Mallrat – Better
I went away for a little while. Eventually thinking I had left too much time in between, and became timid to post anything. I let life get in the way – who can relate? I wasn’t able to find balance in life for quite some time. I let blogging fall to the side and as time kept growing, I felt more pressure to post. I saw so many people also doing exactly what I wanted to do. I let that take over – instead of letting this fuel me, I let comparison eat away. Constantly analyzing girls who I thought were doing a better job. I was comparing my life to everyone around me, instead of focusing on the good and what was already accomplished. I focused on what I still had to conquer, on the things I still have yet to achieve. It’s poisonous – Instagram, all social media. Well, it can be.
I let myself forget why I did this. Why I wanted to start this in the first place. I wanted to highlight brands I adore, people who inspire me daily, positive creative minds that surround me and spread goodness every day. These reasons are what fueled my drive. I wanted to connect good people to good brands, to educate minds on healthier and sustainable sources to shop and support. To spread the idea each dollar you spend is a vote towards what and who you support, and why. I wanted to give people a reason to be creative with what they already own, to be resourceful with their surroundings, and to shop vintage existing styles. To be better and to better. I just let myself forget my why too easily after moving here.
Los Angeles can be a bit tough sometimes. Harder than I expected, harder than I have led on. Harder to make a home for myself, but I feel I finally have. Just took two years.
It is strange the things that make you feel home. The things that make you feel you. The familiarity, acknowledgement, and moments that bring loud organic laughter.
To me, home has been many things that stem outside of my 300 square feet. In LA, the feeling of home did not happen when my family drove a U-Haul down from Oregon packed with essentials and a Costco sized lifetime supply of cleaning supplies (thx mom). It did not happen when my empty space slowly became filled and it did not happen when I hung the last of whimsical DIY decor.
Home is where you are recognized. Where you feel you belong. Where someone notices when you’re gone.
Home is where your face is known by the sassy barista at your favorite coffee shop, the stylish babe at your local boutique, and the hilariously witty bartender at that one overpriced joint with the best margs in town.
Home came when I discovered the Larchmont Sunday morning market, just a few steps away. The moment I met Penny, ‘the juice lady’ who asks me where I was off to whenever I missed a week, and who chats Army stuff with me because her son is going through the same thing. The time I laughed with Jimmy, a few tents over, who I wish would stop selling me the all too delicious salty loafs of pretzel bread. Home happened when my coffee shop took a polaroid of my caffeinated induced smile to hang on the wall, I guess you earn that when you spend ridiculous amounts on lattes weekly.
Home came when I broke up with the guy who was comically wrong for me. It came when I started dating my best friend. The falling in love with the right guy feeling.
To me, home is the feeling of being remembered, recognized, the sound of your name called from a familiar tone. Living, working, and existing in an environment where you feel safe and can consistently bring the most true form of you.
Living in Portland, Oregon most of my life – these home moments happened constantly. It took me awhile to find home in this strange city, experiencing a bit of culture shock upon arrival. I stumbled upon true contemptment even in the toughest times, after realizing how strong I had become making a home of my own here.
I now feel at home in my teeny tiny apartment that no longer feels empty. Instead, it is full of moments – laughter, songs, words, tears, hugs, memories of people who have come and gone. That one time we thought it was a good idea having two girls occupy the smallest studio during the heatwave of a California summer. As my micro space has functioned as an airbnb for all of the amazing humans who have come to crash a weekend, I’ve come to understand a different meaning of the word home, after creating one far away and so different than anything I have ever known.
Home is where you feel peace. It lies within your senses. The sound of Jake’s laughter. The smell of my burnt cooking. The touch of the rare clean laundry, the sight of my polaroid memories, and the taste of the neighborhood market each Sunday.
Home comes from the community that you build and cultivate. It comes from every sense that surrounds you. It is held within your mindset. You have the power to create home wherever you are, it just took me awhile.
PHOTOGRAPHY – JACOB DANIEL PALMATIER. JUST BEFORE WE FELL IN LOVE.