My friends and I went to Alberta for a week in April to kick off the summertime. We spent a day in Edmonton (at the Fantasyland Hotel in the West Edmonton Mall) and the rest of our week in Banff (surrounded on all four sides by the absurdly beautiful Canadian Rockies). It was my first time spending more than just a layover in Alberta, and being in the most artificial place in the world for a day and then the most naturally gorgeous place I’ve ever seen in my life for a week was a strange and wonderful juxtaposition. I’m so happy to have done it with such a fun trio by my side– my friends really made this trip the kind of thing I’ll remember forever and tell my future children about when they ask for tales from my rambunctious youth. Spending a week exploring/hiking during the days and dancing/laughing during the nights was such a privilege and just what I needed at the time to get me out of a weird funk I had been in.
The opposite of dissociation is connection. Late February and March have been a time for connection— or maybe for re-connection— in my life. Re-connecting with myself, re-connecting with my loved ones, re-connecting with my art. I’ve discovered that sometimes, giving up is the only way to make yourself want to keep going. Here are some photos (and above, some footage) from this strange/good time, and the songs I’ve been playing a lot throughout it.
This video may as well be called “current mood.”
The very last week of my five week trip to Europe in December and January was spent in Paris. The plan was to continue travelling until mid-March, but– and I should really expect this by now– things didn’t go according to plan. I touched on it briefly in an Instagram post, and maybe I’ll talk specifically about it in the near future, but throughout the entirety of my travels I was increasingly overwhelmingly depressed and anxious. It was in Dublin that I made up my mind about going home early to take care of myself, rather than continuing to travel when it was obviously exacerbating pre-existing issues. I found myself both eagerly counting down the days until my flight home, while also trying desperately to get out of my head and just enjoy whatever was right in front of me.
It’s kind of fitting then, I think, that my journey ended (or paused, I suppose) in Paris. It’s overwhelming. It’s gorgeous and lively and full of people and history and art and ridiculous extravagance. “No one does ridiculous extravagance like the French,” became a near-daily comment I made to my sister. On our first full day in the city we explored the Musée d’Orsay, and while it was already a beautiful building filled with beautiful art, we didn’t really expect to turn a nondescript corner and walk into an ornate, gilded ballroom. All my sister and I could do was turn to each other and ask, “what?” It seemed absurd, and unreal.
So my sister and I spent a few days in Manchester over Christmastime, and then spent three days there in January a couple weeks later. Three of our very good friends– Cosette, Ilja, and Phoebe– live there, making it a convenient little stopover between cities so that we could take a breather from being constantly surrounded by NEW PLACES and NEW PEOPLE and NEW THINGS.
While we were there the first time I didn’t film or photograph much (my video diary covers Manchester Trip #2) but we did spend one night all hanging out together in a café, and I dressed the boys up in the vintage clothing sold there, and we took model pictures of them and laughed about it for ages.
*Listens to Sufjan Stevens once*