fall manifesto

Hello, September.

Learn to eat breakfast again. Cook coffee on the stove every morning. Read and read a lot. Spend time at home; in silence and solitude. Go for walks whenever you can. Cook soups and bake zucchini bread. Purge your living space. Hang the tealights again. Replace all the light bulbs around the apartment; winter is going be dark enough just by itself. Pre-order Janet Fitch’s upcoming book. Drink copious amounts of ginger tea. Return to the sea. Write about the cities you’ve been to. Write. You are ready. Leave your phone on airplane mode. Travel: book more flights, jump on a train, just go. Eat less, drink less. Improve your sleeping habits. Say no more often. Practice mindfulness (you haven’t been and it shows). Feel what you need to feel; then let it go.

(20162015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008)

inventory | july

Coffee by the sea.

Listened to these three songs on repeat. Read a lot. More than usually, that is. Drank wine in beer gardens. Missed another flight. Booked a different one. Instead of three weeks, I spent ten days at home by the sea and felt grateful every single day. Slept outside on the terrace under the stars every night. Swam in the bay. Swam in the open sea. Cooked coffee on the stove in dzezva. More often, it’d be maman who’d do it for me. For some reason, hers is always better. Drank espressos strong as hell from tiny cups with Almodovar images on them. Spent a morning in Split. A morning in Zagreb. A weekend away from Prague when things looked very positive but they weren’t. Drank flavored water: watermelon, mint, and basil. Drank way too much coffee. Stopped smoking cigarettes for a while then started again. Came to a realization that the circle of people around me is too wide and that I need to narrow it down. A self-preservation thing of sorts. Went to of Montreal with a special someone. Wrote lists of things I felt grateful for at my corner coffee shop. Some mornings I’d wake up to different messages: from the sunshine, from my barista (the coffee is waiting for you!), from friends across the globe, from First Love, from the one I left behind. This month, more than any other, I’d been reminded that I am not alone. At all. It doesn’t matter what he used to say anymore. Some nights, I’d stay wide awake until 5.30 am, not being able to sleep. Some nights, I wouldn’t sleep at all. Others, I’d be under covers at nine. Spent a few days waiting around hospitals. When he was there, it was indefinitely easier and I am grateful that he refused to leave me alone. Wrote more lists of things. Mostly to soothe my mind. To feel the ground under my feet. To be reminded that I am a lioness.

inventory | june

Bought raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Played tennis twice in one week. Wrote an entry to an on-going dictionary collection; Stardust. Had breakfast on Sunday with K. In fact, we had two breakfasts: at Coffee room and Café Jen. Spent my first weekend in Prague after two months. Had coffee with B. Slept. Three loads of laundry. Made and brought breakfast and lunch to work four days in a row; new personal record. Cooked broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and chickpeas. My favorite things. Formed a new ritual: daily espresso at the Wine Food Market. Spoke on the phone with the best friend in Bosnia for over an hour. One week until I am back in my birth town. Two days until seaside, again. Started reading Dějiny Světla. Started watching The Wire again. Walked a lot. Had drinks with a friend from elementary; walked home in daylight on a Saturday morning. Booked flights from Zagreb. Booked a second trip to Berlin. Bought a bus ticket to Brno. Escapism. Took hundreds of new images but did not edit the photos from Copenhagen, Berlin or Rome yet. Maybe this month. Spent three days with dad in Prague. Drank gin with mint syrup instead of tonic. Went to the markets and bought fresh produce; carrots, tomatoes, and such. Made a Caprese salad. Ate hummus by the spoon. Tutored English. Wrote. Still writing.

twenty-five

12036534_10153323465712553_669912589529996736_n

Trust your gut. Trust the voice inside your head. Only do what feels right and everything will unfold in the right way. It just will. As long as you listen to your instinct, you will be safe.

Always carry a notebook and a pen with you for when you are out of battery. Besides, writing by hand feels so much better.

Read, read, read, read. So you can write, write, write, write.

Hit send. Hit publish. Don’t be scared.

You are only as beautiful as you are content. Beauty comes from within.

Take care of yourself. You’re the only thing you’ve got. Eat well, drink plenty upon plenty of water, eat fruit; you can always eat more fruit. It takes twenty minutes to prepare a delicious minestrone soup, do it weekly. Take long showers when so inclined. Sleep in on the weekends you don’t have a flight to catch. Go for walks after work. Do weekly hair and face masks (mud masks are miraculous). And when in doubt, put coconut oil on it.

Madiba was right: Home is a place that remains unchanged so that you can find the ways in which you yourself have altered. Embrace the feeling. Learn from it.

Miss your plane. Book that flight. Get on the train. Take a bus. Go. Just go. And then walk. Walk, walk as much as you can. There’s nothing quite as freeing as being enough alone just by yourself.

Get rid of all your possessions. You don’t need any of the things anyway. The value of life is in memories, experiences, and words that are not left unsaid.

Don’t spend time with people who don’t bring any value to your life. You know the ones.

Say what you want to say. Write what you want to write. Tell them you love them. Just do it. If you don’t, the only thing you stand to gain is the heavy feeling of regret for years to follow. And that is no way to live.

Family is the most important thing in the world. Don’t allow yourself to forget that. Don’t forget who you are.

Life is too short for bad coffee. Which is to say, coffee is always a good idea.

Recognize when you are being given a second chance. And for fuck’s sake, don’t screw it up.

To my frightened twenty-one-year-old self, I offer you this: It gets better. You are okay. You are enough. As I grown older, this affirmation will become stronger together with me.

Don’t wait around. Don’t make it harder for yourself. Don’t torture yourself with the past. Let the grief in once in a while but then send it away. There’s no longer a reason for you to be grieving all the time. Feel the feelings. But don’t let them control you.

If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Believe in the energy. What you give into the world, it will come back to you in one form or another. Live with a purpose. Mindfulness is not easy, but it is rewarding. Work for it and work for it hard.

There are days when all you need and want is to sleep (even when the weather outside is perfect) and that’s okay.

Do a little bit of something that will bring you closer to your dream every day. Don’t wait for it to happen on its own because that’s not how it works. You have to keep moving. Keep hustling.

Practice gratefulness. Say thank you often. Mean it. Smile at strangers. Make others feel better to make them feel better, not yourself.

Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ve gone through a lot. You’re doing the best you can.

Less is more.

Call your grandparents more often.

In order to be content, you need to take the leap. Go on. Jump. Be free.

Happy birthday to me.

5 things | london, united kingdom

Monocle Cafe
Monocle Cafe

I spent four days in London and four days drinking coffee. Monocle Cafe was just one of the few I went to.

Sunny London. Yes, it's a real thing.
Sunny London. Yes, it’s a real thing.

Not a single drop of rain while I was there meant walking. Lots and lots of walking. Everything between Marylebone, Islington, Soho itself, Liverpool Street Station, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Chelsea, Hyde Park, Notting Hill, and Piccadilly Circus was my area. In other words, I covered an enormous piece of ground. There’s a restaurant, a coffee shop, or a fast food eatery on almost every corner. Also, pubs. Pubs everywhere. In London, I realized how much I love gin again and I enjoy it in a completely different way now. Because I mean, Hendrick’s with cucumber on ice? How much closer to heaven can I possibly get?

1170998_962374420517055_86775589_n
Close to Piccadilly Circus.

After walking, the second best way to see London is to get on a bus and just ride around. Oyster card became my best friend only minutes after I landed. I also took a taxi, just for the sake of it. They’re cute and the driver was a nice guy full of stories and laughs.

12328108_170289130026502_834972691_n
Blue. Big Ben.

Yeah, I know. See the Big Ben, right? Obviously. But seriously, once I got to the South Bank and looked at it from the other side (hello), I was impressed by its majestic beauty. Sitting there with a flat white, just watching people walk past; there was nothing else I wanted to do.

12749813_935167946553105_2015464551_n
The stuff dreams are made of.

London is classic. Vibrant, colorful, busy, and majestic. It’s a city I can get lost in and feel at home. It’s a city I will love returning to and perhaps, calling a home one day. Who knows.