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the great 8 : my biggest prides, decisions & experiences

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I’ve delved into the lessons I’ve learnt, I ripped all my biggest mistakes from the heart and stuck them here for you to read, and so I thought, in the next segment of my ever spiraling personal diary, it would be apt to spin something a little more positive. Sometimes I cannot quite believe I’ve had two feet on this earth for close to 3 decades, it is thrilling to be close to an entire thirty years old.. Truly, I very wholly and wildly believe that. And after much personal reflection, I decided to share the best parts of my life so far, my largest prides, my near magical experiences as well as the smartest decisions I’ve made to date. It is something we should all do, to keep a personal reel of highlights on a mental roll is  a crucial component of celebrating life . I hope you do this too and I hope you write them all down to clutch at later, but continually too. It is only once we have what we have, and I am very much grateful for my all that has been mine. So here’s to sharing it with you. They might not be momentous or movie-worthy, but to me, they are my everything.

1. becoming bored & beginning to blog

As you know, I went to Durham University. I’ve always been somewhat of a strange person, high school was an awkward puzzle where I awkwardly hovered in search of my place. University to my surprise was the same. I was even more of an outcast lacking a boarding school past and a strange accent to match. I grew bored and uncomfortable in that tiny freezing cold town. This is when I on a whim decided to start blogging. I didn’t have the confidence I do now and those initial conversations I shared with girls online, they were perhaps more formative than my entire degree. It gave me a sense of community I never felt elsewhere but had always sought. There were only a handful of blogs back then, so people begun to read mine rather quickly. By the end of my first year, I was selling clothes I imported  overseas as well as counting my pennies to pay for train tickets to London for work.  I owe so much to this website of mine, it floors me just how imperative the casual decision to begin blogging has been in the life I have now. It supersedes every other effort I made in my younger years in pursuit of a ‘good career’. This is my career and one I truly adore but also a creative outlet I am not sure I could go without now.

2. experiencing love at first sight

I never believed this concept to be true, in fact I rolled my eyes at very idea of it. However, it happened to me. I’m quite certain it never will again but I am happy to have experienced it. I was sat on the floor of a friends’ house at University and in walked a group of boys that lived next store. He was tanned and chiseled, quite like Buzz Lightyear. He was Turkish yet had a North London accent – he was loud, perhaps too outspoken but I adored him. I adored him from the very moment I saw him. We dated for many years. The end was messy, our break up dripped like a broken faucet until we both realized we didn’t want to fix it. But, I will always look back on what we had fondly. The assured love I felt for him the minute I met him was shattering and beautiful all at once. I can still remember how elated I was when he finally, after many months too late told me he loved me. I practically floated away. Love like that, while it might not last forever, it’s for keeps and one I cling to still, all these years later. I don’t miss him, I am simply happy to have had him and all those years we so intensely shared. They left a mark on me forever.

3. moving to paris

My dad took me to Paris for my 16th birthday. I tend to build experiences up in my mind to then be disappointing when I actually live them. Paris was the exception, the city lived up to even my grandest illusions. It was true love, a love so fervent I refused to solely play tourist in this city that swept me away at 16. So I moved there, straight after University, knowing no one with two very heavy suitcases.  It was magical, those years are some of the best chapters of my life so far. I found my friends, a big crazy group of loud, wine loving eccentrics that had been missing my entire life. I fell in love with a handful of men so heavily, it was practically intoxicating. I was irresponsible in that hedonistic way that can make life so thrilling. There were many rambunctious parties, endless interesting people and they dotted this era of my life like glitter. Paris helped me find myself, which is ironic because so often the city made me feel so lost. Somehow I stumbled into who I am today, on a side-street somewhere in this city that is still home to me in many ways.

4. fighting for friends all over

I’ve lived in more places than most and I’ve been lucky enough to collect a true friend or two as I’ve bounced around Europe. I have always refused to let them go. We keep in touch, fiercely – time can accidentally erode friendships. As a forever expat, I am acutely aware of this and have fought against time to keep them close to me. I am old enough to have old friends, the sort of friends to keep for life. And when we do reunite? The years fall away, and we spend our time remembering how far we’ve come and all that has passed. These friends have been, are and always will be a forever highlight in this life of mine, without them I refuse to be. I might not ever be at home with them again but that is a small price to pay for the richness of knowing and loving people all over the world.

5. prioritizing creativity

I never started anything in pursuit of money, not this blog, not the book I’m writing nor the photos I taught myself to take. Creativity is the tonic that fuels all of my pursuits -creating something, be it a blog post here or the words I string together is a exercise I have embraced my entire life. I always sought to achieve ‘talent’ in at least one of these many pursuits I grapple with incessantly, and while perhaps I am getting there, I am still a very far way off. However, it is this creativity that brings me my biggest joy, the struggle and the cycles are what kick me out of bed every morning. It isn’t so much the success or skill I necessarily need, I’d like it but ultimately it is the process I crave above all else.  I am proud of prioritizing this and grateful that much of my daily existence is dedicated to creating. When you do start doing something from the heart, you find a rhythm that feels natural and eventually, this becomes part of who you are. Now, I cannot say that Frassy will forever be my main focus, however regardless of what direction I do head in next, it will faithfully point towards the sole purpose of making something, a thing marked by me.

6. sweating strong

My parents are incredible and it is they who insisted I exercise from a young age, around 16 when puberty start showing weigh gain on my awkward adolescent body. It is has been just over a decade since I started running – and with it, weight training. A decade of dedication is a triumph for me. Exercise has been so imperative to who I am today, a woman comfortable in her own skin with little concern as to what others think of wide shoulders or muscled thighs. I am strong and at 26, stronger than I have ever been. The gym and I, it can be a struggle sometimes but a release I depend on daily – and one I am sure I’ll seek as long as there is air in my lungs.

7. walking away from men

I am fiercely loyal when it comes to my friends, I don’t have many but they are as permanent as tattoos. I keep them close. Men, however, I stray away from . Mostly men that after a few brief months I realized weren’t quite what I needed nor wanted in a partner. It can be a hard thing saying goodbye for no reason other than intrinsic dissatisfaction. I’ve also dated my fair share of crazies, obsessive, possessive, dictatorial males that I ran rather than wandered from. So many women in my life, I’ve watched them stay put, sad but afraid to leave their boyfriends or husbands. I too was once scared of loneliness, frightened I’d never find another. However, I abandoned my last relationship back in December of last year, I’ve been single ever since and I am doing just fine.  I’m browsing and borrowing men in the pursuit of one I could love – it will take time, but I have time. I’m never lonely or afraid but thankful I left all those men behind, there is time to breathe now and  room to search for the soul I can hopefully keep for life. But above all, escaping so many of the men I only half liked was not only the fair thing to do,  it also gave me a fierce streak of independence, this too has stuck to me like a tattoo. I honour my independence, for me, autonomy is so very personally gratifying. To know all I really need is me keeps me calm, at peace, at ease – because no matter what happens, I will still be here and that’s all I need.

8. investing in settling

I’ve wandered, you know, you’ve watched me at University in England to Paris, back to Spain and beyond. I’m nomadic by nature, I grew up that way. But at 26, I wanted to invest in settling – so I found an apartment I could afford, one I could furnish and make my own. I adopted a puppy who three short months later has  become my best friend.  I thought these sorts of decisions would make me feel trapped, but I since learnt that the  4 walls of a home nor a dog can close in a free-spirit. The soul knows no barricades and mine will wander in the way it always has.  I have roots, sure for now they are here but these can extend any which way, any day at any time.  My ever burning desire to live everywhere will never demise, but there are certain chapters of life that seek solace, and my late twenties is certainly one of them. I don’t feel claustrophobic, not at all,  and for now, I am busy hanging my undeniable free spirit all over these walls I call home;  my very big life across the world will collect here until I feel ready to go back out there and move somewhere brand new once again.


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