Street Style Roundup + Reflections on Seemingly-Frivolous Pursuits

All photos from my street style blog, Posh Pedestrian (Facebook and Tumblr)

Earlier last week, my parents and I had a passionate debate about the merits of seemingly-frivolous pursuits. 

I dreamt of longer endurance races, solo roadtrips, and extended time abroad. They just wanted me to prepare for next summer's internship search, seriously contemplate life after graduation, and figure my life out. They were afraid that I'd invest all my energy into training and traveling, forgetting the reality of becoming an independent adult. 

I understood and sympathized, but I firmly believe that I can continue to balance my quest for self-growth in more spheres than just the practical. Perhaps I'm blinded by my upbringing in a financially-stable household, but I believe that there's a whole lot more to life than making a living. 

Futhermore, my seemingly-frivolous endeavors have shaped me immensely. As a sports-skeptic turned avid endurance athlete, I've learned that we are capable of much more than we imagine. From injuries, I've learned that unfortunate occurences don't have to stay that way--they can be blessings in disguise. They can push you to address your weaknesses and become even stronger. Running has empowered me in all spheres of my life, and that is so much more valuable to me than a stale resume-boosting experience.

As for my street-style blog? Well, if I didn't have my street style blog, I may not be studying abroad at Oxford next spring. Because of my penchant for capturing stylish passersby, I met an upperclassman from whom I was able to garner study abroad insight. Celine, the lovely human in the crisp white button-down and navy peacoat, had studied abroad for a year in Paris and Oxford. I was absolutely lost on what to do last winter (where to apply and how long to go), so we emailed back and forth over break. 

She told me to ask myself, "What is the most singular experience I can have only at this stage of my life?" I'd originally planned to apply to schools in Australia and New Zealand in the spring, but I realized that I could always enjoy the cultural highlights of those destinations later. I wouldn't, however, always be able to study at the University of Oxford (my freshman year dream).

And the rest is history. My passions, however unrelated to paving a career, have nonetheless influenced my life in just as valuable ways. So, as I seek balance, I will keep on chasing them.

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Artsy Endeavors + Life Updates: Dear Future Me...

dave staley triathlon
At the Dave Staley Triathlon--cheesin it up with my old high school running buddy
purple flowers
Gonna make myself poor from buying flowers...good thing these were only $2
midwestern wind turbines
Let's hit the road
"I've been given this one world--I won't worry it away" --Sara Bareilles, Many the Miles
fox in the snow cafe
Before you even think of eating your food at a cafe, take a million photos of everything, including the plants.
fox int he snow cafe
Food food food
rain and bokeh
Rain liberates--cheers to the most exhilarating of biking workouts in this torrential downpour
whole foods lunch
Nothing like a Whole Foods lunch--quinoa, vegan chicken, and sprouts
chicago pier
"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes" --The Count of Monte Cristo film
You know you may have a slight problem when you stop the car, hop out just to take photos of ivy, and then keep driving where you were supposed to go...
smoothie in mason jar
When you make a non poop-colored smoothie, the world must see

Written originally in late June as an exercise from Shannon Kaiser's Adventures for Your Soul

Dear future me,

I see you laughing--not politely chuckling or tentatively giggling, but laughing freely. It's the kind of laugh that leaves you breathless, the kind that simultaneously empties and fills your soul.

It's the kind you know well from nights with your dorm family--from roaring over Cards Against Humanity, from being carried across campus piggyback-style, from dashing around the ping-pong table during seven-person matches.

It's the kind you captured briefly during a triathlon training session, where the your bike pedal flew off after a grueling trek through wheel-deep water on the flooded path. You were covered in mud, your clothes were drenched, your bike had just fallen apart, and you were the happiest you'd been in a long, long time. You were happy because nothing else mattered at that moment--nothing else but the thrill of unexpected adventure, nothing else but the good company of an old friend, nothing else but your embrace of whatever wackiness the world wielded.

I know you can feel that pervasive joy again. The joy that makes life more vibrant, the joy that fills those precious moments with inexplicable peace. That lingers in the air like the morning mist. That draws you to the present.

I see you laughing like that again, and I see you living--actively, unconventionally, exuberantly. I see you springing out of bed each morning to work that makes your heart soar. I see you pushing your notions of possible with endurance training. I see you taking good care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I see you surrounded with love and cleansed of insecurities. I see you maximizing your potential. I see you always remaining hungry--in more ways than one, of course, but my greatest hope is that your most ravenous desire is hunger to grow.

I see you, and I can't wait to meet you. Now may be tumultuous and disorienting, but these challenges will build you.

I will follow my heart, and I will find you.

Lots of love,
Your always imperfect idealist

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