Contrary to popular belief - working in the fashion industry was never really my "dream". People always assumed it was because A) I wanted to move to New York City, and B) I liked to go shopping.
That's it. There was also a brief stint during my childhood when I begged my parents to let me pursue a career in modeling because the lady at the mall from the Barbizon Modeling School told me that I could. For a fee. But she thought I had a real "look", so the $750 application fee would be totally worth it.
To this day, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I'd just gone to the Barbizon Modeling School. Maybe that lady WASN'T just trying to scam me as a poor, unsuspecting eighth grader with low self-esteem, maybe I really did have "the look" - if that look was 'glasses and frizzy hair'. Instead my parents got hung up on that measly $750 application fee. Even though I was like, "The lady said it's TOTALLY worth it! I have THE LOOK." And my parents were like, "uh..." and I was like "The Barbizon lady said that! And she knows what she's talking about, SHE WORKS THERE."
Right. She works there. So, she said it because it's TRUE. Not because she's trying to scam my family out of nearly $1,000. She wouldn't do that, she was so nice.
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...
My parents sent me a stun gun as part of a care package in college.
I figured I should open with that, so that when I say, “I found my stun gun in a shoe box in the back of my closet over the weekend” – ya’ll don’t think I’m the kind of girl who:
A) knows where to buy a stun gun, and -
B) keeps it in a shoe box in the back of her closet. Nestled next to a scarf and a pair of high heels.
Because that’s where it was. Who knows why. Who packed that box when I was moving?
Me. I packed it. I packed all of my boxes. And when I ran across that stun gun, I was probably like, “Well, I don’t have a box marked ‘Weapons’ …. sooo let’s just put it in this shoe box. That should be fine.”
That makes about as much sense me having a stun gun in the first place...
I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, "Do not fall in love with a man who doesn't make you feel like the most awesome, incredible, baddest bitch on the block."... those of course weren't his exact words, but the sentiment was the same. You know what else can make you feel that way? A leather jacket.
Seriously. I can be wearing sweatpants, and still feel like a stylish badass biker babe if I've got a leather jacket on. (I have never been on a bike - and by "bike", I of course mean motorcycle - so I don't know what that really feels like, but this is the only way I can know how to describe it.) It's like magic. While sweatpants in public say, "I can't get my life together", a leather jacket says, "This is OBVIOUSLY a style choice. And if you don't get it, then you're not as cool as I am."
There were two things that I wanted to be as a high school freshman: a Varsity cheerleader, and the lead in the school play. As a quiet, mousy, afraid-to-even-raise-her-hand-in-class kind of kid, these seemed like totally normal things to want. I was too shy to ask a question during English class, but getting up in front of everyone during a basketball game and jumping around in a short skirt? That sounds GREAT! Sign me up. There was a guy I liked on the basketball team.
I mean, of course there were OTHER reasons I wanted to be a cheerleader - because it's a SPORT. And a healthy extracurricular. And a great opportunity to build life-long friendships with my other cheer... mates? Cheermates? Is that a word? Cheer friends?
Whatever. It was mostly about the guy. And everyone knows cheerleaders are hot.
So I dragged my friend to try-outs with me - you know, because I was too afraid to go alone - and together we learned all of the basic chants, stunts, cheers, I think there was a dance involved? The only thing I can remember is thinking how they made everything look so much easier in "Bring It On". I couldn't even do a cartwheel, let alone the front handspring-stepout, roundoff back handspring-stepout I had planned to blow everyone away. You know, if I practiced enough. How hard could it be? It's just, jumping around. On your hands.
I did the splits for my "stunt" portion during try-outs. That was one of the things - you had to do a "stunt": a cartwheel, a roundoff, a handspring, you could even do a forward roll if you weren't coordinated enough to do anything else. Which I wasn't. But I chose to do the splits, because I decided that a forward roll might be too dangerous for someone inexperienced like myself.
Also I thought the splits would be more impressive. Which they would have been - had I actually done them, instead of whatever I did. Because what I did was slide down about halfway to the ground, until my knees started to bend and my legs made this triangle shape with the floor, and I was like "Ta-da!"
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 don't know how to ask someone to take a picture of me "for my blog" without sounding like a... like a total... what's the mom-approved-PG word for douchebag? Because that's what I sound like. A pretentious douchebag. It's hard for me to take myself seriously when I'm saying, "Hey will you take a bloggy picture of me in front of this fountain?"... which is usually followed by, "What should I be doing? Should I, like, look off into the distance? Or, look over my shoulder? Should I smile? Is that weird? Smiling is weird, right?"
Sure. Smiling in a picture? Totes weird. Only serial killers and ax murderers do that.
Rarely is this magical moment complete without me asking, "Is it cute? Will you take another one? What should I do with my hands?"
I never know what to do with my hands. And I alwaaaays ask if it's cute. Like the person behind the camera is ever going to tell me: "I don't know, Jenn. You're twenty-seven years old and still pretending to be a model. Is THAT cute?"
It's not cute. In fact, the whole thing usually feels so awkward that I fidget for about five seconds in front of whatever fountain/brick wall/lake front/rooftop view I'm standing in front of and then ask, "Did you get it? Is it cute?"
Seriously. Like I'm Beyonce or something. "Did you get it? Are we done here?"