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 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 January 22, 2013
I planned Saturday as a slow one, and I’m so glad that I did. After all the excitement of the Helicopter flight on Friday and a bad jet lagged sleep, I was glad to take the bus out too the Outlet Mall and see if there was anything there that suited me for Alt Summit.
It was nice and calm and I enjoyed just being able to do my own thing at a very slow pace. It helped me get over the jet lag and ready for my early Sunday morning wake up for the bus trip out to the Hoover Dam!
You may not know this, but I have wanted to see the Hoover Dam for YEARS! Ever since I sat and watched a TV show on engineering marvels with my Dad. I had wanted to see it last time I was in Vegas, but it just didn’t work out. This time it was a must!
Seeing it from the air on Friday meant that I got to see it all, but seeing it up close was just fantastic! As part of the tour I booked we went into the power plant on the Nevada side and learnt how it was constructed and also got to see how it works. It was really interesting. But I have to say – my favourite part was being able to walk across it and see both lake mead and the Dam wall.
They aren’t fussy about you taking photos, in fact they encouraged it, which makes it so much better! I loved the Art Deco architecture and the fact that they haven’t tried to update it, but have just maintained it. There seemed to be a lot of love for the structure, not just because it is actually a power generator, but like they cared for it because it was so important to the landscape and to the history of the place. I think it’s nice to see that it’s heritage has been protected and that it’s treated so well.
One other cool thing that I didn’t remember from the show that I saw, is that you cross from Nevada into Arizona when you walk the bridge and they are in two different time zones. I’ve never walked across a state border before so I thought it was kind of cool!
Here are some more of the photos that I took. I took hundreds, but here are just a few of my favourites.
It was a gorgeous 18°C with very little wind. I’m so glad that I finally got a chance to see it. Lake mead is just beautiful close up as is the Dam itself.
There’s a few more photos on my Flickr too.
by Dannielle Cresp on December 22, 2012
It’s finally here. The day is nearly over in fact. The day I have been dreading for as long as I can remember. My 27th Birthday. I talked about it here about 6 months ago.
I’m not usually one to get hung up on birthdays and getting older. I see getting older as a blessing not a curse. It’s not getting older that scares me and keeps me awake at night. My mum never made it past 27 and it’s been playing crazies with my mind for a while, and I thought today would be terrible, but in the end the lead up and anxiety was far worse than the day itself.
Today was very me. It had great food – pancakes for breakfast, vegemite sandwiches for lunch, chocolate mousse birthday cake, homemade burgers and cheezels. It had great company – my Dad and a surprise visit from my aunt and uncle. It had birthday messages from friends and family and great weather. And it had time to breathe and relax with no rush to be anywhere. A lovely way to spend my last birthday (for the foreseeable future) in Australia.
But now it begins. I like to start my new year on my birthday. I’m not much of a NYE reveller, so I start my new beginnings today. I reached the amount of savings I need for my trip, in fact I passed it, late Friday. So I start this year with the money I need to make this trip and 2013 an amazing adventure. The kind that my 27th year needs.
I’m feeling excited for it. And ready. Not packed ready – I’m no where near that. But I can book the last of the things and buy the last of what I need to get. The next few weeks will be a blur of packing things and getting nostalgic; of laughter, fun and preparing for Alt.
I hope to be here more writing, but we will see. There will definitely be more to read once the trip gets started and the inspiration comes to visit.
I’ve been looking for a name for this trip and I finally found it today: The 27 Adventure. It sums it up perfectly and a grand adventure it’s sure to be.
But for now I say goodnight and goodbye to another birthday and feel blessed that I get to make my dreams happen and that there are great people in this world that I’m so lucky to call my friends.
by Dannielle Cresp on December 17, 2012
That’s how far it is between Melbourne and Toronto. It’s not the furthest I’ve lived from home. The internet tells me that Glasgow is around 700km further, but it’s still a hell of a long way from here and in one month’s time, I’ll be on my way.
It still feels a bit surreal. Like it’s not happening to me. I’m not as organised for the USA part of the trip as I would like to be, but I’ll get there. There are still things to book, but the flights are done and the test pack of my suitcase tells me that there’s room to buy some new clothes that I so desperately need. I have decided that Boxing Day will be ‘Get Organised’ day. (December 26 for those who don’t get Boxing Day) It’s probably a good thing to set that day, really, as it’s usually one of my most motivated days of the year. Last year I painted my office on my own.
I’m emotionally ready for this trip. It’s been a long time coming and it’s just so awesome that I made a goal and am actually able to achieve it, and so long as everyone pays me what they owe, I will have more than what I need in monetary terms, which will also be a weight off. I won’t make the $20,000 I was aiming for, but that was more than I needed anyway. It was a nice round, and very ambitious goal and having it helped me to get as far as I have.
I hope this trip will help keep me inspired and find where I’m meant to be. It’s nearly time to say my goodbyes and get ready for a lot of friendly hellos from new and old friends and to find that adventure that I’ve been missing.
If we can just get through Birthday/Christmas week, I think we’re going to be ok.
by Dannielle Cresp on November 22, 2012
I don’t really talk about my mental health much. Nobody really does. It’s not ‘cool’ and I always feel like people are staring me down, looking for the faker, the liar – because that’s how it felt when I was a kid. You weren’t bullied, you were just weak. That’s how they wrote your story.
But if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that the sadness comes to visit. The doubt creeps in too. I think it happens to most people, we just see it all a little differently through our eyes and our own circumstances. But this post isn’t about the sadness, it’s about the light at the end of the tunnel.
A while ago, I really can’t remember when, I found out about this charity called To Write Love on Her Arms. It spoke to me in a way that other charities that focussed on mental health awareness didn’t. It spoke to me, it didn’t talk at me. It’s primary purpose from my perspective is to let young people and creatives know that they are not alone and that there is someone out there who ‘gets it’.
Their message and the work that they do made me wish they were around when I was younger. It was tough to be a kid who was without the parent that society deemed to be the ‘proper’ caregiver. It was tough to be the kid that knew exactly who she was and didn’t want to hide from that. I lost a bit of her, the fearless one, over the years, but she’s in there somewhere.
I love TWLOHA because their messages are simple: Your Story is Important; Love is the Movement. They are messages that breed hope. They remind us what is important. Love beats hate every time.
It was hard for me to choose the t-shirt I wanted from their store, but it’s the one in the selfie above that resonated with me, the creative, the most. I wear it when I’m having a hard day to remind me to do these things. Sometimes I wear it when I’m feeling awesome so that it speaks to someone else that needs to hear it.
If the last 4 years of being a part of the twitter creative/blogging community has taught me anything, it’s that we can deal with things better when we have someone who gets it. Someone who believes. With birthday number 27 looming, I believe more than ever that we need to stand together and talk these things out. Everybody’s story is important. We are all working hard to carve a good future for ourselves.
I think you’re doing a great job, even if you can’t quite see it today. If you can’t see past the doubt, ask someone to have a look for you, they just might be able to.
Here’s to big dreams, and loving all our victories – even the tiny ones.
by Dannielle Cresp on October 17, 2012
Hello! I’m so excited I just had to share with you that my visa application was approved today for Canada! Yay!
I’m thrilled that after what felt like a long couple of months, I now officially have the paperwork to make this dream a reality. There’s still much more to do, before I leave here in 3 months including one more visa application and packing up my life and saving the last of the money that’s needed.
I’m 72% of the way to my goal now, so there may be some sale information on here between now and January. I’m still thinking about what fun way I can raise the last of the money in a way that sits well with me. We shall brainstorm and see!
I love that my hard work is paying off and that 4 months ago I had a dream and $200 in my bank account and now I’m on my way from making what seemed like an impossible dream into something that I can treasure and remember forever. I’m slowly learning to celebrate the milestones and today was one of them.
Today was a good day. I’m hoping to bottle this feeling for the tough ones down the track.
I want to say a special thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement so far. Sometimes it’s everything to know that someone’s on your side and I am so thankful for all of you.
I hope you’re having a fabulous week so far!
by Dannielle Cresp on July 25, 2012
26 years ago today our world turned upside down (kind of like in the fresh prince of bel air but less fun). It was on that day that my mother passed away. It wasn’t something that we knew was coming and it changed everything.
Today, like the 25th of July every year (since I was 17) I take the day off. I do things she can’t and I swing from sad to blessed to feeling let down by the universe and modern medicine and by people who think that 26 years is more than enough time to ‘get over it’.
But here’s the thing: you don’t get over it. Sometimes you don’t even move on. It just moves with you and sits there like a silent friend (or foe) that likes to jump out at you when you least expect it.
I went to a class on grief counselling at my high school. It was for people who wanted to help others deal with their grief and it was usually people who had gone through something themselves that made up those counsellors. It never went any further than that, but I do clearly remember one of the things the lady running the session said: for many people, grief comes back at special occasions where their loved one isn’t there. At weddings, family celebrations, at births.
It’s different for everyone and there is no ‘fix all’.
I don’t need a fix all, this is part of who I am now, and part of who I will always be. Her passing is woven in me just like birthdays and overseas trips. They become part of who we are and what we are to the world. I don’t want to ‘get over it’, I want to remember her and the fact that without her I wouldn’t be here.
I move forward with the world trying to do what I love and leave this world a tiny bit better for having me in it. I don’t always succeed, but I do try.
Just because you may not be able to grasp a concept does not make it invalid. Be gentle on those who have lost loved ones, you don’t know what goes on in their heads or how they choose to deal with it.
Kindness goes a long way and I want to thank all the people I spoke to today who were exceptionally nice. I needed it as a stranger you didn’t know, but you did it anyway.
Today I organised my passport renewal to make this trip this one tiny bit closer. I’m going to make 27 count.
by Dannielle Cresp on June 25, 2012
Last Friday was my half birthday. I am probably too old for half birthdays but there you go.
But it means something. There is only 6 months until I’m 27. My scary age. Generally aging doesn’t frighten me. I’m not one to shy away from telling people my age or feeling self conscious about it.
It’s not the aging that makes it a scary age. It’s who didn’t make it past 27 that makes it so damn terrifying.
You see, my mum was 27 when she died. Leaving her 3 babies and her partner and family behind.
It was always so far off before. So distant. But not any more. It’s creeping at me at a rate of knots. I had night terrors about it from the day I turned 26 for about 3 months.
It’s not logical, I know. But life is a fickle thing.
Have I done enough? Did I leave a positive mark?
I am looking forward to tomorrow and many tomorrows after that. But she is gone and it hurts a little more this year than most.
She had her flaws, like all humans do. But she was (and is) my mum. We missed out on a lot together, and that’s what makes me sad.
But I make my grand plans to live a more adventurous life in the hope that my 27 will have a happier outcome than hers did.
I know she’s looking out for us. I feel it. Just like the time something told me not to turn on the green arrow and a car came past seconds later at 100km through the red light. Or when I’m about to make a scary decision and something tells me to go for it.
I’m not asking you to understand or even believe.
It is what it is. All I can think as tears run down my cheeks is: hug your loved ones tight and live the best life you can.
by Dannielle Cresp on June 17, 2012
So, I’ve been thinking. It’s a bit dangerous when this happens because my brain explodes with ideas, and has it ever this time!!
You know how I’m planning this bog ol’ trip next year. The one that will hopefully help me find my happy again, yeah? Well, I’ve had an idea (special thanks to the lovely Cat who sent me a tweet that got me thinking)about how we could all do with a bit more kindness in our lives.
Things around the internet and just around in general have been feeling a bit negative. People comparing and being a bit rude and people just feeling a bit sad and helpless. I want to change that.
The thing about kindness that I love is that it doesn’t have to be big and shouty. It can be small and humble. And that one tiny piece of kindness can totally change a person’s day.
I want to be that person. I have wanted to be that person since I was picked on at school. I want to be the one that makes things better, even if it’s just for a second. Just a smile or a laugh or some words to tell you that I think you’re amazing (which I totally do).
And I had a thought, what if I can incorporate this into my trip?
Here’s my idea:
It will have multiple parts.
One being that every city I visit I will leave a note (or notes) for people to find. They will say something that will hopefully brighten someone’s day. I’m thinking on a postcard or on some stationery? Maybe designed by me, maybe by another handmaker/indie business.
Another would be to have a subscription service of some kind where people can sign up (and pay a small fee) to receive postcards from the cities that I visit with a personalised, and sweet message from me on the road. (I’d love to send free postcards to everyone but at a $1 a stamp and $3 a postcard I’d go broke pretty quick!)
I’d also like to think of ways that others can be involved. Maybe you could send postcards too, or we could have a day/week/month where people write something kind on some lovely stationery and give it to someone who looks like they need it. Wouldn’t that be brilliant? We could do a linky or something.
I think now more than ever, it’s time that our community started to take care of one another. We are a village and we need support.
What do you think? Am I totally bonkers? or Is this a tiny bit of brilliance wrapped in some fun?
If you’d like to be a part of it, please do let me know. Leave me a comment, or a tweet or hit the contact button and send me a message. I think we could make this work.