Monday, January 6, 2014

Strike Accord

My tendency to wholly submerge myself in another's captivating story while momentarily brushing aside all other musings is both a blessing and a bane in my life.

A couple days ago I redefined choking up (no, not in the baseball sense--I see all you sports fanatics religiously following this fashion blog ;) ) in none other than the magic and momentum that is the new Disney classic, "Saving Mr. Banks."  I know; I sound like a pretty decent sap right now, but there is much more to the tale of the whimsical Mary Poppins than meets the eye.  The true story as told by P.L. Travers herself revolves around the father--indeed, the very archetype of the man who hopelessly advocates for impossible dreams among his posterity while tragically losing himself in the realities of the working world.

Without giving away any pivotal plot twists, I will say that film's depiction of the thin barrier we all straddle between lofty hope and looming truth really hit home with me.  I realized just how little import my social status and seemingly grand material possessions bore.  Seriously, what is our generation doing obsessing over "likes" when the aforementioned author of Mary Poppins (Mrs. Travers) obsessed merely over her family's emotional wellbeing?

While many sociologists argue that such shifts in priorities are a product of an inevitably fast new culture, I contend that the immediacy- and excitement-driven patterns of our youth should not preclude adherence to the lessons our parents and our nursery rhymes taught us--namely, that "slow and steady wins the race."  Sure, I support mild YOLO and light experimentation in the short lives we lead, but what does a bucket list mean to that man making a living with nothing but a street corner and a cardboard sign?  How can a dive off a cliff (with or without a bungee cord) connect you with your fellow man?

Yes, acceptance of peaceful solitude is a virtue we should all strive to possess, but what's the point of silent reflection if all it does is keep you right where you are, in a guarded bedroom by yourself.  I am aware that not everyone dreams of international solidarity on the same daily basis that I do, but I do know that few would prefer to spend retirement in the back shack than in the caddy shack...

Although we have every right to relish in our individuality, you wouldn't be reading this post via social media if you weren't somehow moved by the lifestyles of others, right?  As much as I personally like to pride myself on my own achievements, I would not have reached any of these goals without the influences of my parents, my teachers, my friends, my enemies, and various passersby.  Furthermore, I would not even know these doings were "achievements" without a knowledge of human efforts, good and bad, for comparison.  In the words of a sassy diner poster I once read, "You're unique, just like everybody else."

You know why it feels better to give than receive?  Because we've already been given the gift of life and freedom, and nothing can possibly top that.

So give something to someone today--a ticket to the movies is always a great start. :)

Thank you, and Happy New Year!
Amanda :)

Coat: Paperdolls Boutique (St. Louis).  Top: J. Crew.  Necklace: J. Crew.  Skirt: J. Crew (old).  Boots: Stuart Weitzman (black suede).

All photos courtesy of Eric Pan.
Hair styling courtesy of Bonnie Trunfio Boze.


  1. Love the quote "you're unique, just like everybody else."

    I absolutely agree with your POV toward the now-so-popular bucket list. It's disheartening that we have come to rely on certain types of activities in order to feel like we are living our lives to the fullest. I say let's take each day as all we have, seek happiness from our daily routines, find peace in the mundane work. Then, as Tolstoy says in Anna Karenina, we will have found "gold in sand."

    1. Ahh yes, that's absolutely what I aspire to do. Beautiful. Thank you for reading! :)