Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Nostalgia

I totally left this unbuttoned as a fashion statement...whoops!
Cardigan, thrifted H&M | Button down, thrifted | Skirt, thrifted Hollister | Shoes, Keds | Necklace, Love Nail Tree
Photos by my brother

If my hair looks a little shorter and my smile more carefree, it’s because I shot this look just over a month ago, when I was still on break.

I never thought I’d be this homesick. Before I left for second semester, I told my parents not to buy me a plane ticket home for spring break. It’s not a holiday, it’s expensive, it’s only a week, and it doesn’t align with anyone else’s breaks, I reasoned. And after all, hadn’t I not even wanted to go home for the winter? Hadn’t the change I observed when I returned for Thanksgiving unnerved me so much? I was sure I wouldn’t mind waiting until May to return.

I was wrong. I didn’t realize how much home had grown on me over that short month between semesters. I didn’t realize that I had come to terms with the change, accepted this new definition of the town where I had spent most of my life. I had overestimated myself.

I miss home. I miss the days when my biggest stress was getting to work on time or agonizing over whether the vegan muffins I had baked would turn out okay. I miss the boisterous Asian holiday parties with beautiful food and intense rounds of mafia and ERS. I miss catching up with friends in coffee shops and local diners. I miss watching the blue sky through the second story great room window while lying contemplatively on the beige carpet of my house (yeah, I do weird things like that). I miss my family. I miss the familiar.

This semester hasn’t been the kindest. The classes that caused me the most pain last fall I now reflect on fondly—round two has been so much more demanding. Anxiety is far from a foreign concept to me, but it’s never been this paralyzing. There were moments I was so stressed about my work, I couldn’t focus enough to actually do it. When I couldn’t do it, I only stressed more. It was a cruel paradox. I was a tangle of tension, sleep deprivation, fear—I was terrified of failing to meet my expectations.

The storm eventually broke. Time was my remedy—I didn’t feel better until I emerged from the pileup of exam dates and essay deadlines.

I wish I could say I emerged with new clarity, or some surefire way to conquer all my worries. The truth is that it’s an ongoing struggle. I can’t control what life throws at me. But I can take a deep breath and tackle everything one a time. I can pray for strength to meet my tasks. I can talk it through with friends. I can dress up, belt out Julie Andrews' My Favorite Things, and remain perceptive to everyday inspiration, like the quotes on magnets I stumbled upon in a bookstore this weekend:

A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

I may be homesick, some of my classes may terrify me, but I’ll be okay.

After all, there’s no growing without growing pains.

post signature
Note: I've taken a little break from reading blogs, but I look forward to catching up soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blustery

Blazer, Forever 21 | Pants, Old Navy | Scarf, Target | Boots, Breckelles | Glasses, sponsored by Firmoo | Ear cuffs, DIY (tutorial)

My thoughts have been stubborn lately.

They refuse to be coaxed from the depths and tangles of my mind. I wrestle, drag, shove, but only emerge into the tangible realm with fragments.

I'm going to have to keep this post short; I don't yet have a good grasp on the multitude of things I want to say, or even a good grasp on the overwhelming amount of work ahead.

All I know is this: I will not let frustration or anxiety win.

post signature

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Silver White Winters


I peer down the impressive, snow-covered slope. I glance at the brown dining hall tray in my hands. I am skeptical.

"Guys, are you sure this is safe? What if I die?"

My friends laugh and reassure me. The countless tracks that pepper the terrain should reassure me too, but I can't seem to push the joke of a seasoned sledder out of my mind: 

Either the tray breaks, or you break.

I look to the scenic mountain range in the distance for comfort, but only find the inky darkness of the night. I inhale deeply, hoping the crisp winter air will cleanse me of my fears.

I begin to reason with myself: Well, it is a campus tradition, and your friends have emerged alive and unharmed...

Exhaling, I speak before I can back out. "All right guys, show me how to do this."

After a mini-tutorial on the art of sledding with a dining hall tray, I attempt to emulate the proper form: butt balanced, knees up, feet hovering outside the tray, hands gripping the sides.

"Ready?" We gather at the crest, all in position. "One, two, three."

A warbled sound resembling a deep wail escapes my throat before I even begin to move. With an awkward self-start, I'm off. 

"AHHHHH."

I keep wailing as I whizz down the hill, snow spraying my face. I attempt to steer around bumps, but some of them are unavoidable. I bounce, fly, bounce, fly. It is oddly satisfying, invigorating, exhilirating.

I slow to a stop, dazed and dizzy but delighted. I am happy--because I've tackled the intimidating and allowed myself to let go. 

*                                        *                                          *

A few weeks later, the carefree moments of the beginning of the semester already feel so distant. Deadlines loom threateningly, stress leads to nights of tossing and turning. It's back to the usual grind.

Like sledding, I may not have control over everything along the way, but I know everything will be okay.

post signature

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gradient

Cardigan, Macy's | Top, Old Navy | Necklace, LucyMint | Shorts, Forever 21 | Boots, Tommy Hilfiger

The transition to spring semester hasn't been nearly as smooth as the ombre on my cardigan, but I like to think I'm beginning to settle in. Class enrollment caps and my lack of seniority have sent me hunting for a final course during add/drop week, and of course, my indecisiveness has proved a barrier to finalizing my schedule. At least I can apply what I've recently learned in intro econ. Time to analyze opportunity costs and strive to maximize utility.

Anyways, this outfit was shot at home over break, and was one of my favorite work ensembles--nothing like subtle coordination and eclectic combinations. Now that I'm back at school, I've found it much more difficult to stay as polished since the perpetual snow and slush-blanketed paths force me to tailor outfits to my lone pair of black, riding-style snowboots. But of course, I welcome and gladly tackle challenges of all forms.

Hopefully talk to you all soon for a more in-depth update.

post signature