Cultivating Community and Creativity

November 24, 2016

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There’s nothing I love more than bringing people together. Introducing our different groups of friends to each other. Introducing like-minded people. Especially creatives and small business owners who I feel might be able to support each other. So for my 30th birthday I couldn’t think of anything better than having an afternoon tea and a flower crown making workshop at the most gorgeous flower bar in the city. The food and delicious chocolate, beetroot and salted caramel cake were made by the cafe next door. My friend who has a cold pressed juice business kept our guests hydrated and bottles of Moet flowed throughout the afternoon. True to our home country and culture, there was also a tanoa of kava for our Fijian friends, and our other friends to try. I also used the opportunity to raise awareness on the work I do for World Vision Australia as one of their Blog Ambassadors. In particular, my bid to raise money to help support maternal health. Guests were asked to reconsider getting me a gift and donating to the fund instead – I’m now over half way towards reaching my target! I’m so grateful for everyone who has contributed to the fund. You can read more about the fund and donate to it if you’re so inclined here.

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It really wasn’t until I sought out the creative community in Dunedin that I began to feel like I could live here and make this place a home. I initially struggled and couldn’t think of anything worse than being stuck here for longer than a year but this perception has changed. I now enjoy the city so much more. What a difference meeting a few creative people can make. Cultivating community is so important to me. Cultivating community for myself but also helping others grow their tribes. It’s not always easy. Sometimes you can come out of it feeling left behind, or even worse, used. There may be some who become a lot more aggressive about collaborations and “making the most” of community and connections – taking but not giving. That’s been tough for me. Perhaps with maturity, or perhaps just the lack of time, these things don’t bother me as much anymore. I do what I do because I genuinely want to. Because I truly believe in supportive tribes. And I believe in karma. It sure can take a while, but what goes around comes around.

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So while some may aggressively try to get what they can from others I thoroughly enjoyed being able to bring some of my most favourite people together. Of having an afternoon full of love, laughter, support and encouragement. The ‘event’ was symbolic of the life that we want to create for ourselves and our son. A life where friends of almost 20 years, and friends of two months feel comfortable and welcome. Where the line between family and friends can become blurred. A life where there is room for the cultures we inherited and the cultures we’ve adopted. A life that is secure, content and confidently lived. One that is entirely of our making, choosing and directing.

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Turning 30 and growing into my new role as a mother is going to be about exactly all of that. Being confident in the decisions we’re making for ourselves and our son. Knowing that my worth is not in any way diminished, but enhanced, by helping others. Understanding and being secure about my approach to life and my philosophies. Ultimately, I can’t give to my son, or others, what I myself don’t have. So here’s to being better, to continuing to share openly and lovingly and to a life that I can continue to be proud of.

Party details: Photos by Timothy and Ariana Photography | Venue and Flower Crown Workshop instruction by Ayla from Twigs n Twine Dunedin | Food and Cake by Morning Magpie | Cold Pressed Juices by The Design Juicery

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