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by Dannielle Cresp on July 30, 2013
Last week was a haze. The end of July always is. Thursday marked 27 years without my mum, and I was sad in ways I never imagined I could be. Inconsolable is an over used word, but for Thursday it was fitting.
For me, time doesn’t make it easier. It makes me sadder. All the things she missed out on. From life events of her children to world events and the way technology has changed the world completely since 1986. I miss her now more than ever.
Thursday wasn’t spent on the tropical island paradise I’d promised myself. Though we did see the ocean in all it’s winter glory. It was a tough fog to pull through, but as the clock ticked to midnight, I felt the fog lifting, and like I could breathe again. This year may not be turning out how I had planned, but maybe the outcome will be better.
Thursday made me realise that this blog has said all it needs to say for now. It’s been a wonderful journey, but it’s time to let it rest. I’ve decided that my focus is now on building a happy future, and I don’t feel the need to write out the sadness anymore. I may be back at some point to share the NYC photos and the Canada ones too. But right now I want to look forward, not back and the new blog allows me to do that much better.
If you’d like to see how the 27 adventure changed everything, I wrote about it over at Oh My Handmade Goodness!
Thank you for your support over the last 3 years. This blog has been an amazing journey of finding my voice, taking big leaps and turning what could be failures on their head.
More adventure awaits, no doubt. Maybe I’ll be back some day to tell you all about it.
Don’t forget that you’re awesome and you can do anything you set your mind to if you want to.
by Dannielle Cresp on June 18, 2013
You know how you put your heart and soul into something and it doesn’t work out, so you dust yourself off and try something new? My 20s (so far) have been a series of that exact thing. You never quite let go of the first one that you loosened your grip on for new adventures, but you jump into the next new thing and soldier on.
Today I revisited that first thing. I got my sewing box out, cleared all the things that I will never use and packed it up like a jigsaw that only I can solve. But in opening that box, a wave of sadness came out too. Of days where I thought the tears would turn into triumphs and a future, long term. But it wasn’t meant to be. Just in the same way that Canada wasn’t meant to be.
Sometimes you take these big leaps and instead of a net catching you, it was really a trampoline that bounces you back to the start – only this time you have the memories of what didn’t work. It probably makes you stronger, most of the time, but sometimes all you see is the start line again and a bigger number in the column marked ‘Age’.
A lovely friend gave me a card that says ‘All endings are also beginnings, we just don’t know that at the time’ (- Mitch Albom). Today, after going through that sewing box, I am wondering what I’m at the beginning of. What do I put my heart and soul into next? How will it make this world a better place (even if in the tiniest of ways)? I feel like I’m ready to take that next leap, I just can’t see what it is just yet.
I am putting my efforts into my new project, a blog, called Style for a Happy Home and today I talk about the awesome interior design class I took. Is that where I’m meant to go? I’m not sure yet, but I’m having a lot of fun with it and it’s giving me some focus. Running is too, though winter is posing a crazy challenge – one that I’m trying to overcome.
Maybe I was right in choosing Adventure to be my word for the year. It’s sure turning into an interesting one. I’m sure what ever it is I’m meant to be doing will reveal itself in good time, and for now I’m just packing up the old, making space for the new and having some fun doing some mini makeovers in the process.
p.s. this is now a purely personal blogging space so I will only be blogging when I have something to share and it will remain ad free. x
by Dannielle Cresp on May 7, 2013
I have been in a bad place lately, and I just couldn’t bring myself to blog any of it. It all sounded like ‘wah, wah, wah, miserable Dannielle is miserable again’ and I just didn’t want to share the wah fest. My anxiety has been high and I’ve struggled to not let it get on top of me.
Coming home has been much harder than I anticipated. In fact, I don’t really know what I was anticipating but feeling like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole wasn’t it. Then I saw this quote (which I remade here) on Pinterest, that I’ve seen so many times before, but this time I really read it:
And I sat there and thought to myself: YES, maybe I will. So I had a bit of a think about the things I always wanted to do and each time I did, it came back to two related things: interior design and styling. I’ve always been fascinated by interior design, in fact it was what I wanted to be when I grew up (when I was 13 and everyone else wanted to be a marine biologist). But I’ve always been too scared to try.
So yesterday, I put my brave face on and signed up to a proper short course on Interior Design and I start next week! It’s been a while since I felt so excited about something, but in sharing it with people yesterday the response was overwhelmingly positive and it made me just that little bit less nervous and just a little bit more like I’m finding my feet. I’m looking for something that I will be happy working crazy hours at and will be something that can grow with me.
Maybe this is just what I’m looking for, and maybe it isn’t. But I’ll never know until I try and I’m taking the happy ‘this feels right’ feeling and running with it. 27 was always going to be a big year of change for me and one big adventure. So far it’s got lots of twists and turns that I didn’t expect, but change is good for the soul.
I have some exciting ideas that I’m going to work on, and for now I’m feeling great. I’ll take great over miserable any day. Can’t wait to tell you all about this course and how it goes.
by Dannielle Cresp on April 25, 2013
I’ve been home nearly 3 weeks now, and I don’t really know what to tell you. The days are fine, most of them. They go by quickly. I seem to fill them with things, then it’s time to cook dinner and the sun sets again.
And then the ‘what on earth are you going to do with your life’ sense of impending doom comes back. All that energy and excitement that I felt coming home, that feeling that everything was going to be ok, it dissipated that Wednesday after I came home. Vanished. I got sick and the doubts crept in and set up camp in my head and they come back each evening.
For the first time in my life I’m looking at a future beyond 30. It’s not that I didn’t think I’d make it that far, but 27 always felt like such a huge obstacle to overcome that I never really thought ‘long term’. It probably seems ridiculous for anyone who has been there, done that. But it’s true. So now I’m back home and trying to work out which direction to take to make the next 10 years happy ones (for as much as I can be in control of that). I came home to create a happier, healthier future. That bit I know.
I’m back to running, slowly but surely I will pound that pavement until I feel like I can call myself a runner. I will use that time each morning to get out of my own head and just focus on running up that hill that looks like it’s flat until you’re running up it. I will make goals that are just for me and smile when I reach them and remind myself that there’s always tomorrow when I don’t quite make it.
As for work, well I’m really not sure. I don’t want to be a web designer long term. I got burnt out so badly by the end of last year that I couldn’t stand to look at code anymore, and with the time away from the computer, travelling and seeing people I realised just how bad it is for an introvert to work from home on her own ALL THE TIME. I couldn’t believe how much I loved the interaction with other people at Alt. How much people understood my story more when I told it in person. How good it felt to laugh with people and not just into my computer screen.
I know I need to find something that I love to do, that I’m good at, that gets me out of the house. I still want to run my own business, but I want it to be something that I want to do long term, not just something that will bring in the cash short term. It will be creative, because this is at my core. 20something years of drawing, writing and dreaming tell me that this is key. Whilst I love travel – I love that the memories are all mine. I thought about trying my hand at travel writing, but this trip made me realise it’s the joy I get out of travel that I cherish not the writing, and I worry that making it a job would take that away from me. A very selfish thing, I know.
I’m trying to be zen about all this not knowing and let it come to me organically, in the way it always does when things are meant to be, but the tutting and the (well meaning) asking what I’m doing now, are making me doubt myself. Thankfully I came home with a cash buffer, and I have a bit more time time to get my shit together. Sometimes I feel like I should just get in the car and drive until it comes to me, but then I remember that I’m not on my trip anymore and I don’t have a car. So I run when I can, and remind myself that I’m lucky that I had a home to come back to and time up my sleeve and when all else fails, I turn the music up as loud as I can and I sing my lungs out where no one can hear me missing the notes and sounding ridiculous.
It will all work out eventually, I just know it. Hopefully eventually comes soon. x
by Dannielle Cresp on April 16, 2013
I’m home now, and trying to settle back in – but more on that and my trip home another day. Today I want to finally share my trip to Philly. x
I left Charlottesville early-ish on a Saturday and took the train the 5 and a bit hour trip to Philadelphia, PA. The train trip went by faster than I expected once I got over the fact that the free wifi promised wasn’t working. (Yes, I ranted to myself for about 30 minutes and then decided to work on something that didn’t require internet). It was a little chilly when I got into 30th Street Station, but the lovely Zoe and her boys came to pick me up and we went to get dinner.
Sunday morning I caught the train into the city from Zoe’s and decided that I would just wander the streets and see what took my fancy. Because Philly was stop 8 of 9 US cities, I didn’t really research the things to do, though I knew that there were things to see and do. My first stop was the Anthropologie flagship store, 4 floors of Anthro amazing-ness! With it so chilly out it was great (and necessary) to stop in little shops all along Walnut Street as I walked from the Anthropologie store across to Independence Mall to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
The queues were crazy long as it was a long weekend so I decided that I wanted to see the Liberty Bell more than inside Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was signed). It was freezing in the queue for the Liberty Bell, but the exhibit information was really interesting and it was great to see the bell!
I wandered the streets and stopped in some lovely craft shops and just really took in the city (whilst muttering about the cold – it got down to -1C in my defence). I loved that the area was clearly signposted for visitors to the city and it was quite easy to get around. I needed to time my trip back as the trains were running a Sunday timetable, but I got back in time for some snow flurries.
On Monday I had arranged to meet up with Megan Auman at her trade show booth at Buyer’s Market of America. I’ve known Megan online since I started my business online in 2009 and it was great to finally catch up in person. The trade show was in the Convention Center which is right across from Reading Terminal Market (a must see food market). I popped out of the show at lunch time and got myself the two things you must get in Philly: a Philly Cheese Steak and a Whoopie Pie (from FlyingMonkey no less)! They were both delicious!
The market was bustling with people and just a crazy busy atmosphere. I can see how people would get lost in there without a good sense of direction. It was fun to see all the different businesses and the range of food available.
Getting to sit in on the trade show was great! It was so interesting to see how different it is to a retail market and to see all the stalls looking their best. It was fun to have a catch up with Megan and to see her gorgeous jewellery in person!
My stop in Philly was so short, that it was the first place I left wishing that I’d had more time to spend exploring. It’s definitely a place that I’d love to visit again to see all the treasures that I missed. Everyone seemed so welcoming and friendly and if you’re ever looking for postcards, the 30th St station has them in the news agent and they have a post office inside the station too!
Thanks so much to Zoe for having me and to Megan for catching up. I loved Philly and will be back some day.
by Dannielle Cresp on April 2, 2013
My family here in Michigan aren’t big Easter celebrators, so I wasn’t expecting much to happen this weekend. My cousin C took me ice skating on Friday night, and I’m proud to say that I made it around the Ice Rink holding onto the edge 3 whole times without falling over. Woo!
Ice Skating could now be ticked off my imaginary list. Then on Saturday we went out for National Coney Island (a diner chain) where I had the most delicious Tuna Melt and we went to Marshalls and Walmart. (No trip to the USA is complete without a trip to Walmart! or so I’m told.) I found some Chuck Taylor’s for $25 and some 80′s Glam Sharpies!
It was awesome, and I thought that was the fun part of the day over. But my other cousin (both are equally awesome) G came over late in the evening and all 3 of us went out for pancakes at IHOP at midnight!! (This may be normal where you’re from, but nothing (reputable) is open for pancakes back home that late, so it was a real treat)
We had great food and lots of laughs. Our “Easter Brunch” was quite the feast. I felt the happiest I have in a long time. We followed it up with a day in our PJs and dinner at trendy Michigan restaurant called Vinsetta Garage, where there was more great food and good company. It was honestly the best Easter I can remember and I wouldn’t give up that memory for the world.
I’m feeling happy and calm and ready to go home on my terms. It’s funny that Michigan was the place where that low feeling started in late 2011, and now it’s the place where it’s finally gone. Maybe I knew I was meant to come here?! I’ll never know, but I’ll never regret the decision to get on that bus when I needed to, because it took me somewhere I knew I’d be safe, and I was. And it gave me an Easter memory that I can have for the rest of my days and you can’t beat that.
P.S. I’m flying home later this week. Yay!!
by Dannielle Cresp on March 26, 2013
Once upon a time, June 2012 to be exact, I had a crazy dream of travelling across the United States and seeing ‘the real America’. I wanted to stop and see some of the wonderful people that my online business had given me the opportunity to get to know, and I wanted to do it in style*.
I had a crazy dream of attending the conference that so many creatives in my industry want to attend, Alt Summit. But it all seemed too far fetched. The business was having a slow month. I was feeling really low and only had $200 in savings and had bills that needed paying. So I made a ‘what have I got to lose’ plan. I never thought for a second that I could pull it off. I’d tried before and it had flopped and I just thought it would again. But it didn’t. I broke everything down into tiny little goals, and focused on them one at a time: Renew Passport. Apply for visa. Follow application process. Work job that brings in money – even though you don’t like it there. Save like crazy. Share it with your community.
Slowly but surely, the bank account grew, and the plans started to fall into place. From behind the computer screen, it all seemed so surreal. Was this actually going to happen? Could I actually get this massive trip with all the stops and actually do the whole thing without a credit card? And then in November, 2012 it started to come true. I booked the international flights. That was it, the plan was now set in motion. Everything I planned for and worked crazy hard for was actually coming true! Holy moly, I could do it!
On January 17, 2013, as so many of you know the 27 adventure started. I had a crazy dream and I made it come true 7 months after I thought it up, and that’s how I know you can do it too. It doesn’t have to apply to travel only, it can be for any BIG dream. What I realised is that it’s all about breaking it down into something that you know that you can handle. It’s about to-do lists and timelines and the biggest Eep! of all: budgets. But if I can do it, you can too, and I can show you exactly how.
Wouldn’t it be brilliant to have a plan on how to make that crazy big dream become a reality? I can tell you that the Brooklyn Bridge is as amazing as I had always imagined it, and whilst that may not be your dream, just seeing and doing what you love makes all the difference in the world. I believe that this year is the year that we should all take a chance on ourselves. To make a plan that won’t lose us anything if we don’t act, but can make things something so much more!
I can tell you first hand that living the dream is a-ma-zing and so worth the decisions I made and the hard work it took to get here. This has been by far the most amazing 3+ months of my life and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything. It’s inspired me so much that I’m already starting on the next crazy dream.
If you’ve been wanting to make your BIG dream happen but you’re stuck on the how and the when, I can help! I’ve created an e-course that takes you through the steps and helps you make the best plan possible with all the steps you need to make it work (in a way that works for you). Join me for Making Bold Plans starting April 22!
*Style=not Youth Hostels but Hotels with free Wifi.
by Dannielle Cresp on March 23, 2013
I haven’t posted here in a few days. It’s not because I’m hiding or moping or I don’t know what. It’s really because I’ve been busy. So busy that I got sidetracked from telling you all about it. Oops!
After I made my WHY clear and shared it, I haven’t felt more inspired to get things done than I have in I don’t know how long. I have been writing copy for the re-launch of my business (coming when I’m back in Melbourne) and have been madly preparing to launch and run the Making Bold Plans e-course. I can’t wait to share it with you! It’s turning out awesome!
I’ve also moved myself from Toronto across the border to Michigan and am spending some quality time catching up with family. I’m feeling better about things than I have in a really long time and I’m just trying to hold on to that and make things happen before the doubt starts creeping in again. I want to do this right this time. I want to make things work and build a better future. 2013 is my year to give it a red-hot go! I have big plans for this year and I think I will start sharing them as they get closer.
For now I’m just going to enjoy the weekend and look forward to sharing some exciting things with you next week! Fingers crossed I can write my my Philly trip and try to get NYC out of my head and into some blog posts for you (it was awesome!!)
Happy weekend. x
by Dannielle Cresp on March 18, 2013
I left for Charlottesville, VA on a Tuesday morning. I couldn’t wait to get out of Wilmington. Whilst I loved historic downtown, the roads are awful and with the tire blowout and the nail polish exploding I was starting to feel like North Carolina hated me.
The drive was lovely and really pretty straightforward. It was 5.5 hours and I stopped at the Welcome to Virginia sign about 2 and a bit hours in and once more at a petrol station in the middle of nowhere. Note for Aussies: They want you to pay before you start filling up your tank not after like we do (oops!).
It was interstates and highways all the way. My GPS would say drive “215km and then make a right”. The new rental car had an iPod jack that you could work from the steering wheel so I could listen to my roadtrip playlist and turn control the songs without having to look at the ipod whilst driving, which was awesome. I thought I’d stop along the way and take a proper break but I got to where I was about an hour away from C’ville and I just decided to keep going. Thankfully there were no real dramas.
Unfortunately for me I’d asked someone for a guide on things to see and do in Charlottesville and for whatever reason, it never came through, so I was there really unprepared and I quickly learned that it’s a place that you need to know what you want to do there before you go. This was my fault, for not also doing my own research, but with 10 stops on the trip, I kind of forgot about it. I wasn’t much interested in going to Thomas Jefferson’s house, and other than visiting my lovely friend Tif and her family, I found it to be lacking what some of the other cities had. It has a cute main street, and there’s a fun stationery shop called Rock Paper Scissors that you should definitely visit if you’re in town, and I’ve heard the university campus is great but I felt weird going there on my own just to look around.
I think Charlottesville is probably one of those places that’s got a wonderful community and is a great place to live, but it’s definitely somewhere you need a car to get around. I’m glad I finally got to meet Tif in person and her lovely family, but I’m sure there are better people than me to tell you about all the things to see and do in this area.
As with everywhere, you never know until you go, and I’m glad that I went, so that I could see this quaint small town and it’s sweet winding roads.
by Dannielle Cresp on March 17, 2013
I just wanted to say that I’ve never felt this loved or supported in my whole life, and I can’t thank you all enough!
I agonised for days about sharing that I was coming home. I wrote 6 different blog posts to try to explain it before the one I shared. It’s wonderful to know that I have a community of wonderful people that are there not only during the good times, but during the toughest decisions of my life. You have all made me feel like I can fly into Melbourne with my head held high knowing that I’m coming home for all the right reasons, and not coming in sheepishly hoping that no one notices.
Sometimes it takes a leap of faith and a huge shake up to realise where you’re meant to be and what you’re meant to be doing. I’m quite sure that it was in part going to Alt and travelling to all 10 stops on this adventure that has helped me get to where I am now.
Thank you all so much for your support, I won’t ever forget it. I’m really looking forward to coming home and getting started on my next crazy big goal.