06
June 2011
       

Friday to Friday: A Life in Photos #2

Photos taken on my Blackberry from Friday, 27th May, 2011 to Friday, 3th June

31
May 2011
       

Last evening @utenjm and I visited @myelitegrocer at home and were treated to Mango Lychee Lassi. It’s a simple recipe, and she took us into the kitchen to show us how to make this any-time treat.

3 hours of conversation and 2 glasses of wine later, we had to depart but I couldn’t have asked for a better Monday night. I also learned that rose petals are edible. You learn something new every day :)

Love,
Ally. 

27
May 2011
       

Friday to Friday: A Life in Photos #1

Photos taken on my Blackberry from Friday, 20th May to Friday, 27th May, 2011.

26
May 2011
       

15th largest raw diamond



The average person would not recognize a raw diamond if they saw one. This is fact. Before a diamond makes it to your local jeweler it is put through a series of rigorous tests to determine it’s value and certify it’s origin. Additionally it is cut, polished and graded. 


I think the same applies to people. Before we can become the diamonds we were meant to be, we have to go through a transformation from a relative nobody, to a person of value. We know the cliche, diamonds are coal under pressure but how can you sparkle without someone (yourself or another) taking the time to carefully groom you?

How do you know you’re valuable enough to shine if you’re not first broken down by external forces, face real challenges and hardships, then examined, and proven to be priceless?

The truth is, we are not unique. According to the internet there are 7 people in the world that look like you - however, the internet would also have me think that I need to be a size 3 and have long, flowing hair to get anywhere in life.

While you are not unique, you are special and the moment you learn to shine is the moment you do not need validation from anyone else to be your best. If you’ve met the minimum requirements for being a good person and are happy with yourself…why would you continue to rely on others for validation?

Do you think a diamond cares what the other diamonds think of it? Do you think a diamond even cares if anyone buys it? No, by virtue of being a diamond it is already the best of the gems, it has already passed the test and has a reputation of being something to aspire to.

Before you can love someone else, you have to first learn to love yourself. And before you can love yourself, you have to have qualities you love. If you don’t like something about yourself, stop complaining and change it. If you want better, then make a plan to become who you want to be.

The average person would not recognize a raw diamond if they saw one. This is fact. However, the average person can appreciate the beauty of a polished diamond and might do anything possible to acquire it.

Next time, we’ll talk about how to spot a fake diamond.

Love,
Ally. 

25
May 2011
       

Catharsis

If I had to choose a word to describe the past year of my life it would be: Catharsis. I mean this in the most dramatic and literal sense you can imagine but not for the reasons you may think.


I find that the best way to discover yourself is to have a life changing experience, a moment or series of events that shake you to core, strip away your sense of self and show you who you are. Not what you are, not what you have - but who you are. In this moment you can accept the truths you find or deny them. In that moment - you can chose to rebuild slowly, and learn about yourself or you can run from the truth and go down a path of unhappiness.

I consider the trigger for this catharsis to be a series of small events, then one dramatic moment that played out like a pantomime I had no part in. To be a control-freak like myself and not have an ounce of control made me learn another lesson: humility.

Realising that I didn’t like certain things about myself taking the time to change them. It was a lonely road, and it was a road (in retrospect) I gladly traveled because there are some journeys you have to take by yourself to appreciate the sights along the way.

My friend told me that women cut their hair for two reasons: to spite a man or because something drastic has happened in their life and they need an external change to reflect the internal struggle. 

I haven’t yet publicly discussed why I cut my hair in February of this year…but don’t worry. That story is still brewing inside of me and will be told soon enough.

There’s something about Catharsis that helps you achieve clarity. And I have found that clarity in the simple things: like crossing items of life’s to-do list. Things I’ve been putting off due to my own procrastination. It’s amazing to think that I’ve done so much in life, and experienced so many things…and let other areas of my life lag. Amazing and sad…2011 is a year of change, growth, repair and crossing things off the list.


Have you had your Catharsis yet?

Love,
Ally.

p.s. when I was searching for a visual representation of Catharsis I found the image above, something about it struck me. I need to watch the film (click the photo for the website), if anyone has a legal copy, please let me know.

20
May 2011
       
One of the best things about working from home is being able to do whatever you want with your free time.While I don’t enjoy cooking every day, there is something calming about the process of preparing a meal when I want time to think. The repetition of chopping seasonings, or the rhythmic motion of de-boning a chicken is perfect “me” time.While de-boning the chicken, I realised that at 10am while I was making my next 3 meals…there were millions of people at work. Millions of people sitting at a desk, or commuting to get work done while I was trying to figure out where the tomato I *know* I took out of the fridge, went.While I seasoned the chicken, and sliced the mango for the Thai Mango Chicken dish (something I’m trying to perfect) - I wondered how many persons were at work and miserable.Slow motions, and an hour of work later my thoughts were sorted by category. I have decisions made, comments reviewed and 3 meals to show for my effort.And no…I still don’t know where that tomato went.Love,Ally. 

One of the best things about working from home is being able to do whatever you want with your free time.

While I don’t enjoy cooking every day, there is something calming about the process of preparing a meal when I want time to think. The repetition of chopping seasonings, or the rhythmic motion of de-boning a chicken is perfect “me” time.

While de-boning the chicken, I realised that at 10am while I was making my next 3 meals…there were millions of people at work. Millions of people sitting at a desk, or commuting to get work done while I was trying to figure out where the tomato I *know* I took out of the fridge, went.

While I seasoned the chicken, and sliced the mango for the Thai Mango Chicken dish (something I’m trying to perfect) - I wondered how many persons were at work and miserable.

Slow motions, and an hour of work later my thoughts were sorted by category. I have decisions made, comments reviewed and 3 meals to show for my effort.

And no…I still don’t know where that tomato went.

Love,
Ally. 

19
May 2011
       

Earlier I mentioned that @therealnickmack did me a solid while I was in 3rd form at Campion. She probably doesn’t remember it, but I doubt it will ever forget.

In 1999, a beloved mutual friend died - and that is one of the most memorable days of my adolescence. Shortly after there was a special mass, and we all gathered at Sts. Peter and Paul to pay tribute to him. I remember while I was standing outside, Nicky hugged me and told me everything would be okay. She was obviously in more pain than I was, being the same age and knowing him longer than I did, but she took a moment to comfort me, as a underclassman.

It’s one of those things that stick with you. Forget that I sat with her, forget that we cried together. It was that hug and those words that made that difficult more bearable. So, whenever I think of Nicky, the first thing that comes to mind is that moment, and over a decade later…it now makes me smile.

If you ever wondered what closure is, it’s that moment when you can think of something unhappy and smile. Not because the moment itself isn’t sad, but because you can remember the good things that happened before and after that moment. You can remember the good things about the people associated with that moment. Grief has a funny way of working it’s way into the picture and teaching you lessons about life.

Love,
Ally.

19
May 2011
       

Safety nets are great but how will you know you’re succeeding if you never risk failure?

One of the scariest things about being self-employed is knowing that your success, failure, income, and reputation depends solely on you. It’s also the most liberating thing.Being self-employed is great, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the corporate world. The gatherings, the meetings, the dinners, the late nights, playing dress up…the safety net of a corporation behind me and my decisions. I do miss all those things, but in some ways I have everything but the safety net - just on my own terms.However, considering I wrote all this while sipping my coffee in bed…living without a safety net can’t be so bad :)Love,Ally. 

Safety nets are great but how will you know you’re succeeding if you never risk failure?


One of the scariest things about being self-employed is knowing that your success, failure, income, and reputation depends solely on you. It’s also the most liberating thing.

Being self-employed is great, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the corporate world. The gatherings, the meetings, the dinners, the late nights, playing dress up…the safety net of a corporation behind me and my decisions. I do miss all those things, but in some ways I have everything but the safety net - just on my own terms.

However, considering I wrote all this while sipping my coffee in bed…living without a safety net can’t be so bad :)

Love,
Ally. 

18
May 2011
       
The older I get…the more I appreciate the little things.Recently I was parked under a tree eating lunch and watched this puppy and cat interact. The cat appeared out of nowhere as the puppy wandered outside the gate…and stood watch until the puppy returned into the yard. As soon as the puppy was safe…the cat disappeared again. It made me smile, the thought that someone will always be there to watch over you and keep you safe. If cats and dogs can do this for each other…it shouldn’t be so hard for humans to do the same.It’s funny how you find love in the oddest places…especially when you’re not looking for it.Love,Ally.

The older I get…the more I appreciate the little things.

Recently I was parked under a tree eating lunch and watched this puppy and cat interact. The cat appeared out of nowhere as the puppy wandered outside the gate…and stood watch until the puppy returned into the yard. 

As soon as the puppy was safe…the cat disappeared again. It made me smile, the thought that someone will always be there to watch over you and keep you safe. If cats and dogs can do this for each other…it shouldn’t be so hard for humans to do the same.

It’s funny how you find love in the oddest places…especially when you’re not looking for it.

Love,
Ally.