Sunday, 12 April 2015

Joie de Vivre

Joy. It's simple, it's pure, it's weightless and liberating. Joy is easy to find and yet often sometimes we struggle to hold onto it even though it surrounds us. Often, we forget how or where to look. Without joy, we only exist and experience a anaesthetised, dulled and meager morsel of what life has to offer. How can we live without joy? How can we learn to find it and when we do, hold onto it? 

There was a time in my life, where I struggled to hold onto joy. Instead of the sunshine, moon and stars I focused only on the bleak days until they nearly took me for their own. I think we all have a darkness inside of us that will try to claim us at some point or other (we are never alone), and for me that darkness caught up with me when I was around fifteen - seventeen. One day, something happened: I met some beautiful people who became my closest friends and they made me laugh. The played beautiful music, and we sang bonfire songs, camped together and took spontaneous adventures after college to the beach to swim in only our underwear or jump on the trampoline until we fell about panting and laughing. Some of them taught me French (Clementine!), some of them taught me music but all of them inspired me and I started looking at the world like I did again when I was a child. A huge psychological weight was lifted from my shoulders and their upbeat, easygoing personalities rubbed off on me so that gradually, I began to change the way I reacted to stress, to 'threats' and adopted new positive behaviours and ways of looking at the world. 
I cannot express enough how fundamental it is to understand our own personal joys. We must fill our lives with it, pretend it's a big pile of crispy autumn leaves and jump in it or pretend its the sea and dive off the rocks into it's blue sparkling never-endingness. More often than not, we'll realise that real lasting joy can't be found in buying toys, gadgets and makeup but instead in real, pure experiences. If you took the world, turned it upside down and rattled it so that all the unimportant things fell away (cars, bills, shopping centers and phone contracts) and righted itself again, these things would be left behind. They can even be the small things, from a tiny little habit or experience to a person, song or poem. There are so many things that can bring us joy and once we recognise them we must integrate them into our daily lives and that's how we can begin to take steps in fighting the twin demons of depression and anxiety. As someone who suffered anxiety for a long time, I used art & literature as a method of self exploration to discover joy and look at what influenced me and impacted me most in life. What sculpted me into the human that I am today and what I seek when I feel 'wobbly'. There is a journey to be had in discovering true joy, and it is a beautiful one indeed.

These are the things that keep my demons at bay and fill me with peace and warmth, things I endeavour to work into my routine so that they aren't a 'one off' treat, or a 'go-to' in order to cheer myself up but stars in my little universe that glow and fill it up. 

outdoors || breeze against my skin || the feel of dirt between my toes|| the sensation of water rippling around my ankles|| kicking the waves so that tiny water droplets glint in the sunlight|| sitting outside in storms|| watching lightening|| swimming upside down underwater and watching the rays of sunlight on the surface|| fresh air|| that first dive underwater of the day|| bobbing in the waves|| the smell of flowers and soil || the sound of rain against my window in the night|| the sound of the wind|| my friends playing music|| the feeling of flying when riding a bike|| running to the sea || sleeping under the stars || Georges hand in mine || the silly laughs of my friends || making a den in bed || photographing the beautiful world || writing nonsense stories ||  watching day become night || the sound of owls in the nighttime || praying 

There's a million others that I could list, but I'd be here all night long. So instead I'm going to share with you a little documentary of an afternoon filled with joy in the spring sun spent with two wonderful humans, in Victoria park, Bath. 

I feel particularly spring-esque now that the flowers are coming out and I'm delighted to be able to ditch jeans, jumpers and woolly hats for my preferred skirts, flowers and t-bar dollys. My style tends to take a slightly 'fairy tale inspired' turn when the weathers warm and I tend to subconsciously take inspiration from nature and the seasons. Spring is the perfect time for dainty florals and pale shades and light skirts. 

Skirt: Primark     Top: FatFace   
Denim Jacket: Indigo by M&S      Hairband: Newlook    Dolly Shoes: Topshop

beautiful lichens 

George giving the darts a go. Sadly, it's a fair tradition to not win at anything except hook a duck. Yep, that's me hugging the candyfloss and not sharing. 

George is my most favourite 

 Hook a duck. A guaranteed win. Should be renamed: Pay £2.50 to buy one of these toys, and also hook a duck :P When I was a kid, this is how I got goldfish! They also used to only cost 50p back then >.<

I love this photograph of me and one of my best friends Jess (above). This summer, when the Kernow Crew reunite for a camping trip or adventure, we need a big photograph together as I don't think that after all our years of friendship, we actually have one where everyone is in one frame!

These shoes were an ebay bargain! £10 including postage and they feel so soft and comfortable.

I absolutely adore all the colours of the fairground. So perfect for spring ^.^ 

Sticky Fingers 

In french, they call Candy Floss "Barbe a papa" which means Daddy's beard. George is taking this literally. He has sugar beard.

George playing on his new strange roller toy. They're like two separate mini skateboards for each foot.

The cage. No thankyou. There was a time when I could handle spinning rides and even today, I LOVE rollercoasters, log flumes, you name it - as long as it doesn't spin round and round. This is basically a large tumble-drying puke inducer. They should rename it the 'splat attack'. Dang, I'm getting old.

Next to the fair they were releasing the sunset balloon ride. I LOVE watching them set off the balloons, it makes me extremely happy so it was the perfect end to a lovely evening. We ate burgers and candy floss whilst watching the balloons take off and wondered what the world looked like from up high in the sky from a little basket. One day ♥

Jess has a magical eye colour 

This week I cut my fringe impulsively and did a pretty bad job after trying to grow it out for months. I think I'm gonna go back to my summer full fringe and let the hair dresser do it this time :P

Happy Sarah is happy. 

My knees look really odd here for some reason. yuck. Sometimes I randomly do this silly hula dance for no reason at all and often I don't even realise I'm doing it. This is what's happening here. George just photographed me being a ninny. But I'm not here to pretend to you I'm cool. This blog isn't about having an alter ego, you might as well know the truth. I'm a hula dancing oddball :)

I hope you all have lives filled to the brim with joy. The most exciting road, is that to self discovery  ♥
Do you keep journals or sketchbooks? How do you practice self exploration?



  1. I totally agree with you about joy. I wrote a blog post about it a long time ago, wonder where it is!
    This set of photos is beautiful- there is a serenity, joy and freedom about the photos and pure-unadulterated fun- hurrah for that!x

    1. Thankyou Kerenza! :D I'd love to see your post on joy, if you find it, let me know ^.^
      I try to just focus on documentary with the photographs and capture the silliness and laid back fun of great company and little adventures ^.^ However, I do love photographing narratives :D I hope I'm hitting the mark :D
      It's lovely to hear from you again ^.^ I feel like I've made a new friend :D ♥


  2. Sarah, I think I've just fallen in love with your blog! It looks gorgeous and your writing is so open. Fab post :)
    Hattie //

    1. Heya Hattie!
      Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou for your kind words! :D I'm glad you're enjoying it ^.^ I shall pop over yours for a peek :D ♥ xxxo

  3. Such beautiful photos! I love this post about joy, you're right it is so important to actually make sure we do the things that bring us joy. I also love that you put praying at the end, this is also brings me so much joy especially when its outside in the beautiful countryside! I like to keep a spiritual journal to document what happens in my life and how God works in it and I love doing it. I have also just started a blog so I'm hoping to explore myself and push myself through that!

    1. Thankyou so much Rachel! :D A spiritual journal sounds like such a fantastic idea. I've had one far too many prayers answered to not believe that they have such power, not to mention how liberating it is.
      Blogging is a fantastic tool for exploring oneself :D I look forward to reading your journey ^.^

      Sarah xxx

  4. Your writing and photography are both lovely! I'm definitely inspired to write more posts like yours - doing things that make me feel joyful is something I need to make sure I do more, and documenting it is such a great thing :)

    Milly // Mini Adventures

    1. Thankyou Milly! :D Keeping a joy journal is a perfect way to reflect on happy memories on dreary days :) I'm glad you're inspired ^.^ The more joy the better :D <3

  5. This is a lovely post and I absolutely love your photos! What camera and lens do you use?! Will definitely be keeping up to date with your blog, your writing is incredible!

    Liv |

  6. Thankyou Liv! :D It's so great to meet more Cornish bloggers ^.^
    I use a Nikon D610 and these photographs were taken on my nikkor nifty fifty f.1/4 :D
    I'm really glad you enjoy the writing ^.^ I often worry if it's a bit scatterbrained or rambley or even something other people wanna read but then I remember the whole point of the blog is self exploration and then I feel okay about it again ^.^
    Maybe we'll meet at the Cornish bloggers picnic that's tbc in the summer? The planning is still in the very early stages but it's gonna be happening weather permitting :D xxx

  7. Sarah. Raaaah. You are a fairy.

    You have a wonderful way with words. I have suffered with anxiety for most of my life and only recently learned to conquer it (largely in thanks to dear Robin). Your comments on finding everyday joy ring very true indeed - those moments make all the difference in regards to the pursuit of personal happiness.

    Reading your blog from the beginning has been a lovely experience. I'm a little sad that I'm starting to catch up! I'll have to pace myself from here onwards.


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