What I'm Wearing:
Hat: H&M, Shirt: H&M, Jeans: Forever 21, Socks: Living Royal, Shoes: Guess
"Carry On, San Vicente"
Looking out at the water and feeling the sunshine along my face, it's something I can't describe, you have to feel it for yourself. I didn't think I would have some sort of spiritual connection with myself shooting this outfit, when Living Royal socks approached me to collab with them. I saw the socks and knew what I wanted to talk about, but I didn't think I would feel as connected to the outfit and location as I did until I got there and we started. I left with the outfit shot, the ideas outlined of what I wanted to talk about, and I even wrote a new song. I would title this page the name of that song, but I'm keeping that song to myself until i'm able to make my 3rd record. As a song writer it's one of those songs you dream of writing during the duration of your whole career. I don't like to choose favorites or sound like i'm the best songwriter, but damn, I know when my work is special, and that song that I wrote from the experience that I had shooting this outfit is a feeling in my heart I will never forget. I went there with the title of this page in mind and left with an expanded mind with 2 songs in my head. Carry On, San Vicente is a metaphor for moving on and moving forward with your life. This pair of cactus socks from Living Royal, captures the emotions of feeling stuck. Something about deserts in the middle of nowhere has me thinking of that emotional switch within us when pain hits us, the fear we feel when we encounter change, and the ability to forgive when someone does wrong to us. Cactus can be a beautiful plant to have around your home or garden, but it can also mean more, just like the cactus socks from living royal.
Denim, I wanted to go denim with this look. Country meets beach, kind of like Miley Cyrus's Malibu, kind of like me minus the city boy part of myself. Anyways, I felt denim would be the perfect fit for this look to bring out the socks. Country music always tells an in depth story. A lot of country artists use denim to showcase how they feel through their music. Denim is rugged, denim can go through periods of life and be reinvented to fit the current era we are living in. Denim survives through the changes of life. Cactus don't have to be watered often, they can survive through a period of time just like denim. So I chose to wear denim as a nod to the socks and the idea of reinventing yourself through the many phases of life. Deserts may always look the same, but many people travel through them and leave their own little mark that changes the desert from how it previously was. The cactus socks just stuck out to me when Living Royal gave me a selection to choose from in their catalog. I thought of my current state of life and how everything I have been through has made me feel stuck. How do you move forward when so much wrong has happened, how do you move forward when so many people have hurt you, how do you allow yourself to be okay when your not okay. You allow yourself to get stuck, you get used to the current state of life, you stay there and you stay the same like the cactus in the desert. But then new people come in your life, like the people who make their marks on the desert. You let down your walls, water begins to flow through your soul, you take what you have been given, and you make something better than what you had before. You take that bad situation, own up to it, and reinvent your denim. You begin to adapt to the changes, you begin to forgive the people who wronged you, you take that pain of being stuck like a cactus and wear it proudly like the socks on my feet, you look out at the water and let go, let go of all that hurt you have been through and accept it. That day I took a moment away from everyone, I looked out at the water and I just felt something, I broke down. I felt free. Something I haven't felt in so long. I'm not really free yet, i'm still like half in and half out, but in that moment I was free from everything. I owned up to my disease and struggles long ago, but that moment everything became crystal clear. For someone who is constantly criticized like me, It became evident that those hard moments being stuck, made me evolve into something more. My cactus grew, I grew, I owned up to everything and accepted what God gave me and evolved, and I will keep evolving. These socks reminded me that we gotta keep moving forward no matter what happens to us. It reminded me that every shadow proves there is a sun. That sun shine I felt on my face was the sign I needed to know that one day, I can truly be free from everything. I may have owned up to my disease and everything long ago, but as I felt my tears subside along the light, my fears made peace with who I am inside.
Moving forward can be hard. As I learned before and I'm learning again now, so many people will try to knock you down along the way. Stand up for yourself and speak up for yourself. Don't let someone try to take that beautiful view of peace that you have been wanting, away from you. Be proud of the pain and struggles you have been through. Wear it proudly and honor them. There's a silver lining in every scar, once you accept it, you will be one of the strongest people in the world. As I said earlier cactus don't have to be watered a lot, they need to be attended to every now and then, but cactus survive. So don't be ashamed if you have been a cactus stuck living in the desert. If your still standing, then you are a survivor. Never give up the will to keep moving forward. For every hill there is to climb, there's a view on the other side.
Carry on when the dusk won't turn to dawn, carry on when the sunshine feels long gone, and carry on when the worries you have don't seem to move along. Keep on dreaming of the sunshine shining along your face throughout the rest of these "Summer Nights" and beyond. You'll be free one day, we'll be free and that emotion I felt in that moment, will be felt once again, one day.
Photographer: Joanna Wheeler
Every post I will include the song that inspired me to build a post around it's title.
Book 2: Chapter 2