What Makes Up a Story


To You,

It’s funny how life seems to coordinate and choreograph the many components that add up to define one’s day-to-day as a ‘life’. These components which we use to self-define a ‘successful’ life, or a ‘meaningful’ life can not only blind one from acknowledging the true efforts being made to make an entire life an unequivocal story with depth, but they also allow us to become clouded as to how our efforts affect the life of another.

In another tale, yet one which associates itself to the self-descriptive complexity of a successful life, as life develops its numerous layers of co-dependent experiences, it adds obstacles into being able to accept a fruitful story, however one chooses to define it as such.

Lately, I’ve felt a difficulty in understanding, accepting, and focusing on what defines itself as a success in my life. My life has various components: experiencing loss at a young age and many times thereon afterwards, social struggles as a youth, successes in athletics, moving out of my home country at the age of 18 to only drop out of university at 19 and moving abroad a year later at 20; embarking in a long-distance relationship, returning to university at 23, graduating quite successfully at 26, entering a second long-distance relationship and moving abroad again, completing a Master’s degree from a top university at 27, and finally returning back to my home country as a resident just before turning 28. All superficial components that can be dissected into all of the delicate petals and pricking nail heads that make up the substance of my life. But now, I’m struggling with this picture as it continues to unfold. My substance is built up of extreme effort, troubleshooting, sincere sweat and tears, and lessons of which saying I have learned from would be a massive understatement. High school teachers didn’t think much of my academic endeavors in the culmination of my four years, even though 75% of my time there was rewarded with Honour Roll status and my name being listed on many athletic trophies. What I’ve noted in the past decade is how easily one’s credibility can be erased due to superficial circumstances. Job titles, grades, university rankings, income, relationship status, geographic location, exotic travels… all superficial if we ignore the story of substance, the explanation, the details.

I have found it hard in the past few months to understand my story versus my status. I have pride over my postgraduate degree due to the massive personal struggles leading up to that exhausted success of which was so condensed in its timeline that there is no shortened version to its story. However, now in what appears to be a shortcoming in my employment and professional ‘success’ following my academics I feel obligated to explicate the pride and ranking of my achievement to level myself out with my peers. I know my story of working through my degrees, paying my living expenses through an undergrad and postgrad degree, managing my limited yet earned finances, immersing myself in challenges to engage in personal success (as I truly define it), and maintaining a loving long-distance relationship. But the superficiality to my success (or lack thereof) are clouding my pride in my plan. My life’s plan. The components I want included in my storyline.

I’m trying to figure this one out.

Ciao ciao,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Advertisements

Sometimes It Takes a Shake-Up to Put Yourself Back on the Right Path


[02/08/2013]

Photo on 1-18-13 at 11.31 AM #2

To You,

Again, a while since I last wrote. I’ve decided after some thought that I shall continue building ont this blog, however, I consider posts from here on out as a ‘Part II’ kind of scenario. I created this writing platform for my year of studying for my Master’s degree in Durham, England and now that that has come to its culminating finale, another venture has begun being the follow-up to obtaining a degree – the real world. And this adventure is a roller coaster in itself, thus my decision to continue writing for a while, leaving a little haven for thoughts and outputs.

Life post-education is… interesting. I don’t think anyone can truly prepare you for downtime having spent so many years studying, creating, and working your ass off on an hourly basis merely trying to produce the best work possible for your peers and professors. Now, it’s been a few months of submitting applications – and I cannot emphasize the plurality in that statement enough. I’ve fought many personal battles in my life and I’ve always managed to come out on top in some shape or form, but this time it’s been rough. And I’ve put people through this battle with me, dragging them down this path of anxiety and dissatisfaction – in the end, the people you’re dragging with you are the ones who care for you the most, who only want to see you happy, and who torment themselves when life throws more hurdles your way. It’s come to a point where I want and need to focus on the positive, the prospects, and the life I wish to attain.

A few days ago I got into a car accident around 10:30PM, which could have been a much horrifying experience than it was, no doubt! Driving on the empty highway at 115km/hour (70 or something miles/hour) my battery died without warning and I lost power steering control, which basically means you have zero directional control over your vehicle. As I was driving, I felt my car veer into the left lane and as I went to correct the direction, I realized that my car was not responding to my tilting of the wheel. My car uncontrollably swerved right then left and eventually caught the edge of the road, and I slammed on the brakes and tried with all my might to correct my car’s direction. Next thing I know, I was spinning in a circle at top speed into the left hand ditch, screaming and praying that I would stop before hitting the oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the highway, as all I could see was a flushing sweep of snow enveloping my car. My car: no scratches or dents. Me: no scratches or dents. Just a trembling voice and body as I sat in my car. I sat in my car as snow started to fall, wrapped in two blankets, watching semis drive past, one by one hoping the next vehicle would be my called-in tow truck. The remainder of my night lasted a good 4 hours, waiting for tow trucks, CAA, and figuring out my next plan of action as I had an interview the next morning. I called my chap, and then my mum, and I think my body shivered for a good few hours following the spin-out, pretty much until I was wrapped up under blankets in my hotel at 2:30AM. My next morning was spent calling CAA to retrieve my car, prepping for an interview, and then napping in a tow truck on route.

Fear does a funny thing to the mind. I have never been so scared in such an immediate capacity. I don’t handle lack of control well, and this was such a case in the physical sense and it scared the shit out of me (not literally, thank goodness!… sorry, couldn’t resist). I was thankful to have my man to call and straighten out my brain for a split second, just telling me to call for help as even that was not the obvious just then. He was brilliant and lovely, and definitely helped even from a far. And my mum I knew would sit by the phone for the remainder of the night until I reached my hotel room, which just gives you comfort when you sit scared in your car that your four-ways will soon die out along with your battery and the tow truck will fail to spot you. For the past few months I’ve been highly anxious, down, and struggling and although just before this accident I vowed to fix myself up and re-focus on maintaining the good in my life, I really chilled and realized that not getting the next job is not the end of the world, and acting like it was made my life hellish and depressing, and I was hurting those around me because of it. And I do have positives in my life right now, and that’s worth focusing on rather than wishing for everything to be positive. And after this accident, I was happy to be okay. I was happy that I had people in my life worried for my well-being, not just in this incident, but in life in general. And so, I want to keep writing, because the story of ‘my year’ doesn’t end in just a year. It continues into the next.

The positives: although I am without a full-time/sufficient income at the moment, I do have a part-time job as a Junior Associate for PR, Marketing, and Social Media ventures for a non-profit organization which lays out a platform for artists in developing regions to sell their work thus allowing them to survive as artisans in their home countries. The opportunity is amazing for me, especially due to my academic achievements and what I’ve wished to seek out for myself in the long term. I will fill in on that further as the position progresses as I know I will have lots to tell 🙂 I am still in the midst of teaching myself Adobe Creative Suites, and I am hoping to return to creating art in the near future. I love it, and so why not do what I love?

I’m thankful for much right now, and that’s definitely an attitude switch from a mere week or two ago. Sometimes you need a sudden jolt to put you in your place, and I’m lucky to have certain people in my life who have jolted me back into fighting for my happiness rather than for pure survival. (x)

So keep calm and carry on, or so those posters and mugs say. Or rather, as I used to say to my teammates when they fell on the gymnasium floor during practice, ‘Suck it up’. 😉

Peace, Love, and Here’s to the happy ever afters,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

My Bright Green Suitcase


To You,

What I’ve come to realize over the past few weeks is something that truly shouldn’t astound my soul, nor make it feel an odd queezy vibe of unsettled wonderment. Although I find that sometimes the fear of which acknowledgement brings to the table is when you lay out in the most basic of words, unable to skirt around the issue any longer in metaphorical realization but more so giving voice to the words that ring true. In this case, such a thing has occurred due to too much time to actually sit and think about life. My life. The epiphany?

I am a hobo. A nomad. A traveling gypsy who is getting to the point where all of my materialistic possessions will soon have to fit inside my suitcase in order for me to keep them in my grasp.

Okay, perhaps I am not a ‘hobo’, but I am living out of a suitcase. I’ve discovered that ‘living’ for me comes with the package right now of not really having a house. Now, this is not to be confused with ‘a home’ because I have many homes. I have my home in Canada where my ma and puppy dog live, and everytime I head back in that direction I know I’ll be greeted with all things ‘homey’. And I have moments of feeling at home in Indianapolis when I’m able to cook my dude dinner, organize his room without his consent, and even raiding his closet and seeing if he notices. I also consider England and London to be my home when I go and stay with family as they are the homes I visited regularly growing up and I know the routines, the bus routes, train stops, parks and stores, and I never feel like anything but a Londoner when I’m there. And now my brother lives in Oz and even though I’ve yet to hit up that continent/country, it’s still home since family is there and he loves it. So yes, I have the luxury of having many ‘homes’, of feeling ‘at home’ in many places. But there’s just one thing keeping me from feeling settled when I’m at ‘home’.

My fucking suitcase. It’s a beautiful case, bright green with two compartments, wheely wheels and a trustworthy handle. It has served me well in many countries, many trips, and has survived many flights with the sight of that bright green mass of my life’s possessions being chucked along the luggage carousel always bringing a sigh a relief to my soul signaling the culmination of a successful trip. I love this case. To be honest, the fact that this piece of luggage is mine, purchased with my own money brings an ounce of satisfaction to my uneasy mind – maybe this suitcase is my house?

Okay, that was too depressing. Let’s scratch that out. Done. It’s scratched. I scratched it rather than deleting it to make a point that I was once so glum, but bitch slapped myself back into place. Kudos to me.

Here are some photos of my suitcase. Where it sits. In an empty room, out and ready to be replenished with denim, cotton-polyester blends, and wooly goodies.

My suitcase. Tired. Worn out. Slumped over for a rest.

Lovely Canada tag. Nothing says “This chick is a Canuck!” better than a tag with dancing polar bears on it.

I love traveling. It defines me. Some people travel to cross a place off their list, which is still a valid reason for travel. Honestly, I love returning to places I’ve already visited to see if I can connect to a homely vibe in that spot to which I now have a new home. The more homes, the better and then that leaves me with the challenge of being a stranger in a new hideaway and starting from scratch all over again. I dig the idea of couchsurfing, but I’m not a people person. And that’s not to be taken as I hate people or despise dialogue, but more so that I like getting off a plane, train, out of my car and figuring out my path into people’s lives. I’m kind of a loser loner, but the people I’ve met and stay in touch with (sincerely) are good people in life. I’ve known a lot of shit people who I kept in my life much longer than necessary and so I want to connect on a genuine level… I’ve very cautious about this now, and very stand-offish to some but it comes with the territory of being scarred numerous times over.

So yeah. I’m feeling unsettled with being houseless at the moment. Homeless, I will never be, but houseless… that’s another problem. It’s materialistic to some, but I’m a quiet, hide-out quirky lass who sometimes wants a place to create, to think, to unwind. This whole not working, not earning money shit right now is driving me crazy because I want something to do! I NEED something to do! Productive. I got bills man. Bills.

First world problems, am I right? I’m bitching about this whilst punching away at the keys of my MacBook Pro and sipping on my latte.

This isn’t a life problem, it’s just an unsettling vibe for my soul. I am in need of a life and soul re-vamp, it’s just been hard finding the confidence lately in myself to figure that out.

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Taking Back the Reins


To You,

This past weekend has included many grand life events – last weekend I was a bridesmaid in an old highschool friend’s wedding to her beau in Oakville, ON where I also was able to catch up with a lifelong friend and hear about her recent engagement. And this weekend my cousin married her hubby in London, UK sadly of which I was unable to attend. On top of that I have spent many the hour mentally scanning over my life and trying to decipher all that seems to be jammed up inside of this singular sphere at the moment. Throughout the week I definitely ended up getting a little ill due to anxiety as to where I was unable to eat, could barely even keep liquids down, and my head and body were constantly swirling around in circles. Overall I think my mind has put off coping with things in life and throughout the past couple of years I’ve been focusing so hard on making it through the storm rather than dealing with the ramifications of enduring a lot. So post-realization that I definitely needed to re-focus my priorities in order to find glimmers of hope and happiness rather than rational survival techniques, things are looking much brighter.

Originally I had planned a long road trip to shores of Cape Cod and through the mountains on the east coast of the U.S., and as stoked as I was to just travel, chill, and photograph, things up and changed but still for the good.

Location update – I am now back in Indianapolis. Plan update – no longer road tripping it just yet, but rather have taken up an awesome internship role with a local industrial design/furniture design company run by a good friend of mine. Basically, the position will allow me to progress in the direction that I so crave to pursue in the world of art, design, and project management. To put it simply, I’m stoked. Once I decided I needed adjustments in my search for a job in Toronto, this position had lightly been put on the table as an alternative and to be honest, it’s most definitely the preferable route for me right now. Plus, the huge bonus of it all is that it is in Indianapolis where my adoring beau resides, and thus we have a short time of normalcy for the time being. All in all though, this opportunity is something I’m ecstatic about and am looking forward to see how it progresses.

My head’s still sorting things out, and I’m trying to learn to be patient with that and know that all that’s worthwhile takes time and work, and I’m most definitely up to push through it all. I miss home, family, and my adorable corgi dog, and as per usual I wish everything could reside in one place, but overall I know I need to focus on getting my professional experience up and running so that I can be overly satisfied with what life will offer me in the next chapter of things. I have an inexplicably wonderful lad, the most brilliant family, and loads of invaluable history, but I also need to make sure that the ‘me’ component of things is good too. It’s good to be good, ya know?

Anyways, that’s me – how’s you?

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Hire Me. Please and Thanks. :)


To you,

So the job hunt has begun. It’s quite daunting for once looking into the upcoming months and not foreseeing a grounded opportunity of employment, nor academic institution awaiting my registration. Nope. There is nothing. The future is empty.

Okay, perhaps I am being slightly melodramatic and a tad bleak on the outlook of future endeavours into the working world. To be honest, I’m rather ready for it and prepared to get going on a new set of learning experiences and projects.

The only glitch in my excitement: I need someone to hire me. I know –lame, right? But such is life. I’ve much experience in the arts, communications, nonprofit, and cultural projects and I would be highly enthused at the prospect of continuing my professional education of sorts.

So yes, as the title requests ever-so-politely yet with a smidgen of indelicacy – Hire me. Please and thanks. 🙂

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

CLICK HERE!
Curriculum Vitae ONLINE

It’s Been a Long Week. Here Are Some Pics In Lieu of Words For Now.


 Durham City from Wharton Park

Durham City from Wharton Park

A 6-year gap reunion!

Best friends since the mid-90's, we met up after 6-years of no visits :o) Now, she in Oxford, me in Durham, and not an ounce of cool between us.

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Durham City Market

Durham City Market

Durham Food Festival

Durham Food Festival

Durham Food Festival

Paella... lots and lots of Paella

Baltic Contemporary Art Centre - Turner Prize Exhibition

Baltic Contemporary Art Centre - Turner Prize Exhibition

A brief note To You,

As mentioned, its been a long week. From last Saturday to today, what has occurred is the following: a weekend visit from my brother simultaneously added with a rendez-vous between best friends whom hadn’t seen each other in over six years also referred to as the Epic Reunion of Ariana (me) and Karazlactim (G); 2 full days working on my feet for the Durham University Careers Fair; 2 days of modules; 3 job interviews with 1 offer and 2 call-backs; a trip to Newcastle to apply for my National Insurance Number and a check-in at the Turner Prize 2011 exhibitions; a lecture through my department with David Mepham, the Director for Human Rights in the United Kingdom; and a lecture with David Miliband, MP for South Shields. Brilliant week, but a long one. Hope the photos suffice for now as I must run, because I’ve a bun in the oven – literally.. I’m baking bread as we speak… the metaphoric translation would make this a rather busy week with loads more gossip to share than I care for at the moment.

🙂

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Flurries of Worries and a Cup of Tea


To you,

Do you ever find yourself in one of those moments where you are randomly blinded by the thought, “What next?” And even more bizarrely, this question submerges from all other actually relevant thoughts before your most recent ‘next step’ has barely begun? Well that’s where I’m sitting tonight. On top of this quandary with a much needed cup of tea.

Sigh. Decision making is never ending it feels like. I’m one who feels comfortable when I get to sit and bask in the moment, but lately, it seems as if there’s never time to do so because everything requires preparation, months and months worth of preparation, and it comes at me at lightening speed.

I think this anxiety has arrived partially due to my past few days of job hunting – one after another, I’m applying here, there and everywhere possible.. we’ve all been there, and it blows. Hard. But in applying for jobs – literally EVERYTHING that’s available to me – the limitations of some of them regarding time-off is questionable.. which leaves my Christmas break (which occurs in 2 months) to deem questionable.

Going through my schedule of timely happenings – school terms, breaks, readings, paperwork, dissertation, graduation… then what? What’s next? We’re talking less than a year’s worth of plans which all smash into one another and so the preparation must begin. AAAARRRGGGGGHHHH!!!

So, you can relate, right? Sometimes things just become deafening because they’re all screaming at you in one giant mosh pit.

Back to my tea. Because what’s next for that if I don’t is it getting chilled, and that too would blow.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo