Reflection


To You,

Oh goodness, what a week. It’s crazy to look at the date as of late and recognize that I started this blog almost one year ago. One year ago I was prepping for my move to England with absolutely no clue as to how it was all going to be managed, how it was to compliment my life, or how it was going to challenge me. What can I say is that it was an utterly unpredictable move on my part in so many more ways than one. Life as I have always known it has been unpredictable. From my dad’s passing in 1992, to my dropping out of university in 2004, to my first move to England and now to my second, life has been nothing short of a badly written novel – a good story includes foreshadowing, not constant ups and downs and run-arounds. Ever since I was a little girl I tried to have a plan for something, whether it was the next day, the next week, or the next year. But at the same time, I have exploited this aspect of unpredictable happenings and pushed them to the max, trying to never focus on their absurd addition to my life until after I’ve sought after it. My application to Durham University was something silently looming in my mind, however not concerning any specifics. When I applied to this highly reputable university in North East England, it was a challenge I desperately needed to awaken my life from where it was standing. I was going through a shit time in my life, and I was feeling quite beaten and bruised emotionally and mentally, and physically I was exhausted. I was not in a place remotely close to being considered ‘happy’ or ‘satisfying’ but rather I found that I was digging myself a hole of destructible measures. I was on the brink of ending a 6 year relationship of which was no longer healthy for myself or the other party involved, and I saw Durham University as an application metaphorically tied to the notion that I either jump into a challenge that would shake me up, or give up on defining life for myself and slug through mediocre standards.

Mentally, I have been through a lot in my life. I have always been ‘different’ from most kids and teenagers as I grew up. I never took part in, nor was I interested in a popular lifestyle, rebellious behavior, or anything remotely interesting to kids my age. I think a part of me knew that life was going to throw nothing but challenges my way, and I wanted to be ready for them. I was/am ridiculously competitive, and for a good 7 years sports were more important to me than a social life of any kind – needless to say, I was a loner and quite content with such. I have never felt pressured to pursue anything that would throw me off into a dangerous spiral of ignorance, and I’ve always stayed quite proud of that. And I have always followed my own path (trust me, I have the photos to prove as such). However, nearing the completion of my Bachelor’s degree I knew how much I lacked in pride at that point and how much inspiration I was in need of. So an application to Durham was filled out, mailed off, and somehow I ended up accepting a spot in the International Studies postgraduate program. I cannot emphasize this enough, but I have never studied politics – not only have I never studied politics, I have never enjoyed reading political theory, learning about philosophical approaches to political analysis, or engaging in political lectures. Challenge? Yes, that term is an understatement of the grandest kind. Did I excel? No, no I did not. My intelligence is measured in curiousity and inquiry, rather than immediate comprehension. I crave to know, but I am very aware that what I know is not the end all, be all of truths. How does this fit into traditional English academia? Not so smoothly in fact, and it was a struggle of immense proportions. People think I’m smart, but it has taken me a long time and road to get here, and I am still very much a novice. I am very pleased that I have the characteristics to be viewed as a smart individual, but no one understands the amount of mental and emotional strength I have needed to get here. Growing up, I was the last of my friends to be asked for homework help, and I was the one always too shy to ask for any when I needed it. I was always made fun of for who I was, how I was, what I was. My teachers would explain to my mother at parent-teacher night that I was ‘different’ and asked if my mother was concerned with this (I was an extreme tomboy in a Catholic school – if you do the math, yeah, they thought I was ringing up on their gay-dar to devilish rankings). I was told by teachers in highschool that I would never succeed at my dreams, I was given up on by a few when my dissatisfaction with my surroundings got in the way of my grades, and my good nature was constantly run over time and time again.

In my final year of highschool I accepted an offer to study at Purdue University in the U.S, and so for my first time I was moving to a new country. Within my first year I came to my senses and decided life was short, and university was a waste of time for me at that moment, because I was not enjoying it at all. So I dropped out. Eventually I move to London, UK, and then to France for the winter, and the English/Wales coast for a summer before moving back to the U.S to get that pesky degree. I enrolled in a Fine Arts Photography degree program in Indianapolis, and little do people know, but I had never seen a darkroom before my first photography course. I had never heard the terms ‘aperature’, ‘ISO’, or ‘f-stop’. The extent of my art history knowledge was taught within a 3-week period in highschool. Again – novice, although I finished being recognized as one of the top 5% of our graduating photo student body. To sum up, I have spent the past five years of my academic career introducing my brain to foreign elements in order to familiarize it with the unknown. Life is unpredictable, and I want to be in full recognition of that. I want a diversely educated mind so that the term ‘normal’ has no comprehensible definition to me.

But after all of this, I am tired. And to be quite honest, I am a little lost. Challenges have always appeared alluring to me, because the things and people I want in my life are ones I want to know were worth fighting for. I want significant memories of knowing how much I worked for things in life so that I know there was something immeasurable in its value to my life. When I was little, I had a lot. I had a father who worked his ass off for our life then and our life to come, a mother who would stand up for whatever life we pursued, and a history of diverse cultures and lessons to be learned. I never had the time to acknowledge it all then, and thus it should not go ignored now. My time in Durham taught me a lot about myself, but it also made me aware of the bruises that have yet to heal from years of no confidence, instability, and meanness. I don’t believe in being mean to heal mean, to make fun in order to feel better about my ‘lack of cool’, or to belittle to feel big. And to be honest, this belief has made for a tough road to heal, because I also believe in being cognizant of my surroundings, and ignorance is not something I dabble in. This past year has definitely succeeded in being one of the most positive challenges that I have ever taken on, but that is not to say that I am at peace with it. As I said earlier, I feel rather lost now, slightly more than a year ago and with much fewer ideas as to what’s next. I’m by no means done fighting for the quality of life I wish to attain, but at times it’s easy to wonder who is fighting with you, believing in your fight, and sincerely wishing for your success. When I take on a ‘challenge’ of sorts, I am constantly asked, Are you sure this is what you want? All I can respond with at this point is that if you merely recognize the struggle as a struggle, then you’re not with me just yet. If you only see the pain as pain, you don’t see the value. If you only acknowledge the tears, the sweat, the frustration, and the anger as being ill rewards of an impossible climb, then you don’t believe in what I believe. Because the struggle is a fight for the immeasurable, the pain is a challenge accepted for something worthwhile, and the ‘ill rewards’ are the mind’s battle for what’s true in life. When the crowd at the finish line is only expecting your arrival, they are never going to acknowledge the fight that started before the gun signaled Go!

My time in Durham is done. Dissertation handed in, all moved back to Canada. What’s next? I have no clue, but I have a feeling that no matter what, I’m in for another challenge.

Until next time,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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At a Crossroads


To You,

The rain has finally been plummeting down in Indianapolis, and from what I’ve been told to by numerous residents it has been way overdue and very much appreciated. I promised people I would bring some of that UK rain with me over the pond, and apparently I delivered. We’ve had 3 or 4 storms since I arrived and therefore the weather has been lovely for the past week or so with less humidity and temperatures barely breaking 82 degrees Farenheit (which this Celcius girl has been told this indicates hot but not unbearable numbers.. Farenheit still bewilders me). So the weather has been more much more tolerable to say the least.

The dissertation is coming along, although it did suffer quite a delay from my original timeline due to jet-lag and general stress/overwhelming anxiety about life as I know it. But yes, it is coming.

My mind has definitely taken a hit to say the least. I’m finding myself standing at a fork in the road attempting to decipher which way is which, what way leads up and what leads me down a path of.. well.. crap. I’ve taken so many chances in my life, and I have worked endlessly to uphold a standard that makes me proud and that makes me feel like my family would be proud alongside me. Lately, however, I’ve become confused. And that’s putting it lightly. I’m not satisfied with my life at the moment, and I know I’m at a crossroads of change and transition at the moment, but to feel unsatisfied after working so hard feels disruptive to my persistent will to forever better the person I am in any given moment. I want to believe in me and the challenges I’ve pursued, but I’ve hit times where I wish I could eliminate the thoughts and perceptions of those around me and do what I feel is a possible route of positive change. I take risks, but I’m becoming scared of repercussions. I’m finding it hard to communicate about anything, because I feel like words break apart upon their release and deplete to a mist of dust and chaos. I’m finding myself without someone to talk with, and at times this makes me uneasy. I feel as though my life’s path is at times secondary. I feel.. brushed aside at times; dismissed. Life has been in need of some luster, some romance, some dream awakening motions. I suppose I just need to do some reworking around of my motives, my footpath, and the importance of those working alongside of me and for me.

I’m feeling very much like last place.

Ho hum, diddly dum. :o/

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Reaching Out for a Hand to Hold


To You,

Yes, it has been a while. Why, you may ask? Well I shall answer whether or not the question was posed with, ‘because I’ve been moving, bitches.’ On July 22nd I jumped the Durham ship and was London bound where I spent an awesomely lovely week soaking up the sunny rays (yes, they were actually in existence prior to the Olympics) and some time with family members throughout the cosmopolitan city. It was absolute bliss going from packing hell, shipping stress, and cleaning frenzies to sitting outside in my beloved city underneath the warm summer sun and catching up with relatives about this and that and everything in between. On July 27th, I headed to Gatwick and successfully arrived into Toronto to catch a bit of the opening ceremonies footage playing on Canadian news stations – a little surreal since I was there in London that morning and was now watching it from overseas. Très sad.

Now I have been resting in Indianapolis, IN for 2 weeks at this point, of which the first week consisted of nothing but sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Since then … the difficulty to awaken from this mindless slumber.

I’m feeling.. at odds, so to speak. I have worked my ass off this past year, more than what most can come to realize. What people do not acknowledge is that I have spent the past 5 years of my life studying in fields of which I had no prior knowledge of before the commencement of said studies. In 2007 I enrolled at IUPUI in Indianapolis, and within 3 months embarked on a degree in Fine Arts. Had I ever studied the arts? Yes. However, had I ever seen a darkroom? No. That’s an affirmative negative. Did I know what silver gelatin meant? Ha, no. I was beyond clueless, but knew I wanted to check into the medium. Challenge accepted. To be honest, I did well.. I stand true to that. I worked my ass off to challenge my mind to communicate my passions through the medium of photography and art in general. It was difficult going from such a nervous individual, refusing to express opinions in the most casual of settings to pinning up my work on the walls and presenting varying topics to my peers. And let it be known, photography students are nasty, ruthless, and cut-throat compared to other students I’ve thus far encountered. We do not hold back and neither do the professors. It’s rough, and a huge mental challenge for the soul at times. At the end of my undergraduate career, I was ready for a Master’s program. In art? No, that’s silly – politics of course!

Yes. I am an idiot on multiple levels. My artwork had developed an interest in exploring the power of art within a political setting. However, I have never studied politics. Not even in high school. To this day, I am a dunce in parliament rulings, democratic voting schemes, political party movements. I wanted to know more about the discussion in today’s classrooms as to what we are exploring, focusing on.

I cannot explain the difficulty of this past year. Due to the fact that my brain has turned to incoherent mush it is hard to verbalize my struggles in words which are inclusive in the English language. I challenged myself with the ultimate challenge for myself – I am not a natural academic, but I refuse to recluse to the mediocre simplicity of my mind’s nature and so I push it to it’s actual capacity. So picture this: the art student, quirky, creative, at times irrational, stepping onto the grounds of Durham University, a highly traditional English university recognized as one of the tops in the country. It is claimed as the third oldest in the UK, and it sticks to its traditional nature. Challenge.. accepted? Yes. Fuck yes, let’s do it. (Can you see the oddity of which I stood out as amongst my peers? Should I mention that in my induction ceremony class photo I stood out like a pea sitting atop a pile of charcoal – literally.. only chick wearing a colour amidst a sea of grey toting classmates).

I have less than 1 month to complete my dissertation. I am tired. I am worn down, and I am struggling to complete this challenge. I didn’t back down, however. I never backed down, even though I did stumble, I did trip and fall, and I did break down on numerous occasions. No one will ever know what I have put myself through this past year, and no one will understand why it has been as hard as it has been. I’ve had a rough few years battling personal struggles, being beaten down verbally, struggling to trust, to talk, to believe, and to dream. Those who know me know I’ve been through some shit. And it never ceases to stop, but neither do I.

To be honest, I am fighting so hard to find something worth standing for. Throughout my year abroad, pushing my brain through the equivalent of boot-camp for the weak, I have been trying to come out on top of personal decisions. And to be honest, I’m breaking down. I have been fighting for something that I truly believe in more than anything else in a long, long time. I believe in the connection of people, and I believe nothing is made to be easy apart from the connection itself. But I feel like no matter how hard I keep fighting to sustain a life worth fighting for, I’m blindsided by the unforeseen. There are most definitely times where I wish I could start over, choose the easy route, but life as I have always known it has been difficult, but I have accepted every challenge with everything I could give and I am grateful for the experience. I feel like every time I give, however, I’m asked to up it with an extra side of fries. I’m still trying, I’m still kicking, I’m still being as honest as the situation calls for, but will I ever be worth the flaws? I am struggling in life right now, and I feel like I’m not done giving. But I feel as though I am not worth the challenge for others, and I think that leaves me feeling foolish and taken for granted. But I’m still kicking, because the minute I stop I will sink in the middle of this sea rather than reaching the stability of the distant shoreline.

So yes, been busy. Been preoccupied. Been stressed and confused. Been fighting.

Speak soon,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Fighting a Case of the Blahs as it Presents Symptoms of the Ho-hums.


To you,

This year, although I suppose the calendar gods would appreciate me noting that it has not quite been 365 days since my time in Durham began, but still for simplification purposes I will carry on with my initiated intro…

This year has been filled with complexity, challenges, and struggles – all of which are hugely under-exaggerated statements. I have a little over one week left in this location, this home of mine, and I know once I am officially done with my Master’s dissertation, I will have sudden moments of self-reflection on the time of which I chose to spend here. However at this very moment I do not have eloquent words which could express a beautiful poetic verse on this city, the people, the self-reflection of life lived. Rather, all I can muster up to emotionalize is this utter credence of being burnt out. I cannot give you a metaphor of knowledge gained over the months, nor can I sense emotion of gratitude and pride. I am completely lack luster of self-reflective awe.

So much has occurred this year, and so many personal challenges were laid out for me to experience, yet sitting here contemplating food and packing I am feeling rather ‘blah’. It’s not a sentiment of failure nor boredom, but rather the personal perspective of wondering, ‘How have I improved through all of this?’. Its not that the world around me failed in challenging me enough [oh please world, do not take it as such! I beg of you, don’t!], but a thought bubble of whether or not I got caught up in the game of configuring life in accordance with the challenges life provided me and through it all did not provide myself with my own goals, standards, and challenges to strive through. I feel myself still on that brink of wanting to better myself in many different fashions, some more urgent than others, but I’ve yet to embark on doing so. I just haven’t figured out these self-purchased puzzle pieces yet, and I keep preoccupying myself solely with the ones people have gifted upon me.

Lackluster. That’s what I am feeling right now. And I feel as though I have so many other priorities going on right now that attempting to confront this sentiment would prove ineffective until I can manage through the rest of this ‘year’ in which I am calculating to be culminated with the handing over of my thesis.

But like I mentioned briefly – I have only one week left here, so I should probably step away from inflicting my opinions on the universe (one of my fave Sherlock Holmes sentiments from the BBC interpretation) and attempt to sort.

Bon nuit,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Durham Sits at Number Seven, and it’s Shortly Onto Number Eight


To You,

I’m feeling uninspired. Rather tired. A little on the blah side of things. This weather for sure doesn’t help. Neither does that the fact that I have the first chapter of my dissertation due this Friday. I feel mentally drained for the most part. I think my mind has been flying overtime (which is truly no rare feat in my life), and I’m exciting myself, as well as worrying myself, over all that is about to end and all that will then begin.

Flight is booked, I am to move back to North America at the end of July, which means I am leaving Durham around the 23rd so that I may spend my last week in the UK in London, my second home. I will try to see as much family as my time allows me to, and then it’s back to Canada. However, before I settle down in a Canadian town I will be heading south to Indianapolis to finish up my dissertation and bid adieu to traditional academia for the time being (oh Lord, I cannot wait). I figure while I have the time and freedom to do so, I will spend some extra time with my adored few in Indianapolis as I know many of the said few are planning to jump ship quite shortly following. And since I have this little dissertation to construct, and landing a full-time job in the midst of that would deem a teensy bit stressful, I’ve decided to spend some time with them before my life becomes rather grounded again. Who knows – it may be the vacation I’ve needed, to settle down before I do something crazy and the circle repeats itself 🙂

Overall, I am ready to head back. And more than that, I am ready to live in my beloved Canada again – shockingly enough, and a fact that makes me feel rather old, I have not lived full-time in Canada for almost 10 years. I could not believe it when I broke the numbers down, and I have missed my homeland and my home friends dearly. I feel like I’ve learned so much about the functioning of other countries of which I was residing in throughout that decade, however I feel rather lost and out of touch with Canadian culture and society – I’m not always good with catching online news updates, and I’m much better at learning from experiencing within. So back to Canada it is, forever my home of all homes. I kind of just wish I could be there already. 🙂

But yes, less than two weeks left in Durham – mad how it’s already come to an end. These next two weeks I’ve loads of writing and researching to accomplish, and loads of photographs to snap. My digital as decided to go wonky on me and so I will be resorting to shooting with my new little Minolta film camera for the time being. I will be writing a few last letters, and packing my flat up. I’ll be sad to leave this flat. It’s been my own, and in the time that I inherited it from the previous tenant, I was very much in need of something all of my own as I felt like such a concept was out of reach.

Anyways, that’s it for now. Speak soon 🙂

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

An Ongoing Battle with Myself


To You,

Topsy-turvy, and constantly in a state of flux, my mind is rather a jumble of mush at the moment. Sometimes, the littlest thing triggers my brain into doubting everything and anything, and currently this is the state I’m in. Perhaps it’s the anxiety of change looming in the near future as I am soon to pack up and move back to North America in the next month or two, but I am craving a sense of calm in my life right now.

I do seem to have made complicated decisions in my life, and unfortunately they are not smoothed out nor compressed with the ease of opportune resources ($$$$), and so my complicated decisions lead to further levels of complexity, and although there are days in which I crave the ‘TBD’ of the unknown experience, I am human and therefore wish for things to come together in peace.

Right now, I would love to say that I have a job and locale lined up, but I do not. To be honest it has taken much strength for me to accept the idea that I focus purely on my dissertation for the remainder of the summer rather than preoccupy myself with finding a job immediately. But again, I do wish I had said job so that my locale would be available for me to move to and get myself footed in my new home of sorts. After living on my own, I must admit I enjoy it. Thoroughly. I enjoy having my set schedule – I have a tendency to become OCD and it’s more manageable in stressful, deadline-ridden times for me to organize my day without interruption (unless I’ve perceived this would occur, and have ‘scheduled’ it in). I have enjoyed having my own life out here – studies, work, financially independent on all bills, travels.. I want to improve on it, and further my independent lifestyle on taking care of me.

I quite successfully suck at taking care of myself. True story. And living on my own has made me aware of where I need to re-evaluate things in my life. I am in dire need of a de-cluttering and revamping of my lifestyle, but I kind of want to figure that out on my own. I want to develop my own lifestyle instead of having others guide me through it. I think right now I am overly frustrated with perceptions of my actions, decisions, life plans – I’m quite tired of talking about it, and would much rather pursue than have others scare me out of failure. I’ve always joked about the odd things I’d like to tackle in life, but in reality I view them all as serious ventures. I don’t handle the remotest amount of judgment from people, and so I tend to hide my ‘dreams’ from others until I’ve decided they had lived their life out as dreams long enough and were time to make into reality.

I’m at a point of doubt and lack-luster. I’m bored, to be honest with you. I am in desperate need of independently organizing me for once, and prioritizing the life I’d like to pursue. I’ve got good people in my life, good prospects, good ideas, and good intentions. I just haven’t worked well at balancing all of this for me. Perhaps a nice summer project to work towards? You know, alongside that little dissertation I have to assemble..? 🙂

Happy dreams,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

And so the Countdowns Commence


To you,

I feel as though the past two months have escaped my attention, and somehow it is mid June and my time here has nearly run its course. I am officially departing from this home of mine at the end of July, having ended my lease a few months early to save the financial ruins that is my savings account. Tomorrow I have a 5000 word essay due, of which I will celebrate for a day or two before cracking down on my dissertation. Having met with my supervisor this afternoon, we have decided that I will hand in a 4000 word (minimum) chapter in 3-weeks time. I have three shifts left at my job, of which I am anxiously ready to fly through, and so after 10 o’clock on Saturday evening I will express a sigh of relief and satisfaction that I survived my Master’s while holding down a part-time job. And then in 11 days and 17 hours my final visitor of the summer (and whilst I live in Durham) will arrive: my lovely beau, my handsome dude, my Mr. Beard-face, this guy I kinda know and like.. kinda 😉

So the countdowns have commenced. 24 hours to hand in my last essay, 3 days until I am done with work at the university, 11 days &  17 hours until Mr. Awesome arrives, 3 weeks to write a dissertation chapter, and 1.5 months left living in Durham.

At least it’s all spread out rather evenly… right? :/

Time to crack on!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

It is in These Days That I Do Not Give a F*ck


To you,

I woke up this morning not recalling how I fell asleep. It was as if the night before had not occurred and I had missed out on its hours completely. My mind was conscious of  the fact that much was fluttering about its walls, pushing my sanity to the brink of collapse, however, my body was functioning in auto-pilot mode. I don’t recall the morning. I woke up around 10:30AM, and somehow it became 2:30PM and I was ready to leave for work. I know what I did in between those hours, but I don’t recall experiencing them. I know they happened, but my mind was only focusing on typing out a letter, rather than experiencing my body fulfill the motions.

It’s these days that I find hard to be around people. I just want to curl up, have someone hold me, and sit in silence until I fall asleep. It’s a near anxiety attack interacting with people, as if I may just start crying in the middle of a conversation. It’s these days where I hate forceful conversations, when in all honesty I do not give a fuck. Yes, it’s these days that I do not give a fuck. I don’t whinge about my life, my romance, my woes of  the year. I don’t bitch about finances, life, ailments, personal tragedies. I will vent to people who actually care for me, but I don’t make it known so all people have sympathy for my situation. I am a very private person (who apparently writes a blog… yeah, that’s right – I called me out before you could take the first swing!). My love is my love, my life is my life, my tragedies are my tragedies.

Anyways, as I was saying, my body is in auto-pilot. I’m going through some rough situations right now, just personal reasoning to self-doubt. I think this is a good time to start back into yoga and meditation.

Okie dokes, I’m off now.

Ciao ciao,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Everyone Needs a Shoulder to Lean On


The breeze cools the room nicely, as it softly gives movement to the white linen fabric draped over the brown leather backing of the chair. The sun is finishing it’s descent for the day, culminating the tonal variants of the sky in a cool overcast grey.

Birds chirp in the distance, carrying on the song that was elevated in the morning hours. Apart from that, the only sounds to surround this space are the muffling of occasional voices heard passing down the road and the vacant white noise of the silence settling on this reflective Monday evening.

On a calm and cooling night following the erupting thought passages of the day, this chilled breeze breaking through the slight musky heat of this room is the only thing keeping me calm enough to breathe.

2008, Victoria L. Son

The emotional romantic in me is cracking at the seams, frustrated with everything secreting from my fingertips within their actions and intentions. All seems faulty, every thing touched turns the reverent intention into something lack-luster; nothing returns the acknowledgement nor sentiment that is demonstrated towards it, but rather ignores any effort with a shrugged off miff of ignorance towards the fact.

Slowly this space becomes darker with the glow of this laptop screen increasingly luminescent in contrast to the dulling light of which encompasses it.

The air, refreshing. The tone, a sigh of error. Trying so desperately to not revert to childish solitude, but in these days, these soon-to-be June days, the soul finds strength in nothing but.

2009, Victoria L. Son

The fall of night is near, and there are fewer words to speak of. A chilling breeze is all to be heard now, and in it, graceful meditation.

Bon nuit. x

Coiled Up in a Twist of Question Marks


To you,

The sun is shining brightly outside my bedroom window, with the trees moving slowly amidst the warming breeze and the sky is the quintessential shade of ‘sky blue’. All is illuminated, from the metal accents of the rooftops, to the faces of the pedestrians pleased to feel the calming vitamins released by the sun’s rays. Me, however, I am finding it difficult to escape the sentiments of frustration and confusion. Ho hum, diddly dum. :-/

I’m feeling myself trapped in hole devoid of confidence and perspective. Question marks seem to be looming over every aspect of my day-to-day thought process as of late, and I’m getting a bit tired of it. I’m trying to find ways to climb out of it all, but I feel like the vulnerability of lack of confidence leaves me susceptible to being knocked back down creating further frustration over, and over again. I think what people fail to see in me at times is that I’m not a naturally confident person, and I’ve always struggled in areas that do not fit naturally to me. It is shocking I never stuck to the world of sports, as it came so easily to me. Even at sports I didn’t excel at I figured out minor ways to still succeed in obtaining that VIP-award status. Academics and art, however – not my natural suit. I never thought about pursuing art (and I’m not talking about the medium, but rather the conceptual success) until I had already enrolled in university (the second time around). I had never taken a formal art course before – my high school didn’t have the budget for much beyond drawings and paintings during my attendance. I was completely out of my comfort zone. And now… oh god. I’m at that point where I’m questioning it all – why am I here? how the hell did I get here? why can’t I find my balance? I have this small feeling that people take me as stupid. I am not knowledgeable in classic literature, fine historic art, common social and scientific theories. But I am curious, and passionate, and intuitive, but that seems to mean nothing at times, which I guess is human nature. I am not here in Durham to further my place in life towards titles which declare my intelligence or importance in life. I merely want to learn, and at times I feel that that is viewed as completely insignificant to any materialistic achievement of a diploma in hand. There are people who ask why I think about pursuing a PhD – what do I plan to do with it? Then, there are others who assume that a PhD is next in line – because that’s what one does to achieve greatness, is the tone I hear in their voice. To the first lot, my feelings are that I just want to continue learning. Basic, naive, simple. To the latter, no I don’t know if I will pursue one, because my learning process may be more personal rather than institutional. Obnoxious, irrational, whimsical. There is a part of me that adores the academic setting, and there is another that is finding it so tiresome. For example, I work part-time as a front of house assistant in one of the dining halls here at the university. And the demeanor of some individuals reads incapable of seeing past social class, incapable of seeing anything beyond the classification of academia, incapable of dreaming past a life of aristocratic pleasures.

I think I’ve reached another common stance of exhaustion from certain social conducts. I’m tired of assumptions and double standards. How is stating, ‘oh, that’s rather small..’ any more polite than stating, ‘oh, that’s rather large..’in reference to clothing sizes? How is my mere vulnerable presence any more reason to assume that asking me personal family questions deems appropriate? How is my ‘uniform’ any reason to treat me one way when I serve you, and another when I’m reunited within my social academic status? This is what makes me tired of academia -and people- as of late – assumptions, assumptions, assumptions. Which are inclusive of hierarchy- socially, academically, politically. This is not meant to read as a generalized judgment, but more so frustration built on an accumulation of individual situations lately. Congratulations, world – you’ve managed to kick a vulnerable creature when she’s down once again.

Now, where’s that Montecristo? Lawwwwddd,  I am in need of a Montecristo.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Time to Get Cracking


To You,

My time here in Durham, England has flown by incredibly fast – it’s odd when you look back on things and remember those days and weeks where the hours seemed to extend themselves for what felt like eternity, and now as a collective it seems just like yesterday that you embarked on this new path in life. I contacted my landlord a couple weeks ago to inquire about ending my lease a couple months early. It’s not that I wanted to depart from this place earlier than expected, but rather my employment here is coming to an end in the last weeks of June, and I could not stick around paying rent for 3 months of unemployment – this girl is not made of money; she makes it. A few days ago he informed me that a lady who came around to check the place out had liked it enough, and was hoping to move in at the start of August. So there you go – my time in Durham is to be over come the end of July. I so wish I could have spent the summer here, but without money coming in it is just not a possibility.

Where I’m off to next is a bit of a question mark, and it’s location will most likely depend on a job – I am embarking on a new venture: the venture of landing a real job. I actually don’t mind the prospect of that. There’s so much I’ve learned through fellowships, apprenticeships, and internships these past few years that I would very much like to put it to good use. And with two passports, and a soon-to-have Master’s degree, I’m hoping some doors will remain cracked-open for me 🙂

Anyways, I’ve decided since I have a smidgen over 8 weeks left here (that sounds ridiculous putting it like that.. 8 weeks! That’s it! Oh god….) I would make a list of things to get done within this period. So here it goes, in no particular order:

  • Dissertation – slightly imperative in my completion of a ‘successful’ voyage to Durham
  • 1-summative essay – again, just slightly imperative
  • Yoga – I used to do yoga quite regularly, and I think it has been my one regret from my time here not pursuing it on a daily basis to maintain my flexibility, strength, endurance. Somehow I’ve managed not to put on the pounds since being here, and rather people have asked me how I stay so slim. But I’m a strong believer that looking slim doesn’t mean your body reflects the ‘healthy’ look of it’s exterior, and I am intending on getting back into breathing exercises, toning, stretching, etc.
  • Writing – I have neglected my personal journal since being here, and I very much want to get back to writing everyday about my life here.
  • Art – I miss it. Dearly. I have a few photo projects I’ll be working on in the next few days, and I’ve some light-hearted plans to break back into using my camera again. Also, I’m planning on investing in a new film camera soon before I leave so that I can photograph this city the way that I would like to remember it. I’m eyeing some 35mm Pentax pieces, and, preferably, a Bronica or Mamiya medium format. I’ve also returned to my simple sketches: pen and ink, like quick scratchy sketches of daily objects with minimal titles. Somewhat like simple journal-like pieces.
  • Reading – I have never been an avid reader, although I’ve always wanted to be. My mind moves to quickly, and it’s hard for it to sit still. But I’ve started Madame Bovary and am enjoying it, but it has been a struggle to get myself to just sit and read.
  • Planning – I love projects. The more I have, the happier I am. I am like my mother in that I HATE being bored. For one day, it’s fine. But every other day better be jam packed so that such boredom can be enjoyed, and lately I’ve not been proactive enough in pursuing all the projects I have in mind.
  • Organizing – well since I’m to be moving soon, this one is slightly necessary. I need to start shipping, packing, selling, donating.
  • Running –  I don’t know if this one will happen regularly, but I’m hoping after I get into yoga some more again to try running every now and again. Me and jogging don’t work very well together – I like fast, quick, and over with. I don’t pace myself very well, as I’m highly impatient at times with things like this. In highschool me and my ‘running buddy’ would always sprint ahead of the group, because neither of us could maintain the slow-ass pace of jogging. I have much respect for runners, and I’d love one day to run a marathon and I’m hoping yoga will help me pace myself and my mind again.

So that is my list thus far. I want busy days. I’m tired of sitting, but being bored at times is like a mental paralysis until you reach that point where it’s all enough, and you just jump right into a project. Hopefully I can kick myself into such a state sooner rather than later!

Peace out my homies,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Reminiscing on the Past and a Brief Quip on the Present


To you,

Have been going through some rough ‘n’ tough days as of late. Nothing arduous, but quite tiresome nonetheless. Over the past couple of weeks I think I’ve stressed myself into a sniffly cold, and so for the past two days I have spent my hours sitting, laying, sprawled out in bed – I swear, you cannot overestimate the comforting powers of a cheapy duvet from Argos. Such are the luxuries in my life – a cheapy duvet from Argos.

Anyways, I have spent my evening contemplating that which has required thought, and after exhausting myself over those matters I decided to watch an episode of Sherlock Holmes thinking that I would fall asleep peacefully to it. Now, anyone who has fallen victim to BBC’s series of the amusing detective can probably agree that such a thought was rather silly and naive, as I spent a good hour and a half with my eyes wide open and with a little smirk on my face – the smart-aleck dialogue, the camera work artistically portraying London, the wit of the detective’s character, the intelligence of classic English mystery. And so it is now a little past 11 o’clock at night and I sit typing and sniffling rather than sleeping and dreaming.

I think over the past few days, or perhaps more than that, I have come to realize how my little moments of ease and comfort are found most in the vintage; the ‘old-school’; the overlooked character of the past. I have been rather caught up in old french music from the 1960’s, movies portrayed in old London, books retelling the ways of past. At my most comfortable, I adore the old ways that are not even that old – things I grew up with and are now so far forgotten with the quarterly updates of new gadgets and devices. Don’t get me wrong – I love my Macbook. I love my iPod. And clearly, I don’t mind internet accessibility. But I miss letters and cards, and short random phone calls, and tea sets, and old romance and storytelling. I remember my dolls, and action figures, and receiving books with those decadent gold-leafed pages and linen covers, and I remember the slight bit of magic I found in all of those things that, now, technology provides on behalf of your imagination. I am all about modernization and progression, but in regards to my previous post on the simpler ways of life, I miss the simple romance of my past. It’s funny, because as little kids we at times play house, imagine romance when we’re older (at least this was the case for me), and yet we can never imagine how the world is going to change so drastically from the times of our dreams to the world when we encounter the actuality of it all – I think socially, we progress for the good; however, romantically we lose our patience.

[WARNING!! Political Side Note: To be honest, I find some humour in the world’s latest debate over the ‘sanctity of marriage.’ Is not a corrupt world we live in when television can air – without headlining a protest – a TV series based on an individual’s multiple flings to then propose to their ‘true love’ a day after contemplating marrying another, and yet we refrain over showing two people of the same sex kiss on our evening sitcoms? No ‘love’ is perfect, so let’s stop pretending that us ‘straights’ have always had it down-pat on this one, and let’s focus on the discussion of a people’s rights under political governance versus that of ‘religious opposition’ towards the minority few.]

People wonder why I write and adore receiving letters. A facebook message, email, or text will eventually go lost amongst data usage limits, hundreds of updates filled with abbreviations and texting lingo, but a letter is so much harder to rid of. I’ve never tossed one letter given to me (some would say I’m a hoarder; I like to say I’m a romantic), and I love going back through the piles of paper and envelopes just observing the handwriting changes from people over the years, the words we used back then, the things that were worth writing about only to be read 2 weeks later. Many of the things I cherish most were long before having email accounts, or IM-ing, or owning a mobile phone. Computers crash, inboxes get full, accounts expire. Sure, my letter’s could burn up in flames, but even then there’s something still in existence within such a physical demise, n’est pas?

I don’t know. Perhaps I’m in a foggy, sniffly, coughing state of mind. But lately, I’ve found it rather lonely in this modern world we live in. Perhaps that why I adore Durham so much at times. I mean, hell – the uni only just created an online registration system this year. Like I said – I’m an old soul, but I dream like that little girl playing dress-up still. 🙂

Bisous,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Sometimes I Think All I Need in Life is Butter on Toast


To you,

It’s been a reflective few weeks. There are days when I don’t really know why I’m stressed, why I’m exhausted, why I’m low. With no modules this term I have had more time to just chill in my flat, do nothing but organize and relax. However, the latter has not exactly been successful. Things in life just seem over my head, and although there is so much wonderful inclusive in my life, it is not coming easily to me. It’s not about lack of time, or too much on my plate, but rather the complicated nature of everything.

What people fail to recognize about me is that at times all I am seeking is some clarity and simplicity throughout my days. I adore traveling, and making a huge effort to be able to do so according to what I am seeking; I love challenging myself to engage in new experiences like skydiving, bungee jumping, etc.; Long road trips with no end in sight are enjoyable to me, and I thrive on new life experiences (ya know, like moving to little town England on my lonesome to do postgraduate studies in something I’ve never studied before). I love languages, the traditions I grew up on (you have no idea how many years it took me to realize that Ranch dressing was normal in small town Canada, not curry dip with sausages), political discourse, the arts – I prefer not to define myself with generic titles.

I think I’m complicated in nature, but all of these complex components are merely who I am, a curious individual, and that doesn’t mean that I am not seeking the simple happiness at the end of the day. Most nights all I want – whether I’m in Canada, America, the UK, Europe, Asia – all I want is my butter on toast with my cup of tea. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to make me feel that little bit of ‘okay’ that I’m in need of.

Anyways, my duvet is beginning to envelop me in swarm of sleepiness and exhaustion. So nighty night, sleep tight, and if you have bedbugs, do some cleaning tonight. :o)

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Back Again in Durham Town


To you,

Well, here I am again. Back in my Durham apartment with the wind quietly howling outside my window as the grey sky dulls all the colours of which spring typically presents. I left Toronto yesterday evening for my 6 hour and 45 minute flight to London Gatwick where I sat between two armrest-hoggers which basically means I barely slept on the plane, despite taking my sleepy drugs. And now, it’s evening time in England, and I must say it’s been a long day.

My trip to North America was long, and now it feels like a blur. I left Durham over a month ago and it feels like no time has past, although it does feel like we’ve reversed seasons and are now in the March winter/spring that we skipped and apparently are now making up for with this chilled rainy weather. Overall, the trip was lovely although insanely stressful. Let’s just put it out there without beating around the bush any longer – long distance relationships suck. I suppose the bonus of acknowledging how much they suck on the ‘this sucks’ scale equals how much they are worth experiencing. I mean, it obviously depends on why they suck, but for my situation it sucks for the best reasons. Catching up with your other half is a mix of ‘Hey, so good to see you!’ and ‘Hey, so awesome to be in the same timezone!’ to ‘Soo… life, huh..’ and ‘Well let’s figure out the rest of our life in these next two weeks, okie dokie?’. It’s stressful, especially when the two of you do not have even the smallest, insignificant minute to just talk. Me – essays, geographic relocating, fluster dustering at it’s finest. Him – commission, work, life, school. When I’m stressed, my mood can change at the flip of a switch because that’s how fast my mind is shifting, trying to balance everything that people want me to think about. Me? What do I want to think about? I have no idea – I don’t have time to even think about that. Sadly, long distance relationships don’t allow for much ‘vacation’ time to happen within my Spring/Easter break. For me, you’re either committed or you’re not, and I know how much I’m committed and so I treat that as a priority amongst all other priorities – it’s life, not a teenage obsession, nor irrational love story. It is a part of my life. No argument, no compromise. And it’s leaving me exhausted – mentally, emotionally, and physically. So yeah, long distance sucks. But when you attempt it, you learn very fast if it’s worth it or not, with all the shit that comes along with it. And I’m no where close to quitting on this thing.

Apart from sorting out life, I was able to see some lovely friends while visiting home. The one thing I treasure the most about my life are the people – I hate people in a general sense of human race (you cannot deny it – people are stupid sometimes), but I love those that exist in my life because when you travel and relocate as much as I do, you realize the quality of the significant few. If nothing else, you can look at my life and know that I do not mess around – my people are the purest quality that you will come across. The finest friends. I met up for food, coffees, vintage shopping, an hors d’oeuvres dinner rendez-vous, grilling… I got good people. I think that’s the fun part of not being a teenager or early twenties-something – you don’t need bullshit people in your life, and you realize that no effort needs to go into maintaining false friendships that seem more like social network contacts more than anything else.

So anyways, I’m back now. I wish I could have seen family more, hung out with my puppy (who is actually 7) more – even she’s caught on to my traveling ways: the minute she sees me pack, she knows I’m bouncing again as she runs out to the car and stares at the car door awaiting for me to open it for her to join along in the ride. I’m in the home stretch now in Durham – my next overseas departure will be a one way ticket… now there’s a strange thought.

I need rest, and so I think I’m going to embark on such a task.

Speak again soon,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

This Rope I’m On is Fraying


To you,

I’m exhausted. No other way to put it, really, but to come out and say it strong, say it proud – I’m exhausted. Fucking tired. I don’t think I can even fathom the amount of  things I have on my plate right now. Life as I know it is escaping from me, and I’m fumbling it within my grasp like a tall pile of files collapsing in my arms, as papers fly uncontrollably in the air surrounding me. I am truly beginning to look at things and not know how to handle it all. I really don’t think people understand the amount of pressure I am feeling right now to do everything correctly, in a sturdy, rational fashion which deems logical to everyone else but myself. Yes, I am tired.

At times I’m starting to question how much longer I have to go watching my life appease to everyone else’s wants and needs before mine are even considered as important as their own. This is not an angry statement, but I feel like more and more I am losing sight of my own identity in order to compromise into the rest of the world’s configuration of reality. I work hard at everything to the point that I feel like I’m not able to work my hardest at anything. I want to feel certainty in others’ actions and not always feel like my doings are in debt to someone else.

I love what I’m studying, but I truly miss art. I’m looking forward to returning to it shortly and combining my political intentions. I love traveling but I want someone to travel with me. I am not scared of settling down, but I don’t want to feel constrained. I want my life to coincide with those around me, and not lose myself in the process.

I am tired, beyond exhausted, and beyond worn down. I am ridiculously overwhelmed with what life is asking of me right now, and I truly don’t think I can get that point across sufficiently. I feel like I don’t even have the energy to ask of anything for myself.

Anyways, two days left in Canada, and then back to England for the summer. Hopefully my feet can maintain their grasp on this thinning rope as it slowly turns into twine. :-/

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

 

Some Days I Wonder…


Some days I wonder why I am the way I am.

And some days I sit and reflect on how I came to be what I be.

There are days where I wish for something greater.

And then I realize I just need the day to make it all happen.

Some days I know my life is mine to live without rationale.

And then some days I wonder why it’s hard to find someone who agrees.

There are these days that I feel all we have are questions.

And then there are days where I realize my answers are more questionable then the questions posed.

Some days I see the world as a design sequence of connecting variables.

And then some days I crave to alter the sequence of life itself.

There are days when I see my dreams as second best.

And then there are days where I become so frustrated in arguing for their survival.

Some days I sit silent aware of my mistakes and bad qualities.

And then some days those issues are all I can see.

There are days where any ounce of hurt can turn into tidal waves.

Because there are days when I can’t breathe past the scars.

Some days I wonder about everything I have and have had.

And then some days I can’t stop wondering about everything I miss.

Right now I can’t help but wonder about the hows and whys of everything in my life,

and I can’t escape the dream sequences of the ‘what ifs’…

 

Tired and Hoping for Smiles


To you,

The last time I wrote was about two weeks ago in Berlin. Now I am back in Midwestern America. Why? Well, because the heart wants what the heart wants, and despite others trying to force my brain into rationality, I follow what my heart wants. Thus far, as enjoyable as this past term at uni has been, my heart and head are beyond the point of exhaustion. I am beyond stressed. Stressed was weeks ago. Now I have surpassed that and reached a feeling of utter chaos. It’s strange when I think about it – one year ago I was beyond stressed to the point that I remember breaking down and not eating for about 2 weeks (I survived on bits of bread, crackers, and small pieces of chocolate for sugar.. no exaggeration). In that scenario, I was stressed over all the negative things in my life, the things that I was working so hard to maintaining that I failed to see that I was working within an impossible situation. It was even harder, because the specifics weren’t negative on their own, but mixed all together in the situation that they were living in made it all impossible for every party involved. Almost a year later, I’m still stressed about how much of a mess I feel like I am lately – the tears, anxiety, exhaustion… but this time, as odd as this sounds, it’s about all the positive things in my life [That’s the perfect statement from a crazy person]. I think what the problem is is that I’m still having trouble coexisting within all of the different scenarios in my life. I mean, try this on for size and try to put yourself into this situation:
—>Think about your job or schooling, and then your relationships, and then your family. They are all wonderful parts of your life that present their own challenges, but you’re happy within all of them. You’re so proud of all of these treasures in your life. Now imagine this: your schooling, is in England. Your family is in Canada and Australia. Your relationship is in the United States. Some of you may think that this is amazing, awesome, a dream – I mean, yes, my life is global. But, what if you knew that all of these components cannot be reconciled through distance? My family may move to England, but my relationship will be in the U.S. I could continue work and school in the U.S. in the future and have my relationship made local, but my family will never be there. I could move to Canada, work and possibly continue schooling later on, but my relationship will always be in the U.S. In the end, there’s the painful struggle of looking at these components – school and work is negotiable; it will take lots of work to make it what I want within a confined location, but it’s possible. My family – well, we’re always going to be worldwide, and I will always have them.. and my independence is something my mum encouraged by never limiting our capabilities and travel inquiries. My relationship – like my family, it is irreplaceable… but it needs time to grow, lots of work to remain permanent, and although it too encourages my capabilities in life, it deserves the recognition and respect to negotiate some dreams with this dream.

So, in the end my decisions are laid out in presentable form, but that doesn’t make the jump any easier. Some people (or all) tell me, “Well it is what it is.” True – but for me, life is more than that. I don’t view marriage or lifelong relationships as ‘it is what it is’, but moreso an acknowledgement that it’s not easy, it should have compromise and high standards, and something that requires constant work and attention. I do have high standards – in everything. And I expect the same from others. And in my little Mutt (me)/American love story, I’ve encountered a scenario that expects the same happiness that I do. And so, even in tears, exhaustion, and sadness, I know that I’m fighting for something worthwhile. It’s not easy, and pursuing something elsewhere would be easier and a quicker route to a simple, happy life perhaps. But right now, I think I’m pursuing my happiest life – but that doesn’t mean it’s not painful and hard along the way. And in the end, it may not work out the way I hope, but as it’s been pointed out to be I idiotically never back down from challenges, and as I continue to state in my own personal mantra, I’ll keep fighting for what works until I know it doesn’t work anymore.

And so I am here, in the U.S. right now for a couple weeks before heading back to Canada.. before heading back to England. [Inhale…. exhale…]

These past couple of weeks have flown by at ridiculous speeds. As I mentioned, the last post I made was from Berlin –  almost 2 weeks ago! So let’s see what kind of recap I can offer up here on the happenings within this two week time period…

Berlin, (March 21st – March 25th)

I went to Berlin for 4 days to attend the Arts in Cultural Diplomacy conference held by the ICD at their house quarters in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin. Overall the days were long, exhausting, and most definitely had their moments of informative discussions. I met some lovely people from around the world who hold the same interest in arts and politics as myself which was extremely refreshing, however some of the comments made by the ICD staff itself made me question their abilities to further the discourse of arts and politics rather than hindering it. Overall the lectures focused on hip hop, poetry, dance, cultural festivals, and art artifacts as a means for cultural understanding, and the lecturers were everything from political ambassadors, professors, diplomats, political activists, organization directors/founders, etc. I had a few discussions with lecturers from Egypt, Israel, and the United States, and overall although it didn’t necessarily aid me in pushing my perspectives for my dissertation, it did allow me to think of pursuing further projects of my own post-graduation. The visit to Berlin was brilliant, however – although we received very little time to wander the city, the weather was gorgeous, and being Berlin, the opportunities to just sit outside a cafe and people-watch was all I really needed. It’s still one of my top fave cities at this point, merely for the atmosphere and energy.

Toronto

So I flew from Berlin to London on the morning of Sunday, March 25th, collected my remaining luggage, and stayed at a little hostel a couple blocks from Victoria Station of which I would catch my train the following morning to London Gatwick Airport to fly home – finally! The minute I touched down, I was smiling.. home at last! I love Canada – I think that’s a well known fact amongst people that know me. I am Canadian through and through, because being Canadian acknowledges that I could also be an immigrant, be from multiple different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, be who knows what religion, etc. I spent my first night having dinner with an olllllllldd friend (we’ve known each other for about 21 years) and my little sister in the Italian district which was bliss. Yep, I was back home 🙂 I then stole my car back from my sister, and drove home to Trenton where I spent a few days with my mama and my dog/my child. It was so good to be home, I’m not going to lie. Geographically, my heart lies with Canada. But as complicated as it makes my life, at the same time I am so glad that the people in my life allow my heart to lie all over the world.  🙂

So that’s me right now – tired. There’s really no other way to summarize it, haha! I think it’s time to bounce – things to do.. always, things to do..!

Take care and keep the love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

 

Another Beautiful Day in Durham


To you,

I think the way life goes can be summarized in a metaphor using the weather of Durham as an example. Some days it rains, some days it pours. Some days it says snow is in the forecast, and then you awaken to 10 degrees celcius temperatures. And some days it’s just beautiful. [But let’s not kid ourselves – it’ll rain like a motha again soon].

Okay, I wasn’t quite being serious with Durham’s unpredictable weather as a metaphor for life, but it works nonetheless :). Either way, it is another sunny, breeze-less day here in the northeast.

In the words of The Sounds, it feels like life has been getting the best of me lately. My insecurities, my doubts, my overwhelming obsession with control, my self-judgments – it has all been getting the best of me. It’s been a rough few weeks personally, but I’m reaching a point of clarity in my thoughts… finally. I think anyone who has worked around me within the art world would acknowledge that this is just how my work process functions in totality. With an art project, I think and think and think and think, until 2 weeks prior to a deadline I arrive at a point of understanding [and then comes the creation, presentation, and formalizing portions of making art – it ain’t no sit down-read a book essay, my friends]. I don’t typically project an argument or opinion until I’ve processed numerous inspirations at length. I think that’s why me and formal education struggle to mesh – this form of study and topic of study are brand new to be, and I’m being expected to rationalize arguments of varying matters within a short period of time. I do it, but not always to the best of my capabilities. I think, if I’m rather critical and honest with myself, that I’m getting lazy. The past two days I’ve awoken at 5:30AM – yesterday because the moon was shining so bright through my window and I couldn’t resume sleep there on afterwards, and today was up bright and early to talk with a cute lad [you know us girly girls, and the things we’ll do for cute boys! 😉 – side note, I’m joking.. am not a twit, and am actually dating this lovely lad, so it’s cool.. :)] But I’m actually thinking of pushing myself to do this more often – get up, and get going. I feel like I’ve lost a bit of perspective, and am missing art and therefore am disregarding my purpose here. I didn’t come here to make art, but to gain academic inspiration for art. So, I really need to push harder to join the mignons in the understanding of human rights, politics, multiculturalism, etc. I’m behind, and I need to truly face this and fight for equal standing. Hoorah! [I felt that was needed].

Today’s been good. Woke up, had a truly lovely conversation with someone wonderful, had a fab last meeting discussing feminism for two hours in my political ideologies module, got offered 3 more shifts at work this week (girl needs to make bank), and the day is warm and pretty. I’m feeling rather uplifted today, but I need to keep pushing. I accepted Durham for normalcy and so should work harder to understand this concept of learning through typing and not visually creating.

Speak soon and enjoy your day 🙂

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Well, Good-Morning


To you,

It’s been a while since I properly sat down to write on this little diddy. The past couple of weeks have felt like a blur of collective moments of which I remember experiencing, and yet have passed through like a drive on foggy back-roads. I feel like emotionally and mentally I’m a bit exhausted and being me, the cure of which I am seeking is to be sitting at an airport right now choosing the next available flight out to nowhere.

Days in Durham are beginning to light up with the sun every morning, and it’s been a slight mood lifter. I am rather pleased thinking about spending my summer in this little city, sitting outside my flat overlooking the Cathedral on our quiet little road. Drinking coffee, reading, and working on my dissertation. Seems as though I will be having a constant flow of visitors passing through the summer months as well, and so I am very thrilled about that. Being a constant international something-or-other has its advantages, but it does get hard at times not being able to show people around what you’re proud to show off. So visitors should be nice, especially in the warming months at Durham.

Lately, I’ve been swamped with… well… everything if feels like! Last weekend (which has already flown by), myself, my brother, and 2 of his mates trekked to the Scottish Highlands for a few days which was the getaway I very much needed. I’ll post images shortly form that trip – I had not been to Scotland or the highlands since I was four years old, and I remember bits and pieces quite vividly. I remember climbing to the summit of Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK when I was four with my mum, dad, and brother – both me and my brother improperly equipped with wellies on our feet. This time around, it was just as breathtaking as I remembered it to be. We climbed over the Lost Valley in Glencoe, and later drove to the Isle of Skye which was as gorgeous as its tales lead on. A couple days after the trip ended, I bid farewell to my older brother as he set off on his one-way voyage to Australia (I think our family really adores the Commonwealth countries, it seems). Apart from familial expeditions, I am now faced with formatives, summatives, literature reviews, and a dissertation proposal.

On a personal level, I’m feeling torn. Lately, I’ve been feeling more and more pressure to ‘figure my life out’ and that is a horrible feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever grasped onto the notion of decision making. I think with the important things in life that your mind and heart will collaborate on intuition and the happiest of emotions will lead you to the right path. Hippy-ish, I know. But with love and happiness – should we really be analyzing the qualities on a weighing scale? checking off every box until the requirements of happiness are completed? People keep telling me to choose what would make me happiest and to pursue accordingly, and that seems like quantitative analysis to me. It’s like,

‘Well I chose A because, although B is really great, makes me happy, and is so awesome, A met one more requirement that B did not. But it was a toughie! But the conclusive result based on tallies, surveys, and points was A. Final answer.’

I don’t know, I know I’m overthinking things but I think that’s because people keep telling me to ‘think it over’. I don’t feel free to think, but rather sophisticatedly inclined to think. I don’t have a plan in life. I’m not seeking to run the world by the age of 40, to marry by the age of 30, to have 3 children (with their gender pre-determined, of course) by the age of 35. Within quantitative analysis, I end up with a reasonably explained notion to life and it’s happiness. But within experience and intuition, I’ll end up at the inexplicable irrationality that is true happiness. I’m not an ‘at risk’ person who flies off the handle and pursues things deemed unhealthy or inappropriate. I’ve made wrong decisions, but with time I’ve righted them on an strong intuitive whim. Durham was on a whim. Love was on a whim. They weren’t a ‘shrug of the shoulder, Why Not?’ whim, but rather on a whim that was firmly rooted in a feeling that this was inexplicably right and a strong belief in such irrationality. I have brilliant options in front of me, neither better than the other. And so what’s to choose? I’d rather live to see what plays itself out through this feeling of ‘this is right.’

Best be off now – much to do. Until next time!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo