"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."
So says Tom Hanks in the romantic classic You've Got Mail, that nostalgic ode to New York's Upper West Side starring Meg Ryan. I love that quote, and it would indeed be wonderful to send all of you dear readers a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils, just to bask in the school-supply-scented newness of this time of year. As soon as September hits, I get itchy to start new crisp notebooks and make sure my hand-writing is as neat as possible. Even into October, I'm still into the 'beginnings' mode, that feeling of starting fresh, and so I thought that for the first proper JOY + JOSIE post I'd have the two lovely ladies share what's new in their lives.
// JOY //
We all experience new beginnings: the first day back at school, or the start of a diet, or a change in hairstyle. I think change is good: it allows us to learn about different aspects of ourselves even if it is at first difficult to welcome. It's so easy to stay in our comfort zone, enjoying only what we are 'used' to. Staying the same, however, comes at a price: we might never discover THAT hidden talent, or THIS enjoyment of something - we simply float on stagnant water.
I've just recently finished four years studying Geography at University, including a placement year where I was able to dip into the working world to learn new skills and meet inspiring people. My husband Jonny and I decided a while ago that once I'd finished Uni we wanted to go travelling, to roam free a bit before we were tied down by mortgages and permanent jobs. We decided on South Africa, and we're currently spending two months here - I'm scribbling this entry while sat on the beach! We've had to work hard to get here though: scrimping and saving for a long time, even moving in with my parents. I've focused so much of my excitement and energy on this trip that suddenly I've found myself thinking: what's next?
I've recently been offered a permanent job with the company I had worked for during my Uni placement. I'll be starting soon - my first full-time, permanent position - and I can't wait. This change is a good change, but it of course comes with all of the new-job-nerves and I'm already wondering about all of the new things I'll have to learn.
Jonny and I started a photography business three years ago, and when you're self-employed in a business venture change is the only constant. We're always learning and experimenting and, most importantly, we're excited. We're looking ahead into the future, wondering what we could do and be someday.
So, what is next? In my experience, the unknown is daunting and scary and can come crashing in on a wave of despair. But I'm trying to see it as an adventure: I'm grabbing my metaphorical surfboard and I'm going to ride that wave. I'm stepping of stagnant water and I'm watching the shore, waiting.
// JOSIE //
Over the past six or so weeks, my mission has been simple: baby prep! My lovely grandmother (Nan-Nan) took it upon herself to hand wash some of the baby clothes I've bought - she told me that the washing of these little outfits was one of her favourite things to do in the build up to a new little person coming into the world. I handed over several tiny vests and a beautiful white dress given to me by my Auntie who lives in Canada. I cannot even get over how small all of these baby clothes are, let alone the fact that very soon they'll be filled with a fresh little girl. A week or so after giving Nan-Nan the pile, I returned home to find the clothes neatly folded in a pink bag, alongside a bottle of washing detergent and a little note that I will treasure forever.
Being an unorganised, messy, up-in-the-air kinda gal when it comes to bedrooms, I decided to start as I mean to go on when it came to the baby's room. The first step in this plan: draw dividers! I found a set of boxes that specifically fit the set of drawers and I've enjoyed filling all of the little sections with baby essentials. I say 'essentials', but I am becoming so unbelievably distracted by the cute and fluffy bits displayed so alluringly in shop windows. Truth is, I'm a shopaholic and having a baby has been a wonderful excuse. I've held back well though, surprisingly, and haven't gone too mad on baby items... if only I could say the same about maternity clothes!
I expect these last few weeks to go insanely quickly and to be full of more new things, all in the lead up to the biggest, newest beginning of them all.