Spring is traditionally seen as a time of thawing, when the things we’ve buried in the snows of winter are released in the renewed warmth of the sun. Our bones creak out as we shake off the cobwebs of hibernation. We move easier, dream larger, and strive to complete the tasks that appeared insurmountable in the short daylight of the colder months. It is the dawn of our time.
I started this space one year ago, with a post about what self-care means to me, because there was a beating in my heart that I couldn’t ignore. It was the pull to create. The desire to make a space that felt good, and useful, and safe for anyone who stumbled upon it. So, I started doing the only thing that made sense – I wrote. It has been the best decision I’ve ever made.
And Then I Lived has pushed me to meet new people, discover new ways to take care of myself, and create the world I want to occupy. It has only been one year, but in that time I’ve thawed out a piece of myself that had been in hibernation for long enough. My space has a humble following, but if you are part of it in any way I want to thank you for coming along on this journey. I hope you’ll stick around for what comes next!
Today, in honor of Spring, I want to share some beautiful images which capture the essence of freedom I feel in the sunlight and when I’m writing. These monthly mood boards have been excellent tools for directing my goals and intentions. Organizing my thoughts has always been a struggle, but through this exercise I’m able to hone in on what I want to convey for the month. As I go forward with my space, I want this month to be focused on brightness, self-discovery, and fearlessness in any endeavor. I hope you find some inspiration among the images.
I think I say this every time, but today I mean it: December is the best month. Sure, it’s cold and seasonal depression often hits me and others quite hard, but there’s an air of magic that accompanies the wintering of the landscape. People seem kinder, almost like they want to emulate the nature of the season. Plus, there are so many holidays in the month of December that it feels like every day is a party.
When I was younger, Christmas time meant presents, cookies and no school. Now, I can’t help but think of love, peace, and family – things that (should) unite us all. Whether you’re celebrating a holiday, or happily enjoying days off from school and work, I hope you feel a little warmth this Decbember season.
Today, I wanted to share images that capture what December does to my spirit. Despite the cold wind and barren landscape I feel hopeful that the rest will lead to a brighter Spring, within and without. Enjoy!
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!