The Color of Rain

About two months ago I submitted a piece of my writing to Anthropologie for their magazine, unfortunately they didn't use it but I thought that some of y'all might enjoy it so I'm sharing it with you.

original photo // typography by jocee

The Color Of Rain 
  I’m an odd sort of person, the kind who associates nostalgic memories with a color in a very specific mental rainbow. My favorite color is the color of rain. In my mind it’s kind of a musty aquamarine, a variation of color somewhere between sea foam and grey, the “color”, if you will, washes of over me with a cozy feeling that urges me to materialize a crackling fireplace and a collection of E.E. Cummings poetry with a nice cup of vanilla cocoa right before my eyes.

  Rain is the kind of thing that’s an ironic combination of refreshment, the cool kind of sprinkle that sits on tops of your head and weaves itself between each strand of your hair before making its way down your forehead and over your shoulders causing your overall body temperature to drop. While being cozy and warm at the same time. For some reason that I may never understand I've always associated rain with home, not a brick and cement building kind of home but the kind of home that is also a synonym for security and safety, being tucked in before bed on Christmas eve with promises of Santa or always having someone to hug you when you kiss you when you cry.

  I believe that the first people who ever felt rain felt that lump in their chest that we’re all so familiar with and they smiled. They may not have understood its origins and at first it may have frightened them, but I think that they soon embraced it. Overcast days with the pitter patter of fresh water from heaven will always be my favorite kind of day. I will always dance in the rain, and play in the water spout, jump in puddles, and curl up next to the window. May the sound of distant thunder and the color of rain always be the rhythm that my heart synchronizes itself to as I sleep.

What's your favorite color?


spring again

I don't have a favourite season. I always find myself looking forward to the freshness of spring, the laziness of summer, the coziness of autumn, & the silent beauty of winter. Each has a most lovely, wholehearted embrace.

Though, every year, in the last days of January, or perhaps, those in mid-February, I start feeling the tightness of winter's embrace all too keenly. It makes me restless. I start longing for young buds of green, rosy tinges  amid the brown, lilac breezes, & even the sight of dandelion seeds carried by the wind. I want to break free of the clutch of winter, grown all too stiff & cold, & run to spring again.

Oh, how glorious it will be to feel the warm air on my face! To hear the lovely chirping bird melodies & experience all the lovely sights & aromas. Hurry up, spring. Let us go adventuring together again...

I'm Eve -- a dreamer, a reader, a writer, a photographer, & a blogger. I love feeling the strong & adventurous pull of the ocean, & listening to my rather large collection of movie soundtracks. I'm often awkward & better express myself in writing. I have an unfinished six year-old diary & books on my shelf that haven't been read yet. My ideal vacation would be a two week long hike across the mountain ranges of New Zealand. It's nice to meet you, friend. :)


we're all just people

We’re all just people trying to find our voice. Trying to be liked, trying to share our talents, trying to find our talents. Some of us are bigger, but bigger isn’t always better, remember that.

We’re all different, with different talents, different callings, different tastes, styles, hobbies, quirks. Our style is unique, our aspirations are mutual. How can we be so different, how can be so same?

We’re all just people, searching for our place in the world. We’re all important, we’re all needed, we’re all loved. No one is more worthy than the other. There are no mistakes, there is no empty space. Don’t ever forget, don’t ever give up. You are here, you are loved.


hey, there, I’m abby. I have messy hair, a messy room, and messy handwriting. my brain has too many words, and my mouth never likes to speak them. I’d love to be your friend.


where the waves meet the coast

i want to be there.
that place where the waves meet the coast.
  that place where the sand creeps into the cracks of your toes and into the strands of hair on your head.
where my daily plans consist of sleeping, tanning and some good picture-taking.
i miss the smell of the water.
i miss the taste of those fruity, strawberry drinks from the tiki bar on the beach, with sand in the slats of the worn-down wooden floor.
most of all, i miss how i relaxed
along the edges of florida, is one of the few places i can relax.
i am able to forget about my worries.

you see.
i am the biggest worry wart you will ever meet.
i think about what will happen tomorrow, and on this very same day next year.
every thought that goes through my brain is a worry that revolves around me messing up in a way that could affect my future.
no matter how hard i try, i can't stop.
except when i'm where the waves meet the coast.

when i step off that plane back home, back into the suburbs, all the stress drops back onto my shoulders and my knees start to buckle with the weight of all my "problems" back.
i miss it where, all that disappears.

***I don't know if we have formally met yet, my name is Stephanie, and I'm one of the new authors here on AOU! I'm a teenager in the suburbs of Illinois. I so excited to be here, and to get to know y'all better :) If you don't know my history, I'm a "retired" blogger. I applied to AOU with about a year-and-a-half of experience. I had a blog called "Fearless" with about 150 or so followers that I wasn't able to keep up and running by myself with school. AOU feels like the perfect place for me to grow, and I hope you guys enjoy having me here. xx. Stephanie***


Wonder // thoughts from the big apple

a Thursday post by Bleah Briann from Lovely 
currently listening to: gyspy by suzanne vega 

I’ve been thinking a lot about wonder, wonder and awe and the beauty that inspires it. I think, however, the deepest and truest form of awe, the kind the bears forth creativity – I believe the kind of awe that inspires writers and painters, musicians and artists of every field, is the awe that is inspired by the beauty of experience and not merely the beauty that we see with our eyes.
I recently spent a couple of weeks up north (as I’m originally from Texas). It was my first time being that far away from home since I was a very little girl. When I was five we took a trip to New Jersey and I hadn’t flown since. To be honest I didn’t think I would like the experience. I found myself on the phone with my boyfriend at five in the morning waiting in the check line trying not to cry. I was carrying around three heavy bags, all by myself in an airport getting ready to fly to New York City. My emotions, to say the very least, were more than conflicting. I will always be grateful to a cheery, thoughtful flight attendant with a glass of ginger ale and some pretzels.
I landed in New York and took a shuttle to our ritzy hotel in Time Square. The clash of diamonds, silk, and doorman with the dirt, grime, and pushy salesman on the way to my hotel were incredibly overwhelming and much different from my little Suburbia here in Southeast Texas. It was beautiful though, the people and the diversity they brought with them. The lights and the surreal feeling of finally being somewhere iconic instead of somewhere so misunderstood as the Lonestar state. In the midst of it all, passing Park Avenue (Just like monopoly!) and pulling up in front of the infamous spot where the ball would drop in just a week, I never thought that I would be spending my Christmas Eve in one of the most iconic spots in the world.
My trip was truly remarkable, a few of my favorite spots included Central Park, Greenwich Village (not pronounced phonetically, I’m glad I learned this from Extremely Loud before the trip), and Grand Central Station, if you’re ever there you should really take a peek at the whispering corners. They were pretty impressive, and whimsical.
I also spent a few days in D.C. looking through beautiful museums and enjoying fabulous food. I saw Le Mis in a national theater and went on a midnight tour of all of the monuments. My cousins and I also took a playful visit to the Zoo, and I ventured out to the subways on my own to take a peek at Georgetown and found a very hipster-esque paradise on my last day for a salted caramel hot cocoa and chat with a Scottish boy.
I came back full of awe and wonder, partially over the sights. The majesty of Central Park, the joy of seeing the Washington Square Arch, The Lincoln Memorial even, the view from Brooklyn Bridge was also pretty astounding.  At the end of the day though, I think the most wonder I found was in the feeling of floating 39,000 feet in the air, of the way my heart echoed the sound piano as the man played in Greenwich. Of being somewhere so many people had been before me. You see, real wonder, I’ve come to find, is in the feelings and the memories. Real inspiration comes from doing things and taking it all in, it also comes from finding out what means the most to you and why. I can’t wait to travel the world, learn the customs, and see the sights. I can’t wait to fill my life with inspiration from every corner of the globe – I also can’t wait for the cup of coffee I’m going to have with my friend today after Kickboxing and the way seeing her for the first time in a week is going to make me feel. You see loves, it’s all about the little things that make you happy. And not what anyone else says about them.

my name is bleah briann, i am an english major in my second semester of college in southwest texas. i'm not very good at a lot of endeavors, but writing is something that i seem to be fairly good at and i've tried to harness all of my creativity into that field for a couple of years now. blogging has helped me do that. you can read more about me as well as some of the other readers here. or you can just head over to my blog and meet me personally for yourself at lovely. i hope you have a really beautiful day and i'm incredibly excited to be writing for this blog!


where the ocean roars like thunder and my heart pounds like mad.

there's this place on the east coast. our family travels there every year. it's my second home, really.
it's a place i know like the back of my hand, where the ocean roars and seagulls fly. every night someone down by the city would set off fireworks and we would watch a movie and ooh and aah over the lights that sparkle in the sky. from our window you could see the lights of the night city light up along the sea. i can taste the salty air now. it's a place my heart has been longing for. this place i call home for just a few weeks out of every year. soon, though, i'll be back there, playing the in the water, searching for shells along the shore, enjoying family time. yes, i can't wait.

for those of you who don't know me, my name is gracie. i'm fifteen years-old, the oldest of four.
if i could i would eat blackberries all day, every day, and i like the color yellow. 
i blog over at hello sunshine. nice to meet you, friend!


look at the stars; look how they shine for you.

take the stars, for instance. have you ever looked at them? like, really looked at them? it's okay if you haven't, i'm just asking. because to be honest, i haven't really looked at them either; until now.

when we're young, and we're learning about numbers and colours and how to be polite and we're in that asking questions stage, we're bound to ask a question about day and night. why is it light at this time and dark at this time? and our mothers would say because light is for being awake and dark is for sleeping. light is when we're alive, and night is when we regain our strength because being alive can make us tired sometimes. at least, that's what my mom told me. and we'd always counter with why? why does it do that?

but after awhile, do you notice how we stop asking questions and just accept the fact that the sun rises and sets and the moon hangs in the sky; sometimes lopsided, sometimes not. after awhile, we kind of forget about it. we start to get subconscious, because we expect it to happen. for instance, if you went to a coffeeshoppe for years and ordered the same thing everytime, you'd expect the baristas to know you and what you always got, right? you'd be a regular. and the sun and the moon and the stars are regulars. and we are subconscious and we forget about them. because we know they're going to happen. never failing, unlike most other things in life.

and when it comes to our lives, we begin to expect some things. sure, life always changes and looking back we then see just how much, but there are some things in life that will never change. they're not really exciting. just expected. they're... usual. they're mundane. and after awhile, we look for something to make everything exciting. we look to find extra in the ordinary, except we don't look to the ordinary for the extra. and that's not fair to the stars.

shakespeare wrote in julius caesar that: "the fault, dear brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." are you beginning to realise it now? we blame the stars, the mundane, the everyday and the expected because our lives don't seem as bright and action-packed as other people's lives. so sometimes, we look to parts of other people's lives (that we haven't even experienced) and try to fluff our lives up to make them seem trendy and more interesting. if you haven't done it, have you at least thought about it?

right, now, back to the stars. they're this huge, big phenomenon that only God fully understands. and we, no matter where we live, can never really see the full beauty of them. unless we're literally among them. they're so bright, so poignant and selfless, shining on us so we can see everything they have to offer, and we blow it off because they're not good enough. and in a way, it signifies life. there is so much extra in all of this ordinary. life is this huge, big phenomenon that not even the smartest person can come to fully understand and God has given it to us, so selfless, so that He can show us what we can do with it. and yet we try to trade our dim stars for another one's bright and sometimes, we want the world to see what they have to offer and not us. but what we have to offer is just as brilliant. what your life has to offer is fantastic and even i don't know what it has in store. but there is so much extra in its ordinary, and even if there isn't, the ordinary is extraordinarily beautiful. so i treasure it, immensely, reminding myself that what i have it good enough and worthy to be seen by others, and i want others to let themselves to see their lives the way i do. the way God does. 

so here we are, the AOU team, back in the races, so to speak. we've got old faces and new, a new face on our space here on the internet, and we've reevaluated who we are and our purpose in writing this blog. so there's new things coming and they're just as great as what we had going before. and we admit that our posts were sometimes half-hearted because we were... well... we had one of those days where we felt like our lives weren't interesting enough to post about. we have those days and we want to embrace them and post them anyway, and we want to give you the courage to do the same thing. we want you to know that you're not alone. that we are on your side. so this is us, seven girls and one mission, and we are dying to share it with you. 

bleah: I think that the point of blogging has always been a personal endeavor towards finding others who share our same thoughts and ideas, people who can enrich and shape who we are, and mainly just not to feel alone. This, I think is also the main going of AOU, one that in the past has been incredibly successful and I’m sure will continue to be. I am honored to be a part of something that will become bigger than any of the creators I’m sure will ever know. AOU, I believe, is a common goal to bring people together, relate, empathize, and grow. 
eve: In my eyes, AOU is a cozy little nook in which secrets are shared, dreams are dreamed, & extraordinary is found in the everyday ordinary. It's a place where simplicity is embraced, thoughtful reflections are coaxed out into the open, & where inspiration abounds in plenty. Our mission is to inspire, encourage, & chronicle the little & often overlooked moments hidden amidst our ordinary, & yet not-so-ordinary, lives.
abby: Ordinary is okay sometimes, you know? Sometimes it's in the quiet that we hear the loudest. Sometimes it's in the ordinary that we find something we've never found before, something real and beautiful and unique. I think the true meaning of “ordinary” has gotten distorted over time. Ordinary does not have to be boring, does not have to be dull, does not have to be same. Maybe you’ll find our lives a mix between ordinary and crazy. Isn't everyone’s?
stephanie: I believe that at AOU, we are an outreach. We are an outreach to bring hope. We want to form a group of girls of faith and inspiration. We are team of aspiring photographers, writers, and creative geniuses (in the making of course). We want to share a testimony of dreams and share it with others. We want to show that something can come from nothing if you just believe. We want to inspire the greatness in you. We want to make the world a better place one girl at a time. I believe our mission at AOU is to all these things, but simply to just be ordinarily us. To show that ordinary is just alright, but to show girls how to be a different kind of ordinary.
gracie: an ordinary utopia is a blog that is exactly what is says: an ordinary utopia. it is a place where flawed and ordinary lives come together to share and connect. it is a special place where we, as a collective of creatives all around the world, can come and share our ordinary lives in one place, with the hope of inspiring others to enjoy the ordinary, beautiful mundane. welcome to an ordinary utopia.
candace: AOU is place for reality to not only make a home, but to spread its glory for all to relate to. a place to cry, to laugh, to smile, to share, to make friends; a place to just be. AOU is on a mission to knock down the walls of pretentiousness and share the real lives of real people.

i hope that, one day, we'll all sit on one big blanket with our favourite treats and book quotes tucked behind our ears, up high for the northern lights, or even here, in my part of texas where the bugs are infinitely bigger. but hopefully we'll all be there, laughing and letting ourselves experience what we've been passing by for the majority of our lives.

and i know, i just know, that it'll be great. so welcome home to all of us on the team, and welcome to all of you. please, put your feet up. we don't allow shoes on in here; make yourself comfortable.
xx, jocee, gracie, abby, candace, bleah, eve, and stephie.