Friday, 25 August 2017

Life As I Knew It

from Pinterest
I'm currently writing a bunch of motivation letters to send along with my resumé in the next few days. The list of places I'm applying to is pretty small right now - and will hopefully stay this way -, but I've got a good feeling about this whole internship situation. Everything could go wrong and I would still have a plan Z, but for now I'm focusing on my priorities and exploring every possibility. I hope I can brag about getting a cool job soon; that would definitely be a good sign.

Whilst writing and rewriting these letters, I started thinking about all those years I spent studying since I was a child. I don't regret many things, but I wish I could go back and tell my fifteen year old self to just chill out. I was never unnecessarily obsessed with my grades and I had some fun during high school and middle school, but I was constantly trying to please and impress everyone. I didn't want people to like me just for the sake of it, but I had this need to be understood, in a way. Many were the times when I forgot my own values and opinions, regardless of how wrong or ridiculous they were at the time, just to feel like I could fit in.

University was much less of a lie. I carried myself in an unapologetic way and I didn't try to be cooler in order to impress professors or classmates. I became more confident in the way I interacted with others. I was always focused on my work - or my own personal dramas, but regardless, I didn't have the time to care much about other people's lives or opinions -, and I learned a lot that way. It was the perfect time for me to be a little selfish and really think about what I wanted in life, and also how I got to say goodbye to a more childish, dramatic version of myself. I had my share of therapy sessions as well, which were essential for me to get through some issues and my whole senior year. I'm more patient now, more calm.

Just like with most introspections, I didn't start writing this post with a specific message in mind but I enjoy reflecting on the past. I'm far from knowing "who I am" and there are many things that I do which I still can't understand, but I am my own favorite subject to think about and study. Similar to what happened when I went to university, I am still not certain of how my next occupation is going to shape me, and which lessons it is going to teach me. But I am definitely curious.

Friday, 11 August 2017

5 new habits to start next month

Since I still look at September as the beginning of a new year, I tend to write down lists of goals that I want to start working towards during the first month of Autumn. This year was no different, and I already have a few things that I really want to do in the near future. But today I'm not sharing professional goals; I'm writing about some of the new habits that I want to adopt, in order to live a healthier life in many different ways.

1. Eating healthier. I was never used to eating unhealthy food, even though I enjoy it and probably still eat more of it than I should. But since I've been the master of cooking many variations of pasta dishes for the last three years, my goal now is to upgrade my cooking game and start making more salads, soups and veggie-based meals overall. I always forget how good it feels to eat green things, and that's why I'm committed to learning new recipes and just getting creative with good food.

2. Exercising. And since eating healthy and exercising complement each other perfectly, I will have to find a way of ignoring all the excuses I tell myself and simply go to the gym. I just found one with ballet classes near the apartment I'm moving into, and everybody was getting tired of hearing how much I miss dancing anyway so this is a big change I need to make as well. I'm one of those couch potatoes that gets really excited about working out after they start; I just need  a little push.

3. Going out more. I'm an introvert and I love spending time alone; it's something I need to do frequently in order to feel at peace with myself and my surroundings. However, most of the times when I see people going out dancing with their friends, or just being outgoing in general, I get huge this feeling that I'm missing out so much on my young adulthood. I don't know if I can find a balance between these two, but I'll try.

4. Always looking my best. This one may sound silly, but taking care of my looks when I'm running around and working all the time is not easy: there's not much time for body creams, painting my nails or putting together a nice outfit. However, since I've spent my senior year of university looking like a potato because I simply didn't have the time or the energy, I know how much it crushed my self esteem. Not liking the way I looked made me feel very insecure, to the point where I didn't believe I could finish a certain project or be good at some random task. So yes, I'm making a compromise with myself of trying to look (and feel!) my best.

5. Stop overplanning. I'm a planning machine. I love planners, I love having absolutely everything under control and... it works. Things get done in time, I get happy about it and as soon as I have my free time back, I go back to planning. However, I also feel like a maniac sometimes and I forget that unplanned things not only happen, but can also be positive. Life is definitely not planned and that's why, instead of planning every hour of my day, I'm planning on (here we go again. I'm planning on not to plan) selecting a specific number of hours that can be planned, and just forget about the other ones. Or writing down a maximum number of five tasks per day, whatever works best. But this one is probably harder to achieve than working out.

Monday, 7 August 2017

The waiting

"I have done nothing all summer but wait for myself to be myself again."

Georgia O'keeffe wrote this once and it resonated with me a lot, and with how I've been feeling lately. This Summer I took some time to stop thinking about my life and, in a way, occupy myself with understanding other people: characters from books, movies, songs and real people who write blogs and make videos online. Focusing on different lives was quite entertaining, and not thinking too much about myself and what worries me was a peaceful experience. I needed to cut some ties with my reality as a student and give myself a break before I start a new phase in my life, so I planned the most boring month I could. I didn't do much more other than simply exist. It was a luxury; my graduation present for myself.

I am starting to come back now, slowly but steady, as I felt the need to create another blog and started being more active on social media. I have my linkedin profile figured out and my CV is ready to go. I think about my autumn clothes, moving apartments and whether I will be able to start working out again or not. I don't have any answers yet, but I don't mind: for the first time in my life, I enjoy not knowing what is coming.

Learning how to live with uncertainty was very hard for me, and understanding that life doesn't always happen like we want it to was another challenge. But I keep thinking that maybe things don't happen the way we dream of because there is always an even better option that we're too blind to even consider (for someone with no religion, I am a very spiritual person). I'm happy when I feel inspired, and new beginnings are a big source of inspiration for me. This year I get to begin again after saying goodbye to three educational, but painful years - and if you ask me where I will be in five, this is the first time I can say I have no clue.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

What to expect

I think the turning point happened when I went back to scrapbooking. I hadn't had a scrapbook since my freshman year of university, so the first thing I did when I found myself completely free was to buy a new one and a few colored markers. I'm not going to lie, most pages look terrible; but making them look good, as opposed to when I had to scrapbook for school, was never a goal of mine. I just needed a place to write and doodle, and eventually that same journal helped me figure out what I would do with La Veine.

To be completely honest, when I wrote that goodbye post, coming back didn't look like an option to me. I was done with blogging, and I had all the fashion-blogging-experience lessons I needed in my pocket. That was it. But I still wanted to write somewhere, so I explored my options: should I create a more professional website? Should I write for other platforms? Should I just give up on the internet and write for myself and my ugly scrapbook?

I thought about my old blog and all the things I didn't enjoy throughout my very short blogging career - feeling like a living advertisement, the pressure of writing interesting/helpful content for people who love fashion, having to take pictures even when I didn't feel like it and all those SEO related pinterest posts -, and that was when a very obvious conclusion hit me: if I am completely free to do things my way on my own blog, why shouldn't I? Having a "proper" fashion blog was cool for a while, but maybe I should just make something that's really mine.

And that's why La Veine (Chronicles) has a different concept: I'm here to write for myself, but others are free to join. This blog is now my digital scrapbook, and I want it to be a diary and a place for my frustrated, passionate opinions and thoughts which at times could resonate with some people. There is no theme, no main topic and no particular structure: it's just going to be me, rambling about different things. We'll have to see how it goes.