I think the part that no one prepares you for as a "style blogger" are the weird things that are going to come out of your mouth: "I really need to take more outfit pictures", "Wait - wait, don't eat yet, I need to get a picture", "Do you think I should buy a white rug? For blog pictures? All of the other bloggers have white rugs."
Remember when we only took pictures of, like, normal things? And it didn't matter if you had a white rug?
Here's the newest one that I've been walking around saying for two weeks: "I really need to buy an orchid."
Kyle: "Why an orchid?"
Me: "I don't know, because it's Spring-y. I want our apartment to feel more Spring-y."
There are several reasons why I "needed" to buy (totally did not "need" to buy) an orchid. Not any good reasons – but several not-so-good reasons.
Full disclaimer: I am not a photographer. Sure, I take a lot of pictures – but that’s essentially all I am: a picture-taker. When purchasing a new camera, photographers are people who consider things like shutter speed, lens selection, aperture, and various camera-words-that-I-don’t-know-because-I’m-not-a-photographer. Meanwhile, in the other camp, a “picture-taker” will pick out a camera based on… “I don’t know, is it easy to use? Is it heavy? Do I have to know stuff about cameras to be able to use it? Will it take better pictures than my iPhone?”
These are all real questions that I asked when searching for a new camera.
Photographers don’t like picture-takers (I’m just guessing). At least they don’t like the picture-takers who like to call themselves photographers. (Again, I’m just guessing.) I feel like if I had taken a lot of time and practice to hone my craft, I’d be pretty annoyed with the person who shows up with an iPhone and an Instagram account and refers to themselves as a “photographer”. Congratulations, you officially have as much photography experience as Chrissy Teigen (who, for all I know, could actually be a very skilled photographer.)
There are two kinds of bloggers out there: the kind who have goals and a media kit - and the other kind, the kind who have to Google "what is a media kit?" when someone reaches out to them for a sponsored post and -- well, actually, first they have to head on over to the blogging forum and ask, "Hey guys, how do I handle a sponsored post? So-and-so is reaching out to me and I don't know what to do", and someone says, "send them your media kit".
I still don't really understand what a media kit is. But that's okay, because it sounds a little more "professional" than what I am currently set up for.
Around the middle of October, I was playing around with this new blogger site that I found called Canva (game changer, by the way) that allows you to make graphics and banners and all of the professional-looking-images that you see the professional-looking-bloggers have.
I got really excited. I felt like I'd stumbled into "the big secret" that all of the professional bloggers already know. I found a fancy graphic site that is going to CHANGE EVERYTHING...
Ugh. "Purge". It's one of those words like "moist" or... "moist". It's not the way it sounds, it's just - you know, what it is. Purging stuff. I feel like I'm writing about my closet throwing up remnants of old college t-shirts and Target Mossimo tags.
I've always thought the idea of "cleaning out my closet" sounded like a terrible idea. Like this monumental chore. Because it basically felt like opening up the door to my own personal landfill of Victoria's Secret shopping bags (that I, for some reason, struggle to throw away) and shoes. So many shoes. WHY do I have so many shoes? I have two feet. I do not need twenty pairs of shoes.
But, you know, some day, "I might wear them" - or so I tell myself.
I have clothes in there too. Some clothes. Not all of my clothes. A lot of them used to end up in piles on the floor. Because they wouldn't fit in my closet. And the floor seemed like as good a place as any to keep them - you know, because I could see them. No sense opening up the pesky old closet and reminding myself what a mess it is in there.
And then I moved in with my boyfriend. Who is not like the boys you met in college with McDonalds bags stashed under their beds and dirty clothes spilling out of the hamper (thank God) - he's, like, an adult. He's sanitary. And while I know he loves me, I figured it wouldn't take long before he would get frustrated with me using my side of the closet as a landfill for VS bags and the bedroom floor to layout my clothes. All of my clothes. You know, so I can see them. Because you can't do THAT when they're in the closet. Too many other clothes in the way. Some shirt you love might be squeezed between two shirts you hate - and then you'll miss it. And then you'll be sad.
I wasn't allowed to dye my hair growing up. It wasn't a 'religion thing' or a 'Conservative thing' or an "afraid of chemicals" thing - my parents just told me that I wasn't allowed. End of story. My mom said I had "beautiful hair" and dying it would be like "ruining it".
These kids today walking around with "Mermaid hair" will never know the struggle.
I mean, I get it. My natural hair had "dimension" (I think that's the word that hair-people use). So many shades of brown - natural highlights, natural LOW-lights - just growing out of my head. And it was healthy! Ugh. SO HEALTHY.
But, you know, I was a teenage girl and thought that dying my hair was the equivalent of a Mia Thermopolis make-over. (Dye hair = look like Princess of Genovia.) But my mom wasn't having it. "Pick your battles", they say, and this is the one that she picked.
A lot of parents put their foot down about partying and premarital sex, but my mom has never been like a "regular" mom. She's a cool mom.
(Also, I didn't get invited to parties in high school and boys didn't talk to me. So if she really wanted to put her foot down about something, the hair thing was kind of all she had.)
I love yoga. I mean, I'm not good at it or anything - I don't know what I'm doing, or how to breathe, and it took me a year just to figure out what "cat cow" was.... But I love yoga.
I love rolling out my little, pink yoga mat in the middle of my living room floor, and picking out a yoga video from my favorite yoga YouTube channel, and pretending that I'm confident and relaxed as I stumble (and sometimes fall down) through the twenty or thirty minute sequence of my favorite YouTube yoga instructor saying "just breathe".
I LOVE YOGA, or whatever it is that I'm doing on my living room floor (mostly just trying to twist my body into weird shapes and pretend that it's totes relaxing). It makes me feel good. But to say that I actually "do yoga" feels a little bit like saying I'm a salsa dancer after taking a couple of Zumba classes. It's just not the same. My yoga pants have spent more time grocery shopping and walking to 8 AM college classes than they have on yoga mats.
But we all have our "things". Mine is pretending that I'm flexible and mildly coordinated.
I learned to drive while growing up in a very small town. Like, the kind of small town Carrie Underwood sings about with back roads, Jesus, and dating the varsity quarterback. We had a "drive your tractor to school" day once a year. We had ONE STOPLIGHT.
Needless to say, we didn't have a lot of traffic. Because we didn't have a lot of people.
So when I moved to Chicago last month....... Well, I think you see where I'm going with this. There were a couple of things they must have glossed over back in driving school. Things like:
1) I don't know how to parallel park. I think they tried to teach this at some point? Maybe there was a video on it? I remember there were orange cones, but I don't remember having to actually park.. parallel-y. Instead I grew up where we had these things called "parking lots". And nobody ever held up traffic trying to squeeze their mini-van into a five foot slot next to the sidewalk.
2) The cab drivers play chicken with the pedestrians. And everyone is weirdly okay with it. No one seems worried that their about to die.
3) People honk. A lot. Mostly at me, because I drive like a grandma.