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by Kate Klassa

by Ryan Dam

In these modern, internet-addled times, it’s easy for authentic personal connections to fall by the wayside in the wake of a digital presence. Social media gives users the option to stay in touch with loved ones no matter how far away, and yet too often social media is used as a way to be lazy with our relationships. Why bother figuring out what time you can call a friend multiple time zones away when you can watch her life in real time on Snapchat? Why take the time to handwrite a thank you to a family member when a Facebook message accomplishes the same purpose?

The convenience of social media in keeping us updated on our loved ones’ lives can kill our ability to maintain real relationships if we let it, particularly those relationships conducted over a long distance. To counter this, here are three things I do to ensure I keep up with real friendships:

Send handwritten notes, just because. Many of my friends are spread out across the country, and while it’s easy to informed of their lives via the internet, it’s also fun to send notes to let them know you’re thinking of them. Handwritten notes require more time and effort than online messaging, and the sentiment is almost always appreciated. Plus, everyone likes receiving real mail.

Regularly schedule Skype sessions. This is one most people do, but sometimes we forget to make a regular habit of it. Video-calling friends and family allows you not only to see their face and hear their voice, but can also let you into how they live their daily lives. I often Skype my friends when I’m cooking dinner or doing some other normal life activity, and it’s a good way to get something necessary done while still having time for a friend.

Engage with their online content with more than just a like and a comment. Whenever a friend shares big news online, whether it’s happy or sad, their posts are often inundated with well wishes and it’s easy for your comments to get lost in the mix. I like to follow up seeing a piece of news with an email or a private message congratulating them and asking them more about it, the way I would if they had told me their news in person.

Showing appreciation to your long distance friends and relatives for being in your life requires a little more time and energy than the casual acquaintances on social media. But maintaining meaningful contact ensures that you aren’t lazy in your relationships and lets the other person know how much you care about them.

Head over to Kate Klassa's blog A Little Life to find out more about this lovely explorer. 
by Isabel Marcelo

I never thought of myself as a writer. I never wanted to be a writer. I’ve wanted to be many things growing up but a writer was never one of them. 

I’ve always used writing as a form of expression. I never thought too much about it. It was just something I did. It was natural for me to grab a pen and paper and write whatever came to me or whatever emotions were inside of me. 

Creative writing was a strength of mine in school. I’d always get praise and good grades from it. But I never paid attention to that. I never saw writing as an option for me. 

To me, a writer was someone who was super smart and studied literature and read a book a day and spoke like a human thesaurus. So calling myself a writer was completely out of the question. Yet, I’d continue to write.

The first piece of writing I have is a journal entry written on a small piece of paper. I have no memory of writing it but when I found it–what I wrote didn’t surprise me. 

I was 7 years-old and was confused because my Dad kept changing his mind about our family going camping. Confusion was a consistent emotion for me as a child. And though I don’t remember writing that entry, I do remember being confused about why my Dad kept changing his mind. (And just in case you were wondering, we never did end up going camping.)

One of the first pieces of writing that I took seriously was a song. I had a phase during my pre-teen years where I wanted to be a singer. I grew up with a Dad who was a singer so it was pretty natural for me to love music.

But also, I was really into that Nickelodeon show, Unfabulous–you know, the one with Emma Roberts where she writes a song about literally everything, from that boy she has a crush on to a new pair of shoes? Dope show. Highly recommend it.

I was 11 years-old and it was my last year of primary school. Next year I’d be going to high school–a school that none of my friends were going to–and I had a mix of emotions about it. I was scared of leaving my friends but I was excited for a new chapter to begin. So I wrote a song about it. I still remember the chorus:
I do but I don’t wanna go that way
On a different day
‘Cause it’s gonna be a scary ride
For the first time in my life

I know… How did I not turn out like Adele???

For my 14th birthday I got gifted a notebook from my two friends, Beth and Larissa. It was in a The Notebook care package. Along with it came The Notebook novel by Nicholas Sparks and the film on DVD. I guess I really liked The Notebook?

My birthday is in November and summer would be starting soon, so I made the decision to document my summer in this journal. After that summer, I never stopped journaling. I continued buying more notebooks to document my life. It was the start of me writing consistently. It’s probably the only thing I’ve kept consistent in my life.

I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years: hospitality, retail, event management, photography, videography, social media, acting, philosophy… Some of these I still do in a way today, and some I’ve abandoned.

Through everything, writing was the one thing I stuck with. I probably only stuck with it because I didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t put any pressure on myself when it came to writing. It was all for fun and for self-expression. It wasn’t something I felt the need to share, it was purely for me.

Eventually, when I did start sharing my writing, something magic started to happen–I started connecting with people. Some of them I’d never even met before.

I’d share my words and strangers would tell me how much they could relate or how much I helped them. It encouraged me to continue sharing my writing. Slowly, I started taking my writing more seriously and delving into other forms outside of journaling.

I experimented with blogging, journalism, copywriting, poetry, prose… Trying different forms of writing helped me to understand what I liked and didn’t like about writing. It also helped me to understand myself even more.

Writing was the one thing that helped me feel less alone. I’d always felt a sense of loneliness. Not in a way where I felt like I had no friends, more in a philosophical way.

Connecting with people through my writing made me feel less lonely. Like what I was feeling had been felt by others. It brought that sense of togetherness.

There was never an epiphany when it came to my love for writing. But once I started sharing my words, I felt the need to keep going.

The thought that I could affect even just one person with my writing gave me more purpose and fulfilment than anything else ever had. I craved that feeling, I craved that human connection, and as a result - I craved writing and sharing my words.

We all have issues. We all have troubles we have to deal with. I know for me, in this crazy brain of mine, it can sometimes get a little overwhelming. But when I write, life seems to get a little clearer, and it brings me back to myself. And when I share my words, it brings me back to life.

I never wanted to be a writer but I’m glad I found my way to it.


Go over to Isabel's instagram and blog to find out more about this lovely soul and her daily adventures in London.
By Yuki Motokane
Derek Liang

deafening heart
there are some days
when the absence of stars
turns the horizon into
a beautiful void
there are some days
when my ears deafen
not from brilliant supernovas
but the beating of my heart.
By Annabelle Mayor

Brooke Cagle

"What's your love in 3 words?"

The question was posed in a beauty campaign where celebrities listed what love means
to them. Cheesy, I know, and not the sort of place you’d expect to find a philosophical
thought starter. But there I was, trying to condense this juggernaut of a human emotion
into 3 words.

What is love anyway? An intense affection? A great interest? Warm, personal attachment? (Dictionary.com is so sweet.)

At the time, friendship was the first word that popped into my head. Family was the next. Then food, since I seemed to be listing words beginning with ‘f’. What else did love mean to me? I realised I hadn't given it much thought since stumbling through my first romance as a teenager. I remember it being thrilling and bewildering in equal measures, my head swaying between “is this really happening?” and “what the hell even is happening?” I spent nights analysing my feelings before falling asleep confused, deflated, or so happy I could burst.

Not every romance is the same, of course, but I've been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to witness a pattern that unfolds each time. Love is an unexpected twist. It's songs making sense. It's a blinding obsession. A calming storm. A warm fondness. A losing game. A distant memory.

But that's only one kind of love. Going back to friends and family (and food), these loves less all-consuming but for me, always more lasting and resilient. What defined them?

Is it a fierce protectiveness? Care and attention? Mutual, unwavering support? After all my deliberating, I decided that having a succinct definition of love didn’t really matter. I think love lives in actions rather than words. It's a ‘how you say it’ rather than a ‘what you say’ situation.

It's in the pancakes my mum makes for me on my birthdays. It's in the books and magazines my dad hands me because he thinks I'll find them interesting. It's in the conversations with friends where insecurities are shared, understood, then made to disappear by waves of compliments. It's in the times you don't tear yourself apart in front of the mirror, letting yourself exist as you are, whole and enough.

To love someone is to build them up. To love someone is to give them room to grow. To love someone is also to tell them so and mean it. But most of all, love exists outside of words.


Head over to Annabelle's blog or Instagram to find out more about this lovely Londoner blogger. 
Written by Hannah Cao

Jared Rice
Spring is here – and so are the cherry blossoms and the warm sunshine and love, love, love in the air. But not just love between people, but also self-love, just as it should be. This is the time to treat yourself on stunning days. We hope you don't forget about that.

Our first issue, Rose-coloured girl, centers around love, self-love and appreciation, so, for now, we're sharing all the pieces we've gather inside the Editorial Team and also from contributors and illustrators right here, on this site. So stay tuned on our social media and make sure to check back often for essays, short stories, poems, photography, illustrations and more! 

All you need is love.
At the end of the day you come to realise that everything you do and think about is just another connection to the feeling and emotion that makes us all the same: rose-coloured cheeks indicating every kind of love.
Love, appreciation and most of all, self-love. That's when you'll feel complete.
Because love will find you. 
Even when you don’t.
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