The Luck of Level Zero

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start completely over? Not as in being reborn again, but a life where those regrets you carry with you no longer exist. A life where you’re happy. A life where, all the circumstances surrounding you suddenly feel tolerable again. A life in which, you’d want to see through to the end instead of being the cause of the end.

I guess I got lucky. I went from being a quadruple major in college surrounded by an intriguing friend group to having nothing. No degree, no close friends that I see and talk to every day. No definite career path to chase after even. I got lucky enough to fall into a hole that didn’t take me past zero. But instead, made enough mistakes to land me right back at zero. The very beginning. Nothing more, nothing less.

Some people want to start over completely and wish that they could erase their past mistakes. Others move on and accept their fate. But for me, I grew tired of what was around me, so I constantly wanted to change. To improve, to get better. Since I messed up, I knew that I had to fix it. However, after I while I got used to it all. Becoming not only just comfortable in my circumstances, but also growing to like myself even though I am super flawed and there’s over a million things that people would label as “wrong with me”.

Maybe this is what one would call “self-confidence” or a “sense of identity”, but I see it as character development. I don’t like who I’m developing into, so I guess I need to change that. But at the end of it all, I guess I realized that even though I’m a mess, I’m still lucky. I’m lucky that I have this chance to land perfectly back at zero and not past it. Lucky to not land right before zero where I would still have something to cling on to. Right where I’m at, where I have nothing, is exactly where I need to be to redirect my life and start over. A chance to restart.

How will I level up next?

 

Special thanks to Artificer Cascadia for the amazing photography!

Falling in Fall

With another quarter, I’ve found myself in another mess all over again because I always take on so much. The thing is, maybe the reason why I’ve always said that I wanted to do “everything” was to hide the fact that I really don’t know what to do anymore, from myself.

I have a lot of interests, but when it comes to what I actually want to commit myself to…

I still have no idea.

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Languages, graphic design, traditional and digital art, photography, music, and even things such as Business or Psychology; all of it’s always been so appealing and interesting. However, they all also take lots of time to either study or pursue. It becomes more than just a hobby, yet not enough to become a career in itself yet.

There’s this awkward “in-between” stage.

As I’ve been stumbling and falling through this awkward little season of self-conscious self-doubt, the more I realize that, maybe, things like self-discovery won’t ever truly get solved. At least not 100%.

It’s hard accepting that everything really can’t be come to be known for sure. It’s hard accepting change and that the world is constantly moving even when you feel so stuck in your own self-made circumstances. It’s never easy.

Nothing that you see as important ever is.

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By coming to terms with the fact that, “it’s okay that  life isn’t easy,” we begin to start truly living and enjoying life as it is. Yet, why is it so much easier to view life through either a pair of rose-colored glasses or through a cynical cracked lens?

We try so desperately to make things simpler in a way that we can understand life enough in order to just deal with life in itself. Or at least, maybe I’ve just been searching for an answer too hard. I’ve been searching for so long, that I don’t even know what I’m looking for anymore.

However, thanks to a random encounter, a turn of events and a reunion with an old friend, it’s come to my realization that maybe the thing I needed the most wasn’t some crystal clear answer painted in gold; but just a tight hug and a reassuring “it’s going to be alright.”

Funny enough, I don’t think either of us have any idea of what “alright” even means.

Even for a misanthrope such as myself, I gotta admit that this uncertain way of how we comfort others has some merit. It’s almost as reassuring as it is ridiculous. But, it’s nice.

They say once you’ve hit rock bottom, you can only go up.

The thing is, maybe I don’t want to go up. I’m not ready to climb out of this grave I’ve dug for myself quite yet. If I stay in this lonely dark hole by myself I get kind of depressed, yet in a way, my melodramatic sadness has become my new home.

These dark gray rocky walls, a dusty dirt floor; it’s all comfortable.

Miserable, but comfortable.

I don’t want to stay here forever of course, but even if it’s just for a little bit longer, I wouldn’t mind not being pieced back together just yet.

Is it weird that I’m almost content?

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Had some fun self-editing some great shots by the one and only, Sammy L. Photography !

Sweater: Juniors’ IZ Byer V-Hem Cowlneck Sweater (Kohl’s)
Shoes: Women’s Maya Thigh-High Boot (Payless)

 

 

Meshed Up Mess

Isn’t it funny how we can become overwhelmed from taking on too much so we take on less, but still end up not getting anything done because we still feel overwhelmed?

That’s been the past few weeks but time to get back to my usual routine.

With my photographer friend, Sammy from Sammy L. Photography, the two of us embarked around the Museum of Glass for the photo shoot featuring this mesh tank!

I know it’s slowly becoming fall, but I love mesh tops to death. Mesh anything really. For some reason, the aesthetics of purposely placed holes in clothing pleases me. Ripped jeans, starry lace?

It’s just so exhilarating and makes the outfit itself feel super fun while looking sharp, The holes in the mesh add a really nice fun and flirty element to everything, so after I saw it at Kohl’s I kind of just said good bye to my wallet and picked it up instead. Luckily, it wasn’t that expensive.

Or maybe it was.

After these past two weeks of being almost constantly $50 overdrawn, I’ve learned that I really have no concept of money.  However, it becomes kind of surreal to me.

Do I really have no concept of money, or do I just act like I don’t because I want to escape a reality of where everything that lay in my hands felt like too much… by being irresponsible?

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Lots of people become a mess because we end up trying to distract ourselves from the things that we don’t want to think about. Anything and everything to make it all the more convenient for us. Although it’s beneficial, we often times don’t face ourselves because those moments of clarity can be what hurt the most.

Then after we realize what the problem is, what do we do about it?

Even if we know what to do, why is it so hard to put it into action?

And in the end, is what we know… reality?

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I’ve found the answer to the last question to be yes, however, because reality is what we feel that we know it can also be inaccurate.  We all live in the same world yet how we each perceive what’s around us can be so different. Our emotions, thoughts and even the conclusions we come to end up being so varied. The thing is, not only is it different compared to other people but it can also be different compared to ourselves.

We’ve all procrastinated at some point in time, but even when it’s the smallest task, it just feels like whatever has to get done is such a hassle. It can’t be bothered. Yet, when we actually begin to work on it, the actual process itself doesn’t feel as bad as we make it out to. Thinking of each step, on the other hand, is extremely tiring.

Getting out of bed just seems like an awful idea some days.

You need to leave the warmth of the blankets, comfort of your mattress, and.. walk? 

Really, it’s not that bad. You know that. I know that. But when you think of each and every step in the process that has to be overcome, it just gets overwhelming even though you have the capability of doing it.

In the end, we not only over estimate ourselves when we take on too much, but we also over-estimate simple scenarios. Maybe the reason why we take so long to take action, is because over-estimating what could happen takes so much less effort, than experiencing the results ourselves.

What ever the reason may be, keep your head held high even when you’re dying inside.

I’ll keep you company.

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Photography by Sammy L. Photography

Shirt: Juniors’ Candie’s® Open-Work Star Lace Tank (Kohls)
Heels: Women’s Indi Peep Toe Bootie Heel (Payless)

On Being Everyone’s “Best Friend”

“You have the personality for it,”

He said, cautiously aiming the camera as he snapped the next shot of my awkwardly positioned self as we continued our photo shoot for the Ragfinery Fashion Show, an annual up-cycling contest up in Bellingham, Washington. This was my first ever photo shoot with an actual photographer, and let me tell you, I was talking at least 500 words a minute in an attempt to hide how nervous I was.

At the time, I had entered the up-cycling contest on a whim. Buying different pieces of used fabric to a bright red used dress, littering my side of the dorm with black and white scraps while blasting Halsey on my phone,  and shaking as I took my first steps into a ballroom full of people in elaborate costumes. It made me realize a lot of things and it was a time for a lot of firsts. But the biggest thing, was that it was the first time I really began to take my life into my own hands, and shape it.

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Ragfinery Cirque of Couture (2017) 
Photography thanks to Artificer Cascadia

We talked about how I had wanted to become a fashion designer and how he thought I could do it because I “had the personality” for it. Maybe I do, or maybe I don’t, but it got me thinking.

What about my personality has that kind of draw?
Do I really have that kind of charismatic energy about me?

I honestly don’t have an answer for that still. Throughout middle school, I met a lot of different kind of people and it really opened my eyes to how so many people experience different events, and how those events can be much harder than what I’ve experienced.

However, because they went through much rougher lifestyles, my problems were often invalidated.

“You’re lucky,” or “at least you don’t have to go through what I go through every day” were all common expressions.The thing is, they were also very valid. They were right. It forced me to look beyond myself; it made me realize that many people experience worse things than I do, and that those people aren’t just in the news. They were next to me. They knew me. And I wanted to help them.

But the problem was, how?

The hard part about helping people is that most of the time what happens to them is not only is the situation around them out of their control, but it’s out of our control as well. It gets to a point where you realize that, stuff happens. The first step to helping others isn’t coming up with a concrete solution, but I’ve found that most people just want to be understood. In addition to that, we all experience things through different perspectives and small things to one can end up as major issues to another.

However, since we all want to be understood, the hardest part to helping others with personal problems may be the fact that they’re not us. They don’t always do what they do because of why we do the things that we do. They don’t get sad and moody over what upsets us.

People say that, I “have the personality” for it, or the “mindset” for it. But, I think it’s a lot more than just an ambitious streak. It’s not just the positive revelations and determination, but coming to terms with our moments of clarity.

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Eye contact still scares me. I have huge stage fright and my anxiety goes through the roof every time I get approached by someone new. But I’m also outgoing, social, and impulsive. Naive but jaded, energetic and courageous, yet terrified and inconsistent.

The painful moments where we realize that we’ve messed up, how life can suck, how things didn’t go as we expected. It’s about taking these moments, and using them to shape ourselves up as people and run with it. We’re all filled with so much different potential, but yet, we’re the things that block out our potential the most.

People opening up to me, and for some reason, liking me? 

It’s overwhelming even. It blows my mind beyond comprehension and makes me always wonder why. Regardless of what reasons they may give me, it’s never enough.

Alike how we need to understand others to help them, I guess the most important step to helping ourselves, is to truly understand ourselves as who we are. Yet, how we see ourselves can be so negative and far from the truth.

How do we figure ourselves out and deal with it in a way that makes us happy?

With being everyone’s “best friend,” we need to have enough confidence in ourselves to lift others up. To effectively help others, you don’t need to be put together at all. You can be lost, you can be hurt. It’s okay to not be okay. But to see where others are coming from and lift them up, we need to pieced together enough in a way so that we won’t compare ourselves to other people. To recognize others as equally important individuals is so much easier said than done since we tend to see others as either above and below us when we’re feeling down.

To truly proceed, maybe there’s nothing to “fix” about ourselves, but really, everything to accept about ourselves both wonderful and atrocious. By accepting who we are and staring ourselves face to face, the painful revelations are the catalysts that add to our character development.

How has your character been developing?

Until next time,

DefinitelyNotEmi

Special thanks to Sammy L Photography for the amazing photography!

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Shoes: Women’s Indi Peep Toe Bootie Heel

Shirt: Blush Music Note Girls Sharkbite Tank Top

Jacket: Juniors’ Candie’s® Lace Crop Moto Jacket

Skirt: Japanese Sweet Piano Keys Skirt Embroidered Skirt

 

 

Eclipses and Elliptical Realizations

They say eclipses hold some kind of magic.

Previously theorized to have been a dragon eating the Sun, or a quarrel between the Sun and the Moon, it is now seen as a bad omen foretelling disasters, destruction, and even death.

However, with the massive eclipse over the United States this morning, new superstitions have also risen. Things like “make a wish” or how seeing it will give you good luck because it is a once in a life time opportunity. It seems like everything that’s expected to only be a once in a life time opportunity, is always associated with some kind of magical quality.

The “it only happens once” factor.

Why is that?

We spend so much time wondering about the unknown to the point that we become afraid even, of what we don’t know. It’s terrifying. Making decisions without knowing for sure what will happen next, how we’re told that one choice will end up dictating our entire lives. But by knowing something will only ever happen once and never again, we end up pushing ourselves to follow through and seize the opportunity.

The motivation that just knowing one thing in a midst of uncertainty is exhilarating.

Maybe even where the magic truly lies.

People make decisions based on what best benefits our self-interests. For some, their self-interest is in other people so they put others first. On the other hand, for others, their self-interests lie in themselves. There’s so much more to it than just that though. It’s not in just black and white. There’s considerate people who put themselves first because they feel that they can’t take care of other people well if they’re not put together themselves, while there’s people who want to help others but can’t because they are a mess. You have people who act nice and caring only to gain your favor to climb up the social ladder, while the people who can say the rudest things show the most genuine humane actions.

In the face of all these contradictions, we not only live a world where anything can happen but also a pool of uncertainty because, anything really can happen.  We don’t know anything for sure except for what we’ve experienced and what the numbers prove. Yet every so often, even the numbers are wrong.

What if it doesn’t  happen only once? What if it doesn’t happen at all?

What if, what happens in the future doesn’t matter… because it doesn’t exist yet?

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Lately, I’ve been asked where I want to be 30 years from now or even just what I expect to be doing just 5 years from now.

I’m not sure if you remember what you imagined high school to be like when you were in kindergarten then coming to the realization that it wasn’t like anything you expected after you actually went into high school but, I guess adulthood works the same way.

I used to be really worried about my future.

How I had to get experience now to get a job, how the passions I had needed time to build up to make money, and how those passions wouldn’t amount to anything so I had to keep a back up plan up to date.

But if adulthood works the same way as growing up did the first 18 years of my life, which, it kind of does more or less, things aren’t going to go the way I planned.

They didn’t and it’ll continue that way.

However even though things don’t go the way you want them to sometimes, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t fall into place.

With this eclipse, I’ve come to a realization that instead of worrying about where I will be years from now, why not focus on where I am currently and how I can progress?

What’s the use of stressing out over a future that probably won’t come to pass, when you can put that stress into a present that you actually have control over?

We’re making our future as we speak, but the responsibility of it all can be overwhelming. Yet, like the eclipse, every decision we make of every second of every day that we make still is once in a life time because the context of why and how you make it will never be the same.

The weather will be different, maybe your relationships will change.

But by using the same magic that’s gotten millions of people to back up traffic on the freeways to Oregon and invest in special glasses, we can use this “once in a lifetime” factor in our daily lives.

With the eclipse of our beloved Sol, we can let the fear of uncertainty in our souls be eclipsed as well and bet on ourselves.

Continue to live on and set your red balloons free at sunset my lovelies.

Until next time!
DefinitelyNotEmi

Special Thanks to Anuj Photography

Featured Photo

Shirt: Women’s Dana Buchman Sheer Embroidered Tunic Shirt (Similar but Better – Kohls)

Pants: Destroyed Push-Up Skinny Jeans (Charlotte Russe)

Shoes:  Women’s Kathleen T-Strap Pump (Payless)

Wings and Accidental Weddings

“Hey, you up for a shoot tomorrow?”

With an excited yes in response and a somewhat guilty conscious, my friend Brian and I made our way to a local park to do a quick shoot so I would have something to post. However, our little morning park adventure turned out to be a lot more eventful than I thought it would be.

When we first arrived, there had been a Ukrainian wedding taking place. To my dismay, we couldn’t find the bride or groom anywhere but the audience was flooded Payless, lots of people have been picking up shoes for upcoming weddings as well.

I guess, the month of August is also the month of weddings. It’s got me thinking.

What is love to me?

What do I want in a relationship?

I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been so busy obsessing over these two questions and even going to psychics about questions about my love life for the past year that not only should I just be focusing on myself as a person instead, but even if I know who I’m supposed to end up with, or even how someone else potentially feels about me, if they don’t do anything about it then it’s almost the same as if they didn’t have feelings for me at all.

The problem is, if try to initiate something I always end up coming off as too awkward or pushy. But if I don’t, I become anxious.

What are you supposed to do at that point?

Personally, even if you tell me what I should do in this situation and you’re right, I probably still won’t do it. I guess, maybe I’m just unreasonably stubborn. I need constant confirmation yet I can’t believe in the evidence I’m given, so it’s an endless cycle.

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The thing is, maybe what you’re supposed to do doesn’t matter.

We all have things we’re supposed to do or expected to do that we end up not doing. Things that we shouldn’t do and are expected not to do. Not just exercising or not drinking that “one more shot” but also things like saying “I hate you” to your mom minutes before she dies of a sudden heart attack, bullying that kid back in elementary school, or deciding to ghost someone randomly because you wanted some distance.

These tragedies are real things and awful, but yet they happen.

Though those examples aren’t from me personally, they’re real stories I have either heard or taken a part in. Maybe for every amazing person I encounter, there’ll be 10 more awful ones. But I don’t have control over that.

Instead of stressing out over love lives and how things should or are supposed to be, the trick to being happy is to focusing on how we aren’t better than anyone, but no one is better than us.

By remembering that we’re all people and equal to each other, not above or below, we’ll be able to achieve a sense of true self confidence.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s where true love really begins.

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Dress: Black V-neck Wing Detail Open Back Skater Dress
Shoes: Women’s Indi Peep-Toe Bootie Heel

Special Thanks to Brian Freeland Photography

Skedaddling and Flanneling

Good Morning Lovelies!

I don’t know about you guys, but man has it been a week. I feel like I always get flustered over the little things, so it kind of just adds up and I end up feeling I just lived through a season of some TV drama by Saturday.

Back in middle school, I got really amazed by the fact at how I could move my hand and how there were 7 billion other people in the world that could also be moving their hand at the exact same time. Of course, that’s not exactly true. But over time, I still can’t get over the fact of how so much happens at any given second of our lives, yet we still only focus on whatever our “present” is. And I think, that is amazing.

As you’re reading this post, the things that make up these letters, these words, and what it took to make all grow into a cohesive language, someone else is just sitting around and eating a pizza created from the same kind of extensive history. At the same time, over 7 billion people are using things all with a history of some kind and just existing. 

It’s crazy to me no matter how many times I’ve thought about it.

Young Emily plays in a Fountain - 2017

This outfit was something I actually pieced together last year, towards the end of my Senior year of High School. I remember changing my wardrobe completely towards the end of the year, powered with the urge to really just embrace fashion. I’ve dressed up before, bought clothes I liked, etc. But during senior year, I really just had this constant thought of, “I want to look hot.”

Such a stereotypical post-pubescent thought right?

It was the start to something though. Becoming and feeling more attractive was really not just “Man, I want to look good” but really, it was just me determined to become something I was confident in.

When the thoughts you hear most are from yourself, might as well give the inner you something to compliment yourself on. It doesn’t always work, I act sociable when I’m at work or school but man, nothing brings out my anxiety more than when I think that everyone around me is judging me. 

I’ve come to the point where I realize that, they’re just judging me because I’m acting weird since I think that they’re judging me but, just cause I realize it doesn’t mean I can get over it.

But either way, awkwardness aside, I’ve found that wearing what makes you feel attractive will make you attractive. Find what works best for you.

With a light grey-and-white flannel I had gotten from a clearance rack off of Kohl’s, I experimented around until I paired them up with some slick high-waisted black shorts and a purple tank top to add a pop of color.

These customized winged boots from SpreePicky made my life. They were a bit on the expensive side, but wow. Boots? With WINGS?

They get mixed reactions but I kid you not, they’re non-slip, kept me safe in the winter snow and still stylish in the summer. I love them to death.

Although it looks like the boots with bat wings aren’t on sale anymore, they have new ones with bunny ears that come in black and a cream!

Link’s down below!

Set your red balloons off at sunset,

let go of your thoughts and be you as this cycle ends.

Hope you have a great weekend and until next time!

Layers with Shorts

-DefinitelyNotEmi

Special Thanks to Brian Freeland Photography

Boots:  Beige/Black Rabbit Ears Low Martin Boots (SpreePicky – Similar)

Plaid’s Not So Bad

Happy Thursday!

A little past the half-way mark of not only this week, but with the start of August, we're now a little past half-way through summer. It's still as hot as ever here in the Greater Seattle area and I can honestly say that I almost miss the rain. Really, I just miss the 50 degrees but sunny days.

Though it's hot and there's some forest fires nearby making the air a bit smokey, here I am with another outfit.

Embracing the heat, I've decided to break out a pair of my denim short-shorts with a black tank, topping it off with a plaid vest to add a little more color and tie the outfit together.  Though I used to wear this with some winged boots, I found some comfortable sandals and a matching bag to help tie the pastel orange and the blue together more with the black.

Not exactly understated, but not too bold either.

Hope you're all surviving this summer heat!

Vest: Women's Rock & Republic® Sleeveless Plaid Shirt (Kohl's – Similar)
Shoes: Women's Perry Low Wedge Ghillie (Payless – Similar)
Purse: Women's Jinx Satchel (Payless – Same Style, different colors)

Set your red balloons off at sunset my lovelies,
DefinitelyNotEmi

Special Thanks to Brian Freeland Photography

Subtly Edgy Jackets and Summer Layers

Clearance racks and thrift stores have a mixed social stigma still but, I’m pretty happy with this outfit that was made from exactly that. The ruffled floral tank added a little pop of color to the whole thing without being too overwhelming while the ruffles kept it fun and flowing.

Being the wannabe edge-lord I am, I decided to add high-waisted shorts for a little more impact while the subtle off-white of the jacket to tie it all together.

Sadly, the jacket is from my mom’s old stash of clothes but this faux leather jacket at Charlotte Russe will add more pop to it and would make it even more refined.  However,Tank and shorts are on clearance at Kohl’s!

Set your red balloon off at every sunset you come across.

Until next time and hope you have a great start to your week!
-DefinitelyNotEmi

Special Thanks to Brian Freeland Photography