Inspire. Be Inspired.

Day Dreams, Wishes & Inspiration

  • 2nd May
  • 02
  • 23rd March
  • 23

Inspiration #26: Music

Music will always be my go-to inspiration…

London Play List 

  • Marchin’ On- OneRepublic
  • Fader- The Temper Trap
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For- U2
  • Sweet Serendipity- Lee DeWyze
  • Count On Me- Bruno Mars
  • Take My Love- Stephen Fryrear
  • Annie Dan- Speechwriters LLC
  • Happy- Leona Lewis
  • Walking On a Dream- Empire of the Sun
  • Coming Around Again- Simon Webbe
  • When I Look to the Sky- Train
  • The Dog Days Are Over- Florence + The Machine
  • Merry Happy- Kate Nash
  • Satellite- Steve Moakler
  • Sigh No More- Mumford & Sons
  • Uncharted- Sara Bareilles

Through music, one finds there is no filter. Music seeps inside you, and pierces you in a way that words alone cannot do.

—Marc Platt, Producer of Wicked: The Musical (which I’m going to see in 2 weeks!!)

  • 26th February
  • 26

Inspiration #25: Growing up

This past weekend I got go to Edinburgh. This trip was probably the most special one of  all (although Italy will be a close competitor), because it’s the only one I’ve been to before. I spent a week in Scotland four years ago as part of a creative writing program, and this was my first time back.

It was so completely different, as it should be. I’m now four years older meaning I could do things I couldn’t do before (enjoy an adult beverage). I was with an entirely new group of people (most of whom are my age or older this time, instead of me being one of the oldest). And I was there for a different purpose (to run and explore, instead of critically examine and learn).

And of course I am very different. The girl in that picture was focused on coming home to her boyfriend, she was always changing to please other people, she was unsure of who she wanted to be, she didn’t believe in her abilities, she was insecure, she took care of others and rarely herself, and she was too afraid to shine for fear that she would have to leave things behind to do so.

This girl is sure. This girl knows who she is and who she wants to grow to be. This girl believes in love—in loving others and loving herself. I am happy with who this girl is now. But you never know how much you’ve truly grown up until you come back to the places of the before, presenting them with the after. So much has changed in four years…I can’t wait to see what the next four bring. 

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” -Nelson Mandela

  • 25th February
  • 25

(via avec-ou-sans)

Inspiration #25: The way people can forever change your heart. 
Even though I’m far away, I take twenty.ten with me every where I go. I FROG dance at random, I hold hands to de-stress, in difficult situations I ask—what would twenty.ten do? Whenever I’m afraid of losing the pieces of me I love—I remember that it’s in my heart, no one can take it away. I carry them in my heart. 


(via avec-ou-sans)

Inspiration #25: The way people can forever change your heart. 

Even though I’m far away, I take twenty.ten with me every where I go. I FROG dance at random, I hold hands to de-stress, in difficult situations I ask—what would twenty.ten do? Whenever I’m afraid of losing the pieces of me I love—I remember that it’s in my heart, no one can take it away. I carry them in my heart. 

  • 25th February
  • 25
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

Inspiration #24: There’s still so much left in the world to change.

Our generation would like to think that we’ve over come discrimination. That we’re far to civilized and advanced for that kind of thinking.

We have an African-American president. Many people support gay marriage. Women are CEO’s and doctors. 

Then there are Gypsies. I didn’t even know they still existed, but in the UK they are the last acceptable form of prejudice. This link will take you to a series of documentaries on the life of Gypsies. Some of it you won’t agree with. Some of it will make you laugh. Some of it will make your jaw drop. You might even get addicted.

I can’t say whether it’s right or wrong—I have a hard time telling someone their culture is less acceptable than my own. But in the end, it all comes down to this—there is still a whole culture of people who are lacking the things we’ve been fighting for, for decades.

The part that hits me the most are the Gypsy girls. My friends and I are allowed to figure out exactly who we want to be and to express it. Gypsy girls are raised with one purpose—to one day become wives and mothers. Their wedding day is what they are living for day in and day out. They will never be able to explore any other option. The will never get the chance learn about themselves, to create themselves.

We’d like to think we’ve reached the ultimate utopia of equality, but there so many people out there who are still not allowed to be themselves. We still have so far to go

  • 25th February
  • 25
The Taylor Wessing Exhibit

Inspiration #23: Other People’s Stories

The thing about Taylor Wessing Exhibit is that going through at first glance, it looks like pictures of average people. Sure there are some oddballs that stick out here and there, but for the most part they look like people I pass by every day. Then you read the captions. You read and you begin to understand that there is far more substance to the pictures—there are stories.  

A picture of two girls sitting on twin beds next to each other in what looks like a dormitory. They are actually in a Juvenile prison, and one of them helped organize a rape.

A picture of a young boy from Rwanda clutching a Harry Potter book—titled, “Not Even Magic Stopped the Genocide.”

A picture of a girl in her 20’s sitting at a kitchen table by herself. She has finally moved out on her own and feels as though she no longer has a true home. She’s not from this town but she can’t go back now. 

Then there is third place—Tic Tac and Tootsie. They are teenage twin sisters that have found themselves locked out of their home. They are prostitutes and Crystal Meth addicts. Although there are pictures of earthquake survivors, refugees, and prisoners—this portrait was the saddest in the entire gallery. I have never seen such despair in my life as I saw in Tootsie’s eyes. 

It’s easy to pass judgement on people at first glance, but this gallery reminded me that everyone has a story. You never know where someone is coming from, what they have been through, or what they bring with them. You have to ask questions and open your heart—only then can you inspire and be inspired. 

  • 25th February
  • 25

Inspiration #22: Words of Advice

"Dumela. i know you are gong through some homesickness but you are exactly where you are supposed to be. I have complete faith :)) and i honestly think you are there to transform the members of your group. you are wonderful and beautiful and your spirit is absolutely amazing! so have the BEST and most amazing time of your life so you can run back here and tell us all about it."

"Once upon a time there were a group of 28 OPAs in a room wondering why they didn’t all click… and I remember one girl was honest and said it out loud. So please know that in any new situation, no matter how wonderful it SHOULD be.. it’s still an experience that has to develop. And we miss you so much too.. we’re all lisa-sick :(. But open your heart up to this chance because you’re there for a reason. It’s time for you-time right now and everyone you love will be here when you get back."

"Keep plowing along lovely, you will appreciate your time and experiences over there so much more once you’re on this side of the pond, so enjoy it and make the most of it now. Trust me."

"Be happy for today, for the now, no regrets."

  • 24th February
  • 24
I like to see people reunited, maybe that’s a silly thing, but what can I say, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.

Jonathan Safran Foer Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (via quote-book)

Things that make me happy #9: Airports. 

It’s so beautiful how love has no language. Even standing at the Barcelona airport, not understanding a word, I could still soak in the warm feeling of watching loved ones reunite at arrivals. 

I’m having the time of my life abroad…but I can’t wait to be at Arrivals at Dulles. 

  • 24th February
  • 24

Inspiration #21: Someone Notices

My little sister is a sophomore in high school. Her high school experience is pretty different from my own, which has certainly thrown my parents for a loop. The other day they went into her counselor to talk about grades, and I completely forgot that my sister would have the same counselor as me. Well it turns out she remembers me too. She told my parents that I was the hardest working student she has ever met in her career. That she was always so shocked by how much I knew what I wanted and how I was going to get it.

After I didn’t get into my first choice of college, I felt like half of my work in high school was for nothing…it’s good to know that someone noticed. It’s nice to know that no matter what, your effort will mean something to someone, somewhere. Ambition and determination can never be worthless. 

  • 16th February
  • 16

Inspiration #20: Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living -Miriam Beard

For the past week I had been very homesick. That was, until I went to Barcelona.

It was absolutely beautiful and completely different from any place I had ever been. There was plenty of sunshine and sangria. A Spanish day was structured mostly around personal desire—siesta from 2-4pm, dinner at 10pm, and ready to dance by 3am. I touched the Mediterranean for the first time. I spent 3 hours at dinner instead of rushing for a check. I stayed in a hostel and shared a bed with my friend so we could use her sheet as a blanket instead of splurging to rent one. I road in a gondola  over the city. I spent two days just living, learning, and letting go. I put away my structured and micro-planning tendencies, and just told myself—you only get one chance to do this, so just enjoy the moments as they come.

With all of this, Barcelona made me realize—I am here, touching the Mediterranean, speaking spanish in the markets, and sitting in the sand, because I am living in London. Suddenly all of my homesickness disappeared. I’ve always known that London is one of the greatest opportunities I will ever get, but I never loved it or treated it that way until I was leaving Barcelona. It hit me—I’m getting to do things I’ve never done before and may not ever do again. I am living a dream. I can’t keep wishing it away because before I know it it will be gone and there will still be things that I never got to do. I don’t want that. 

I’m not just studying abroad. I am living. And I will no longer let my experience be a walking tour. I will explore. I will stop being afraid of losing the person I was when I came here and open myself up to the possibility that I can find something even greater. I already feel it  (I mean I left my wi-fi iPod in my room so that I couldn’t constantly check my Facebook—BIG steps.). 

And when I come back to London from Scotland on Sunday, I will be coming home. 

Keep Calm and Travel On.