Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ambivalence

Peacoat, Sears | Cowl neck, DKNY | Skirt, Target | Boots, XOXO | Necklace, Love Nail Tree
Photos by Alura Chung-Mehdi

"Wow, today is exactly a year ago from last year."

My friend laughed at my oh-so eloquent and astute remark. "Lily, every day is a year ago from last year."

I made a face and raised my index finger to my lips. "Shhh," I said jokingly.

She was very right, but I was particularly nostalgic that day. A year ago, I had been visiting Amherst for the first time. A year ago, I was completely lost as to which college to choose. A year ago, the now-everyday occurences felt so foreign. 

As a host for accepted students weekend, all of this was even more real. I was no longer the wide-eyed prefrosh, facing intimidating choices and countless potential paths. I was a second-semester freshman, well-attuned to campus life. I had made the big decisions, I had leapt from the diving board. 

Now, my task is to immerse myself in the water, the real world, in the most graceful, enjoyable, and original way possible. Here's to the rest of this semester and the next three years.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Growing Out My Pixie: 3 Months Progress

asian pixie cut before and after
Month 1:
asian pixie front
pixie back

Month 2:
long pixie

Month 3:

Recap:
growing out a pixie cut

As a blogger with a cropped cut, I present to you the first of my obligatory pixie progress posts. 

When I was first researching how to make the chop, one of my biggest concerns was the growing-out process. I was already nervous about how the cut itself would turn out, but I completely dreaded the awkward in-between stages. 

I absolutely don't regret taking the plunge, even though I'm living that awkward stage now (hello blind self-trims of the back of my head). Going super short was something I had debated for almost 4 years. Also, since I donated my hair, I reasoned that if I didn't like it, at least I'd be helping someone else. 

Luckily, I loved it. I loved finally conquering my fears, rocking a Julie Andrews-style crop, sporting cute beanies. I was ecstatic that my hair could no longer hide my statement necklaces, printed sweaters, and collared tops--I no longer had to worry about putting it up for nearly half of my outfits. I felt gutsy, liberated, and more importantly, I was happy. 

So why grow my hair out? I can't deny that I miss being being able to throw my hair up in a bun, toss it in a ponytail for a workout, curl it for special events, or disguise greasy locks in a classic French braid. Besides, once it's long enough, I can always chop and donate again if I so choose. 

So, I'm embarking on the long and agonizing journey of turning my current flippy, often-unkempt cut into a mid-length mane. I'll be documenting the process with updates every 3 months, and I hope you stick around.

If you're debating making the chop, feel free to take a gander at the pixie inspiration photos I compiled, my post after the initial cut, and my very first hair evolution post. If you decide to go for it, please consider donating your hair--even if it's not long enough to be made into wigs for children with cancer or alopecia areata (Pantene Beautiful Lengths and Locks of Love), Matter of Trust will accept shorter hair to be made into mats to clean up oil spills.

As always, feel free to shoot me any questions! I'd love to answer them, talk more about my experience, or point you to more resources.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Capacity

cat sweater, tulle skirt
cat sweater, tulle skirt
ear jacket
Sweater, Rosegal | Skirt, eShakti | Boots, XOXO | Ear Jacket, Forever 21
Photos by Alura Chung-Mehdi

I usually find comfort in routines and patterns, but this one is different. 

This one reminds me of my frailty, the confines of my capacity.

"Does this hurt?"

I sit on a table in the sports medicine room while a trainer performs a series of mobility tests on my foot. Biting my lip, I shake my head and respond "no," to the repeated inquiry, though sometimes the poking and prodding prompts a cringe and a nod yes.

I can't believe I'm here again.

After several run-ins with overuse injuries, I vowed to train more cautiously this time. I carefully alloted rest time and dedicated half of my workouts to low-impact cross-training. The last thing I wanted was a repeat of the fall--due to patellar tendonitis, I had been unable to run the marathon I had so greatly anticipated. 

But an overly-ambitious long run two weeks ago provoked a nasty blister, and that blister led to running form compensation, and that compensation landed me in the trainer's for foot pain. 

And so I add yet another intimidating name to the list of ailments I've experienced: tenosynovitis, or inflammation of the sheath surrounding a tendon.

I'm not sure how this one will play out, but I do know this: I can do nothing to influence the outcome beyond diligently performing rehab exercises and listening to my body. 

Let's do this.

*                              *                                   *

I've been feeling off lately--not only because of my foot but also schoolwork, specifically disastrous midterms and unpolished papers despite hours of thought and preparation. Life has been challenging some integral parts of my identity. I am a distance runner--but what am I if I can't run? I am a diligent student--but what am I if my grades don't reflect that?

I forget sometimes that it's okay to simply be human. 

I am human, and I will stumble, fall, completely mess things up. But from disaster emerges the opportunity to learn and improve.

Let's go.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Floral Blazer Remix

Look on left originally featured in my NYC travel post

Blazer, LC Lauren Conrad | Dress, Marshall's | Boots, Tommy Hilfiger | Necklace, eFoxCity

Before I make any purchases, I often try to envision multiple outfits featuring the piece I'm considering. If I'm not satisfied with the possibilities, it stays on the rack. 

I've noticed recently that because of this system, I've developed a predilection for basics and have become wary of statement pieces. But the reviving old floral blazer has made me realize that bold can be versatile, too. 
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