Sep 1, 2014

Postcards from Heaven

I lean against the wind, pretend that i am weightless and in this moment i am happy.

If you currently are not happy, it might be time to ask yourself what it is that is stopping you from experiencing happiness at this very moment? Well it's not all about throwing a forced smile (although based on my experience, that's not a bad start), however, where would you begin when attempting to get yourself in a genuinely happy state of mind? These were the thoughts going on in my head as I was sitting about 2,500 feet above sea level on that cool, overcast but absolutely calm morning as I just sat amongst the clouds (a past time I enjoy) and just had to clear my head and be as they say "away from it all." To begin with, I had the laid back look perfected: loose over sized knit sweater, ripped boyfriend jeans, appropriate mandals (and do not get me started on the woven hat over my head which I rarely wear unless I need my thinking hat back on, which is what this hat is...) The look is so coordinated and coherent it practically makes me look like the poster child for self-reflection which isn't always a bad thing but as I said, there's more to me than that and to borrow from Ani Di Franco, "I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavors... and then some..."

I say that because I am the last person who you could probably fit into a box. I can't label myself as anything as I try to be as appropriate and as proper as the situation fits. I am not a flower child, a hippie, a hipster (yes, apparently, there is a difference), a dressed to the nines posh princess or whatever style archetype you want to *Insert Here*. It isn't that I don't have a personality...because I do have one but it's not necessarily something you can pack up inside a box... I do know the importance of being real though versus being likeable (which is my battle cry because I am so over and done with the pretension in this industry or in whatever industry that is--- because apparently, life is easier lived for people if they keep up with pretenses...something that personally never made any sense.) I don't really care if I am voted most popular but if there was a poll, I would like to be considered for most real... in the sense that I have something to say, I will say it and well it's up to you if you want to take it in or hate me for it.

Sweater: Zara
Boyfriend Jeans: Mango
Mandals: Tonic Bags and Shoes
Bag: Mango
Hat: Zara

 For many of us, happiness is a constant battle. For me, the battle ended when I decided to stop going against the odds and just be me. I have tried every route possible to achieve happiness... I've simulated relationships, tried to earn and achieve (something I happen to be good at) and tried to have as much people around me as possible thinking this would make me happy... they didn't. If you are like me, I am one of those people who aren't just capable of being happy by default and mostly get sad when something goes terribly wrong. People like me or like you, if you can relate, have to fight for happiness. The key is to make that effort, that leap, the extra mile and not allow yourself to remain in a state of emotion other than 'happy' for too long. Now I am in that state where I refuse to feel anything other than happiness. I've realized, I don't need to be in a relationship to be happy and I definitely didn't need to be spoken for by any guy as I can speak for myself, I don't need to do anything that I don't want to just to achieve status, glory or a higher credit limit and I definitely did not need to be surrounded by toxic people who pretend to be there but are secretly rooting for me to fail. People say being alone is the worst feeling in the world and I beg to differ. Being surrounded by all the wrong people and knowing the loneliest feeling ever. Again, trust me on this.

Much like happiness, serenity is a place you must locate. Okay, I know it's a state of mind...that feeling of being calm, peaceful and untroubled. Ever since I was in high school, the Sanskrit translation of serenity for me was best represented by the word "ananda" which literally means bliss. Perhaps you will have actual locations that give you a feeling of calm such as a quaint coffee shop or a beautiful park. Other times, like on this day I shot this photo, it is all about finding serenity within yourself. That inner-peace, the correct state of mind, that relentless focus on cleansing oneself of all anger, frustration and hate, inhaling calm and exhaling neurosis and concerns. Basically, hakuna matata.

Photos by: Celyn Jaravata

xx, JL


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