Fashion, lifestyle, Outfits, Photography
Fashion, lifestyle, Outfits, Photography
How much of your childhood do you remember? How vivid are your memories? Do you get flashbacks sporadically or often? How much of your childhood influences you today? And what parts exactly? I do sometimes find myself thinking about my life now and how I envisioned my life to be back when I was say . . . 8 years old. My 8 year old self would probably be super disappointed, because I thought I was going to be prom queen at 18, married by 26 and with child by 30. And the truth is, I never went to prom (instead I went skateboarding and got stoned with my friends in a hidden nook in the valley) and I’m 27 and I am definitely not even a speckle close to saying “I DO” to anyone, let alone give birth. But you know what, my 27 year old self is totally okay with these facts. When I was 8 years old, the idea of me being 27 felt light years away. I had all the time in the WORLD to accomplish my dreams. Everything felt possible, yet my future was still one big haze in my head. I couldn’t imagine what it would actually be like to be an adult. And then all of a sudden, you wake up, and BAM . . . there you are . . . in your mid-twenties, single, working too many hours, going on far too many bad Tinder dates, bags under your eyes feeling far too heavy, the book on your bedside table left unread for way too long, and your roommate is still taking her sweet time in the bathroom even though you are 15 minutes late to work. Where did the time go? WHERE?!? I’ve had many a moment where I’d stop and just stare at myself in the mirror and be like, “What the fuck am I doing with my life. This is not right. Say it ain’t so.” But then a little flash of sunshine sprouts up somewhere and you get on the roller coaster of happiness for a little bit, and then up and down you go all over again. But that’s just life. Not the life we expected out of ourselves when we were just kids, but life nonetheless.
When did we start overlooking the small things? When did that switch happen exactly? And I realized that the things that we do pay attention to the most seem to lean more towards the negative. A subway ride so packed that you can hardly breathe at all. The horrible date you went on last night and can’t stop taking about to your friends with. The 5 bills you forgot to pay this month. Repeating “shit, shit shit” over and over again our heads because everything in our life just feels like complete, well, shit. When it comes down to analyzing these nit-picky situations, these things that are really so short-lived and changeable, yet so gnawing on our brains that we think they become life or death situations when really they are far, far from such a thing. As adults, have we really lost all aspects of our childhood vulnerability and imagination that getting the life sucked out ourselves has become a daily ritual we fall to so easily?
Thank goodness for memory. Without memory we might all be a lost cause when it comes to getting our acts together and actually taking the time to enjoy the good things in life, no matter how small or how over-the-top spectacular they are. Whether they last one minute or one hour or one year or an entire lifetime. The good should never be over-looked or under appreciated. The kid version of yourself would never let that happen. He or she would hold onto that good and never let go. That’s the thing with us adults nowadays, we get let down to easily and let go to quickly. Our patience can’t stand alone very long and our grasps are too loose on everything because we never really are sure what we want. To speak the truth, there really is a lot of shit out in the world we have to deal with, and our experiences have unfortunately weakened our trust. But that’s all okay. That’s life. Just remember that things can always be put into perspective through memory and reliving. Think back to your happiest moments as a kid. What were the things that made you completely happy back then. How do those things fit into your life right here and right now? Are they even a part of your life anymore? Do you wish they still were or have you forgotten about them? Do they still make you smile? Figure out why they’re overlooked and do something to reverse this. Have no shame in indulging in the things that made you the happiest as a kid. They can make all the difference in the big picture of your life today.
The imagination and nostalgia can be our biggest tools. Use them.
Collaboration, Fashion, lifestyle
I get tons of emails from readers about how I came to be able to run my blog full-time successfully, still do things that creatively inspire me, and pay the bills at the same time. For me, it really was something that just happened without a plan (although I am much more organized with my work now!), and it all started with taking a chance. And yes, that chance didn’t come with a happy number in my bank account in the beginning. The struggle of balancing finances and creative fulfillment was real ever since I landed my first job after college. And as much as we try hard not to think about those bills piling up and the fact that we are always “just getting by”, these things will always be there. Paying for things is a part of the real adult world, and it by far isn’t a breeze.
When I first moved to NYC from Philly for a new job, the idea of paying more than $500 in rent was horrifying (and I still had a roommate). I had a stable position at a quick growing, on-the-radar start up company, but a stable job doesn’t mean living that NYC life was going to be glorious. I held myself back from doing a lot of things because of my mediocre paycheck (shopping, getting that extra drink with my new co-workers, skipping the movie) to save as much as I could. Add long ass hours on top of that . . . and let’s just say life was pretty crazy and exhausting. But a lot has changed since then, and paying NYC prices for rent isn’t as much as a challenge as it was before, but who knows when that may change again (hopefully not!!!). Maybe if I decided to be a doctor life would be much easier for me still right now (boring but easier), but easy was never really an option in my book.
I quit my full-time job in NYC with a good amount of savings in the bank (thank goodness rent was cheap as heck in Philly, or this would not be the case) and a few freelance gigs on the horizon. But just enough to cover the rent and food. I went to a gym that cost $10 a month, not $80. I’d still take the late night subway home at 3am in the morning because an Uber was totally out of the question. Sometimes I’d eat ramen noodles for dinner (but I actually really liked the stuff. lol). Deciding to pursue the blog full-time was more of a way to find myself and figure out the next steps of my career. And let me tell you, the pursuit wasn’t easy in the beginning. I worked as many small paying gigs as I could that weren’t even blog related at all . . . assisting on shoots, copywriting for brands, etc. I was trying the best to keep myself busy with opportunities that I thought would help me in the long run, and that I could actually learn from. Life definitely wasn’t as fun or glamorous as Instagram can show it to be. But through all the experiences, every little job and every big job, I allowed myself to expand creatively. And my curiosity and love of storytelling drove me to focus much more on creating great content for my readers that I myself felt closely connected to. You know you love something when you do it for free. And when you have the opportunity to create a job for yourself doing the things you love, you can’t just let it pass.
Collaborating with my sister, friends and other who made me feel happy to be doing what I am doing was the most critical part of me working for myself and actually getting by. And from there, a few months down the road, the paychecks and the struggles finally found a balancing point. I feel like the more confident I felt in myself and my work, the more people respected me for it and viewed this little blog as a legit creative and social outlet. The success and work came more steadily, but I am thankful that it crept up on me not too unexpectedly nor too expectedly at all. It came naturally. It just felt good to be sought out for work as much as I myself sought work out. And all the ramen noodles and late night subway rides were all worth it in the end. I might not be living the perfect dream life still, but I feel like if I ever even got to that high point, the magic would be lost. There wouldn’t be more to work for.
I always say giving yourself the opportunity to pursue what you love (no matter what the paycheck) is worth the shot. Life is lesson after lesson of trial and error. Hard work, drive and hope will get you into your groove. Everything is always worth the chance in my book. Because you never really know until you try.