Tag Archives: Blog

Getting To The Point….

Greetings one and all!

Firstly, I would like to openly state that I would love to blame my lack of absence on my university finals (which have passed and graded by now), my work schedule (which is only on weekend), and life in general. But, to be honest, it not for lack of time. Instead, I’d love to blame it on procrastination. Yes, the bunt of every daunting project. It is not that, either.

The reason I have not posted in so long is because, well…I wasn’t really sure what to write about. So, I’ve finally broken down and decided to PLUNGE back into my little “Sunny Place” because the time will never be “just right”, that inspiration I’m waiting for to hit may never come, and I’ve just plain missed writing here. My “Sunny Place” is a haven to me, where I can write how I honestly think and feel without worry of what my family and close friends might think, because (as far as I know) they just aren’t aware of my “Sunny Place” (no matter how many times I’ve told them to check it out). In that respect, I’m glad if they don’t look here, because I like to have this freedom of expression. I can just be me.

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So, hello again to one and all. Please welcome me back to the blog-o-sphere and let us be good friends once again!

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❤ Soleil

 

 

 

Who am I?

Despite my last post and efforts, I have become addicted to Bollywood movies. Recently, I watched one called Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and the opening song sort of struck on a chord. View the song here, courtesy of a YouTube upload.

The lyrics follow as:
As are the days, so are the nights, everything looks loose…
Even the sky looks a little less blue…
Life, sometimes,
Is a little full, is sometimes empty,
I know my name, but I don’t know who I am…
I know where my home is, but I don’t know who I am…
Who am I, who…
As are the days, so are the nights,
Everything looks loose…
Even the sky looks a little less blue…
Looks loose…

The lyrics I’ve made bold are the ones I found relatable. I’m not sure why but they really stuck to me, made me contemplate some things about myself.

I feel like, in today’s world, it is easy to get lost, swept up in the fast-pace of things and wrapped up in stuff that would otherwise be unnecessary.

Becoming lost is the easy part.

Finding who you are is the journey.

I do know my name and I do know where my home is, but if you asked me who I was, I would give you the generic response: “I am an art major trying to graduate and someday I’d like to be a Disney artist”, whereas the real, truthful answer is: “I don’t know who I am. I’m still looking.”

I know that I am studying art at university but I often wonder if it is the proper path. When I sit and muse over my life so far, the choices I have made, the studies I have engaged in, I begin to doubt that I have chosen correctly.

And that scares me.

Let’s go over facts: I am twenty-five and still live at home with my parents and siblings. I currently have no proper career that can give me the guarantee or safety of any kind of insurance and I’m studying for a degree that will give me access to a slim array of positions once I do graduate this upcoming Fall semester. The probability that I will land a successful and albeit decent art career are slim to none. Certainly, I will not get something that can offer me the insurance I so desperately need, nor the pay scale to even consider trying to live on my own, let alone survive.

That terrifies me.

It’s a big jump, from scared to terrified, you know, and when these dark and foreboding thoughts do worm their way back up from where I’ve tried to bury them away in the deepest corners of my mind, I feel even more lost than I normally do.

And that makes me stop and think and wonder: “What can I do?”, “What can I accomplish?”

But I have no answers.

It’s practically the same feeling as being stuck, of feeling stagnant and unmoving in my life (which I covered in a previous post here).

To be honest, my life is rather boring. I’m not an exceptionally exciting person. I live in an extremely rural area (as I have mentioned before) where the nearest shopping is at least a half hour drive, and even the options offered are minimal. The more you want, the farther away you have to drive.

I’d rather stay home than go out.

I have two friends within easy travel distance but our schedules keep us apart. My other friends live, spread across the wide world and we can only communicate through messages.

My biggest entertainment is my own wild imagination, where I can live the exciting life I am always dreaming about, and I make no efforts to turn my imagination into reality. That is my failing. And that is my triumph.

I am still learning, still discovering who I am and what makes me, what drives me, what limits me, what makes me soar.

But I am still lost and my journey is still ongoing.

So the big question is put simply, but the answer is seemingly impossible and limitless: “Who am I?”

STUCK

Recently, I read a post by a fellow blogger and their words resonated within my very soul, to the very core of my being. With this post, with those words, I was able to relate and feel and conclude and finally realize that it was the same way I felt. She wrote exactly what I’ve been trying to say myself for months now. Her name is Lindsey but she’s better known on WordPress as MomentMuser and the post I’m talking about is “Becoming”.

I want to quote a bit of it, the pieces that held the truest to me:

“I had thought I’d be further along by now.”

This much is true. To be honest, when I was small, I pictured myself happily married and with children of my own by now, just like my mother (married at 22) and grandmother (married at 20) when they were my age. Yet here I am, 25 turning 26 in March and I’m still not married, nor do I have any children. In fact, I’ve never even had a relationship last pass six months! This realization often makes me ask questions of myself like, “What’s wrong with me?”, “Is there something wrong with me?, “Is there really someone out there for me?”, “Am I going to be alone my whole life?”

But I didn’t want to just be married with a family by now. I also wanted my career by this point, but instead I am still a university student. I wanted to be this great artist, Disney Animator, working on amazing movies and creating characters and stories to be loved by all! Instead, I’m an unmotivated, uninspired slacker.

And this point resonates to the next quote of Lindsey’s post:

“I am not entitled. Surely the world does not owe me the Life I dream of living. I doubt that the world really cares what I do. In its indifference I will slip away.

I am lazy, lazy, lazy.

Today my alarm sounded at 9, at 9:30, at 10. Dozens of 8-minute intervals later, I rose at noon.”

Seriously, this is my life every day. I am actually quite the shackled-companion of those “dozens of 8-minute interval” snoozes. Frighteningly so.

I have absolutely nothing to live for it seems, no real reason to get out of bed in the morning except that it’s past noon and beyond reasonable to be in bed any longer. What kind of life is this really? A poor excuse for one, that is obvious. And I obviously want more, so what do I do about it? To change it? To go on? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t try to change. To try new things. To find something to do. I don’t need to. I know what I want to do but I don’t do it. When I try, I am unsatisfied with the results and give up.

To be honest, I feel so STUCK. I have for a while now and I don’t know what to do about it. I am an artist, an author, but I feel so uninspired that I cannot draw or write. When I try to draw it’s nothing how I imagine it. So I give up. When I try to write, it never sounds quite right. It doesn’t flow the way I want it to. The story isn’t going anywhere. So, I stop.

I feel as though I’ve stagnated. That I’ve come to a point in my existence where I feel like I am not moving forward. There is this great uncertainty. I don’t know what to expect, everything is so unfamiliar, so elusive that it is terrifying.

And even though I don’t know what to expect, I know what I want:

“I know what I want. I know it so much that it hurts. My chest feels heavy with it. My mind fears it.”

I want to be a success. Not in the sense that I want to be some famous, well-known person, but I simply want to be able to support myself. To be stable and live. To be inspired and find the thing that I love most in the world and just by doing it I am filled with such joy, such imagination again that I feel as if I will burst from creativity if I do not get it down with paper and ink. I want to express to the world through my art, through my words all that I have learned on the journey called Life. I want to share everything with everyone. I want to learn and keep learning and never stop!

But that’s hard when your own mother tells you that you dream too big. That you can’t accomplish the aspirations you have concocted through years of daydreams no matter how hard you try. To pick something easier, simpler, so that you can’t fall short in the end.

I’m not blaming her. I understand where she’s coming from. She doesn’t want me to fall, to fail, to hit rock bottom and have nothing left to fall back on. I understand the reason but I am stubborn. I ignore her words. I want to dream, but it’s come to the point where I feel like all I have left are my dreams. And that that is all they will ever be: dreams, illusions created by a girl with no drive to actually go anywhere or do anything towards those goals. The day she told me my dreams were too big, was the day I began to doubt myself.

Now, I sit here and I stare at myself in the mirror and I want to cry because all I see is a girl who got lost somewhere along Life’s path and can’t figure out how to find her way again. A girl who is stuck, stagnant in the same place she’s always been and probably always will be. A girl who dreamed for the world from her home in a small rural farm town and began to doubt herself so much that now she is trapped by the very fear and anxiety that she created for herself.

I am lost. I am stuck. I feel like I cannot escape. And I am afraid.

I am afraid that this is all my life is going to be because I’ve dug myself into a hole and built the walls so high I cannot climb back up to see the light of day beyond me. Nothing but darkness and fear and anxiety to keep me company for all my days to come.

And that is daunting. Terrifying. PARALYZING.

Help me, please, because I am stuck and I need to be found again.

-Soleil

“A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale” Review

Recently, I finished reading a book by Miss Liz Braswell, an English-born American who began her career developing video games before becoming a young-adult fiction writer. While it’s not totally up-to-date you can find her at her website, The Messy Desk. She most famously known as her alter-ego Celia Thomson, author of “The Nine Lives of Chloe King” series.

Her most recent book is the one I happened to pick up. Published this past September 1st (2015) by Disney Press, “A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale” is a re-take on the Disney Classic version of the Aladdin tale.

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Now, my last book review was on “A Frozen Heart” by Elizabeth Rudnick (and, although it was a short review, you can find it here in my “Back to Blogging (Finally)!” post) which was also published by Disney Press. While I am always skeptical about a corporation like Disney taking a new crack at expanding or expounding on their original telling of a story, books like these are interesting to pick up and read, regardless of any contradictions that may arise. (Unless of course you’re a die-hard fan determined to never see any of the Disney-verse movies changed from their original storylines).

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Haha, see how I did that, with the Aladdin gif. Yeah, I’m clever.

Pulling back, this book asks a question of great importance, which Goodreads was clever enough to point out: “What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed?”

Liz Braswell’s version of the Disney Aladdin tale takes a much darker turn. When Aladdin retrieves the magic lamp for Jafar, the evil vizier actually GETS the lamp instead of Aladdin. The events that ensue create a new world of havoc for our heroes, with rebellion, death, and destruction becoming a daily piece of their lives. Jafar is proven to more than psychotic, Jasmine battles with herself concerning right and wrong, and Aladdin finds himself trying to keep her sane, along with every other character he interacts with.

I must admit, it is a much darker tale than I was expecting when I picked the book up. Death and violence is portrayed in a very un-Disney-like fashion of grotesque and avid imagery. For true-to-heart Disney fans who don’t want different perceptions of their favorite Classics, I would say this book may not be for you. However, for those who are of the more open-minded Disney fandom, I encourage you to definitely give this book a chance! For all its darkness and betrayal and evil deeds, it is well-written and a captivating read.

Want to read it for yourself? Find it HERE, on Amazon!

Look for my words again soon!

Sincerely Yours,

Soleil

 

An English Breakfast and an Japanese Obon Festival!

Good evening everyone! Today I was quite the foodie and had a delicous adventure. It started this morning when my Father cooked me and my family a traditional English breakfast. Here’s a photo I took before I dug in:

IMG_2174It included English beans in a tomato sauce, toast, English bacon (aka rashers), eggs made to order (I got sunny-side-up because that’s my favorite), black pudding, roasted red tomatoes (not on my plate), pork bangers, and bubble and squeak! (For our recipe to make Bubble and Squeak, see my Food Blog, Tuck In and Chow Down, here!

Later today, I went shopping with my father and found these really good herbal-infused waters:

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To be honest, I got them at Shop Rite for $1.29 each. I tried each one then decided to drink the lemongrass, mint, vanilla one first and save the lavender mint for before bed, since lavender is supposed to be relaxing/calming. The taste of the herbs is subtle and they’re more of an aftertaste than an initial taste, but they’re very good and I highly recommend them!

Later, I went to a Japanese Obon Festival. It was in Seabrook, which is in South Jersey. I carpooled with my friend Kel (not to be confused with Kels, although sometimes I slip up and call her that) and her cousin Sharon.

The festival started around 4p. There was a karate demonstration for a local dojo. I attended an “Introduction to Buddhism” inside the Temple, visited the Zen Garden in the back of the Temple grounds, and watched the Odori Dancing and the Tokai Drumming! I even took videos for you guys! But…I can’t figure out how to upload videos to my WordPress Blog! Sadness! -cries in a corner- I really want to share, too!

Ah…but I also got food while I was there. Since it was a Japanese festival, they served Japanese stall (vendor) food. I had beef and onion stir-fry over white rice:

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And Somen noodles (yum!):

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Somen noodles are a Japense thin-noodle (about 1.33 mm (think angel hair pasta or vercimelli), usually made of wheat. They are served cold and mostly eaten during the summers of Japan as Japanese summers are hot and humid and it is easy to loose your appetite by the end of the day. Somen is served in a soy sauced-based sauce (men-tsuyu) and can be garnished with your choices of grated ginger, chopped green onions, or Katsuobushi (which is dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna).

“Somen is not something you normally eat at restaurants. It is truly home cooking…[an] easy one too!  You can find dried Somen noodle along with noodle sauce at many supermarkets in the US.”     –Japanese Cooking 101

All in all, today was a deliciousness-filled day! Looking forward to more adventures!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil