This week was pretty uneventful yet demanded a lot of me at the same time. As I’d expected, the process of putting together a college schedule that works for me is about trial and error. It’s more complicated than I’d expected honestly. I’m grateful that I was wise and listened to my course advisor when she advised I drop a class. I think I’ll pick up a few online lessons next semester and attempt to strike that balance between all out hard worker and smart worker. I’d assumed it was because I’m fresh out of high school but I don’t think the real world goes easy on you like that. If anything, I think it’s that I’m somewhat transparent. I didn’t go the full disclosure route and tell her that I’ve barely studied a day in my life but I’m sure it was somewhat apparent.
Honestly, for me, it’s less about work ethic and more about feeling drained and exhausted when I can’t give sufficiently across all aspects of my life. My creative work is my fuel and it energises all my other pursuits. The way I like to prioritise is not by dropping or cutting activities regardless of whether they are considered essential. I’ve been asked about how I use my time effectively and manage my day to day and my honest answer would be that I don’t always. I’m slowly coming to understand not to put off essential tasks and that anything I tell myself I’ll do tomorrow will almost surely be pushed back a week. Beyond that, I should only make room in my life for what serves a purpose. As much as I tell myself I should journal and that putting pen to paper will be therapeutic, I almost always prefer it in theory than in actuality.
This week I received my first notice of assessment for my Wednesday class, Design and Drawing. We were given a blueprint of Rose Seidler house, our point of focus for the foreseeable future. It was more of a roughly drawn digital version though as the daughter of the architect who designed Rose Seidler house is very protective of his intellectual property. She has gone as far as to attempt to sue many establishments who have distributed these floor plans. A lesson learnt for them, I’m sure. Our task is to figure out the best layout for the home using furniture that we’ll cut out and paste onto the floor plan. There is no limit as to how many sheets we can use but we cannot modify the structure of the home. Our teacher told us in no uncertain terms that doing the bare minimum that is required of us will result in a pass but it’s more than achievable and highly realistic to work towards a credit or distinction.
When completed in nineteen fifty, Rose Seidler House was the most talked about home in Sydney. It was highly futuristic at the time and gave a riveting glimpse into the future of modernist Interior Design. Harry Seidler, the youngster of parents Rose and Max, was the mastermind and big brain behind the project. The trio were foreigners at the time, brought to Australia by the promise of a new beginning. Rose Seidler House was designed to stand alongside two other homes of similar style. The vision Harry had was of his Austrian relatives migrating to join them after the war finished. The house overturned every convention of suburban home design and, in some ways, brought people great hope. It was in fact the promise of designing a house for his mother that brought Harry to Australia. His resounding success helped launch his Australian and soon after international career. The radical design extending both inside and out integrated architecture, art and technology in a bold and optimistic vision for a new way of living. Nowadays it has been converted to a museum and is open for the community’s viewing pleasure. It is surrounded still by the panoramic views and extensive wildlife of Kuringai Chase National Park. Rose Seidler House is one of the finest examples of mid twentieth century domestic architecture in Australia. Its furniture and fittings form a complete and intact post World War Two design collection. Furthermore, the pieces contained within Rose Seidler House have travelled globally and across oceans to form the overarching picture we see today. Harry Seidler worked closely with international designers and had many of his special furniture items designed and imported. As this was the case, they were one of a kind.
It turns out that we’d already worked through a lot of the background research and additional information that was relevant and could be attached. We’d spent an hour or so answering who, what, when, where and why questions about Rose Seidler house, the architect behind the job, the significance it holds in The Australian and twentieth century design world and pioneering notions and ideals. It was incredibly interesting and I feel as if I know enough to write an essay. I did my very best to go above and beyond, delving into the nitty gritty that other people may not have picked up yet. What I’m yet to do is paraphrase from my sources though. I tend to complete research by copy pasting from a variety of articles and then cutting out the waffle. I like to go through multiple sections of an article that cover the same material in order to understand the concept at length and be able to relay it in vivid detail.
On Monday we explored Sydney City on a whim. My graphic design teacher decided that the best way to learn about architecture and come up with interesting and dynamic buildings to draw was to witness them ourselves and take pictures of what caught our eye. It was still early in the morning at this point, probably no later than eight am. We made our way to a local coffee shop and observed the way they’d breathed new life into an old industrial warehouse, turning it into a cafe. The tube wall lights, pipelines across the ceiling and walls, barred windows, worn out walls and tarnished mirrors were actually quite spunky. It was most curious. I sat there and wished I’d brought money for a drink so I could be inspired for a little longer. Artworks made of odd furniture bits and pieces dotted the walls, making strange collages that you were eager to decode. They seemed to make sense together. A ladder here, a pipe there. It showed me that anything and everything can have a charm if you look through the correct lens. Later that afternoon we walked to the City Central and visited the Powerhouse Museum, then stopped to walk through a lovely park. There were lots of pretty flowers in bloom and monarch butterflies everywhere. Butterflies have always held special meaning for me and it was a joy to be surrounded by them. My friend had a butterfly come to rest on her hand. We also came across a gorgeous fluffy dog with the curliest hair. Naturally we all stopped to ooh and ahh. He was very friendly and got lots of pats from everybody.
It was a truly heartwarming week and I was present as many pleasant surprises came forth. To start with, I made another friend. It’s funny because it’s the kind of achievement I’d be proud of at five years old too. It’s just incredible how people can let their guard down even upon a first meeting and allow room for ease and companionship. This happened throughout my Wednesday Design and Drawing class, the last of my study for the week. I’d expected to sit with the same people I did the week prior. I’d settled down at the front of the class and we began chatting just like that, laughing over who best fit the tired college student meme and talking about our personal lives. In that first week we did a lot of bonding exercises. We introduced ourselves, told our stories, talked about our muses and then played games. That particular day we were studying a photograph of a living room. The catch was that nothing was as it appeared. The chair cushion was a kiwi fruit, the firewood was cinnamon sticks, the curtain rod was a crayon, the table was a tambourine and so on. The easiest way to get close to people, to understand them and reach behind the mask they use to shield themselves from the world, is to laugh alongside them. It’s powerful and makes strangers seem like instant friends. Anyhow, I digress. During our first Design and Drawing Lesson we went through general information as nobody had brought their art kit and we couldn’t unpack it.
That second lesson however I entered the room to find my seat had been removed. Their were only two seats available at the table as we needed to pull drawing boards out and they take up a fair bit of space. I move past my awkwardness and shuffled to the back of the room, attempting to be as silent and inconspicuous as possible. Sometimes you just feel too prominent in a space. Like you’re taking up a lot of it and are just in a glaringly obvious position. Naturally, I was overthinking. Then I was met by the friendliest new student, Tahlia. We clicked instantly, shared supplies and talked about what brought us to Billy Blue College and how we became interested in design. It turns out that she’d graduated High School two years ago and had taken a gap year in twenty twenty in the hopes of travelling. After covid hit, her plans were put on hold and she applied to begin further education. I told her that she should definitely consider taking another gap year once the travel industry opens up more. While it requires delayed gratification, she could rest in the knowledge that she’d already achieved a Diploma and could enjoy some well earned time off. We discussed my early departure from High School and my to be continued job search. She reminded me that I’m still young and not having pursued work yet is fine.
I feel like we are inundated nowadays by messages of false encouragement from people who adhere to an imagined, cookie cutter timeline. In reality though, the right time varies from person to person and we are not running out of it anytime soon. Soon enough we’d hit the hour and half mark and were allowed a break. Tahlia was an absolute sweetheart and bought me a coffee despite my insistence that I didn’t want to be an imposition. I felt slightly guilty as I had my own purse in my bag but hadn’t taken it out as I’d bought food before class and didn’t intend to again. It was at that point that I reminded myself that it’s okay to allow somebody else to be good to me. All it means is that next time I will have the opportunity to pay back her kindness and buy our coffees or a snack at brunch. That was definitely my shining moment of the day and it was in glaring contrast to the next person I’d meet. I was walking back to the car after college. It was raining heavily and I felt somewhat disorientated whilst trying to locate where I was meant to go. I accidentally stepped in the path of a young woman and her toddler, a little girl sitting in a pram. I apologised and was shocked to be met with a harsh reaction. She swore at me quite loudly and went on her way. I was just grateful that she didn’t run me over with the stroller wheels.. that would’ve hurt and I would’ve been equally as displeased if she’d muddied my shoes out of anger.
My Grandma and I headed home to the Blue Mountains on Wednesday afternoon but it feels as if we were home for a split second only. We had my new mattress delivered this week and I was thrilled to set it up, even if it could only be placed on the carpet for the time being. I got out my new sheet set, dressed the bed and basked in the cloud like softness. French Flax Linen is my top bedding pick as it’s moisture wicking, adheres to your body temperature and adjusts accordingly. Besides, it always looks super cosy and stays in tip top shape. I’ve been sleeping so soundly and wake up feeling much more rested than previously. At this point I’m still waiting on a couple of deliveries, mainly those coming from overseas. It’s meant that we’ve had to be clever and hang a sheet over the French doors in my room to stop blinding early morning light from streaming in, waking me up prematurely and ruining the space withe excess heat.
Now that I’m well on my way to completing my bedroom project, I’ve turned my focus back to content creation and have been revamping my social media feeds and planning out content for the months to come. I’ve also compiled a list of brands to work with and sent collaboration pitches to the majority of them. As is always the case, my results have been a mixed bag. One message went unanswered, another unopened but three have panned out. I may have ticked off one of my twenty twenty one goals early in the year- I’ll be sharing a high quality ethical brand and their beautifully curated jewellery collection with you very soon. I’ve also been accepted to work with Teen Breathe Magazine and showcase their latest issue! Two incredibly excited opportunities that I’m over the moon about. As per usual, I’d like to leave you with the latest email from Morgan Harper Nichols Storyteller series. This week’s musings revolve around forgiveness, specifically why many of us struggle to feel like we’re worthy of it.
I hope you know you do not have to hold on to your mistakes forever. If there’s a place in your life where you need to apologise, I hope you apologise while also knowing that you are allowed to trust. Forgiveness is for you too, even when no one utters the words “I forgive you.”
Even when you’ve made a mistake that changes the course of everything and you’re grieving the reality that things will never go back to “normal,” the ground is still steady beneath your feet. Even when all of the flowers have been ripped off of their stems and the green grass is muddied with the aftermath of the rain, there is still room for something new to bloom here. No, it won’t be the same as it once was, but, day by day, you will feel something new come to life, right here, beneath your feet. You will learn from the mistakes of the past and apply that wisdom to the present. You will learn the power of sharing that wisdom with others. You will learn to heal and trust once more.
Yes, it’s true that there are some mistakes that rock you, shake you, break you apart, leave you trembling. Yet this is also true: forgiveness can change the course of everything as well. If today happens to be one of those days where your attention gets drawn to a mistake, I hope you can ask yourself what it would look like to bathe in the sunlight of forgiveness.
Allow yourself to wrestle with this question. Realise that if you’ve been hard on yourself at any point in your life, the idea of forgiveness may feel out of reach. Allow yourself to take the journey toward forgiveness. Travel step by step. Take a moment to sit on the park bench along the path when you need to. This forgiveness thing? It’s a lot to take in. When you’re the kind of person who has been hard on themselves for years, it’s going to take some time to loosen into the idea that there is forgiveness for you. Forgiveness is a must and it is also something that cannot be rushed. Slow down. Breathe. Remember that forgiveness, like many things with the power to bring healing, is a journey. A journey lined with grace that whispers these words: “I know you can’t see it yet but there is so much more to this story than yesterday.”