Hello everyone! About a week ago, I had the opportunity to photograph one of my good friends Joe. He wanted me to do a couple shots for his portfolio when he goes to show auditions and what not. So, let’s meet Joe!
Joe Harrison is a 23 year old Irish dancer from Berlin, Connecticut (no, not Germany) who spent most of his childhood eating Dairy Queen and collecting beanie babies. He used to have the ability to hold his breath until he passed out. Joe is a pescetarian but thinks the term “pescertarian” sounds to pretentious so he just calls himself a vegetarian. He’s a Disney fanatic and can watch the game show channel like the champ he already is. But most importantly, he’s a wonderful friend to everyone around him. Joe is a talented and funny guy, but above all he’s one genuine sweetheart.
Last week I took a trip to the beach with some friends of mine. While the night before insisted that we stay in bed until 4pm the next day (don’t ask), we were up and out by 11am. It was a small group of us, just me and three other friends- two of which are from Ireland and were actually so excited for the beach. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen someone so excited to go to the beach before haha. In Florida, the beach can easily become a part of someone’s daily schedule, ya know? My friend Jessie and I were excited too, don’t get me wrong, but it was a different kind of excited. We were excited to relax on the sand and catch some sun after a few long days of work. The boys were more excited just to be there.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a day as beautiful and as perfect for the beach as that day was. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, literally the entire day. The water was perfect, the weather was perfect. Everything about the day was perfect. The boys went all out at the beach shop-I’m talking hats, sunglasses, new towels, swim shorts… everything. We spent the entire afternoon on the beach, grabbed some food at a nice beachside restaurant and unexpectedly stopped into Hooters to get the boys Halloween costumes. No that was not a typo and no, autocorrect did not interfere. The boys were Hooters girls for Halloween (idea cred to Jessie because it was absolutely genius). We ended the day watching the sunset on the beach. It was probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen.
If you’ve read this far, bless your heart. But I promise there’s a meaning to it all. While we were sitting on the beach as the day’s end began to creep up on us, my friends Conall said something that really hit home. He said,
“For something so beautiful that happens every day, we sure do take it for granted.”
He was right. It happens every day. We all can see how beautiful a sunset is but how often do we stop and appreciate it, ya know? It more so plays as a background to our every evening routine- as we rush to catch our 7:00 movie or we go grab dinner because we’re too lazy to cook. We don’t even realize it’s there.
For the whole hour ride home, I just kept thinking about that entire day and every time I thought about it, the more and more grateful I became for each moment that happened. For something that happens every day, we take it for granted. For something that happens every day, we don’t say thank you enough. For something that happens every day, we don’t smile about it enough. For something that happens every day, we don’t live it up enough.
I’ve worked with Conall for a year now and this was the first time we hung out and spent an full day together. It’s been one year yet in one day I realized there’s so much more to him than I knew, and I’m happy they all four of us got to spend an entire day together for that very reason. In a couple weeks, Conall will be going back to Ireland, Brian in February and Jessie will be gone in January.
The point behind all of this is that there are so many things sitting right in front of us that we don’t even see. We’re completely oblivious to the obvious. Great friendships, beautiful things to be seen, genuine things to be said- yet we don’t realize it until our time is nearly up. Then suddenly we’re grateful. It’s not necessarily that we weren’t grateful before, but we just didn’t realize how grateful we actually are. I encourage you guys to try and take more time to stop and appreciate the little things. I know that life gets so crazy that we often times forget that those moments can happen, have even happened. But those little things can make the biggest impact on your day, your life and who you are. Look at what’s right in front of you, grab a hold of it and never let it go.
If you ever feel like your best isn’t good enough, it’s okay. Sadly we can give our all to something and be absolutely over the moon proud of ourselves for what we’ve just done- and yet it still wasn’t enough. Quite often that’s when we become quite hard on ourselves and that’s why we become maybe a bit insecure. I have to tell you that’s going to happen a lot more than we expect it to, a lot more than we wish it to. But always remember that just because your best wasn’t good enough for someone, doesn’t mean it won’t be more good enough for someone else. To each their own.
We’re made to think that if we don’t have our life figured out by the time we graduate high school then we’re already heading down the wrong path. What exactly is the “wrong path”? See, what I don’t understand is how people think that there’s some universally right path that leads every single person to the highest amount of success possible. Or maybe they don’t think that but think that they’re at least doing something right solely because they’re walking a line everybody seems to think is right.
What I was once made to think was right is nothing more than nonsense to me now. Everyone tells us what they “know” the right path is. Let me tell you what I think. The right path isn’t a path at all. The right path is off the map. There’s no signs telling you which way to go. There’s no right way or wrong way. It’s instinct. It’s heart. It’s going some place you’ve never been before and finding comfort in the smallest things. It’s doing what makes you happy, not what makes other people happy. That’s another thing. We often live our lives to make people happy, when we should be living our lives to make ourselves happy and allow people to be happy for us. It doesn’t mean we need to go to university and study to be a doctor or get a big, proper job. It’s being who you are and finding yourself.
We follow the pack because it’s what we know. If we break away from the pack, we’re going somewhere nobody’s been- nobody knows. How do they know that there’s no right in where we’re going? We just keep walking in one direction, not knowing where we’re headed, until we find what we’re looking for. And it’s funny because we usually don’t know what we’re looking for until we find it. The only thing that matters is that we find it- whatever it is. You see, not all who wander are lost. They’re found.
Yesterday I had a day off from work and college, meaning I had loads of time to spend out of the house with some really great friends of mine. My friend Jessie and I were excited to have the same day off together- but what we were even more excited about was spending it at the beach! However Florida and Mother Nature didn’t agree with us and decided to rain…. all… day (or so it said- with Florida you never know). So we had to decide on something else and yes, you guessed it. Shopping. We were both up quite early because we planned on leaving for the beach at 9AM, so we went out for breakfast at one of my favorite places ever to get breakfast- Cracker Barrel. Can we just take a second and talk about how absolutely beautiful their biscuits are. Amazeballs. Anyways, after our breakfast we hit the mall.
We browsed around a couple stores but the two that we really hit were Forever 21 and H&M. Oh my goodness guys, I spent a lot more time and a lot more money than I ever expected to. But I am happy I did haha.
Let’s start with H&M because I only got two things from there. The first thing I spotted was a pair of khaki green skinnies.
I have been wanting skinnies in this color for a while now. They look a little grey in the photo but I promise they’re not haha. They’re absolutely perfect for fall, they just remind me of like.. falling leaves. Love them. And they’re stretch material so they’re super comfortable as well. These were $19.95!
The last thing I picked up at H&M was this pair of shoes.
You guys, how amazing are these?! All black, tied platform boots. AHH. I really feel like these could be worn on a night or even a day out, depending what you wear them with. My favorite thing about them is the chunky heel. I don’t think I own any chunky heeled shoes so here’s to a first! I’m in love. They have a snakeskin pattern to them too, which I thought was pretty cool too. These were $39.95 (but I got 10% off because there was a scuff on them and it was the last pair in my size)
Moving on now to Forever 21. Hold on to your seats guys because your girl spent some money here.
The first thing I spotted was these shorts. Now I have been looking for a pair of high-waisted shorts that I actually liked the look of ON ME for quite some time. I love the way they look on everyone else but every time I tried a pair on I just hated the way that they looked on me. But these, you guys, I love them. These were only $17.80, which I didn’t think was so bad. 🙂
I bought two crop tops, both under $10. The first was this grey, rolled sleeve crop.
Super soft, super comfortable- and absolutely perfect to wear with those shorts.
The other crop top I bought was this ribbed, burgundy sweater crop.
It’s not super heavy sweater material- it’s very light. Perfect for Florida fall (because we can’t really call fall here actual fall)
Funny story about the next item I got…. First let me show you.
It’s a blue.burgundy plaid shirt. Absolutely comfortable. I got it in a medium because I like my flannels to be a bit oversized so that they just feel more comfortable (sometimes if I get them in a small I feel like I can’t raise my arms. #restricted). I tried it on, I loved it, I bought it. I get home- the tag says 21 Men. So yes, I unintentionally bought a mens flannel but I will do it on purpose next time because I love the way it fits haha. This was $19.80.
The next thing I got was this pair of ankle booties. How adorable are these?
I got them in the taupe- they’re a little bit lighter and you can literally wear them with almost everything. Just like the other shoes I bought, they can be for a day out, night out- whatever. They can spice up or cool down an outfit. These beauties were $36.80.
I got one more thing from Forever 21 that is not pictured. It’s just a basic creme colored, long sleeved tee.Very light, very comfortable. I bought it to go with the khaki green pants from H&M and these booties right above. I couldn’t find the link on the website but if I do, I’ll update the post and let ya’s know! 🙂
That’s basically everything I bought the other day- besides a crap ton of food as well. Shopping really tired us out (haha go figure), so we went back to Jessie’s apartment and watched the Game Show Channel for a solid 7 hours – I am not even kidding. Steve Harvey is hilarious so how could we not? Then late that night we joined about 12 of our friends for a giant movie/living room camping night. It was a great day off from work!
Hope you guys enjoyed this post! Do let me know if you guys like or have any of the items I purchased and let me know your favs! Talk to yous soon 🙂
“Where words fail, music speaks” – Hans Christian Andersen
There’s something about music that draws me in. I love the softness of acoustics. I find comfort in the words written by others that I myself wish I could say but may not always find the way to do so. I often find myself, my feelings through music. Music has the power to make others feel a variation of emotions that maybe they didn’t think they were capable of feeling. There’s just something about music that draws everyone in.
I listen to music that matches my feelings of the day, so I guess you could say I listen to basically everything- well almost hah. But I find the most comfort in the soft spoken words and sweet sounds of acoustics, indie/folk.
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of the playlists created by Spotify. I find most of the ones I like through the Mood section. I listen mostly to the Indie/Folk and Irish Coffee. But my current favorite has been Autumn Acoustics.
It features songs from artists like Hozier, Ben Howard, The Villagers, Damien Rice and many more. You may not have heard of many of the artists, but the songs are absolutely beautiful. I especially love Ends of the Earth by Lord Huron. If you find yourself driving at dusk on a cool night with your windows cracked on a fall night, pop on this playlist and enjoy your evening.
It’s currently 1:30 in the morning and I’m just getting back from work.. we’ll sort of. I was working- then wound up going out with coworkers for a few hours afterwards. Now I’m home and can’t sleep a bit, as my mind has been racing for what seems like days now.
I’m at the point in my life now where I feel like I should be farther in life than where I am. In a sense, I feel like I’m being held back from enjoying my life the way I want to enjoy it, the way someone my age should enjoy it. I still live with my parents, and for those of you who still live with their parents, you know the drill. Come on, let’s all say it together- “under their roof, under their rules”. I’d first like to point out how incredibly grateful I am for my parents and I respect them greatly. At the same time, I’m in college full time and I work my tail off at work, so whatever time I have to actually go out and hang out with friends, hang out with coworkers I would like to do that without having to feel restricted. I don’t want to have to keep checking the clock to make sure I’m not too late. I don’t want to have to keep checking in with my parents and vise versa. I do it because I respect my family, but it’s just difficult to explain.
A lot of my friends have their own places and don’t have many restrictions at all, so it’s hard to go out and have to explain that I have to be home at a certain time “because my parents said so”. It’s a bit embarrassing and makes me feel childish for my age. I used to make up excuses like “I have to be up early for a volunteer thing” or “Oh, I’m not feeling too well. I’m just gonna head home”, but I’ve honestly run out of believable excuses and I’m really quite exhausted. I’m very mature for my age, I always have been. I’m not saying I’ve been the poster child, but i haven’t given my parents any reason to doubt me and my decisions. It’s like the girlfriend that keeps the boyfriend on a short leash when he hasn’t given her any reason to have to do that- but family edition. You know? Maybe I’m just overthinking things. But I would just like to be able to be a normal college kid. Be a nineteen year old without having to feel limited. My friends joke around with me about it. Yeah it’s funny, but it kinda makes me feel a bit bad because it is embarrassing sometimes, ya know?
None of this probably made much sense or seems even mildly important, but I’m just thinking a lot while I lay here trying to fall asleep. Figured I’d right it down. Who knows, maybe someone is thinking the same way right now.
Like this post if it made even a little bit of sense, and comment if you’re in the same situation! (I say situation but it’s really not a “situation” more of like… a circumstance?? I don’t know haha.)