I have been stringing along this idea of moving to Oakland for 6 months now. When I realized I was the problem with the follow through.. I emailed her and signed the lease. I officially move to Oakland June 1st.
I then spent 2 hours looking at flight and travel info for my two months in asia /australia this fall. I guess it’s a give and take. ha!
I need to purchase functioning supporting elements now – bed, desk, car. I’m excited but overwhelmed by monies.. ugh. I would like my new space to be really really really simple. Ultra basics. clean bright. Cheery. Mine.

KTD – Not as attentive as late. I can tell the time/separation is waning on him. 10 days to go until I return. Yesterday he asked if I wanted to camp in Big sur this summer (yes.) and also tagged me in a Havana advertisement on IG. I asked him if he wanted to come to NYC with me in a month. He said yes.. but? I guess we’ll see. News from him saying he is considering moving to Austin this fall. Asking how I feel about long distance relationships. blah.. Maybe I should remind myself of the things that do not fit for us. Maybe I should just shut up and be present and stop trying to create something and let it just happen. haha…

Paris – I haven’t found my rhythm this time. I feel out of sorts on a daily basis. I cannot figure out why. Maybe because I’m not trying to date – not that anyone has asked me. Maybe because I’m being careful to focus on the people I’ve already met and not create new relationships that will be impossible to maintain. I don’t know. All my friendships here have changed. The people that I once had as my community are gone. Naturally so.. it’s the same for home in CA. It is obviously the end of this chapter here. 2 years is a solid chapter indeed. Not the last chapter mind you, just the end of this one. I love dearly the people I do have here and I will miss Amel, Ambroise and others so much. It is so tough opening yourself to people, places and things. By filling your heart with these things you are always left with the space of their absence afterwards. What a beautiful thing that is to have.
I visited the farm again this week and didn’t want to leave. It is heaven heaven heaven out there. A simple life and way of being. Animals, cultivating artisinal products, trees, flowers, natural beauty and working in the elements. Simplicity is a beautiful thing.
I don’t want to leave Paris but I am so looking forward to being back. I know in a weeks time after being home I will be bleu bleu bleu with sadness of not returning to Paris this year.

What do you have for me life? What do you have for me.

April 3, 2015

4 days in Nice came and went. Medieval villages, insanely blue water, sweet sud de france frenchie maman et papa who wore stripes in different shades and sizes each day. I managed a small sunburn and eat freshly baked quiche on the beach. 1.5 hours later I was in cold rainy Paris and it feels like a dream that I had my bare arms and sunglasses out.

I hopped a train towards Provins and visited a creamery 45 mins outside of Paris. The gal is a friend of a dear friend and she insisted that we connect. Rolling green fields with 38 stunning horses, 25 dairy cows, geese, egg hens and usually pigs but they had recently been slaughtered. I ate a blood sausage with homemade french fries and potato leek soup. We talked about learning the language, navigating offensive faux-pas and dating french men. Her husband came in and asked her help to bring in the cows. I eagerly volunteered to help. I was terrified out of my mind but I realized they were scared of me too as I went running through the rain and mud to shoo them on their way. You couldn’t wipe the smile for me face the rest of the day as the beauty of this farm continued to unfold. An hold hunting lodge built in the 1700s they now host weddings there and it would be a dream to shoot there. They asked me to give them cards and they would gladly refer me. Icing on the cake was when one of the cows went into labor and I witnessed the process and got to name the pretty little girl (Charlotte) once she finally arrived after a little complication. I hope to return next week with my gear and really document this little slice of heaven. :)

March 27, 2015

A weekend baby shower in Paris and then an early morning flight to Romania. I took the bus for 9 leie = $2.50. I had booked a room at the intercontinental. It was cozy, not too expensive and I’m glad for the time and space to be a little bit introverted. I walked through the city a bit but it was freezing cold that day and I was eager to take a nap.
The conference kicked off with a networking cocktail hour and I met a handful of people from all over – California, Belgium, the UK, Romania, Switzerland seemed to be the groups that I ended up hanging out with the rest of the time there.
Day two was filled with a few great speakers and a few so so speakers. Good reminders to work harder, CREATE, edit your vision, capture moments moments moments. What is a lovely photo.. what is a stagnant photo, what is a powerful photo. I am reminded and humbled. Tell a story – with a hand.. with texture. Tell a story.

The group of us went to dinner and had a few beers that of course led to more beers and dancing until three in the morning. Some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Free as a bird.. what is it about me in these moments? haha.. When I walked in the next day every one that had been there the night before turned to be like “YOU! Girl you are so fun!” haha.. ughh…..

And boom.. my world was just again expanded on the international level. I now have friends within and two hour train ride that share my heart and vision for life in pursuing this passion called life/photography.

Today is – Detox. For my body and my work.

Cheers!

March 19, 2015

I am moony eyed and giggly. I suppose considering with the shift in weather the spring twitterpation has overcome me. I’m doing my best not to let it spill all over the place and onto everyone. I’m unsuccessful it seems.

Two days in Belgium and we didn’t want to leave. We arrived in an efficient manner and found our airbnb with ease. Brussels was charming, calm, friendly and walkable. I feel that we saw a large amount of the city in the two days we were there and successfully attacked the local fare – Waffles, beer, chocolate, mussels, fries and etc! I had a great time with Amel and I do think we make good travel partners. Maybe I should look into visa’s for brussels… hm.

Back in Paris and the launch of the new project with Lowepro. It’s exciting to be a part of it even though I’m not really sure what that all entails. We shall see. For now it is international klout. I’ll take it.

After a crazy weekend in Paris of late nights dancing and drinking followed by two days in Brussels I needed a day in. I didn’t leave the house at all yesterday and I got oh so much work done.

Once again I have proven to myself that I am a woman that can “have it all” haha…

{Friday night in Paris with Amel – fancy cocktails (who knew they existed in Paris!) followed by divey french bar drinks joined by Kristin. It was 2am already and we decided to check out my discoteque in my old neighborhood. On the way we were followed by a few young cuties who were of course destroyed when we weren’t interested in more than a dance. We left before they could figure it out seeing as it was almost 3:30 in the morning and on the way we passed my dear Plein Soleil cafe which was “closed” / chairs stacked high curtains shut but with american 90′s hip hop and mariah carey and light seeping out of the cracks. We found a door and were welcomed inside to a little private disco. Amel and I were instantly in heaven and had the best time dancing. By the time we walked home we had been escorted (again) by two young (!) cuties who had been tricked into thinking Amel was an american and I was the french speaker. It was too fun and funny and they were as sweet as it came since they were from the suburbs and “visiting Paris for the weekend”. We quickly said good bye at the door once we saw the paper delivery guy and heard the birds tweeting their good morning. oh Friday…. }

I’m afraid I’ve lost myself. Amel keeps singing “they call it looooveee”. I keep trying to remind myself to be careful and not to get attached yet. For sure it is too late. There are worse things I suppose than to be smitten with a sweet guy that actually does treat me right….

March 12, 2015

I’m sitting at the kitchen table at 46 Rue Saint Sebastian with the sun on my back. I share the space with my bed also known as the couch and my camera gear is spread across it.

It’s been a restful / lazy / productive morning. Breakfast with Amel before she headed off to work and some yoga for myself. I finished my bookings for Brussels and Romania. Ate a delicious homemade meal and ordered client albums.

This last week… (its already been a week!!) catching up with friends and clients. I brunched with my girlfriends on Sunday and serendipitously it was international womans day. 8 countries and 4 continents were represented. So cool.
I’ve had two free tours of different areas of Paris, one in Montmartre and the other exploring Sentier. It was nice to have a commitment that brought an element of new. Crazy how familiar Paris is.
Turns out the painting I was gifted is actually legit by a long standing famous irish painter. All the articles I’ve read about him online say he is nutty/crazy and well I experienced just that. haha
I went out Saturday night with Amel and Ambroise and got offered a job and Le Galway the irish pub near the Notre Dame. I laughed at the idea and then asked myself seriously,.. why not?! I don’t know if it will fit in my schedule or not, but it could be fun or at least a good story to tell.
Most of my evenings have been filled with open mic nights or late night chats with Amel. All have been lovely and uplifting.

I crave an element of new and unknown. Time for me to experience a different part of Paris I feel. I feel a little restless. Maybe because while I appreciate music, it is not mine. While I appreciate poetry, it is not mine. I will check out some photography meet ups and see what this brings me.

Tonight is coffee with Betsy and open mic with PLU. I agreed to photograph the evening. Should be fun. This weekend is a franco american meet up and then Brussels for two days.

I’ve heard from Kyle every day since i’ve been here. He has made a lot of effort(?) in being present with me while I am here. This really means a lot to me and it gives me hope.

March 7, 2015

Lunch with bretsy and their beautiful new apartment.  A day of productivity that included yoga membership, french phone, and metro pass.  Im officially a functioning local.   I napped even though i shouldnt have and made dinner for Amel and i.  We easily pass the time with a bottle of wine and conversation before we realize we must get out the door to be social.   We first stopped at an irish bar where a friend’s band is playing.  We meet some internationals and share a few drinks and laughs and head onto the next.  We arrive at Les Caves just nearby our place.  its the night of the poetry brothel and we are welcomed with red candle lit underground caverns and face painted ladies and gents sipping and canoodling in their corners.  I was asked to take photos so i snapped a few.. Had my face drawn, watched a “burlesque” act and then headed out as the dj started spinning tunes.  Amel and i stopped by the Rush for a night cap and were greeted by a drunk irish man whose paintings covered the wall.  The featured artisit i presume.  He took a fancy to me i suppose and insisted that i take one of the paintings home.  He scrawled my name on the back along with the date and finished it with his signiture.

Not til i walked away did i discover he apperantly is a big deal and the painting was worth something?

Just a regular night in Paris.

March 6, 2015

I arrived without pomp and circumstance.  Without an extra thought really.  There was no elated high upon touchdown.  No extra giggle when my passport was stamped.

I hadn’t slept on the plane and i spent the whole time thinking about Kyle.  

This is why i had decided not to date while home.  I didnt want a guy to influence my time here.  This is my time..  Paris is my space and home.  But, I am so grateful for meeting Kyle.  I’ll let retrospect have what it may in 6 weeks.  

I fell to sleep with this image of a Paris monster devouring little men aka the relationships i’ve sacrificed in order to pursue this crazy idea of a life here.   While it is true..  Those men also chose to not pursue despite the challenge of time and distance.  

I regret nothing.  

I woke up sad. Sad to be here and wishing I could have had another two weeks in California with Kyle.  I was upset with myself for being here when here no longer has a future.   

I knew i needed an attitude adjustment. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME? Im in fucking Paris – my favorite city in the world.  It may be my last time here this year..  I needed to snap out of this.

Thankfully i have amazing people in my life who can point me in the right direction.  A short convo with Jnsa did the trick and once again my heart is full and grateful.

For now, I am here. Time to be present.

I’ve been granted 6 weeks in this amazing city.  A year full of work and adventures about to unfold.   Sweet, kind and lovely people to call my friends.  On Sunday I brunch with my girlfriends (14 in attendence) with whom i have been lucky to get to know these last  2+ years.   

This is my life?!

Xo