To quote that old wise man, Beyoncé, do you ever feel as though you're not at home in your own home? Even though all the trimmings are trimmed and the trappings are trapped, do you ever feel as if the fixings aren't quite, well, fixed?
Antiquated holiday references aside, I felt such a disconnect for the longest time, not so much in my St. Louis home pictured above, but in my campus home of Evanston. Sure, my academic performance was steady, and I had met some fantastic people, but who was I to determine whether these people were really my "friends"?
An implicitly elusive term, a friend should be someone you trust, someone you believe will always be there for you, no matter how many mashed potatoes you shamefully devour at the family reunion. That's how love works, folks.
Nevertheless, a profound sense of want consumed me on more than one occasion these two plus years of college--a want for friendship, a want for fulfillment, and above all, a want for self-definition. I soon discovered that you can't clear space for what you need until you remove yourself from what you need not.
It may sound like an intuitive solution, but it proved much more onerous in practice. I really had to step outside of all the fetters of my life to realize precisely what was pinning me down. As it turns out, the primary hindrance was myself, namely the exorbitant weight I had placed on what turned out to be phony friendships and a synthetic self. Instead of prioritizing excitement and thrill, I should have stayed true to that long-lost girl who told me to embrace my own strengths, voice my own values, and never strive for anything that's not "mine".
Leave the drama to the wayside, and reclaim your absolute best self, because it's been there waiting for you all along. :)
Now go get it!
Dress: Nicole Miller. Necklace: Alexis Bittar (old; love this one). Shoes: J. Crew (old; similar here). Bag: Céline.
All photos by Eric Pan.