04 March 2015

1 Step Back and 2 Steps Forward: Blogging Then and Now

I’ve been asked countless times why I stopped blogging for the past year: Where did you go, what happened, why did you stop? Every time, I fake a smile and manage to say a conventional answer along the lines of, “I’ve been working a lot, I just don’t have the bandwidth.” I knowingly expect a head nod with a tinge of pity. The real answer though, is much more personal and complex then I’d like to admit.

As a perfectionist and an over-achiever, I soon fell victim to the mentality that I wasn’t enough. My outfits weren’t trendy enough, my photos weren’t liked enough on social media, I didn’t have enough followers, I wasn’t skinny enough, I wasn’t popular enough to get invited to a certain event. Those thoughts kept multiplying, quickly becoming worse.

I started to have intense anxiety any time I recognized potential for an outfit post. I became obsessive with my outfit choices, to the point where I couldn’t leave my place without feeling ‘blogworthy.’ Did I wear this in my last post? Have I styled these jeans too often on Instagram? What about that last #ootd, will people remember I’m wearing the same shoes? And then, when I finally settled and had my photo taken, I never felt like I looked ‘right.’ I was critical beyond words. This self-deprecating attitude was only the beginning of my downward spiral.

I ended up in a state of constant comparison with others (and myself). I would end up throwing my clothes everywhere, sitting on the floor of my room stripped to my underwear, just sobbing. That sounds incredibly dramatic (and it was) but at the time I felt completely out of control and exhausted. With this type of mentality, I would never be enough for myself, simply because I wasn't practicing any form of self-love. I had essentially lost who I was — and I needed me back, badly.

Stepping Back from Self Doubt
I realized that blogging wasn’t actually the problem, it just amplified all of the other stressors in my life. I gave way too many fucks about things that didn’t matter. So I stopped. I stopped going on retail therapy binges, I stopped trying to be trendy, I stopped consuming every fashion magazine I could get my hands on, and I stopped trying to figure out what would please my followers. I took a major step back - and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

Stepping Forward into Self Discovery
I was finally free from the pressure I placed on myself. I let go. There was no need to look perfect all the time — I wasn’t running to a fashion event, scheduling a photoshoot, or instagramming my #ootd. I just allowed myself to be. I started dressing in clothes I felt comfortable in. I went boho and eclectic with my apartment decor. I joined the Social Yoga and became more mindful. I made new friends, and made more time for old friends. I started living a life I was proud of. I made, and continue to make, a giant step towards letting go of insecurities and discovering what makes my soul happy.
“Keep doing the things that make you feel something. Keep doing the things you’re in love with. And if you don’t know what those are just yet, step out into the world and find them. Everything is waiting for you.”  Victoria Erickson
Stepping Forward into a New Phase
It’s a time for newness and change. I’m realizing that nothing stays the same, and we all just have to roll with the punches. I knew I wanted to bring my blog back, but in a completely different way. In my heart, I’m a writer, and I want to bring something of substance to the table — I hope my words will inspire and challenge you to think, dream, move, share, and most of all, create. I want to take you on this journey with me. It won’t always be curated, perfect, or lovely. Instead, it will be honest, authentic, and at times very vulnerable — I hope you’ll stick with me.

25 February 2015

5 Signs You're Stuck in Relationship Purgatory (And How to GTFO)

When you don’t know anything else, it’s easy to fall back together  not because it’s right, but because it’s comfortable to hold onto what you know. When my relationship ended, it actually wasn’t the end at all. We still talked, we still texted, we even saw each other every once in a while. It started out as drunken nights (alcohol, you sneaky bastard), which led to hungover brunches and Netflix in our underwear. Eventually ‘every once in a while’ turned into every night. We were laughing, we were connecting, we had next-level intimacy. Wait  why did I break things off again? Are things between us… actually good?

Enter: relationship purgatory. That grey area that leaves you in a dark cloud of confusion. You feel like you know this person so well, this person you’ve spent countless hours with; you understand how they think, you can predict how they’ll react. There is such a high level of care for one another, but something is off  and it’s hard to shake, if not impossible to ignore. Put simply, you’re stuck. You don’t want to leave, but you also aren’t sure if you want to fully commit (again).

There were too many times when I tried to ignore the signs, tried to convince my head of something my heart knew wasn’t right. Now that I’m on the other side, it seems a whole lot clearer. It’s true what they say: hindsight is 20/20. Here are 5 signs to help you realize when you’re starting to sink into purgatory quicksand.

1. “We were so great together for those first few months.”
Repeat after me: nostalgia will get you nowhere. Sure, you two used to work, but somewhere along the way what you had was broken. Stop holding onto the past, quit trying to recreate what used to be, and start living in the present. It is the most refreshing feeling to be focused on the now.

2. “Nothing is working with anyone else.” 

Loneliness - it plagues even the best of us. Recognize that type of desperation and push it to the side. Better yet, pull up a seat for loneliness. There is no reason to stay with someone because there isn’t another attractive option waiting for you. Be lonely, sit with yourself, and enjoy your own company. Hell, start embracing it. Be your own best friend.

3. “Things will be different this time.”
There are people who are conditioned to give others second chances. It’s lovely. When second chances turn into fifth attempts, that loveliness morphs into denial. Take a step back. It’s not fair to expect someone to be who you envision them to be. It’s irrational. Stop waiting for someone to change, unless that person is you - otherwise, it’ll only end in disappointment.

4. “They get along so well with my friends and family.”
There are too many ways to convince yourself that someone is worth going back to. One of the most compelling excuses is that your friends or family approve. In short: do not let other people determine how you should or shouldn’t feel. This is your decision, and regardless of whether everyone thinks you’re nuts to give up on this relationship, no one is entitled to tell you what to do. Listen to yourself, and trust in that.

5. “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
Get your head out of the clouds and bring yourself back to reality. If it’s meant to be, go make it happen. They are not ‘the one’ for you if you even have to think twice. If they were, you’d be doing everything in your power to keep them instead of just letting the universe handle your bullshit.

Now? Why You Should Happily Get the F*ck Out

Purgatory is like quicksand: the more you struggle with the decision, the further you will sink. You’ll get so buried in your own mind that you will choose the easiest path (ahem, going back to your ex), instead of really digging into what is making you uncomfortable. What is truly making you second guess yourself?

If you're ready to GTFO, then get selfish. Think of your own self-development and don’t disregard your gut feeling. It’s not always easy to trust your intuition, but it’s there for a reason. In the words of Mark Manson: If the person you’re with isn’t making you say “Fuck yes,” then the answer is a big resounding "Fuck no." So, re-evaluate. Take a good hard look at yourself and figure your shit out. Get uncomfortable. Dig deep, get to know who you are, and start learning how to pull yourself out of purgatory. It’s not simple, it’s a process. But I promise it’s a happier place on the other side.

15 August 2014

what you make of it

It seems strange to be sitting at my desk again, blogging for the first time in months. You'd think I would have so much to say, but really, it just feels so nice to be writing and documenting my style again. Big changes have happened in my life, some good, some not-so-good, but it's all part of the process - if anything, this is a year of growth. Living in a new city (albeit, just outside of where I lived before, it's still a big transition to live on my own) has given me incredible perspective, and I've been trying to self-reflect as much as I can. It's way too easy to get caught up in the intricacies of friends, family, my job, what to do on the weekend, self-image, etc. 

Being faced with a lot of change has forced me to look within, and with new perspective comes new style. I love that fashion can reflect who you are, who you want to be, or just who you feel like that day. I've been experimenting with different trends, and sometimes just throwing together whatever I feel good in. Like this outfit: Creams, destroyed jeans, long layers. And a graffitied wall with a happy cat. How can you go wrong? Happy Friday everyone. It feels good to be back.

Photography by Studio X (Vic, you are a photography rockstar).