Being An Old Soul In A Young Body

tumblr_m6vc5pEebM1r7ngoeo1_1280.jpgI still remember an old dear friend of mine calling me a nana, when I told her of my love of Classical music. We laughed, smiled and even so, at that time I wasn’t aware of the term old soul. I loved watching old films, watching musicals, ballets, operas, listening to old Jazz, reading English literature, talking about history, thinking about deep things, going out for long walks and staring at nature. I would describe myself as a little strange, quirky, deep, quiet and silly at the same time. I talked to a new friend recently and was curious to know her first impression of me. She mentioned that I reminded her of an old soul.

Ever since I can remember, I never liked the feeling of having to try fit in. When everyone wanted to be drinking and partying at my age, I wanted to stay in on a Friday night with a cup of tea. Even if it meant I was left out a lot or spent a lot of time alone. When everyone would talk a certain way at high school, I never wanted to conform to that. There was and still is a level of frustration when faced with shallow perspectives of life from people. I can’t count the amount of people that have called me innocent, but don’t know what I’ve been through in my life. It’s easy to look like you haven’t experienced many things, when you truly have.

Being an old soul sometimes means you have been through certain things that required you to mature, be responsible and be independent at a young age. It means that sometimes you’re in your own world or feel as if you’re from another era. You might enjoy old art, books and films. You might be a little peculiar, strange or feel different to those your age. I felt deeply complimented by my friend, yet I definitely feel there is so much more to learn. It really meant a lot to me, because I can relate to what it means to be an old soul. There is a crave for deep connections and avoiding what is trending. You might have a calm demeanour and value the company of positive, kindhearted and honest people.

One of the reasons I really disliked high school and my first time at university, were due to the feeling of being different and not fitting into the typical uni students experience. In terms of Social Media, I don’t use Facebook for socialising and have never really gripped the meaning of why people need to share certain things to hundreds of people. Being an old soul may be that you’ve always been keen to just start working. It means you don’t understand our generations views on love in terms of hookups. It means you lose interest in people who act significantly differently around you compared to when they’re around others.

You might have a smaller group of friends, you don’t conform to what is popular, you’re satisfied in spending time alone, enjoy listening to old music, feel frustrated when you’re not understood, you plan for the future, you look to learn and gain wisdom, enjoy the physical touch of a book, striving for personal growth, don’t understand why people use their phones when socialising, you have strong core values, your friends may be older than you, an interest in the past, be a little more curious and perhaps you might be an analytical person. The truth that is important to remember is that maturity is not defined by an age.

Birdy via

What Do We Leave To The Imagination?

tumblr_o82npxohn61qz6f9yo3_1280A beautiful quote from Rei Kawakubo “For something to be beautiful, it doesn’t have to be pretty”. The words are golden because we all have our own perception of what is beautiful, yet somehow when I reflect on what we leave to the imagination as a society, the answer is not much. When we think of it as individuals, we have the ability of how much we reveal of ourselves. To leave something to the imagination means to not show or describe all of the parts or details of something. Have you ever read a book, then watched the movie and felt as if the book were better? It’s common in these cases, because our imaginations can create a world that seems even more alive and vibrant in our own mind.

Leaving something to the imagination, is not also in relation to what we wear, but in every aspect of our lives. There are often things that are better to be unsaid, happy memories that don’t need to be captured or enjoyable experiences that can be kept to ourselves. However, I strongly believe there is an importance in modesty, in who we are, what we value and how we present ourselves. In an article here by Gabriella, she says “Somehow, somewhere, sexy became equated with showing everything. Ladies know that sexy means leaving a little something to the imagination. Don’t get me wrong, a tiny dress has its time and place. It’s how you mix it up that makes the difference.”

This was an important quote to touch on, because there’s nothing wrong with wearing a short dress, but it’s how we present ourselves that makes the difference. In a sense it shows how much we have self respect for ourself. An article at Elite Daily, talks about why we should all start leaving a little more to the imagination. I find this such an important topic, in a generation where we are known for over sharing, capturing images and having an excess amount of information with easy access to. Privacy is now a value, because so much of it doesn’t exist the way it used to, when everything is online.

There are many things that are kept to ourselves, whether that’s our thoughts, goals, dreams and achievements, because they give us a sense of quiet, peace and focus in our own lives. As much as it’s great to share with others, sometimes certain things are better left to the imagination. It creates a sense of excitement, mystery and makes life much more interesting! As it mentions in the article: “Not everyone needs to know all our intimate thoughts, desires, wants and wishes. (They don’t even need to know our mundane day-to-days.) … Just because other people may be open books, doesn’t mean we need to bend our covers, too, and lay every single line bare… If we tell everyone everything, there is nothing left to discover.”

Quiet is often a value that’s under looked, because it’s not valued the way it should be. It’s often in the silences that we can learn more about someone. It’s often the conversations filled with meaning that give us true satisfaction. When we think of the imagination, it emcompasses everything. Not only the visual, but the ideas and thoughts. It’s like the way we judge a book by a cover, but discover what a beautiful book it is. Or the way we slowly get to know someone over time, and they become more attractive or less attractive. As the well known quote by Eleanor Roosevelt says Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Art by Yelena Bryksenkova

How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are

the-dreamers-bertolucci-eva-green10When you think Parisian, does the image of a woman effortlessly wearing a white shirt with black sunglasses and eating a baguette come to mind? How accurate is that image? After reading How to be Parisian wherever you are: Love, Style and Bad habits by the four lovely ladies Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret and Sophie Mas, I was delightfully enlightened and charmed.Of course, not all the words should be taken seriously, as they quietly suggest you to never talk or laugh with your gums showing, to never wear your glasses, especially if you’re nearsighted and to wear a black bra underneath your white blouse, like two notes on a sheet of music.

Virtues Of The Signature Item. A signature item is the one you wear when you need to feel strong. It may be a trench coat, a pair of stilettos (although not for those like me who can’t walk long in heels), or a leather purse. For me, a signature item is the one I feel most comfortable, but stylish in. This section of the book says Make sure to keep the rest of your outfit simple, so as to avoid looking like a Christmas tree. Which is a friendly reminder to let the outfit speak for itself, and let the signature item be the focus. The signature item is an attitude. It is the gun your holster that makes you feel well dress and invincible

Au Naturel. Is what appears natural, a lot of effort that has been created to create an effortless look? The skin should look natural. Avoid using foundation, as the skin of your face should treated as a canvas. They suggest moisturising the skin, using concealer or a BB cream then a few strokes of mascara to accentuate your eyes. There is a certain simplicity that creates a natural charm. The Parisienne retains her little imperfections, cherishes them even (the gap in her smile of her slightly crooked tooth, her prominent eyebrows or strong nose): these are the signs of a certain strngth of character and allow her to feel beautiful without being perfect. 

The Essentials. Jeans for anytime, anywhere, and anyway. Men’s shoes because they’re chic. The bag that fills all your needed things. The little black blazer that smartens up a scruffy pair of jeans. Ballet flats as they’re simple but easy to match. A small silk scarf to add a touch of colour (which makes me wonder when was the last time I wore a silk scarf). The white shirt, it’s iconic and timeless. A long trench and a thick scarf. An oversized sweater that slips off your shoulder. Basic oversized sunglasses even when it rains. An oversized shirt for a casual look, and a very simple t-shirt. 

Save Your Skin The relationship that binds you to your skin is the fruit of a lifelong education. In France, nobody cares that much about makeup, it’s what underneath that matters. It should look natural, and show your face rather than hide it. Skincare is extremely important, more so than makeup. Moisturise the skin to keep it hydrated, and less is more when it comes to wearing daily makeup. Make the most of what nature gives you, and what every experience you have, your skin retains the memory. Never go to bed without taking off all of your makeup. 

Women In Black The wardrobe is made of only black clothes, but not because one is mourning. I suppose this was written with a touch of sarcasm and possible truth in the sense that black is a closet staple. Although, I can relate to it in the sense that most of my wardrobe is indeed black or navy blue. Black is the color of celebration, the color of nights that never end, of women who pull the blinds to shut out the dawn. It’s a dress code that can be found on the streets past midnight. Yves Saint Laurent used to say “There’s not one black, but many blacks.”Black is comfortable and all-purpose.

The Best Version Of Yourself A person’s face tells a story. Through the experiences and the way we change, they become our visual identity. Parisian women never try to appear to be something other than what they are. The desire of wanting to look young, can only be a fleeting illusion. We will all grow older, and no one can have a face free of wrinkles forever. There is more desire to become the best possible version of yourself, inside and out, whatever your age. Enjoy the face you have today. It’s the one you’ll wish you have ten years from now. 

Photography from The Dreamers (2003) | Italics from the Book

Stella McCartney Summer Collection 2017

S17_Campaign_1026x684_1_BODY.jpgStella McCartney launched her first collection in Paris in October 2001. As a vegetarian, she does not use any leather or fur in her designs. McCartney’s signature style consists of sharp tailoring, natural confidence and sexy femininity. She has an eco-friendly ethos which is reflected in her designs.Stella McCartney’s commitment to sustainability is evident through-out all her collections and is part of the brand’s ethos to being a responsible, honest, and modern company. They are the world’s first and only vegetarian luxury brand. They believe that no animal should give their life for the sake of fashion.

The Summer collection is introduced by: Celebrating the collection’s spirit of life and love with the ease of summer, our latest campaign finds inspiration in France’s Côte d’Azur, set in the grounds of Eileen Gray’s iconic villa E-1027 amidst Le Corbusier’s modernist murals. The season’s corset tailoring, textured vegetarian ultra-suede and printed surf-inspired Lycra are captured through Harley Weir’s lens on models originally cast in our Summer 2017 runway show, depicting the vibrancy and softness in movement of the collection.  This season features an uplifting ‘All is Love’ message by contemporary artist Urs Fischer.smc_s17_show_collection-section_9-copysmc_s17_show_collection-section_18-copysmc_s17_show_collection-section_14-copysmc_s17_show_collection-section_6-copysmc_s17_show_collection-section_22-copysmc_s17_show_collection-section_23-copysmc_s17_show_collection-section_25-copy

The Common Misconceptions Of Being Soft Spoken

155077012-ohta-women-image-01.jpgWhen I think of soft spoken people, I think of Marzia, Audrey Hepburn, Katie Holmes, Snow White and Winona Ryder. The thing with the way we speak is that we don’t really hear ourselves. It’s similar in the sense that we don’t hear our own accent. When I speak, I forget how soft and quieter my voice is at times, because it’s normal for me. However, I’ve found over the years as an INFJ and HSP, there are certain misconceptions and stereotypes made about people who are soft spoken.

I was painfully shy when I was a child at school, even though at home I was very talkative and unafraid of being completely myself. As I grew older, I was much more confident, but I always had a softer voice. Having a soft voice doesn’t mean you can’t be direct, confident and self assured. It simply means that we show those qualities in different ways. I’ve listed below some of the misconceptions where some come from my own personal experience.

Soft spoken people are always quiet. I remember answering a question in class, and the teacher told me to shout the answer, because it would be like a normal speaking voice. I naturally have a gentle voice. I know personally I am more of a quiet person, however I have moments where I’m extremely talkative.

They are a sensitive person. Sensitivity is stigmatised and often seen as a negative, however it shouldn’t be that way. Sensitivity is natural. Some soft spoken people (like me) are indeed more sensitive, and some aren’t. It depends entirely on someones own personality.

Easily influenced, bossed around and manipulated. There is a huge misconception that we can’t be assertive. Soft spoken express confidence in different ways, without the need to be loud. Too often loud is equated with power and confidence. I know for myself, I don’t allow anyone to treat me unfairly.

Our gentle nature, can make it quickly assumed that we’re easily persuaded and influenced. I know I am one of the least easily influenced people. I’m quite strong in terms of my value. A quick example was my very first year of uni. I left myself out a lot in the uni accommodation I lived at, because I didn’t want to drink alcohol and party.

They aren’t able to speak up for themselves. Similar to the previous point, most people are able to stand up for themselves. It doesn’t always mean we have to get angry about it, but we just express it differently. I know that if someone crosses my line, I will be very direct. But I also know, I tend to hold certain things inside that aren’t necessary to express, if they won’t change the situation.

Gullible and easy to believe anything. This stereotype definitely comes from how we just naturally want to be nice and polite. I know that when I was at school, I was definitely gullible in the sense that I was too trusting, and tried to see the good in everyone. Unfortunately not everyone is an honest person.

We are always extremely polite. I can’t count the amount of compliments, when people say “you’re such a nice person”. I still remember when I was very assertive with someone, they got a shock, because of the contrast of me being a soft person. It can be off putting for some people as people expect you to always be polite and nice.

As an individual, people still need to be able to communicate, be firm and express their views. It’s important to be a kind person, but no one can be nice all the time. The synonyms of nice include agreeable, satisfying, acceptable, enjoyable. People think you’re always nice, as I wrote in a previous post why being nice is not always so nice. 

They can’t take on leadership roles. In this point, I want to state that soft spoken people can be an introvert or extrovert. There are many introverts who were soft spoken, who did great things and made great changes. I think of Rosa Parks who was a civil rights activist, stood up in a bus refusing to give her seat up to a white passenger.

Soft spoken people are shy and quiet. I do consider myself more of a quiet and low key person, and I definitely am shy in certain situations, but not all the time. There is a connection that being soft means you must be quiet, shy, socially awkward and a long list of stereotypes. However, everyone is different, some people are and some people aren’t.

We rarely get angry. Over the years, there have been countless times someone says “I really can’t imagine you angry”. The thing is everyone is an emotional being, and we all cry and laugh, however some of us might do it in private. I know for myself, I rarely get angry but I do get upset.

We prefer to listen rather than talk. Being soft spoken doesn’t mean we aren’t interested to chat or be noticed in a conversation. Everyone’s views are usually shared, and I know that many soft spoken people are naturally listeners, but many also love to talk!

Being soft spoken means you’re soft. This is the most natural association, considering the word soft is in soft spoken. Some soft spoken people tend to be more gentle and quiet, there are many soft spoken people who are very outgoing, loud and energetic. Being soft spoken doesn’t deliberately mean you are in a certain category, it simply means that that is the sound of your voice. Your voice is important, but it doesn’t define your personality.

image via

Why We Should Shop Secondhand More Often

I still remember the day I was in Sydney, and I saw a lovely blue Stella McCartney dress for $30 at the secondhand store. It was in mint condition, but was unfortunately a size bigger than mine. When I left home and started budgeting, I started going to more thrift stores, such as Recycle Boutique and Paper Bag Princess. They were the sort of places you can find something really wonderful, inexpensive and have a variety of clothes to browse through, that make it like a treasure find. It makes you forget about trends, but allows you to focus on your own personal style. The fashion industry has a huge impact, and it is also one of the highest causes of pollution in the world.

When we re-wear clothing, we realise that a lot of clothing can be worn for a long time. There’s an exception to certain clothing’s that wither away after wearing them just a few times though. Now I’m back in New Zealand, I miss the Glebe Markets in Sydney. It was on a rainy day, when one of the stands was selling everything for $1. I remember wearing a dress for years and years that I got for $2 from the red cross shop. There are more unique options, rather than the same similar styles you see in the fast fashion stores. There’s different fabrics, colours, shapes and sizes of clothing.

It has benefits for the environment, saves you money and makes you a more conscious consumer. Plus, it can be enjoyable to spend an afternoon slowly hunting through all the ocean of clothing, accessories and shoes. Now, more than ever, there is more awareness of what options we have. We can choose organic, fresh, eco-friendly and recyclable products that are better for the environment. You also notice what brands have materials that lasts well. It can also make you more aware of the importance of recycling in clothing and everything else. You’re also less conscious of what specific brands you prefer to shop for.

Thrift shopping can be rewarding, especially when you find what you’re looking for, or when you discover a gem. I love it when I go to Recycle Boutique and there are sections of clothing that are colour coordinated. Fashion causes a lot of landfill each year, and being aware of the environmental impact, we can be reminded that we don’t need an exceedingly huge amount of clothes. It’s those pieces that are worn year after year that are treasured. More and more consumers now want the latest technology or the latest trend, which is fine and all. But it’s always nice to think about what we would want to consume, if we didn’t have any external influences of what is popular.

How To Balance Study & Work At University

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It can be a benefit to study and work during your time at University. In the moment it may not feel that way, because you might feel that you can’t focus your time fully on your studies. I find that it enables me to juggle my time and use it wisely. It keeps me organised and finish tasks more efficiently. The reason why it can be a benefit is that you learn the skills and lessons that one can only learn when you start working. It can build up your CV, especially for jobs that require a certain amount of experience. It also allows you to know many things to expect once you graduate. Lastly, it teaches you to be financially independent.

According to Sydney Morning HeraldAlmost 75 per cent of tertiary students aged 20-25 have a job. It also mentions that doing some part-time work can significantly increase students’ chances of getting a full-time job after graduation. University students who worked casually in a job linked to a future career were much more likely to get a job on graduation than those who had worked in non-career related employment. Procrastination happens to most of us from time to time, regardless of how big or small. When you are balancing a work and study schedule, you are less likely to procrastinate, because you need all the time you have to complete an assignment or study for an exam.

If you’re paying for your own rent and living costs, it makes working more meaningful and motivating. You also put more value in the time and effort you had in the hours you worked and the way you spend your money. Every person is in a different situation. Some families have the ability to financially support their children, but may choose not to because they want them to learn to be independent. This can be a blessing because once you graduate, the reality of what it takes to take care of yourself may hit harder if you haven’t had any work experience before. It’s common for some people to work 2 casual jobs as well to support themselves through uni.

Balancing work and study may also depend on your course. For example, it would be unrealistic for a medicine student to work in a part time job that requires 20 hours a week working at a company, while having to study and go to the hospiral. From experience, when I studied a Music degree it was a comfortable balance when I was teaching Flute and also working at the University. However, when I worked in hospitality during that time, it took up a lot of my practice time and drained a lot of my physical energy to perform well. Don’t over burn yourself and work the hours that you can commit to. Sleep, eating healthy and exercising are extremely important in order to function as a student.

Having a clear timetable of your week is vital to keep up to date with everything. Make sure you attend all classes and tutorials, and use your spare time to work on assignments. Your working hours are often fixed, and so try to work around those hours to fit in study time. Remember to always fit in some social time and alone time, otherwise you can become fatigued or unmotivated. During holidays you can work more hours or take on extra courses. Working during the Summer means you can save up money for the next semester. Balancing work and study comes down to yourself. It means using your time wisely, staying organised and knowing how to use your free time.

Art by Eunjoo Lee