coming back to life.

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Last week was a rough time. Between assignments, constant rain and stress-induced arguments – because somehow, every single person I know was stressed – I was worn out. So I decided, this week would be different.

I finished my assignments, the sun came out (hallelujah!), and I replaced stress and anger with taking the time to breathe and appreciate those around me. I decided that this week, I was going to focus on bringing myself back to life.

Here’s what that looked like for me. I found that pausing to take photos of some of the beautiful things that I created for myself was a good way to affirm those moments. These are still photos from my phone, but this year a little birdie told me I might get a proper camera for my birthday! So I’m looking forward to learning how to make better photographs. I’m reading this book to prepare.

On Monday, the sun was shining and I realised that sometime during the last week, the leaves had turned.

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My Mum and Dad came to the city to do some shopping, and Mum and I spent the time on our favourite thing to do in big department stores – trying out all the perfumes.

IMG_8981On Tuesday, I was home sick.

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On Wednesday,  I cooked for my family. I didn’t realise until I was in the flow of it, mixing up spices with jazz on the radio and the stir fry sizzling on the stove, with a gin and tonic and a cooling cake on the counters beside me, how much I’d missed this.

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I made up a letter to send to a friend far from home, including a few silly Polaroids:

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On Thursday, I went out with my boy for a special date. I introduced him to my favourite cake shop (it’s open until 9pm and serves chunks of fresh cake by weight, plus they are liberal with their free samples!). Outside was this gorgeous little guy. Couldn’t resist stopping to talk.

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On Friday, I tidied my entire wardrobe out: sorting bags into nice ones to give gifts in, big ones to use for bin liners, small ones to use for storage… Then I took a long hot shower and studied. Quiet bliss.

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Somehow, it’s still sunny. I am loving these days and the feelings of accomplishment as I finish up different parts of the semester. I’ll be back here soon.

Love,

Dora

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A Parcel for Beth

I’ve been friends with a fiery-haired, funny and bold girl called Beth for ten years, since the start of high school here in Sydney. She went to the same university as me and caught up fairly regularly, so it was a big change when she graduated last year and moved to Seattle to start her career (she blogs about that journey over here).

One of the first things we said when she decided she was moving was, ‘We have to send each other letters!’ We’re both lovers of the pretty little things in life, and cute snail mail packages flying back and forth across the globe are definitely included in that. So when I heard her parents were going to visit her in America, and could take parcels with them, I had to send something along, and it was so much fun I thought i’d take some photos to share here. Here’s what I did:

I’d spotted this great makeup purse in David Jones a few weeks previously. It reminded me so much of Beth because she has a great goldfish-pattern dress and we’d both drooled over this insanely expensive goldfish-pattern swimsuit when she was shopping for a bikini to take on a holiday. This makeup purse is the exact same pattern I remembered on the dress and the swimsuit! And now I had the perfect way to use it.

I filled the makeup purse with a copy of the lip balm I’ve been loving at the moment – since she’s just moved to Seattle from Sydney, the colder weather means chapped lips and dryness are constant battles, so we’d been trading suggestions back and forth. The brand, People for Plants, is locally made and owned, and is only available in Australia, so this had the added bonus of coming specially from home.

There was also a recipe I’d created recently that I’d promised to send her. I took the chance to write and illustrate a copy, so now she has one a million times better than the digital copy I would have sent across Facebook Messenger otherwise.

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Lastly, I put together an iTunes playlist of songs I’ve been enjoying at the moment, and burned it to a CD. I made some cute cover art and a track listing with explanations of why I’d chosen each song, then wrapped it up in a magazine page covered in essie nail polish bottles (we always do our nails while we’re Skyping together and swap colour picks, but nail polish can’t be shipped internationally, so this was the only way to incorporate nails into the scheme).

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I padded the top of the bag up with this crazy, hot-pink glitter tissue paper to keep everything in its place. Then I wrapped it all up in a ribbon and sent it on its way! That old saying, ‘Tis better to give than to receive’, is definitely true if you enjoy picking things out and wrapping them up as much as I do.

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And it was great that I had a specific occasion – her parents flying to the U.S. – to prepare for, because to tell the truth? We haven’t sent letters back and forth across the globe like we’d hoped we would. She was so busy in her new job, and I was so distracted by all my uni work, that finding the time to sit down and be creative hadn’t happened. Instead, we’ve Skyped a lot, and that’s been a great way to stay in touch. But I’m glad I finally got the chance to make that little dream of snail mailing back and forth a reality. Sometimes you just need that extra push that reminds you of what you’d wanted for the future, back in the past.

Much love,

Dora xx