I remember turning sixteen – way back when you had the dial-up tone on your internet – and thinking: “This is it. I’m about to turn into who I’m supposed to be.” Well, perhaps it wasn’t that direct, but I vividly recall feeling like I was on the cusp, right at the edge, of jumping into LaKase-dom. Various adventures lay before me, I was beginning my exploration of different universities, and I had finally grown out of that early teenage awkwardness. What was most exciting about that time was the intersection of certainty and chance; I knew what had to be done, but was excited by what could happen. I could love the journey, or hate it. I could fall in love with a place, person, experience, or face despair. My English Gothic Romance tendencies were in full swing back then! I imagine it was a bit like being a leaf on the breeze, or a dislodged seed – you know from the moment you come into being that you must dislodge, transform and move on, but where you land us up to the winds.
I find myself returned to that sixteen-year-old excitement, a little over sixteen years later. This is when I’ll turn thirty-three, as the leaves change, and other young people are beginning their own adventures, whatever they may be. In the past I believed life would be settled and certain at this stage, but I am so thankful to have been incorrect. Life, like a leaf on the breeze, is full of twists and turns, and opportunities to land where the soil needs it most. This month, my mood is turning toward reverie. I look forward to once again becoming lost in the enchantment of the unknown, even if I know it so well. Won’t you join me?
And last, but far from least, the song I’ve been listening to on repeat for the bulk of my thirty-second year: “Help Me Lose My Mind” by Disclosure featuring London Grammar
The fall months are when I feel most alive. To say that feels ironic as my corner of the world descends into a misty hibernation, replete with sepia-colored leaves and graying skies. Everything is turning inward as the veil between day and night becomes thinner and thinner, but I can’t help but feel this October season is an opportunity to discover new things about ourselves. We’re out of the warmth of summer, when we can brush aside duties in the pursuit of rest, and far enough past the beginning of the school year to have settled into a routine. Fall is our opportunity to confront ourselves in the most sedate of states to determine where to go next. Inward, it seems, is the answer I turn to most.
Now, why have I labeled this post as “ghoulish”? A ghoul is defined as an undead creature which torments the living with its flesh-eating and haunting. It comes from the Arabic word “ghul”, meaning “to seize”, but it has been expanded to include anyone who loves the macabre, dark, unseemly side of life. They are terrifying in tales of blood and night, but I think there’s something to be said for letting the ghoul out when need be. In modern terms, a ghoul can be defined as someone who stands beyond the boundaries of our normal lives. A ghoul is a little bit weird, a little dark, and a whole lot of unafraid. They straddle the line between acceptable and unacceptable in a way that is – dare I say – inspiring.
Therefore, this month’s mood is dedicated to the ghoulish tendencies in us all. Here’s to many days spent exploring the parts of ourselves that are bizarre, and to never giving into the temptation to be perfect. Enjoy!
Hello my friends! It has been a shamefully long time since my last post, but I am back with some lovely images which I hope will garner me some forgiveness.
Life, while exciting and full of opportunities to grow and learn, is a doozy. I have been engaged in quite a few projects that I can not wait to share here! In the meantime, I’ll be back to my regular schedule of writing about how I take care of myself as a creator, what creating means to me, and how to stay well as you find inspiration in the world around you.
Today’s mood is inspired by the freeing nature of creation. In stretching our minds, bodies, and egos we are able (if we’re lucky) to extricate ourselves from the monotony of daily life – yes – BUT we also learn how to free ourselves from that which would keep us afraid. I was terrified of beginning my novel, this blog, my videos, and other endeavors. Yet, after taking those first tentative steps, I found that nothing bad came out of the trying. I didn’t die. No one who matters laughed at me, and I lost far less sleep than I thought I would. Creativity is the way our souls expand. It’s how we arrive at a higher understanding of what really matters: the exchange of goodness. I don’t think you have to be particularly good at one thing to deem yourself a creative spirit; you just have to try.
So, in honor of the freedom which accompanies creativity I have made a photo series of some pieces of art that have me excited for the coming season. As the weather cools and we begin to turn inward this is a wonderful time to look beyond our limitations. Enjoy!
For more inspiration please follow me on Pinterest at pinterest.com/lakasemarie/
February is only awesome for two reasons: Black History Month and not being January. Just hear me out on this, ok? Sure, January is all about new beginnings and all that jazz, but with the beginning of things comes tons of anxiety. Resolutions, expectations from others that are a little outrageous – I usually can’t wait for the month to be over with all those things swirling around my head. I think of February as a deep breath. If I’ve fallen behind on my goals, I take a breath. If I’m feeling scared about what’s to come in the rest of the year? Another breath. I’m working on looking at February as an opportunity to slow down, take stock of how I’m doing, and continue on as I see fit.
On to the content! Black History Month speaks for itself. You’re welcome for the peanut butter, traffic lights, Second Wave Feminism, and all the best types of music. Honestly, what’s not to celebrate? I’m eternally thankful for the people who came before me, so I look forward to celebrating in a way that’s socially acceptable for around 28 days. Thus, today’s mood board is a celebration of blackness, art, and re-visiting goals you might have fallen away from after the first of the year. Additionally, I want to continue to champion adventure in all its splendid forms! From channeling knighthood to organizing your space, this mood board is about shameless forward movement. I truly hope you enjoy the images I’ve compiled.
One final note: You might have noticed I didn’t mention Valentine’s Day. Aside from being a holiday created by Scorpios to create even more Scorpios (wink wink), it’s not really my bag. I prefer to do loving things with the people I care for as often as possible. Therefore, it isn’t a holiday that I look forward to, nor one that moves me.
This is the best month. Why? Because it’s my birthday month! Yes, I said month, because I am a burgeoning narcissist with delusions of grandeur. Gone are the days of my feigned humility! Long shall I reign.
In all seriousness, I’m working on exercising thankfulness for my life. I’ll be turning 32 this year, so instead of curling up and looking for ways to put myself down for getting older, I want to show a whole lot of gratitude for the time I’ve been given to do the things that I love! I think a healthy dose of pride is what we all need these days. Besides, if we don’t celebrate ourselves – as imperfect as we are – who else will?
This November mood board is all about yours truly! Things that I love, images that inspire me, or pictures that just make me feel happy. It’s a celebration of life, beauty, adventure, and womanhood. I hope you’ll indulge my self-centered attitude and I really hope you enjoy my round-up. Happy November!
Pumpkin pies. Ghost stories. Golden leaves. HOCUS POCUS!!!
October is absolutely my favorite month (followed closely by December), so today is a day of skeletal, pumpkin-spiced celebration! When I was a child, my little bro and I would go wild with the scary films and candy. We had The Nightmare Before Christmas playing on a loop while we carved pumpkins to decorate the house, hoping to scare the life out of a neighbor. Then, of course, there were the costumes, all made by my Mom – mermaids, witches, werewolves, princesses, and one year I went as a pair of conjoined chickens. Obviously, I was a strange kid.
The themes of Fall – the spookiness, the dying off of all the green, and other aspects – never frightened me. On the contrary, I found the possibilities of magic and wonder more exciting than anything my regular-degular life had to offer in Kansas. To me, a roaming vampire would infuse a little adrenaline into my town. I’ll always love October for those reasons, and I hope that never changes.
My mood board in honor of the coolest month is below. Enjoy!
When I prepare a mood board it’s usually done with the intention of reflecting what months, or various times of year, mean to me. December is a time for holiday imagery, October is solely for pumpkins, and that has worked great for me in the past. But what happens when you come to a month that has no easily assigned imagery? What are we supposed to look forward to without the road map of cultural practices to guide us? Better yet, what do we look forward to when the page of the mind is blank?
I’ve run into this conundrum with September. In my culture – black, American, raised Methodist – there’s really nothing. There are events that have been solidified into the mind like Labor Day and 9/11, but I couldn’t put a finger on what the month of September was besides the period of time before Halloween. Being a professional over-thinker, I started to explore what I wanted this time of year to symbolize for me. To start, I listed off all the things that have happened to me in September: I was married last September, ten years ago I survived a suicide attempt and recovered in September, and I love the fashion spreads that hit the shelves in September.
From there I looked a bit deeper, in the hopes of pushing away the words to get to the feeling in my heart when I thought of those things. The words that came to mind were love, strength, beauty, and freedom. Love kept me alive long enough to meet my soulmate, strength got me out of bed and out into the world to try life again. The beauty of the world, and creativity of its inhabitants, keeps me excited and enthralled in life. Last, but never least, I discovered that every day can be an opportunity to free myself from the darkness of my past, and that I am no less amazing from the days I might fail. Now it seems September might be the most important month of them all.
So, in honor of those truths, those lovely feelings in my heart, I want to share my September mood board with you. Enjoy!
Every year I look forward to seeing images from Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn. I believe the guests are hands-down the most stylish on the planet! Founded in 2005, the event offers people of color the space to express themselves without the binds of what they can or should be. As I travel forward on my journey to self-acceptance, I pull so much inspiration from the love and care displayed by the guests toward themselves. It is truly a radical act to like yourself enough to be who you want.
Black folks being “weird” and artistic and FREE is a mood we should all get behind. Here are some of my favorite images from this year’s fest. Enjoy!
I wake up in a cold sweat the first day of August. This happens every year, without fail. I jolt from my bed in a total state of terror that I’ve forgotten my homework or am running late for practice. I think spending all that time procrastinating, then rushing around, is to blame for my negative association. In reality I truly loved school – it was where all my friends were, where I could express my self and grow. So, after the dread falls away in the morning, I think of other kids (big and small) preparing themselves for the next step in life. I hope they are afforded the kinds of safe places I was, havens to be themselves.
Today’s mood board was created with the intention of evoking thoughts of education, growth, and the discoveries of life. I hope you enjoy it!
When I was 13 I experienced the most 1999 break-up imaginable.