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I always wanted to write a recipe book that was based on cooking around different moods. As I stirred a teaspoon of Van Houten 100% cacao into my coffee this morning I thought yes… a rich, bitter drink for musings on nostalgia and reality.

I wrote on my twitter feed this week: ‘Caught myself thinking back to when times were simpler. Then I realised they never really were.’

Oh, I love writing musingy-aphorism-style-blahblah-ponderings. I think this is balanced by a particular enjoyment of black humour from time to time (and I don’t add sugar to my mocha). In any case, a few people follow me and seem to approve. Some unfollow, I’ll let them keep their reasons to themselves.

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However whimsical it was, these thoughts had been on my mind since the previous week when I visited friends in beautiful, sunny La Rochelle. Visiting my old haunts & even finding a few new touristic things to do brought up tinglings of nostalgia, but also memories of how difficult some points in the winter were, living abroad.

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Writing this thought down kept it rising to the surface of my mind all day and consequently became an important personal affirmation for my week. It’s easy to think that the here & now is the most difficult, messy, confusing point in life – but I would be kidding myself if I thought that university never felt like that, or my year out in France, or art college… And there are aspects of my life that, if I took a moment to appreciate them, are currently quite simple – more than ever now that I don’t have exams looming to assess my ‘progress’ according to certain guidelines and standards. Which is both freeing and confusing.

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These thoughts go with a couple of very similar quotes that I stumbled across in the same day, about belonging. They remind me to stop yearning for ‘simpler’ times and, although it’s so difficult and clichéd to ‘live in the present’, try to remember that now is as good a time as any!

“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.” – Maya Angelou

And as lists go so well in threes, I think adding a Dido song wouldn’t be inappropriate right now: Life for Rent. I mean, if this post is going for wistful, might as well do it properly!

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Someone said to me a few days ago that what with my fairly ambitious and risky coffee business project, I must have a lot of self-belief. I chuckled, because recently I’ve been feeling quite the reverse. Questioning and questioning… is that really what it’s like ‘following your dreams’ I wonder? Possibly. Probably. That’s my conclusion.

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When I pay more attention to others’ writings on pursuing their careers and business plans, I find that their paths are weaving and uncertain in nature too… even (especially?) the really successful ones! There is a fantastic recent post on A Beautiful Mess Blog which I would recommend, Emma on Changing Dreams. And if you fancy a film about the creative struggle, watch Frances Ha! It seems to consistently crop up that it’s worth having faith, staying present, belonging to the moment (etc…) in order to go where you want to go.

Right, my coffee is finished, and I’m off to the first day of my new part-time job! Keep dreaming everyone.

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