the secrets of loneliness.

The kettle lets out an anguished wail as it comes to the boil; it is my only companion of the hour. After filling my mug, I stand and watch the tea bag slowly release color into the steaming water, like the gradual restoration of a black and white photograph. Discarding the used tea bag, I find a seat at the empty dinner table, which casts shadows of family meals past and faded laughter during daylight hours. Sunlight reaches through the room's large glass windows with trembling fingers, to touch the pages of the novel before me.

It's a solitary affair - this book, my hot drink, a bit of food, a pair of well-worn slippers and I. If a passerby were to peer through the glass and see this young girl, legs crossed comfortably, nose in a book, they'd consider her well-off; not supposing she'd enjoy any company. But is this entirely true?

A miniscule voice is trying to push and grasp its way out of the depths of my thoughts, whispering that maybe, just maybe, I'm not satisfied with solitude any longer. But I push the voice down, down, down. I drown it in printed words and silent revelations, because loneliness is a tricky thing; an ugly chain. Loneliness craves and relies on itself. It requires time spent with no bothersome company even when it hungers for human presence. Yet I can't shake the question forming in my mind - can you truly survive on the comfort found in tea and silence, forever?


a movie night at meredith's.

                         "You know what we ought to do? Watch a movie and chill." And with those two
                              sentences, our plans for Friday night lay before us, simple and relaxed.

 "Can we watch Atlantis? Pleaaaaase?", Meredith cried, and we all shook our heads and raved about our own movie choices. In the end, we settled on 101 Dalmations - the version with the real people - and Leah, Lauren, Meredith and I laid back carelessly in the basement like teenagers are ought to do. We watched with eyes aching for younger years while our brains racked up witticisms and scoffs at how unrealistic the movie was (I mean, really, who loves dogs enough to adopt 101 one of them and buy a new home with dog spots painted on the exterior?) but secretly loved it. Leah was the first to gulp all of her water - like always - and loudly crunched her ice cubes for the rest of the movie - again, like always - but I'd never dream of complaining, because this small trait of Leah's is one that I know and hold close, like every other fact about my friends that I cherish.

Afterwards, the girls ransacked the pantry for cookies, mini marshmallows and goldfish. I stood in front of the counter and held the camera to my eyes, hoping to capture the youth and laughter etched into the faces of some of my closest friends.




 Throughout the cold, bitter evenings of January and February, I'd like to pull out these glimpses of autumn that I'm striving to commit to memory. Among these glimpses are an abundance of apples piled high on the counter, all of different sizes, shades and scents. The rustle of familiar pages as I return to a favorite read. The comfort of large sweaters sitting on my shoulders as the weather delivers a chilly draft. The delicious smell of disturbed leaves as I trek across countless trails and yards. Reminiscent flavours of cinnamon, chocolate and pumpkin. The feel of worn-out fuzzy socks sliding on elegant hardwood floors. A pot of stew growing warm on the stove, sending its aroma to every corner of the house.

During the fall, this dear old home becomes a place of prosperity and warmth on cool evenings. While sunlight bathes the walls of our living room, it is the place for deep thoughts and hot breakfasts on the sofa. After darkness has fallen outside the large windows, the room doubles as a cozy haven for reading until midnight, knitting or drinking tea.

Of course, the indoors is no match for the outdoors in this season. Why miss the chance to pounce on satisfyingly crunchy leaves or lie under skies filled with scurrying clouds? Autumn is rich with wood smoke and dry foliage, so to drink it in is like a great privilege. I thrive during these wonderful months. Everything is fresh in a way much different than summer, but just as beautiful, if not more.



                           For years and years, I've hidden beneath fa├žade of cellphones, trends, Facebook likes, insecurities and popularity concerns. For too long, my happiness has been dependent on my social calendar for the weekend, someone else's opinion of me or what party I wasn't invited to. I've put less-than-perfect friends on pedestals just to let them drop me. I've invested all of my energy into being liked. 

                                                     I'm overjoyed to announce that I've given up this burden. Unfortunately, so many people still carry the weight of trying to fit the average mold without even realizing it. The urge to please everyone has been installed in our systems for so long that we don't feel the space it takes up, like a rock weighing us down. 

What if we took half an hour that we would have spent updating our profile picture to do something that we'll be proud of? What if, instead of asking what other people think, we ask what we think of ourselves?

In the recent months, I've shed a lot of things that I was pretending to be. I've still got a ways to go, but the difference is already astounding. Maybe it's not cool to be the girl who isn't in love with her phone; who reads like crazy and listens to the hit radio once in a blue moon. Maybe I'll never be 'popular'. 

                                   But you know what? I have a lot of other things to be proud of. 

I am a photographer, a daughter, a friend, an artist, a writer, a sister, an athlete and an individual. 
If being happier while taking pictures than hopping from party to party sets me apart from the rest, that's fantastic, because I need to be my own person.

 I'm excited for the future and the places I'll go and the people I'll meet. I find comfort and pleasure in the fact that I'm going to discover so many cities and hug so many new friends. There are other people in this world that aspire and dream as I do. I'm happy to be exactly who I truly am, because the future is bright, my friends.


this week.

This week was tasting berries over oatmeal and tomatoes fresh from the greenhouse. This week was heart-to-heart dinner with Mom at my favorite vegetarian restaurant. This week was feeling productive, exhausted and happy all at once. This week was hiking over 12km on a foggy morning with the coastal wind nipping at my face. This week was sport tryouts and lists and the constant need to be-somewhere-and-do-something. This week was daydreaming about Paris during math class. This week was watching this video and wishing I could explore deserted highways in a colorful VW van.

How did this week treat you? 


storm day

It started with rumours - whispers of "hurricane coming" in the school hallways and conversations over weather at the dinner table. There were fingers crossed behind backs and hopeful grins, because there was one thing we all desired: a storm day. 

We were granted our wish, for the next morning, a single glimpse out the window sent everyone straight back under the blankets, like snails into their shells. Wind pushed and pulled at the trees, shook the walls of the house and made the windows moan. Branches littered yards and roads. Electricity abandoned us before  the morning coffee was even set to brew.

There are many ways that my Dad and I are alike: our adoration for literature, our witty tongues, our attraction to fruit... and our love for storms. I wasn't scared of the rattling windowpanes or the absence of power; in fact, I immensely enjoyed it. I scribbled in journals, sketched with watercolour pencils and leafed through novels all morning long.

When noon rolled around, we lugged up the camper stove from the basement, pulling forth dusty memories of marshmallows and hot dog buns eaten around the campfire. We ate our lunches during a game of Scrabble and watched the wind die down as the sun peeked out.

            When spent with the right people, storm days are almost as good as snow days. Almost!