A Princess is a Lonely Job

October 30, 2018

This photo series. Where do I start? Let’s start with the fact I shot it almost TWO YEARS AGO and I’m just releasing it now. Yeah. I had this idea in my head that I wanted to get a collage artist to make collages over the final images, but nearly two years and many iterations of collage artists later, none of the mixed media treatments really clicked with the series. I have this streak in me where I’ll be stubbornly patient when waiting for THE PERFECT COLLABORATION or THE PERFECT PAIR OF JEANS or THE PERFECT X OR Y, but from the standpoint of flow, I don’t think an artist collaboration with these photos was meant to be. I’m really happy with the photo series alone with no collages or anything.

As I transition more into the personal fashion, lifestyle, health, and wellness genres, I also think this is my last fashion photography story — for a while, at least.

On to the series!

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A PRINCESS IS A LONELY JOB

Every little girl wants to be a princess, but did you know that a princess is a lonely job? A princess lives a life of isolation because no one wants to develop a deep relationship with her — she is “royalty” and therefore cannot be touched. The princess stays all day in her castle, longing to be with the people.

I divided the series up into three parts identified by the emotions calmness, anger, and happiness.

A Princess is a Lonely Job begins with the princess reminiscing about her life. She talks about how her life is seemingly enviable, but in actuality, is quite boring and lonely.

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

CALMNESS (aka boredom, familiarity)
My mind is a castle and I am its princess
If only a princess weren’t a lonely job.
My mind is a series of infinite corridors and doors
And the rooms behind those doors
And every piece of furniture in those rooms behind those doors
Off of those corridors.
I’ve memorized every pathway,
Every groove in the walls,
And every blemish in the doors.
My thoughts ebb and flow,
And flow and ebb
And sometimes ebb more than they flow
And vice versa.

My mind is a maze.
Lost in its rhetoric of nothingness
And somethingness,
It doesn’t keep me apprised of the outside world.
(What is it kids are into these days?)

The calmness and monotony quickly escalate to anger when the princess realizes she is trapped.

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

ANGER (aka dissatisfaction, confusion, sadness)
My mind is a source of endless entertainment
That keeps me occupied,
But in actuality, it’s nothing more than trapped.
(Help!)
My mind is a mess
Of unfinished stories,
Expectations delayed,
Freudian slips,
Cryptic messages,
And lingering sentiments.
Books of emotions,
And I bury them all.
Its schizophrenic speculations
And scurrying stimulations
Make it a tiresome task to keep up.
I’ve grown weary.
(I’m here, but my mind is elsewhere.)
I like to go to the rooftop garden and forage.
I once found a cell phone,
But we have no WiFi access here.
What freaking good does that do me?
I use it as a nightlight,
But it usually wakes me up.
(As if anyone can see the bags under my eyes in this
Purgatory of monotony I call
“My place of work.”)

The princess realizes she cannot control her circumstances, so she must control her feelings (inspired by the philosophy of Stocism). Her castle can either be her prison or her paradise — it’s up for her to decide. Ultimately, she decides to get free.

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

A Princess is a Lonely Job

HAPPINESS (aka acceptance)
My mind never ceases to amaze me.
Its unlimited creativity
Never renders me spiritless.
(Never may that be!)
I’m wildly inventive,
Unbridledly curious,
Fiercely passionate,
And excessively obsessive.
I sense a change on the horizon,
I can feel it in the wind.
It’s blowing in a zephyr.
No, it’s blowing in a storm.
An opportunity to get free.
Not freedom of the outside,
But the freedom of my mind
That comes from liberating my Jekyll from my Hyde.
A new dawn.
(My moving meditation.)
The shivers are gone as are the
Doubts,
Panics,
Fears,
And dreads.

Yes, I’m crossing the threshold to a new divine.
Deliverance is near.
Deliverance is here.

Photography: Micaela Hoo
Model: Abigail VanSteenberghe
Clothing: Hannah Kristina Metz

To see the photos larger, read more about my process and see work in progress stuff, view the series on my portfolio here.

Pomegranate Kombucha Matcha Face Mask

October 8, 2018

Sometimes, I’m kind of a lazy bum when it comes to self-care. I hardly ever feel like doing a face mask (what is it about doing anything no matter how simple it is that becomes an arduous task? i.e. taking a shower), but I always feel so good after. It’s such a cheap way to rejuvenate your pores… and prevent wrinkles and even out skin tone and fight against sun damage and aging—there really is no excuse not to. I usually mask twice a week. Lately, I’ve been intrigued by facial peels and have discovered that using caffeinated ingredients in your DIY face mask (DIY is the most cost effective way to go baby!) have a low key peel effect.

I created this face mask recipe for Health-Ade that is so stimulating, you can literally feel it tightening on your face as it dries. When you wash it off, your face might be red for a few minutes. This is totally normal and okay! It just means your circulation is hard at work. Click here for the full recipe.

Moving + The Story of 201

September 21, 2018

Today is our moving day (even though technically as I write this it’s Thursday, the day before). I’m excited for what new opportunities, connections, and self-discovery living in a new place will bring—even if it is only 25 minutes away from our old home. Our lease is for a year, so it’s a good experiment to see if we’ll like living in East Bay and settle down there or if we want to try a new part of the Bay (or even elsewhere, who knows!).

I thought today would be a good day to tell you the story of our apartment number 201. One of my Internet pals, Jordan‘s special number is 201. You can read more about the connection here, but it’s basically an oddly coincidental recurring number in her life (especially when something big is about to happen). Both of the apartments she’s ever lived in alone when she moved to Los Angeles from NYC are 201. She just moved in with her fiancé, Jonathan to apartment number 206, so that’s the end of her 201 apartment life. Maybe 206 represents the new chapter she and Jonathan are going to create together.

Moving + The Story of 201

Aubrey’s first visit to the apartment.

When my dad found our Jack London Square apartment off of Craigslist, we had no idea what unit number it was. It was the Sunday late afternoon after a long weekend of rental hunting (to no avail), so I was feeling pretty deflated and tired. Our landlord led us up to the second floor and we walked down the hallway all the way to the apartment on the end. I looked up and saw the numbers 201. I was floored and immediately took this video and sent it to Jordan:

The 201 legacy continues! I look at this as an opportunity to take over the 201 chapter while Jordan starts the new chapter of 206. Jordan lived in apartment 201 when she got her official Lyme diagnosis, so maybe I’ll have a huge breakthrough with my health in my 201 home.

Moving + The Story of 201

Moving the plant boos into the new space.

PS. The night we first saw the apartment, I had so much trouble sleeping, I was up for hours and when I finally fell asleep, I looked up at my ceiling to see my projection clock reading “2:01”. 😉

PPS. You bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to take pics and videos of how I decorate the space (I’ve already started showing some DIYs on Instagram Stories!).

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