Category Archives: thoughts

Caught up in the Whirlwind

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved

A year ago I was closing in on a year of blogging every day.  Every morning I sat down with my laptop to write and share photographs.  I had organized my week into themed days to give me a constructive outline of what to share with the world when.  I knew not everyone who came to my blog would read every day.  However with wanting to share the many facets of myself knew that what may not appeal to one reader on one day, may appeal to them on the next.  I spent quite a bit of time connecting with readers, who became friends, through various social media outlets.  I even got away from my computer and to blogging events and blates (blogger dates).

 Then in the late Spring of this year my presence online became quiet.  Which is not a new thing for my blog to experience.  A few times since the creation of it in 2005, have I had to step back for a while.  I honestly believe it can be the best thing for bloggers.  If you have ever had a blogging break than perhaps you understand.  I had not meant to be quiet for so long and time just kept getting away from me.

Caught up in the Whirlwind.

This is a term we use at work from the book The Four Disciplines of Execution.  It is a great visual about how we can easily lose sight on goals when trying to keep up with everything at once.  I have recently found myself much like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, swept up by everything going on. In the end it has left me feeling quite lost.

With unneeded stress in just one area of my life it has had a rippling effect on to all the others.   Reflecting on it all I felt as if it left me starving creatively. I had not picked up my DSLR camera in months. I had not written any stories, poems, and hardly any blog posts aside from the weekly #TravelTuesday linkup.  I have not devoted much time to art at home and work has been so busy with day-to-day clients. I feel like I have been grasping at anything to stay grounded.  In the last few months I Luckily had the opportunity of being in another theatre production, which gave me a lifeline to my creative spirit.  Yet my life and my schedule stayed ever busy and the whirlwind has just kept spinning.

Fast forward to about a month ago when I suffered a shoulder injury. Not sure how it happened but it impacted the whole length of my arm and has resulted in missing some time off of work. I would love to say that I have spent every moment of it writing for National Novel writing Month, doing yoga and mediation, taking photographs, and spending time with my family. However the lack of being able to use my arm fully, the pain, the fact that my family is at work/school it has been less on the side of a vacation from the whirlwind and more so like experiencing cabin fever.  I greatly look up to anyone who has to work through pain on a daily basis because it can be so deabilitating and frustrating to say the least.  I look forward to having a relaxing vacation in a sunny climate sometime in the future. But for now  I cannot wait to get back to work.  To get back into a better and healthier rhythm of life once again.  To have calmed down and tamed the whirlwind.

Off the cusp of this moment I have found the time to write out this post and share that I do miss writing here in this space.  The outlet and being able to connect with all of you has been something I have missed.  I more likely will not be blogging every day again at this moment.  I do aim to share more as I regain balance in my life once again.  Thank you for all the messages and for coming back to A Compass Rose again.

I am trying to touch base more often on Twitter/Facebook and you can always find me on Instagram and Pinterest as well.

The War on Girls: Beauty

I love people. As a photographer I love photographing people because of how we are all different.  I like that we do not all look a like.  That we each carry our own personal armoire of stories, scars, and triumphs.  To me a person is not really beautiful because of their skin, their body type, or what clothes they wear. I love finding the beauty in people.  I love hearing what makes a person happy, what drives their passions, and hearing about their hopes and dreams.  That moment where a person opens their mouth to speak fueled by the ignite of life behind their eyes.  Eyes really are the windows to a person’s soul and why I love to photograph people.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe everyone should be able to see and realise their own beauty and worth. 

We can be our own worst critics, seeing the faults in ourselves that no one else can see.  To find things unworthy of beauty that are our personal characteristics. To dislike things about ourselves that others in fact love about us.  Since we need our reflection we spend more time seeing others than seeing ourselves. Yet some of us spend more time scrutinizing and critiquing ourselves. 

This week remind yourself of how beautiful you are and how precious is your life. Then make sure to encourage the girls and women in your life.  We are made beautiful. We have the power to live beautiful lives.  It just takes the belief in yourself.  See the world as a beautiful place and life will look beautiful to you.
* photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Confessions of a Blogger

With the I was tagged by Kolbi with the Confessions of a Blogger post that has been going around the blogosphere.  With so many new readers it felt like the perfect time to jump right in and play along.  The rules are simple.  Answer the nine provided confessions, including the one written by the person who tagged you and come up with a tenth to answer.  

1. When did you first start blogging and why
I started blogging days before my first son was born in 2005.  I started this blog under it’s previous name ‘Mummy Paparazzi’ as a way to share photographs of my son to my friends and family who lived all over the globe.

2. Have you had any past online presence?
Yes.  I am thirty now, but I grew up with the internet. As a teenager I fell in love with web design, creating custom graphics in photoshop, and was a web mistress for a band I loved. With my career in the hairdressing and beauty industry I grew my online presence through Myspace, and later through Facebook and Twitter. Now social media is a huge part of my online presence both as a blogger and as a photographer.

3. When did you become serious about your blog?
I take that to mean when I started tailoring my blog for public consumption and not just for my family members.  When we made the big move from Hawaii to England I became more serious about my blogging and wanting to keep it updated regularly. It was in the beginning of 2013 that I realised there was a whole expat blogging community and decided to start blogging every day.

4. What was your first blog post.
My very first post on the 4th of January 2005 was entitled Waiting in the Wings.  A one paragraph post about what my life was like at that moment, waiting for my first child to be born.  We were in between places and on our way to move to Arizona where my husband would be joining the military.  It was the prelude to a new chapter in our life.

5. What have been your biggest challenges blogging.
Keeping up with my blog through the ups and downs with life.  While I created this blog in 2005 there have been some times in my life where blogging needed to be put on the back burner.  Luckily I was always able to come back to my blog and also able to put focus where it needed to be in my life during those times.  Though out the challenges I am glad I was able to keep up with my blog to continue to archive my nomadic life.

6. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
I do love having an archive of photographs and blog posts about my life through out the years.  While that is a personal reward, my blogging reward is all the relationships I have made through having this space in the blogosphere.  The people who have connected with my words, who have been moved by my photographs, and connect with this blog.  Even more so to me is the blogging community who has given so much to me.  All the blogs that I connect to, the posts that have impacted my life, and the bloggers who reach out to me and have become my friend. I am more appreciative to the blogging community than I think anyone will ever truly know.

7. What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?

The most discouraging is the negative side that shows up.  The people who tear others down and the people who write negative things they would never have the face to say in person. I have seen bloggers who have been bullied online and I honestly do not understand how anyone would have the time to exert to such ugliness. Luckily I have seen way more encouraging and uplifting bloggers and readers that go above and beyond to build people up.

8. What is your lasting inspiration or motivation?
For me it is to be true to who I am.  I do not just post pretty photographs of a ‘perfect’ life living abroad in Europe.  I share the good and the bad. I share what inspires and motivates me. I share the beauty around me.  I share what I love and what I am passionate about to my readers.  As a Third Culture Kid, my blog does not have a simple theme.  It has may facets as I have a chameleon soul. However the lasting motivation to blog is to blog for myself and my brand. 

9. What is your blogging dirty little secret? (Question asked by Kolbi)
While I try my best to write blog posts in advance and have many scheduled that way, I do not stick to that method.  I often write blog posts first thing when I wake up in the morning.  There is something about having that special time to myself and writing first thing in the morning. I also sometimes tend to talk out loud as I write…it is just part of my impromptu writing process. 

Crystal from A Happy Type
Lindsey from A Broad’s World
Melanie from Melanie Fontaine
Gina from Sweet Serenity
Mandy from Emm in London
Jacintha from Urban Pixxels
Anna from Eat, See, Do 
Shobha from NYLon Living
Annie at Sew Graceful
Samantha from To the Days Like This

My question for them is…

10. What is your current goal as a blogger?My answer: My current goal is to blog every day and aside from having an unforeseen blackout from the internet for a few days I have kept to that since February. I want to continue that through to the 2014.
Want to do this Post?
Whether I tagged you or you want to join in all you have to do is answer the nine questions and add your own for the tenth.  If you have been tagged but do not have the time,  no worries. I would love to see your answers so please put a link to your post in the comment section below!

* Image custom to ACR by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

The War on Girls: ‘inDependent’

In this next installment of The War on Girls I take another look at how society is failing us.  I feel the need to preempt this with the fact you may not whole heartedly agree with me.  I am not a medical professional and I do not claim that all medications are unnecessary.  Perhaps you function perfectly well with them and live a ‘normal’ life.  Or maybe you are living in a part of the world where it seems unfathomable and unbelievable that one could live a life dependent on anything but a superior being. Then again maybe this story will be all too real for you and a truth you too share.  Which ever walk of life brings you to The War on Girls series at ACR, I thank you for your open mind and taking the time to hear my words.  
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
There was a time in my life where I was dependent on drugs just to get through the day.  I was taking them to fight off the depression and anxiety that plagued my life after the sudden death of my father and during a near divorce in my marriage. Out in public, even with friends, anxiety attacks would make me want to rush home and just be alone.  In my solitude I could not find comfort and the emptiness would swallow me up.  I did not feel safe in my own skin.  My pills became my security blanket, helping me to feel…well to feel nothing.  They did not make me happy and they could not make me forget. However, a quick swallow and life would just slow down for a long enough moment that I could relax and calm down. My depression weighted on me heavily and often I just wanted to sleep.  Something my medication helped me do easily.  I may have not been having to feel the entirety of my sadness but I was not living life fully either. 
It was not the solution I had sought after for myself.  I had tried to be independent and take it all on by myself.  Even my closest friends did not know what I was keeping to myself.  My religion told me I could take it all on with prayer and my nomadic free spirit pushed me to carry the weight myself. But when it got to be all too much after my father’s funeral, my mum urged me to see a doctor for medical help.  I had seen therapists before and I was hungry to talk to someone.  To have someone hear me who could listen and offer advice.  My psychiatrist however spent more time filling out my prescription than he did asking about how I was doing or listening to what I had to say.  I became seduced by the magical idea that a miracle pill could help me. After all it had helped friends I know.  Was I buying into the idea that having prescriptions was trendy? I was too sad and too anxious to focus on anything but change my current state of mind. 
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

“There were issues with the dosage while I was taking it as they tried to find the right amount over the course of my treatment. After getting my dosage raised once and still taking it in the morning, it would knock me out so quickly. I would not even know I was getting tired until I was fast asleep. It was more than that it was the way it took away the passion and the heart of my personality. I may have not been myself with dealing with everything going on in my life, but I was definitely not me on Klonopin either. My emotions felt very flat and if I was needing to take another pill I could be really irritable and upset. I remember just wanting to be alone a lot of the time. Being around my in-laws at all brings on a lot of stress and I just sat in a closet once during the Christmas holiday to find some quiet and past out amongst the coats and the darkness until my husband found me. There did not seem to be an end to this tunnel because it was masking the problems. It was not fixing the loss of my dad or the cracks in my marriage.” 

– Excerpt from ‘Overcoming Klonopin’

You can click the link above in the excerpt to read the whole story of my personal journey with taking Klonopin.  In the end I found alternative people with optional solutions to help me find my happiness.  I realised that it was okay to ask for help and that I would have to rely on myself and be okay with that fact.  While I cannot change my past I look at my experience as a way to connect and reach out to others.  I cannot help but think that people like me have been failed by society and the people around us.  In a world where it is so much easier to find a medicinal answer to our ailments instead of a solution for the underlining problems.  Where everyone wants to get the job done and fix things but no one wants to take the time to listen.  Where we feel too scared to reach out to our friends when we are ourselves drowning in pain.  When as girls it is easier to just say we should ‘see a doctor’ or be put on medication then to see us as beautiful, raw, individuals with our individual flaws.  I have in-laws who continue to see me as a broken individual, a fragile rose with thorns, a person who should always have to see a doctor. Why?  For the believe that depression never ‘really’ goes away.  Who makes these rules and puts these shackles on us just because we are girls who feel ever pain and strain of the world around us?  Why must the girls of this world be made to feel like we are worth less and unable to be built up stronger than ever before?
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
I am happy to say that I found my happiness in England.  The anxiety attacks which still plagued me every now and then up until 2011 stopped as soon as I relocated back to Europe.  It amazes me that the personal triggers and situations that I knew all too well, do not phase me in my ex-pat life abroad.  I finally feel like myself.  I am not saying I do not ever get sad. I am not immune to monthly mood swings, culture shock and homesickness.  I recognize that things like ‘seasonal depression’ do exist with the changing seasons and shorter days.  For me personally I focus on a more positive look at life and I know what things can quickly turn my mood around. Cuddles from my boys, kisses from my husband, and being outside on a country walk do more for me than my pills could have done.  It makes me thankful to know that life does get better.
The photographs in this post were from my project, Secret Lies of Men & Women.  The middle image pictured was the main image chosen to represent my woman who was dependent on drugs and alcohol. The lie written on her hand states ‘i am inDEPENDENT’.  I chose to write the the word ‘dependent’ in all caps as it was the real truth visible in the image series. 

*Model: Pua | Make-up Artist: Dhyana Leung
**Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

The War on Girls: Poetry Slam

I have gotten a really great response from you all about my War on Girl series.  So when I saw this video on Upworthy today I knew I had to share it here on the blog. It expresses so beautiful in the use of poem form the pressure we as women feel to take up less space in the world.  This does not start as women, this begins as girls as we watch the woman around us.  I cannot say more about this because the video speaks volumes.  Meet Lily Myers whose poetry slam ‘Shrinking Women‘ won Best Love Poem at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in April. 

Watch the Video via Upworthy

“You have been taught to grow out, I have been taught to grow in. You learn from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence. You used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much. I learned to absorb. I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself. I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters.” – Lily Myers (Shrinking Women)
Q: How did this video make you feel about the way society treats 
women and men in today’s world? Tell me your thoughts!