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per·cep·tion /pərˈsepSHən/

The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

The state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way.

A few weeks ago, I found myself walking the dog in Prospect Park during a cold snap of minus six degrees Celsius, whilst getting over food poisoning, battling the flu, dealing with entering my seventh month of pregnancy and all the while… trying to dodge the rangers who might ticket me for having the dog off the lead after 9am.

Words to the effect of ‘What the hell am I doing in this godforsaken place anyway?’ ran through my then negative mind at a rapid pace, and didn’t subside. This stayed with me for several days. I was ready to pack up and leave for warmer, more friendly shores. I miss you Australia.

Then….some magical things began to happen.

A friend sent me an article they thought I may find interesting, and it was as though someone had turned on a light.
It was an interview with Sharon Beesley, writer and author of blog NYC Taught Me, and had been published on SayDaily. Her wonderful point of view of a city offering many challenges was an inspiration to me, especially as I  had arrived as a newby to NY, just like her.

Her interview covers some of NYC’s many highlights that I had begun to overlook in my bleakness. You can get anything and everything delivered, there is always something to do in one of the many museums, galleries and creative spaces all over the five boroughs. Pretty much everywhere is child friendly. It made me open my eyes and my mind.

A few days later, I was in Kentucky working on a job, and I unexpectedly passed an HSBC ad campaign that has always caught my eye in the airports in London. I was so surprised to see it in Louisville; it was another little moment of synchronicity and I lapped it up. It demonstrates in many of its images; one person’s pain may be another’s pleasure… for example things like marmite, chilli… or skydiving… or, if it were my household.. ballet… and The Vicar of Dibley.

Once my husband came back from his overseas trip, and I finally managed to fight all the illness… I started to see a little more clearly. The sun began to poke through the clouds, I realised that my previous negativity wasn’t all about where I was or what I was doing, but it was the way I was looking at it.

I needed to embrace the cold, the snow and all the things I had missed about the Northern Hemisphere for so many years.

My daily work as a stylist is all about creating an image that I hope will be pleasing to the eye; but whose eye? What I believe to be simply gorgeous may be really hideous to someone else. This is what I love about art, photography and the image – it’s all subjective.

How we perceive something may depend very much upon the mood we are in, the way we are looking at it, and many other uncontrollable things about the environment around us.

We are now in another cold snap and I’m trying to enjoy it for what it is – crisp white snow.. kids sledding, warm cosy cups of hot tea and Tim Tams whilst grabbing the slivers of afternoon sunlight through the shutters. Bliss.


AK thought for the day, keep an open mind, an open heart and next time you feel in an awfully glum mood like I did… see if you can look at it with brand new eyes. If that fails.. eat some chocolate.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Well said!
    Off now to try and find some joy in going to the laundry…..

    February 12, 2013
  2. Jenny Horner #

    Grab every day and enjoy it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2013
  3. Katy Griffiths #

    What a brilliant post. I definitely feel like this from time to time, a downside to being a transplant from other shores. Change of scenery needed? Come Upstate!!

    February 12, 2013
  4. Claire Young #

    Have you found a source of stateside Tim Tams? If not I’ll send over a care package. Love the AK perspective piece – so true; still need that approach even if the sun is shining on a warm day.

    February 12, 2013
    • Ha – no they came from down under!! Australian care packages gladly welcomed at Appleketchup HQ, especially if they also contain Lucas Paw Paw and copies of Inside Out!

      February 12, 2013
  5. Sonia Bailey #

    Love reading your stories Em, pleased your over all your illnesses. Lovely photo of Puku too.

    February 12, 2013
  6. angelina #

    You get tim-tams in NY? Miss you, always love an update X

    February 12, 2013
    • Travelling friends in high places! The Tim Tams came to me….

      February 12, 2013

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