Cruising Coral

Dress, c/o eShakti// Heels, Payless ($26)// Necklace, Maxnina// Bracelet, Macy's ($5)

I glanced down at my brightly-colored watch. Only two more minutes, Lily. You can make it, I thought encouraging thoughts to overcome the pain of testing your body's limits.

Six hundred meters to go. I forced my gasping breaths into controlled, deep ones. I could hear the screams for the top varsity runners as they dashed across the line. I could see the long-awaited finish, but the course was so conveniently engineered that runners would be so close they could taste it, only to have to pass it, loop around, and come back.

Two hundred meters. I leaped downhill for the final stretch. It felt like an eternity. My mouth twitched slightly at the red numbers on the clock, unable to form a smile in my delirium. Still within 21 minutes. Okay Lily, let's go. Today's the day to break 22. 

Then I sensed something in the corner of my eye. I jerked my head sideways to see two teammates pop out of nowhere. Oh, poop was all I could think. Your varsity position comes down to this. Either both of them will pass you, or neither of them will.

With every last ounce of energy I had, I dashed ahead, heaving a sigh of relief as my lime green race spikes hit the gray timing pad. I had manged to stay in front. I had broken 22.

Last week, I finally broke 22 minutes in the 5k (3.1 mi) for a personal record of 21:52. It's something I've wanted for forever. I did my very best to describe what a cross country race is like near the finish. They're excruciating battles between your mind and body.

It's a sport that I love deeply, but it can be quite stressful at times. Our team has become pretty decent this year with the addition of kick-butt freshmen and move-ins. We've managed to win a couple trophies and we have high hopes to qualify for the regional meet. I've run all varsity races since sophomore year, but with so much competition, it's a fight to stay in the top 7 on the team.

The week after I set a personal record, our meet was miserable. The water was knee-deep at some places on the course and it was pelting rain during the race. I wish I could say that I didn't let the conditions get to me. I wish I could say that I ran my best there. But my mind lost the battle that day. I couldn't focus; I didn't remind myself that I can count the number of meets I have left on my fingers. The worst feeling in the world is finishing a race feeling like you could've run faster.

Disappointment is never welcome, but it always ignites a spark in me. It ignites the burning desire in my soul for improvement. To redeem myself. To conquer the voices inside and outside your head saying that you can't.

I wasn’t born a runner. I still remember the sinking feeling of dread when my 7th grade gym teacher announced the mile run test. I still remember how each short lap around the track seemed like an excruciating eternity. I still remember stuttering across the finish, heaving for breath, sweat-drenched and beat, at eleven minutes.

It definitely was not logical that I decided to run a charity 5k for my friend’s mother later that spring. But this seemingly insignificant act of goodwill was what transformed into my deep passion for running. I began training every morning before school; first I tackled a mile, then, as the summer wore on, I plunged head first into cross country conditioning. I grew to smile at the mention of the sport that once made me cringe. I wasn’t naturally talented, but what I lacked in innate ability, I made up for with intense determination.

Running has taught me that all obstacles are ephemeral. I never would have imagined that I would enjoy running, let alone excel at it. I never would have imagined that I could run thirteen miles this past summer without stopping. I never imagined that it would create such a profound imprint on my life and identity. I am by no means the fastest runner and my mentality is by no means flawless. But with each stumble, I simply brush myself off and continue with enthusiasm and renewed resolve.

Life is perhaps a mental battle. Our mindset is so pivotal in determining many outcomes. I recognize that I am human and that I will slip, but I strive to pick myself off, perhaps not gracefully at times, and move forward with fresh determination.

I've had to dress up frequently, mostly for sports. Before a game, match, or meet, the students at my school either dress up or wear team shirts. I was thrilled to receive this dress from eShakti for that very reason. I've always been a huge fan of their classy selection, but I'm always most excited about their custom sizing options. You just type your very own measurements in, customize the neckline, sleeves, and length, and bam! A dress made just for you. 

I seem to always mess up this online ordering thing though. This time, I remembered to select short dress so I wasn't drowning in material, but I put my exact measurements in, so it's rather hard to breathe in this coral beauty. Tip for all you online shoppers: make sure to add an inch or two to your measurements--or take chest mesurements when you're inhaling!

I also have had to dress up because--ready--I'm a National Merit Semi-finalist! I found a couple weeks ago and I was absolutely ecstatic. I don't think I've ever wanted anything that much. If you remember this post, you know that it took plenty of sweat and tears.

Now on to the application process! I'm trying to take everything one thing at a time--it's much less intimidating and so much more manageable. If you feel like you're drowning too, I promise it works. Since I can't blog as frequently, I'd like to share how I spend my time these days. Next up, details about my multiple orchestras!

Finally, I love this song below because of the line "just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna die." It's perfect for running. And life in general.

Have a beautiful week, friends!

Imperfect Idealist

Top, c/o Chicnova//Skirt, c/o Persunmall//Mocassins, Target ($10)//Necklace, c/o Persunmall//Bag, thrifted ($3)
Photos by my best friend Gabrielle

Task: Write a six-word memoir (or story) that describes (choose one):
  • who you are
  • who/what you'd like to become
  • a life-changing event
  • this past summer
I scrutinized my first AP Lit assignment as I pensively tapped my fingers on the keyboard. I usually have a heck of a time crafting together just the right words; I'll spend hours agonizing over a paragraph or staring frustratedly at a blank screen. 

But this time was different.

Who am I? I quickly scribbled my jumble of thoughts onto the light blue sheet of paper. Idealist, dreamer, runner, violinist.

Who or what would I like to become? Happy.

A life-changing event? Running.

This past summer? Cross country camp, leadership conference.

Then it came to me.

Imperfect idealist who chases the sun.

I liked the taste of the words, their innate rhythm. I immediately analyzed my own words to discover the classic iambic rhythm. I smiled.

Imperfect idealist. Perhaps nothing can describe me better. I strive towards idealistic standards, but above all, I recognize that I am human. I dream impossible dreams, only to have the furthest-reaching whims become reality.

A girl who chases the sun. Well, number one: I absolutely love Sara Bareille's song Chasing the Sun. It's gorgeously powerful. I am always chasing down unrealistic ambitions--perhaps I'll never reach my destination. Perhaps it really is impossible. But the journey along the way is always an incredible experience. And finally: if you're chasing the sun, you'd better be running. Not about the lazy stroll life. Striding with purpose. I live to run. Behind the sweat and tears, after the dust clears, a brilliant light shines.

Just a few musings for the week. I became absolutely enamored with the term "imperfect idealist." I've even been toying with renaming the blog after it. Often times I don't even mention my outfit in my post; I find it rather ironic since I call this a fashion blog. Perhaps it's more a lifestyle blog--fashion simply molds seamlessly into that category.

I almost named this post Impurrfect Idealist because of the cat skirt haha. I fell in love with the thing as soon as I excitedly ripped open my package from Persunmall. I absolutely adore their trendy and affordable pieces. Do go take a gander at the site if you have a few minutes to spare--the listed cat skirt price was only $16!

The reality of all this college business is beginning to since in. It's high stress, never stop for me. But I'm trying to look at this in a positive light. I'm trying to see applications as opportunities, as a culmination of all my sweat and tears. More updates to come soon!

Have a beautiful week, my lovelies!

Like We're Made of Starlight

Vivianna dashed up the stairs. One, two, three, four, five flights. What room number was she again? She struggled to form the right numbers in her mind as she strode briskly down the plush red carpet of the wide hallway illuminated by the golden glow of street-style lamps attached to the eggshell-white walls.

She reached for her brown leather bag, digging for her room key. Oh! When her hand snagged the cool plastic card, the right numbers appeared in her mind. 548, almost there. 

Scrutinizing the number on each walnut-colored door, she finally approached the right room. The green light blinked and the lock clicked open after a quick swipe of the key. She turned the gold doorknob, her lips curving slightly at her ornate surroundings.

Abandoning her nude pumps on the cool tile of the bathroom, Vivianna set her bag down lightly on the brick-colored granite. Unzipping her suitcase, she tugged a gorgeous red number from the overstuffed pile. Form-fitting and chic--perfect for a night out exploring the city.

She then turned to her makeup bag. After expertly applying midnight-black eyeliner and mascara, she deftly brushed a gold shimmer over her eyelids, then gingerly tapped a dust pink blush on her cheekbones. With a twist of a tube of red lipstick and the click of the cap, she was ready.

A sliver of the blinding city light peeked out from behind the thick burgundy curtains embroidered with gold thread. She approached the window, tentatively pulling the expensive cloth back.

The city was captivating. Basking in the golden glow of streetlights, complemented by the lavender and warm shades of the late sunset--Vivianna sighed, completely enamored by Paris' beauty.

This time she really smiled, and with a turn of the heel and the click of her closing door, she stepped into the unfamiliar world, energy and confidence pulsing through her veins.

I thought I'd let the photos speak for themselves today. BA Star, this chic online beauty store sent me a little package of their Bronze Star Dust eyeshadow last week. Looking at the photos gave me this sort of Great Gatsby-esque vibe, so I tapped into my creative juices to tell a little tale to go with it. 

I actually usually forego makeup because I savor every last minute of sleep and don't want it to be in the way at practice during the school year. Hehe, I actually snapped these photos right after a nice, sweaty Friday run so please excuse any stray beads of perspiration. When I do wear makeup, however, it's nice simple eyeliner on top, mascara, and just a hint of blush.

Putting on the glittery eyeshadow made me feel rather adventurous--I've been trying to branch out every now and then. A few days ago I even bought a P!nk CD and felt quite rebellious since it had an explicit language warning on it haha. Just your resident wild child here.

I was definitely pleased with the pretty, metallic makeup--the name itself is just exquisite. Ahhh, Star Dust. It even came with a glue base coat so you could be sure it would stay intact after a long, hectic day or perhaps a night of dancing to the latest beats. If Star Dust happens to strike your fancy, BA Star is offering you all 50% with the code BBDUST. Just make sure to take a gander before the code expires on September 30th!

Lately I've been inclined to name posts after my favorite songs, and this was no exception. Star Dust makeup, Starlight song. Wasn't it meant to be?

Hoping to update with deeper musings and reply to comments soon. Have a lovely week!


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