Simplicity

What my social media looks like ft. What college actually looks like
Original instagram post here

Blogs, like any other social media, project polished versions of our lives. Crisp photos, carefully-planned outfits, and selective details easily create an aura of enviable sophistication. I openly admit, however, that I'm not nearly as put-together as my posts may otherwise imply. While I love fashion, I take a healthy number of comfy days each week. While I often wax philosophical about profound events, I experience just as many uneventful days as the next person. While my life looks wonderful and happy all the time, it's actually as tumultuous as everyone else's.
 So in the spirit of reality, I present to you two everyday summer looks--not your typical blog fare.

I've been feeling unsettled lately about my social media posts--it seems dishonest to only share the happy, fun, put-together moments and brush the gloomy, stressful, and messy ones under the rug. So this post is a testament that I am human--that I sometimes dress casually and that life brings me ups and downs too.

It's unusal for me to talk outfits before my usual ramblings, but my move towards minimalism in style also reflects my move towards conciseness in expression (you'll see what I mean in just a bit). Please enjoy the tangle of thoughts to follow.
On my last night in my hometown, I plucked a laminated index card from the mirror in my room. In my handwriting, it read:

I will stay positive even when the skies are gray; I will make my own sunshine.
I will be an idealist even in a world of cynics and doubters.
I will pursue the life that I crave, not just one that is practical.
I will be a true friend but also not neglect myself.
I will speak what’s on my heart, even if I am afraid.
I will chase life with a determined gleam in my eyes.
T-shirt, Old Navy | Skirt, Target | Belt, Forever 21 | Shoes, Kohl's

Last year at a Rotary youth leadership conference, we created mission statements, and this was mine. While my ideals remain the same, I realized, after a bit of contemplation, that I could express my values much more succinctly. I still keep the old index card in a special spot on my dorm drawer, but joining it is a new friend:

I will be irreplaceable.

Technically, we’re all dispensable. Sports teams will continue to practice, bond, and achieve despite losing members at graduation. Employers will hire another who can complete the job just as well. Schools will maintain their daily routine. Friends will keep trekking down their own trails. Life will go on, no matter who you are.
But my irreplaceable means much more than the technical definition. I want to be such an impact that while life will go on, it will definitely be different. I want to leave such a uniquely-shaped hole that while it may easily be plugged, people must work to completely fill it; they must strive to improve themselves and their environments. It’s not realistic to affect everyone I encounter so deeply, but it is completely plausible to reciprocate for the people who have deeply impacted me.

I see it this way:

Only the optimistic can discern rays of hope beyond the clouds.
Only the ambitious can soar to once-unfathomable heights.
Only the adventurous can seek beyond the immediate.
Only the genuine can remain true to themselves and to others.
Only the courageous can find their voice in spite of fear.
Only the passionate can reach fulfillment.

Only the irreplaceable can embody all these ideals. One word goes a long way.

I strive to be irreplaceable--to maximize my potential and encourage others to do the same. To illuminate my surroundings and beyond.
Top, Goodwill | Skirt, Target | Shoes, Target

As for the precious creature that joined me in the first set of outfit shots, he's unfortunately not mine, but I was lucky enough to steal him and his owner for a mini-photoshoot. You met George in a previous post, and here's a couple shots of him and his dog, Brutus.
It's safe to say that I miss home quite a bit. Only know you love it when you let it go, right? But we learn the most about ourselves in unfamiliar situations, and I'd definitely still learning.

I'm still not quite ready to immerse myself in blogging, but again, if you'd like to drop me a note, feel free to shoot me an email. Hope you all are well, and I can't wait to catch up again.

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