AFTER THE RAIN

It’s been a (relatively) long season of rain. But when the storm ceases and the clouds part, we – so generally accustomed to dust – are rewarded with the most gloriously vibrant display of life. From desert to superbloom, what difference a season of rain can make.

You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

In life and circumstances, as in nature, sometimes a little bit of rain is necessary for the growth and beauty on the other side.

So take heart, friend, and let the rain fall for a season. There’s new life to be had on the other side.

For the Lord comforts Zion;
    he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
    her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
    thanksgiving and the voice of song.

Isaiah 51:3

PHOTOGRAPHY by Kassia Phoy

 

A SHORT LIST OF THINGS I LOVE

A slow and sleepy morning. Waking to the sound of cars passing on wet pavement. Then, the not-so-subtle progression to a sudden downpour – cocooning me in sound and presenting the feeling of being so very alone, but in the very best way.

Fresh flowers in winter white. Candles as my only light – the scent recalling cooler nights amidst mountains and dirt and tobacco and trees.

Wrapped in faux-fur blankets, wool socks, and flannel worn with wear. A kitty’s gentle snoring at my side. Miles. Ella. & Coltrane. The lilting snare and crooning trumpet stilling seconds, nine luxurious minutes at a time.

Rainy, romantic days like today. And the ability to soak up the beauty in every dripping moment.

RECLAIMING YOUR JOY

artsdistrict-2

Hey all. It’s sure been a while. Apologies for my absence.. life, yakno? But I’ll get into that.

I feel like I speak a lot in this little corner of the interwebs about the good stuff: the jobs I’m booking, the fantastic California weather, my happy little life filled with blessings. And while I know I am blessed beyond blessed beyond blessed beyond measure, (I mean, realistically, if you’re reading this, you join me in being in the top 1% of the WORLD) can I just be real for a minute? Sometimes – and certainly this past season – I struggle with feeling unhappy, or at the very least, feeling nothing.

artsdistrict-1

artsdistrict-6

artsdistrict-8

This past year has been an absolute whirlwind. Granted that’s really no different from how I’ve always tended to live my life, but this year felt different. Maybe you can chalk it up to that big 3-0 seemingly looming around the proverbial corner. Maybe you can chalk it up to having lived in LA for six. whole. years. (insert eyes-wide-open emoji here) and I’m feeling a little stir-crazy. Maybe you can chalk it up to the ever-increasing pace required to just keep up in today’s breakneck-speed society. But whatever the reason, I’ve been finding it difficult to find my joy.

artsdistrict-14

artsdistrict-19

artsdistrict-24

Quick pause to clarify that I am not talking about depression here. As someone who has struggled with depression between the ages of 12 and 24, and still at times today, I am no stranger to the oppressive hold it can have on your soul. To those of you who find yourself in this place, I want you to know you are not alone. Your feelings are valid, though they may not be true, and they are absolutely nothing to be ashamed about… But they also shouldn’t go unchanged. Choose not to believe the lies. You are worthy. You are lovedYou are not alone. Seek help. Ask a friend if you can’t muster it up for yourself. Get counseling or medication if you need it. Talk to someone. Anyone. I know it seems like the hardest thing in the world to raise your head up out of the darkness and fight towards the light. But choose to fight. There are people who love you and need you to do so. So do it for them. Do it for you. Several years ago, the grace of God (through a few heroic friends) saved my life, and I will ALWAYS be grateful for that.

artsdistrict-27

artsdistrict-28

So how do we go about reclaiming our joy? For me, it all comes down to gratitude – to slowing down long enough to remember what we have. When you’re racing along in life at 110 miles per hour, you don’t have time to notice the details in the surrounding landscape. It all gets lost in a muddled blur, completely devoid of focus. It’s in these moments I have to remember to pause, breathe, and remember all the good in my life – all the good I have been given.

artsdistrict-41

artsdistrict-51

artsdistrict-54

In every season of unhappiness, I’ve found one common factor: thanklessness. So fight discouragement with appreciation. Reclaim your joy with an attitude of gratitude. Take a day for the things you love: see art, eat ice cream, hug a puppy, laugh with friends. Enjoy the sweetness of all these little things and so much more. Find the things to be thankful for – of which there are so many – and see if you can’t find your joy there as well.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:21-23

artsdistrict-56

little-bee-signature

TEE | everlane
JEANS | pistola denim
SHOES | vince camuto

PHOTOGRAPHY by Kassia Phoy