Friday, July 3, 2015

Looking too closely





Writing is something i've always done. It's something i've always had the need to do.
And it has always been the most important part of any healing process for me.
Be it death or breakups... or just the fucking burden of life in general; when i need to fix something within myself, make sense of the world, i talk to my friends, and then i write.
But the more i write, the more personal it gets, and the harder it gets for me to put it out there.
Out here.
I've already moved away from the "i am a blogger this is how my week was!" style that i started out writing in so many years ago.
Not on purpose, really, it's just a difficult format to work with when you don't blog every day.
So my shit has become more abstract, more pure feeling, and i still struggle with "how personal is too personal", as i have ever since i started blogging.
And as the sensitive and anxious person that i am, i obviously worry about people judging me, not only for the content, but also the rather clumsy and naive style in which it is presented. 
And you know, typos.
"They're just feelings" i tell myself. We all catch them occasionally, like the summer cold all my friends seem to be suffering from at the moment.
So usually, with that in mind, i'll just close my eyes, hit publish, and hope for the best.
Hope that i won't be judged too much, hope that the haters had better things to do than read my rants, and hope that maybe a few people will relate and feel less alone.*
And while i'm sure some might think it's too much, or too dumb, i know a few people get it.
"Your transparency will be your foundation of truth to stand on".
An instagram follower posted that comment on a picture with a really heavy caption, yet another thing i maybe shouldn't have shared with the internet, but did anyway, and it stuck with me.
I think of that now, as i'm about to post what's basically just a lot of random thoughts i was having the day after my birthday, slightly hungover, and crying on public transportation in Berlin, a city that may or may not be my home.
I think of that, and i realize that whatever the cost, i still want to share, be open, be myself.
In life, and on my blog.

From the iPhone journal:

"Sometimes i wonder if too much bad shit went down here for me to ever really be happy in Berlin. 
I still love it here, and most days it even feels like home, but if i'm having one of those days, feeling fragile, feeling lost, just taking the damn train can be a painful experience. 
Seeing all those buildings, bars, stations. Places that are now forever bound to whatever event took place there. 
Like a song you listened to too much during a breakup, you'll never be able to separate the two again. 
What if Berlin is that song? 

And those songs, those actual songs...
Have i talked about this before?
How rediscovering myself after the first big breakup lead to me being more or less unable to even listen to the music i used to listen to? How becoming someone who wouldn't get hurt, included a sometimes radical change in musical tastes?
Is this a thing that happens to other people, or am i just unusually sensitive when it comes to music?
Anyway, sitting on the train just now, it's like i'm conducting an experiment. 
I'm on my way to Friedrichshain, a neighborhood that's particularly loaded with memories, and i'm listening to a playlist from a year back, almost feeling like the me of the past, and i'm reminded of why i stopped listening to those songs in the first place.
Short explanation: shit makes me cry in public!
Yeah.

As if i somehow planned it, i even look a bit like my former self today.
Cause your look changes too when something major goes down. Everything changes.
I'm wearing my busted old Korean sneakers, bought for 100 yen at a market in Tokyo years ago, and a patched up denim jacket. 
Not tough, no guard.
And it feels strange. 
I look like her. Malle. Amalie. Whatever her name is. Not Flora. 
Flora changed to survive and to grow and to not get hurt. 
Malle from Copenhagen. Amalie from Sch├Âneberg. Flora from Neuk├Âlln. Flora the explorer.
Berlin may be a place of hurt and forced transformation and survival, but it's also Floras city. 
The place where i finally found  myself, and finally learned to be alone.
A place with no safety net but myself and my chosen family.
A place where i learned to trust only my gut instincts and a few select people.
A place where happiness and purpose is sometimes so close i can almost taste it, but i can never quite reach it. 
I wonder if maybe the old me and the new me will somehow need to learn to reunite, coexist, before i will feel a sense of happiness... calmness, belonging. Whatever you wanna call it.
Maybe being vulnerable once in a while is something i'll have to ease myself back into, in order to feel whole.

Back to reality, back on the train, i discreetly wipe away the tears that have been gathering behind my sunglasses, and i change the music on my phone back to something that makes me feel detached and strong.
Something that makes me feel like dancing and singing in public instead of crying, cause Flora doesn't do that. 
And as i'm walking towards a coffee shop to meet up with friends, an always welcome distraction from an overactive mind filled with negative self talk, i'm thinking that for now, being slightly detached from my feelings, is the better way to live."


Ok, so that was the rant of the day!
Well, its was the rant of several days ago, really, but the rant of today will have to wait.
Actually, i feel a ""this is what i've been doing" post coming on soon, cause hey, i've had a birthday and i've had friends visiting, and i've been working on things.
So yeah, maybe a return to blogger basics is in order.
Or maybe i'll just keep talking about my fucking feelings, who knows.

The pictures are from Berlin mostly, and a few from Vienna, i think.

















*And i know some do, cause they occasionally send me emails that make me cry with gratitude, and even through i sometimes forget to reply to them, because i'm easily distracted and rarely on my computer, they fucking make life worth living.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Stars, unaligned




I think i've mentioned it before, but in my experience, 2014 was the year of break ups. 
Not just for me, obviously, but for so many supposedly solid couples in my circle of friends that all of a sudden fell apart without much warning.
Most of us were severely wounded, some of us more than once, and we thought we'd never recover, but most of us came out stronger and a lot of us became closer.
Now, in 2015, i've been sensing something similar. 
It's not a year of big dramatic breakups, but perhaps more like a year of sadness? 
A year of uncertainty, or depression even? 
Whatever you wanna call it, it seems to be a year that's been hard on sensitive people.

At first i thought me and my closest friends were just affecting each others moods, as friends tend to do, but as i talked to friends from around the world, i was hearing similar stories.
And it wasn't just feelings of seasonal depression, it was something else, something more. 
Something that just made life a lot fucking harder than it's supposed to be.
It made me wonder if we were even responsible for this ourselves, or if something bigger was going on. 

You know me, i'm not particularly spiritual. 
If i believe in anything, it's that everything is connected. 
People especially. 
I started talking to my friends about it, some of whom are skeptics, and some who are spiritual, and they all have their own interesting theories and perspectives.
Some have the alignment of planets as a possible suspect, others the vibrations of a wounded earth. 
Could be something in the air, could be the fact that we live so much of our lives online, detached from our core beings.
Or maybe it's just the damn weather!

I don't know, but whatever it is that's been affecting us, the people with heightened sensitivity, it sure has made the first half of this year tough as hell. 
Sometimes the sadness and loneliness has been almost unbearable, and in my case, as i've definitely mentioned here before, i've just felt so incredibly lost... wanting to just go home, but having no real home to return to.
Feeling like the happy, loving person that i am deep down would never fully surface again.

But recently i've felt a shift. Like maybe my luck, for lack of a better word, has finally taken a turn for the better?
I don't know what changed, besides the weather, getting my dog back, and going on a few not shitty dates, but i feel just a little bit lighter. Like my heart is aching less.
I'm still single, i'm still broke, i'm still 100% unsure of what the fuck i'm gonna do with my life, but at least i don't feel like i'm drowning anymore. 



Shared custody is harder than i thought it would be, and i miss him when he's not here, but i probably also appreciate him more when he is

A few of my most favorite girls, some of whom i'm even lucky enough to live with

I would love to get my hands on some pro nail gear, so i can make this stuff last more than a few days

Lucifer in his sunny corner spot in my bedroom 

Friday night at Bite Club, where the sunset and view of my city gave me the feels

In search for a spice rack, no spice rack to be found

There's always time for photo booth pictures in Berlin... always

And they usually turn out great, especially when they have a dog in them

Got a new accessory for my beloved Canon and i can't wait to try it out

Saturday was crazy hot, and we went to Lake Tegel for a muddy, cold, awesome swim

Our neighborhood ain't a pretty one, but it has a small harbor, and i love being close to water

He clearly missed me the few hours i was gone that night

I had coffee with this beauty today, and luckily June will be full of visits from some of my favorite people

I'm just happier barefoot and wearing shorts... maybe it's as simple as that...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Preloved




A while back i decided that my personal etsy shop was getting too messy and confusing.
Hats, vintage clothes, and i wanted to add prints too.
Too much of everything.
So a couple of days ago i talked my two best friends, the Wendies, into modeling some of my vintage clothing for me.
And then i created a new store, just for that.
Aahhh, organizing, it takes so long but it feels so good!

We had a lot of fun shooting these pictures, and it was really interesting to look at all the different pieces and reflect on the the person who used to wear them.
The person who used to be me.
The Wendies couldn't believe some of the shit i used to wear on a daily basis, but i've never exactly been sartorially timid!
I still love every vintage piece i own, and i wish i could keep them all forever, but i decided that everything i don't actually wear must go.

Anyway, our little project is called Berlin Vintage Company, and you can find it on etsy, of course, and on instagram as well.
Please give it a follow, and if you feel like shopping, well, you should do that too!
And because i heart you guys, you get 10% off any purchase if you add the code "untitledshopping".

Let me know what you guys think, and check back often as i'll be updating the shop with even more goodies in the coming weeks.
And although Classic Flora is currently inactive, it will open again soon... as soon as i can get some prints done, that is.
Thanks so much for you continued support, i promise i'll get back to regular rants and photos in the next post.
By the way, can i just rename my blog emo rants and travel photos?
Cause that's pretty much all it is these days!

Scroll down for a preview of what you can find in the store right now.
... and seriously, how gorgeous are my friends?!
Just... ugh. Stupid hot.













Coming soon...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Vienna



From the iPhone journal:

"I no longer have an emotional anchor.
A person to mirror me, to justify my existence and individuality.
This is being alone."

It's weird and even shocking to me sometimes, being truly alone.
Not even having family nearby.
But it's not all bad, i guess.
Anchors can drag you down.

Here are some pictures i just picked up from the photo store today, from last week in Vienna.
The whole story, and shitty iPhone pictures from the holy event known as the Eurovision Song Contest, will be posted soon.







 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Flora decorates




It feels like i've been almost ready to publish this post in what seems to be forever, but in the month leading up to our trip to New York, we had no internet, and that sadly meant no blogging.
I honestly don't know how we survived that, but somehow we did... barely.
And when i got home, i basically just wanted to post pictures from our trip, and forgot all about previous drafts. Oops!

This all happened about two months ago, which is ages, i know, but i'll post it anyway, because i like the pictures, but also because i'd love to get more decorating jobs, and that's kind of what this was!

Back in March , while packing up the house and moving into our new apartment, we also had to somehow find the time and energy to decorate and finish Wendy's workroom in her new shop, Taiko Gallery, so she could actually start tattooing there.
Nah, we weren't busy at all!

Anyway, since i love decorating, and have quite a lot of experience with both decorating and building things, i offered to help out.
We worked hard, and i think it took us about three days to get everything done, but we did it and the result was a super cute and cozy room that's comfortable and relaxing to get tattooed in.
Oh yeah, i would know, since i finally got my first tattoo from Wendy, as payment for helping out!
I would have obviously helped out for free, and she would have done the tattoo anyway, but i love a good trade... although i clearly got the better end of the deal, as you'll see if you scroll down!

The room looks completely different now.
We built the foundation together, and Wendy has put her personal touch on it during the last two months, making it even more cozy and more her.
I'll try to sneak some pictures the next time i'm there, or you can go get tattooed by my very talented friend and see it for yourself!



An old towel from Japan, a painting from my friends dad's collection, some stained IKEA shelves... we worked with what we had

There's a Lucifer in that pile of jackets

Other side of the room

Ramen break!

Lorena came by to join is for lunch before we headed back to work

Cool needle and tube storage, Shige, chiyogami that i bought in Yokohama years ago, and a bit of green 

Lucifer posing with Lucifer

I've been meaning to get him tattooed on me for years, but now i'm glad i waited

Our hammies Murphy and Lewis are in the tattoo as well, of course


For more decorating photos, please go visit the subtly titled "hire me" page that will be updated with more work soon.
And to inquire about decorating jobs or consults, shoot me an email at floraamalie@gmail.com.
No job is too small, or something like that!