Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Purple Prints

Occasion: attending lecture, dept. lunch
Sweater: American Eagle - old (c/o Mom)
Shirt: Gap - old (c/o Mom)
Scarf: The Limited
Pants: Elle via Kohl's
Boots: Mootsies Tootsies via Kohl's

Thinking too much can drive you bonkers. It's a hazard of the job (graduate student of philosophy). The best relief I have found is therapy. Click below to sit in on my session.

I can't decide which part of the semester is tougher: the beginning or the end. The beginning is difficult because generally one has been on break, relaxing, and has to be able to go from that very idle lifestyle to a jam-packed schedule that leaves her exhausted and barely able to keep her eyes open in the late evening. (And she has to battle this exhaustion because she still has so much more work in front of her.) The end of the semester is just as demanding. She has been a workhorse for the previous fifteen-odd weeks - often enduring 80-hour work weeks - and although the finish line is in sight, it is preceded by the greatest hurdles of all: term papers. Some days it's not clear whether her energy would be better spent starting the papers from scratch, trying to salvage what is decent, or just giving up and shamefully submitting the monstrosities.

I have barely dipped my toes in the water that is this semester, and I already feel like I'm going under. (Picture someone treading with all their might to stay afloat; you look at her with pity because you know that unless she conserves her energy, there is no way she is going to make it.) 

* * *

It has been said that graduate school is a marathon and not a sprint. Whoever said that did not accurately capture the sentiment that we are being chased by bulls the entire time; slow your pace even for a stride, and you will get gorged in the butt. 

Blogging was a way for me to forget about the bulls. It was like my Gatorade station. For a moment in time, I wasn't focused on my pace or my breathing. I wasn't concerned with the horns. I was able to recharge my batteries and have something in my line of vision other than the thousands of other runners in front of me. Even if that something was just the bottom of a Dixie cup, it meant the world to me.

For the past year, I have looked forward to the Dixie cup checkpoint every day. But there comes a point when that thing that brought you so much joy and so much comfort becomes, dare I say, meaningless? All of a sudden, it's not the thing it once was. It's hard to pinpoint when this transition or transformation took place, but you know it when you see it: it's not the same. 

I don't know when it happened for me, but I realized something as I was sitting in lecture today. Blogging is not the same for me anymore. My closet is not the closet I once had. I have lived here for two years, and when I look at my clothes, I see that the majority of them have been purchased in that time. How much more is there to buy? Well, I don't have any colored blazers (except for my fuchsia one). I don't have a leopard button-up shirt or cardigan. Nor do I have a tomato lace skirt, white skinny jeans, a military vest, or a black maxi skirt. [Read: my 2013 wish list.] Let's not even get into the embarrassingly weak shoe collection. 

* * *

I woke up this morning with the intention of wearing my hunter green skinny jeans. When I put them on, I discovered that the dryer had done a number on them-- they were so tight, with no stretch whatsoever. This put me in a frenzy. "I can't wear my green skinny jeans today?! Now what am I going to do?!" It only hit me a few hours later that there was a time before I had green skinny jeans. There was a time before I ever had colored pants or skinny jeans for that matter.  This reaction forced me to ask myself who I have become. I stress (see paragraph one), but there is a point where it because too much. Have I reached that point? I'm not sure. I was hoping I would figure that out by the time I reached this point in my rant.

What I do know is this: no longer is this my journey in effortless style. If anything, my journey has become effortFUL. I feel like I'm lying by having this blog be named as it is. Would a name change resolve the issue at hand? Maybe. I mean, we have stopped calling grossly overweight people 'fat' or 'obese' and instead call them 'curvy'. We point our fingers at the models and call THEM unhealthy. Voila! Now our nation is not one of idle gluttons!  Doubtful. What I need is a change in perspective, in attitude, in my approach. (Unless you think omitting the 'effortless' and just calling this blog "A Journey in Style" really would do the trick?)

* * *

When I am not in class and I'm not preparing for class, I notice. I'm in Wal-Mart and I notice how many people are in pajamas. I'm waiting for the bus on campus and I notice how many girls are wearing leggings as pants. I wait for class to begin and notice that the black spots in my pants clash with the brown of my boots; I wonder whether others notice, too. Noticing is exhausting. Are you exhausted yet?

* * *

Ding. Saved by the bell.

If you have made it this far, I sincerely thank you for reading my words. I really wish we could sit down talk about this over a cup of coffee. (Feel free to leave a comment or email me if you want to.) If you've only skimmed or skipped to this point because you saw a break, that is fine, but I still have questions: how do you get out of this? How do you stop caring about what you are wearing? How do you wake up, pick something to wear in only a matter of minutes, put it on, and not give it one thought for the rest of the day? How do you make your journey in style effortless?


  1. Cute scarf! Love the color and texture it adds to the outfit. :)

    twitter and instagram: @BelatedBloomer

  2. Hi Love, I think we all go through this at some point. If you arent enjoying the process anymore, just take a step back for a few days and evaluate what you want to do. You started by wanting to make this effortless, so maybe figure out how to get back to that! Love your scarf btw!

    xo Rach
    Rach.E.Cakes – A Life and Style Blog

  3. Whew, lots of thoughts! I'm definitely with you in a lot of ways. I did a post a while back about how I started blogging my outfits in order to dress better and "shop my closet." Turns out, I wanted to BUY more clothes (um, I should have seen that coming). Anyway, I don't really know what my blog is about or where it is going, but I do know that I would not be staying true to myself if I bought a bunch of clothes, so I posted about that. I started posting my budget in order to keep myself accountable. And I've read a lot of great inspiration on the blogosphere about staying true to yourself and having a unique voice. So, whenever I have thoughts like the ones you wrote out (which I totally do!), I just take a step back, and ask myself what the original purpose of my blog is. Sometimes it helps!

    Also, I like the section you crossed out. It made me giggle :)

  4. It just got real up in here! Seriously though, I have very similar feelings sometimes. I started blogging to get out of a style rut, and I do sometimes wonder if I have over-corrected. There are days when I just want to throw on jeans and a hoodie, but I convince myself that I have to wear something blog-worthy. Most days, I think it ends up being a good thing, because I feel more confident when I am dressed nice. I just have to remember to cut myself some slack, too!

    I agree with Ashley - the crossed out section is spot on!

  5. You gotta do what works for your lifestyle and your "style" style, so if your blog is making things harder for you, you can always change it, it's your blog! ;o)

  6. cute! would you like to follow each other? let me know!


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