It’s that time of the year again. Let’s talk about everything that, with good reason, has made me happy this second quarter of 2018 — a year that has been overwhelming in strange, beautiful ways (see my quarter one of 2018 favourites here).
Half of 2018 has lived and gone, giving us fleeting memories, moments of true love, moments of inner peace, moments of internal wars, trailers of the battles to come and hopefully, the will to charge into the rest of the year, with more purpose and premonition.
There’s not much I have discovered in this second quarter — not materialistically at least. It’s been a journey of reinvention and rediscovery, of moving on, moving away and finding abode in unfamiliar territory. It’s been about finding balance, being selfish, letting go, and doubting choices. Sometimes, it has felt like a million rays of sunshine all coming together in a fraction of a second, and sometimes it has felt like the shadow that only stretches at dawn — sometimes unendingly so. But, the most beautiful moments have been the moments that have touched my soul, and there have been so many that I can’t help but feel grateful. Grateful and greedy for more.
And it would not be true justice, if I didn’t begin this post with my most beautiful discovery of 2018 — Haruki Murakami, a Japanese author.
A friend gifted me my first Murakami and said that it would change my life. And change, it did.
When I’m asked, ‘How was the book?’, I often say ‘It was beautifully sad‘.
Nobody can describe a Murakami, because everybody perceives it differently. He leaves you with questions, not answers. He leaves you with a story that isn’t his, but also yours — with free love, with emotionally engaging conversations, with symbolic possibilities in every word, and with a strange weariness for the feelings you would never know again — everything that you have gained and lost in the course of your life. He swings like a pointless pendulum between the future and the past. And yet he brings love, passion, sex, loss, desire, friendship, sacrifice, fear, and compassion into everything he chooses to describe. Read one, and you may feel exactly the opposite of what I feel. But, that’s the beauty of it — it’s unique inside every mind that attempts to grasp it.
His words seep into something deep within, parts of you that you didn’t even know existed, parts of you that you are still trying to figure out or come to terms with. And regardless of age, time or your phase in life, Murakami eventually gets to you. Sometimes, you might have to put him aside for a bit, just to preserve your sanity, and sometimes you will let him take control, see right into your soul and puncture your heart with a million needles.
Not surprisingly, he is also endlessly quotable.
‘It just happens to be the way I’m made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them‘ – Norwegian Wood, Murakami
Music, the Soul Sister
Let’s make music, not love — could easily be something I would say.
For a while, music felt like noise to my stressed, overworked, mommy brain — and I shut myself off from allowing music to work its magic on me. This year, after a break that felt too long, I am beginning to fall back in love with the legends who carved my youth — Bryan Adams, The Beatles, Carpenters, Simon and Garfunkel, Floyd, Dire Straits, John Denver, Billy Joel, The Eagles, and John Mayor even. I am back to being in a mind space where I can think and function with music playing — and boy, did I miss it. There is music in my life now, literally and in every other sense.
And I can almost hear Lennon singing ‘There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be‘.
Beauty Game Changers
You may not have the anatomically perfect collarbone or shoulders to wear all the off-shoulder, cold-shoulder, and what-not shoulder blouses — but you have illuminating powder to make it all look smooth, sheeny and structured. Unlike a highlighter that over-emphasizes the sculpting, and makes it obvious that you tried too hard, illuminating powders are subtle, catching just enough light to add dimension without looking overbearing. They are versatile too — use them on your calves, shoulders, collarbone, arms, and obviously on your face (the highlight points), to add that natural, non-disco ball glam.
I have reviewed the Wet n Wild Illuminating powder bronzer in ‘Reserve your Cabana‘ in a previous post, and it continues to be the best one I have used so far. Worth adding an extra step to your beauty routine for evenings out and Friday night dates.
L’orealXBalmain Limited Edition Lipsticks
These lipsticks were on my wishlist for the longest, longest time. Although the majority of the shades were dark, deep, bold colours that I couldn’t possibly pull off, there were two shades that I was dying to get my hands on — the two shades that always seemed to be out of stock everywhere. There was a point where every beauty blogger was talking about them, and that made me question if all the praise was coming from a place of genuine admiration. Personally, I am not mad about L’oreal lipsticks — I don’t own any. They never blow my mind. But, these colours were so unique that I couldn’t resist the urge to invest in them.
On me, ‘Confession‘ is a pale, peachy, beige nude and ‘Fever‘ is a pale, warm, creamy, brownish orange. Both shades look gorgeous on my skin-tone. ‘Confession‘ has temporarily replaced ‘Mehr‘ in my handbag, and that says a lot. They are creamy, moisturizing, opaque, matte, long-lasting, and are beautifully packaged. The packaging is super luxurious — marbelized, with ‘Balmain’ stamped on one side of the bullet cover. ‘Confession‘ has easily been my most worn lipstick this quarter, and I’m not done yet.
The Dreamcatcher in Town
I’d like to end this post as I do all my quarterly favourites — with an idea that has changed my life.
John Lennon wasn’t the only one who was ‘looking for the girl with the sun in her eyes‘. There is never a good, easy time to tear away like a ragged cloth from the stitches that bind you, and fly away with the winds of change. In an underground cavern where dreams seem impossible and the world outside seems too bright, you will find that you can reinvent yourself — rediscover, realign, reform, regain and relive. All it takes is a few happy souls that surround you, a few happy thoughts that you surround yourself with, and an almost stupid, naive, unworldly approach to realizing an unrealistic vision. But dream, you must. Because dreamers are believers, and believers are creators. And I keep going back to that thought, it’s what drives my free spirit. And I don’t give a damn if I have to fail, if I have to fall, or if I have to come out bruised — as long as I can still find the will to dream, I’ll just dream new dreams.
‘Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly‘ – The Beatles (obviously)
Until next time, XOXO
Photo credits – @vijayanand_celluloids on Instagram