Monday, 28 March 2016

Should I be doing what Casey Neistat is doing? | The Small Desk

Most normal people love having a four-day weekend – they love to slob out and relax and take the time to chill. I'm not saying I've been awake before 9am or have even been productive, but for me the long weekend brings with it a sense of fear. It gives me time to reflect on what I haven't achieved or what I haven't become. It makes me think about where I am in my life and question whether or not I'm happy where I am and with the choices I have made so far.

My constant question to myself is – did I make the right career choice? My answer is always yes, but there is still a nagging voice in my head saying – what if there is a better career out there for me but I haven't found it? Should I be complacent and sit here happily thinking everything has worked out for me at the age of 27? Am I missing something? Should I be doing what Casey Neistat is doing?

Firstly, for those of you who don't know who Casey Neistat is, he is a 35-year-old vlogger who has become one of the most popular creators on YouTube. He is constantly looking for better shots, better footage, better ideas. He never stops looking and seeking to be a better creator.

For example, a guy named Nicolas Vuignier came up with this idea called Centriphone and Casey immediately is like: how do I do that?! And after a few attempts with a 'try, try, try again' approach he makes it happen. His main medium is video, but he is also a brilliant photographer and fashionista. Everything he does is meant to look effortless but it is far from that, and it is incredibly refreshing to watch someone who puts everything into everything he does. He is by far and away the best vlogger on YouTube.

So what would it mean for me to be 'doing what Casey Neistat is doing'? Firstly it would mean for me to be more creative; to put more effort into writing creatively about any given subject, and secondly it would mean I would have to film more of my life. I never want to be the centre of a vlog like Casey, but I am up for putting more videos up about life around me. It would also mean I would travel more, and most importantly spread positivity. I am sure Casey is not positive ALL the time, but a huge proportion of his vlogs are incredibly positive and energetic, making him one of the most admired vloggers of our time.

I used to be obsessed with making films when I was at sixth form; I used to tell everyone that I was going to be a film director when I grew up, I even had the brochure for the New York Film Academy. How cool would that have been!? Now, it is much easier to become a successful creator without any training and there is so much inspiration to be seen on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. I want to stop being so in awe of content creators and become a better content creator myself. Consider this my Easter goal. What are your goals for this year? Has Easter given you a renewed sense of self? Does it make you reflect? Am I making any sense?!


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Words of wisdom from my mother | The Small Desk

My Mum

This post is a reaction to reading despairingly about the A4 challenge; a trend that is encouraging young women to show if their waists are slimmer than an A4 piece of paper. It is so depressing that young women today, in 2016, are comparing themselves to A PIECE OF PAPER.

I was also horrified when people did not clap for Jenny Beavan when she won an Oscar because they didn't like her outfit!

It's exhausting how much the media is still obsessed with women's bodies and it saddens me knowing so many young women have not had strong enough female role models to defy the stereotype of what a woman should be.

Whether I realise it all the time or not, I have been very lucky to have a strong female role model growing up and that is my mother. She has taught me to focus on who I am and not what I am. She knows looks are important to an extent, and that you should look after your body, but she has taught me that life is about more than that.

With all this in mind I decided to share some tips for young women growing up that my Mum taught me.

1. You never know who is going to be your boss 
This means that you should make sure never to make enemies, and to treat everyone with the respect that you would give a future boss.

2. Never let your period stop you from doing anything 
This is something she told me the first time I ever got my period, and I feel like she was saying more than just 'your period', and more like 'don't let being a woman stop you from doing anything'.

3. If you work hard enough you can achieve anything 
My parents are musicians and their motto is 'practice, practice, practice'! Basically they taught me that no-one gives you anything on a plate, you have to work to achieve your goals.

4. "I'm too busy living my life to keep my house like a showroom"
I can't remember when or why my Mum said this to me but I'll always remember it, and I love it as a quote to live by.

5. Never eat doughnuts
And I don't! She said that they are just fat and sugar and that I should be careful about what I'm putting into my body. It's about making sure you are healthy, not looks obsessed.

6. Make-up is your war paint
If you don't feel confident about your skin then do wear make-up, as long as it's done well. For example I get red when I get nervous, but no-one will ever know because I wear a nice thick layer of foundation!

7. If you want to write, write
Basically meaning if you want to do something, then do it.

8. Wear whatever you want
She has never ever judged me for what I've worn, and my God I've worn some terrible outfits!

9. Look after your teeth
Because you only get one set.

10. Never let your boss see you cry
It's better to walk out, and go back with a carefully composed reaction.

11. Be humble
Don't take anything for granted, and you can always be better at what you do.

12. Stand up for what you believe in
Respect yourself.

I'm grateful for all the amazing women in my life who have taught me so much, from my close friends to my sister and my work mates. And to the amazing men in my life who respect women and treat them as exact equals – to my Dad and my boyfriend.

I hope that one day body-shaming won't exist anymore, and we'll all be focussed on the contributions we can give to make the world a more positive place.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

February Favourites 2016 | The Small Desk

This month has been pretty darn stressful. I was considering not doing a February Favourites because I've found this month so hard, but then I would be breaking my run of monthly Favourites posts that I have kept up since November 2014! I decided to carry on and start trying to pick out the best bits of this 29-day month. Writing-wise this month I've entered a writing competition and had a book review published in an industry-specific magazine. Fingers crossed this is the beginning of my writing career...

The main reason this month was so stressful was because of a big work launch. I've been project managing the build of a new website for a year and it had it's grand launch at the end of this month. The other reason is that I haven't found it easy to live with my neighbours recently, loud music and smoking do not create a relaxing environment that I so desperately need! Hopefully we'll have an offer on a place accepted soon and we can get out of here. We've been here for over four years now and I'm itching to move. Anyway, here are my February Favourites...

1. Franco Manca takeaway
My friend Holly came over and we picked up takeaway pizza and watched Netflix. It was a nice chilled evening with good company and good food!

2. Homemade curry
One weekend early on in the month my Mum rustled up a 'quick and easy', but really a bloody good and fancy curry for everyone and it was absolutely delicious.

3. Pancakes
I basically forced my Mum and sister to have pancake day with me, but seriously my Mum makes the best pancakes. Lemon and sugar all the way!

4. Friend's birthday in a pub
I spent from 3pm to 9pm in a pub for the boyf's friend's birthday. It was so nice and chilled and I got to meet some new people who love art like me, which was cool.

5. Trishna
This is where me and the boyf went to celebrate eight years together! I blogged about it here.

6. Holly-made minestrone
My friend Holly invited me over for lunch and made homemade minestrone. We used to make it all the time at Uni together. It was super tasty and to make things even better she also made flapjack!

7. Long walk to Richmond Park
I've got really into long walks lately, and this month me and the boyf managed another two-hour long walk to and through Richmond Park, a.k.a the best park in London.

8. Work launch
Even though it was stressful getting to this point, the work launch was definitely a highlight this month. We had drinks to celebrate and it was a really positive day all-round.

9. Booking two holidays
This month I've booked two holidays/my summer holidays. We are going away for one week with the boyf's parents and one week with my parents.

10. Random Wahaca
We decided to treat ourselves to a Wahaca lunch after a morning of house viewings. Just as we were finishing up our food, a couple of our friends who live nearby popped in and we had a good catch up with them and watched them eat their food! I love it when you spontaneously meet friends – I feel like it so rarely happens these days.

11. Date day
On the penultimate day of the month we had a random date day. We walked along the south bank, browsed the National Theatre shop and walked through Covent Garden. In the evening we went to a Curzon cinema and saw a brilliant Icelandic film called Rams, and had a pizza for dinner.

12. ICA London, Betty Woodman exhibition
My final favourite of the month has to be going to the Betty Woodman exhibition by myself. I rarely go out and do things like this by myself but it is quite liberating to do so. I also had lunch in the National Portrait Gallery cafe by myself whilst reading my art magazine. I felt so chic, haha!

Those are my favourites for this month. What have you been up to this month?

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