Do you remember in Eat Pray Love when Liz has dinner with her Italian friends and they talk about their word? If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, it’s that idea that every city has a word that defines it and so does every person. I always loved that thought but never really could settle on my word.
It felt like filling out one of those friendship books in elementary school about favorite meals and colors and movies and then perusing the pages to read what others wrote, only to find out it was all so generically similar. It was more about being liked by others and not so much about being true to yourself.
So let me reintroduce myself. While there are many words that would describe me or parts of me or past versions of me, there was never one that stuck as being ultimately me. Sometime last year I told the boy I just met, and who later became my boyfriend, about that very concept and movie scene when I suddenly realized: I have three words, not one.
Writer. Wanderer. Wildflower.
One of my earliest memories is of little me at 4 years old spending the summer with my late grandma in the Austrian Alps making up a story of twin sisters named Tammy and Terry fighting over a rusty orange sweater, which weirdly is all I remember about it. My grandma always called me a natural storyteller and I think it stuck with me ever since. I have always been a writer. I have always kept journals, written letters, and postcards, and reflected on things both as they happened and in hindsight as long as I can remember. Thinking, writing, and sharing are very me.
Writing is in my very bones. I am more in my head than seems humanly possible and one way to get out of my own head is through writing it down (the other is by reading books). I have always been reluctant to call myself a writer because it is not the job that pays the bills for me.
I was belittled whenever I mentioned that writing is how I want to make a living, rather than encouraged, and I was never in a place of truly believing I could, myself. I don’t know if it was the pandemic or turning 40 this year but my perspective changed. I realized as long as I write, I am a writer and I am allowed to pursue something that feels so innately right.
The wanderer part of my personality struck me equally young. As much as I honor the place I was born and grew up in, I never identified with it. I find it kind of funny how people visiting Vienna end up romanticizing it. I felt more at home traveling through India with my backpack, contemplating shaving my head at the ghats of Varanasi or wandering the streets of Brooklyn, New York City where I lived back in 2004. Home was always more a feeling than a place, and it still is. I am also a wanderer when it comes to exploring new cuisines, and new facets of life in general. I am a searcher by nature.
Other than a fresh cup of coffee, nothing makes me happier than repotting a new plant or carrying a fresh colorful bouquet home (my favorites are blush peonies for my birthdays, dahlias, and tulips year-round – hint hint). My grandma used to call me her little wildflower. As a child, I was a vibrant daydreamer, courageous and bold. My grandma used to say that she prays I’ll find someone who appreciates my wildness and never has the urge to tame me.
I had to grow older to appreciate her words. I am a wildflower in the sense that I never cared much about so-called rules and how things should be done. And even though I have always lived in cities, I am a mountain baby through and through, a wild girl at heart! Looking back, it’s funny how my grandma has known so many things about me so early on, that ultimately would happen to become true.
Let Me Reintroduce Myself
Back in 2011, I started a blog some of you might still remember. It was more like another online diary about dieting and weight loss. It grew to become more of a place to share my favorite things and less about my body. Honestly, I have grown to become tired of that body positivity narrative. People change, and bodies change. If the only interesting thing about my life is how much weight I lost and gained over the years, that would be a rather disappointing legacy, wouldn’t it?
Over the last few years, I came back times and times again but couldn’t get myself to revive the blog and stay consistent for several reasons. Working through the archives, and learning SEO amongst other things seemed such a daunting task. That being said, I realized how much I missed blogging, writing, sharing, and talking to people and the whole community around it.
Some say blogs are dead, I disagree, I think they are more important than ever (even Drew Barrymore blogs now). I went through my archives and cut and deleted mercilessly and re-edited what I still stand by and what seems worth sharing in order to reintroduce myself. The whole concept was shaped into an idea of what it could be if I started anew.
What does that mean for The Menzini Files?
I want to bring back blog post series I loved putting together, which were popular amongst my readers as well, like the Monday Madness link list for a fun read-through, the Behind The Print interview series where I talk to designers and their creative process, and I plan on doing a Monthly Memo of sorts about current favorites – think songs, books, recipes, and the likes. I aim for regular blog posts around three times a week. Also, my monthly blog column Pieces will be back and I already have new ideas in the works for the upcoming year.
One of them will be a newsletter for all the ’90s kids by heart amongst us called Haunted Hearts – please sign up here to be among the first ones to receive a hefty dose of nostalgia in your inbox!
I will use affiliate links that I always tag and collaborations will always be marked clearly as well. I aim to be very transparent on TMF and gladly answer any questions that may arise around that subject.
And I am thrilled to be working again with web design mastermind and my dear friend Carissa Allen from Hearten Made. We are currently working on bringing TMF to ShowIt next year and giving the design a little refresh while we are at it.
Who is the Menzini Files For?
The Menzini Files is for you if you are looking for an inclusive hub on the internet for all things fun, fierce, empowering, and self-care-focused. We just want to be us without trying too hard, you know?! We talk about design, travel, wellness, books, beauty, curate mixtapes, and have therapy talks over a good cup of coffee. We are at a point in our lives where we don’t have anything to prove. We just want to share and talk candidly about life while raving about our new favorite face mask and upcoming travel destination and that song that brings back all the memories… We just enjoy life over here, join us!
Look through the files, have fun, stay a while and leave a comment. Thank you so much!