nanika

For Me This Is Heaven

Posted on

There is so much to be said for recognizing when you’re not as happy as you could be, and then thoughtfully guiding the wheel in a new direction to gently correct the course.

I was a late driver for several reasons: lack of funds to buy a car, lack of time to properly learn (my parents worked long hours and my school had no driver education class), but most notably, the day my mom gave me my first taste of being in the driver’s seat, we were navigating a normally quiet neighborhood that was suddenly besieged by every manner of emergency vehicle imaginable. It turns out, I had unknowingly driven right into a domestic hostage situation. The experience shook me up so badly, I felt the anxiety rise like a diaphanous, ever-present ghost whenever I got behind the wheel thereafter. It wasn’t until I was nearly 21 that I got my license (needfully; my mom firmly believed that children shouldn’t live at home past 21, and I was summarily kicked out). For the first several weeks, I drove like a frightened bird, white-knuckling the wheel with a death grip, so alert that I felt like my synapses might ignite. Then one day I picked up my best friend to go to see a film, and he saw the stricken look of anxiety on my face. “Screw the movie,” he said. He buckled his seat belt, slipped a mix I’d made him into the CD player, and said: “Let’s drive.”

That day was the first one that I ever really listened to music whilst driving, and with Sam inching the volume ever-upward and singing lustily in the seat next to me, I finally began to relax and enjoy myself. After that day, my driving was emboldened; I went for longer distances to visit friends and see interesting, heretofore unexplored sights. And I discovered that one of my favorite pastimes was just driving for long stretches of time with no particular destination: windows down, music up high, wind whipping and plaiting my hair, and my soulfully singing voice my only companion as the miles stretched ever onward.

These last several days, where SL blogging is concerned, I feel like I’ve really started to tear the map and begin plotting my new course. I’ve always said that I’m a writer first and a photographer second, and a fashion blogger/stylist … well, I feel no shame in admitting that those are a distant third. I love our virtual world’s designers and brands, they inspire me daily and I’m ever in awe of all they accomplish. But celebrating fashion to its fullest isn’t truly wear my heart lies. For those gracious and understanding designers who don’t mind, or may even appreciate, that I’ll hopefully be showing their wares in more poetically-motivated pictures going forward, I’m tremendously grateful. And for those who prefer the more classic fashion blogs and photos, I understand completely, with great respect and appreciation. But to find the route to my most genuine happiness, I’m longing to do as Robert Frost bade, and take the road less traveled by. And with any luck, that will make all the difference. ♡


Please click for full size.

“And the mindless comfort grows,
When I’m alone with my great plans
And this is what she says gets her through it:
‘If I don’t let myself be happy now, then when?
If not now, when?‘”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Avi-Glam Eyes – Elysian Eyes (Basil) New Release @ Cosmopolitan, through July 16th *
Opale Hair – Gisele (Red Pack) New Release @ Dreamful, through July 22nd *
Nanika Tattoo – Zara (in White for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink & Omega) New Release @ On9, through July 28th *

Style & Pose

Kunglers Jewelry – Sampaguita Earrings (Rose) New Release @ On9, through July 28th *
Ricielli Top – Lily Minitop (Desert) New Release @ Shiny Shabby, through July 15th *
Label Motion Pose – Brenda Pose 2 *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Bay Reborn
🎧 Sounds: Jimmy Eat World – For Me This Is Heaven

Into the Mystic

Posted on Updated on

Do you ever have those moments in life where it feels like your karmic balance has reached its peak, and wonderful people, experiences, and happenstances begin flowing in? That’s the best way I can describe these last few weeks, really since right around my birthday, which is especially poignant and profound, considering the passing of the baton from one year to the next is often cause for strife or worrisome self-reflection. But no, not this year. I’m feeling uplifted and energized, awoken and alive, as though wildfires have been stirred from the quiet ashes that had been slumbering and smoldering inside. It’s all sounds very poetic and romanticized, I know, but sometimes those are the only words that speak to my heart. Perhaps better borrowed from the lush lyrics of Van Morrison, I feel like the world has on a mission to “rock [my] gypsy soul”, and now I’m on the most magnificent flow I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing for a long, long time. ♡

Into the Mystic
Please click for full size.

“Hark now, hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea, and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Inkheart Eyes – Astral Eyes (Garden) for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hunt, through July 21st *
Elua Hair – Daria (Browns HUD)
Nanika Tattoo – Anika (in White for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, Omega & System Layers) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *

Style & Pose

SlackGirl Jewelry – Farah Earrings New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
Mimikri Swimsuit – Joli Leather Bikini (Nude) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
AlaskaMetro<3 Anklets – Jess Fringed Anklets (Metallics Pack) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
Label Motion Pose – Iggy Pose 4 New Release @ Tres Chic, through July 5th *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Trace Too
🎧 Sounds: Van Morrison – Into the Mystic

I also want to take a moment to thank the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in Second Life since I returned in late April. Some were friendships rekindled and renewed from last year, while others are newly formed, and all are so incredibly dear to me. I mentioned to a friend that I had been making an especial effort to get out and enjoy the grid, and she noted with some regret that she needfully finds herself spending so much time in her skybubble taking photographs and writing, sorting inventory and getting organized, in order to stay atop her blogging commitments. I know this tendency so well that the words felt as though they had been pulled from my own experience.

But for my own enjoyment and well-being, and after such an encouraging response to what I wrote weeks ago about the anxieties of making new connections, I’ve come to the realization that for me to genuinely and sincerely express appreciation for the virtual world, I need to get out there and experience it. It may mean blogging with slightly less frequency, or getting a bit further behind on keeping up with Flickr, but after such an extraordinary month and a half back in Second Life, I don’t want to risk those impassioned inner fires burning out once more. Even if that means something so simple as being folded in a relaxing pose on a kindred spirit’s boat, my heart bestirred by the sound of the waves and the gaze upon a beautiful vista, it still makes me feel feel as though I were soaring.

“And when that foghorn blows,
I will be coming home …”

Flowers Bloom

Posted on Updated on

There are some things we come to look forward to each day because they bring a wonderful sense of well-being, balance, and contentment to our lives. Perhaps it’s a cuppa (coffee or chai, if you please!) while you’re catching up on blog reading and Flickr browsing. Maybe it’s that last kiss from your loved one before you leave for work, or even just the joy of that first, luxurious feeling of repose after climbing into bed at night.

I have many of these little rituals and touchstones, and one of my favorites is seeing the friendly, genuine, ever-smiling face of my friend Reina Alice on Flickr, whose pictures warm my heart like a rich, soothing sip of coffee on a chilly morning. A little while back, Reina took a lovely picture at the Small Town Green sim, so I went there myself to stand amongst the tulip patches and take a picture in tribute to her own.

I’m always so genuinely touched by the wonderful bonds we form over admiring and appreciating each-other’s endeavors in virtual photography, exploration, and style. Thank you to Reina and everyone in our ever-growing, ever-passionate Flickr family for welcoming me back to Second Life so warmly, and making me feel like I’ve come “home” again once more! ♡

Flowers Bloom
Please click for full size.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
Hair // Pearl (Resort HUD) by Little Bones
Eyes // Baby Blue Eyes by Arte
Tattoo // Adah Tattoo (White) by Nanika

Style

Necklace // Pixi Dust Necklace (Gold) by Tea.s
Top (Applier) // Crochet Strings (White) by Milk Tea for the Buy Now Event, through May 31st
Shorts // Juci Shorts (Rose) by KITJA

Pose & Destination

Pose // Sara 5 by Label Motion
Location // Small Town Green

Casual Grace

Posted on Updated on

Isn’t serendipity in Second Life the most wonderful thing? When I picked up the flawlessly-fitted Elina Shorts by Blueberry the other day, I knew straight away what kind of picture I wanted to take. Then I spied the beautiful, summery-colored Tied Up Camis by Eaters Coma at Kustom9, and they worked out perfectly. Then as I was once more eagerly strolling around at Blueberry to pick up their latest release, pondering at the time if I had any shoes in my inventory that might work for the pose, I quite nearly stumbled right into a wall that advertised the Georgina Work Out Shoes as a free gift for group members! And to top it all off, Nanika had a surprise 40% off sale last week, which is where I found this divine tattoo and pose. I just love when everything falls into place so beautifully!

Casual Grace
Please click for full size.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
Hair // Oceana (Blonde HUD) by Elua
Eyes // Janus Eyes (Coral) by Inkheart
Tattoo // Vasanta (White) by Nanika

Style

Top // Tied Up Cami (Fat Pack) by Eaters Coma for Kustom9, through May 10th
Shorts // Elina Side Tied Shorts (Black) by Blueberry
Shoes // Georgina Work Out Shoes (Group Gift) by Blueberry

Pose & Destination

Poses // Deanna Std 4 by SKBIO Animations, and Ballet 3 by Nanika
Location // 0 0 Adore

The region 0 0 Adore is filled with pretty little gardens and picturesque sights. When I was growing up, my brother and I were climbing rascals, getting up on everything and anything that we could so we could feel mighty and tall like our parents. So with a cheeky smile, I glided up atop the stone wall surrounding these lovely flowers and eased into my languorous ballet pose. No flora or fauna were harmed in the taking of this picture, honest! ♡