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I’m now over at neighborhooddilettante.blogspot.com!

I’m still playing around with the coding, setting up my new profile, etc., so it still looks a little bare, but it’s definitely brighter. As soon as I’m settled in, I’ll begin to follow my editorial calendar and post regularly.

If you want to keep track of the blog, you’ll have to go to Blogspot and re-follow me there.

I’ve added my new address to Bloglovin’, IFB, and my Twitter.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Hope to see you there!

N.

Start by Starting

Perfectionism is such an awful trait to possess when starting something — anything, really. It’s such a human quality to strive for something great and an even more human quality to be great at something you love; just to know you can throw your entire heart into it.

I was dreading taking my first pictures yesterday. From the time my alarm went off at five, to the time I left my last class at two, the only thing on my mind were those pictures. How am I supposed to pose? Please don’t let it be cloudy all day. What if I’m just not photogenic enough? I got dressed and went into my backyard to take pictures. Two little boys, no older than seven or eight had gone into the alley behind my house and started to yell and point and laugh. Inside, my pictures turned out grainy and overexposed and the table that I had been using as a makeshift tripod collapsed onto the floor and broke my camera, sparing the memory card.

Three hours after I began, I finally had shots to work with. And thus, with pressing the button to publish, I closed my eyes and exhaled.

To be absolutely clear, this is not an example of resilience or rising to the occasion or anything else that makes blogging sound like the hardest, most difficult job in the world. It’s a lesson of passion.

Months ago, reading Atlantic-Pacific and The Chriselle Factor would have put me off of blogging after my first try (much like I suppose drama students get turned off the moment they see Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren or Daniel Day-Lewis perform). But doing things even when they aren’t quite comfortable is essential if you love something enough. When you put your entire focus into work or something you love, maybe it won’t be perfect, but that’s the biggest part of the process: acceptance and love for what you do even though it might not be your best.

Needless to say, my first attempt at fashion blogging didn’t keep me up last night, because I could go to bed knowing I worked with what I was given. Fashion has given more to me than I could ever dream of and thus, I give back all I have to it, even if it made me break my camera in the process.

N.

An Official Start Header

An Official Start

If someone had told me a month ago that I would be starting a blog, I would tell them that if that thought should ever even enter my head, feel free to slap me square in the face. I would have probably said, “I don’t have the time,” or something along the lines of, “Is this a fashion blog I’m starting? Because all I have is a point-and-shoot,” and possibly, “Who am I to even think that people would want to hear what I have to say?”

Well. those statements are still very true and will continue to be true very far into the future.

I’ll tell you the truth and say that I still really don’t know what I’m doing. Although after posting some of my writing online about a week ago, I finally decided that maybe, it was time to just jump in and stop being so afraid. Of rejection, of not being able to do anything right, of all of my photos coming out very crappily (my auto-correct just told me that that crappily isn’t a word, but it stays).

So what is this all about? I really don’t know. Hence the dilettante part of the name because I seem to be the jack of all trades and a master of none. I write about many different things — mostly about my life, or rather, how I see the world. I write about my experiences, my passion (which at the current moment is fashion), anything and everything that I know.

I can’t promise you that my writing won’t put you to sleep or that my photos will be of the best quality (or that my fashion sense won’t make you wrinkle your nose in disgust), but I can promise you that I’ll try hard enough to see that this is always a place written out of pure happiness of what I’m doing… even if I don’t quite know what I’m doing at time.

To all of the people that are supporting me so early in the game, thank you so much. I’ll try not to let you down.

N.

Any questions? Concerns? Advice? Anything? Feel free to contact me at any time. 

Diamonds

It’s often puzzling to me how many people in this world are enamored by diamonds and other sparkling things; how some of these people find it perfectly reasonable to spend thousands of dollars for something so tiny and so easily reproduced (aesthetically) in a plastics shop. I’m starting to realize that this is because diamonds – real diamonds are so rare. So much sacrifice and war and torture go into finding them, cutting them, and eventually placing them on a velvet display mount in Tiffany’s. Taking this logic into consideration, how can it be that so much of us dislike ourselves? Even detest ourselves?

Fate of birth is tricky and at times unfair, but the sheer probability of being here is one of the tiniest numbers in the Universe. We’re rarer than diamonds a million times over, yet we often do not see this, instead choosing to focus on our faulty natures. Whether we didn’t get that promotion, or we’re late on payments of some sort, or we got a low grade or a telling off from a superior. We beat ourselves up and it’s lauded. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible to show self-love in this world. For the moment it occurs publically, people are called “vain” or “narcissistic”. So rare are we to love ourselves that the moment we show our wonder to the world, others can’t help but push it back down into our very depths. Essentially, in a world where rarities of beauty are esteemed, even diamonds are more loved than humans. Not lovers or friends or family, but more often than not, ourselves.

If you look around you, there is nobody who is like you. (Nope, not even if you are an identical twin.) You can search the world over and you will never find anyone who is exactly like you. Yet, look at the next three married women you pass on the street and see if you can tell the difference between the glistening rocks on their ring fingers. Can you identify the cut? Tell me how many carats it is? Can you even tell if it’s real? Perhaps she’s just wearing it so men won’t bother her when she’s just trying to read a book on the train. You probably won’t be able to see that big of a difference in symbols that adoring significant others paid such a hefty price for.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is not a commentary on consumerism, but rather the things in which we place the most value on, or at least seem to. Diamonds cannot read you a story, nor can they kiss you. Louboutins – no matter how long you’ve been maintaining that red sole cannot dance with you or argue with you. Also, I’m quite sure that that latest gadget you waited for eighteen hours to buy outside of the Apple store cannot hug you or invite you over. And for some, that may be the perfect life. But should they be so prized, so loved and so valued while most of us can’t even look in the mirror at ourselves without internally cursing something that we could never control in a million years?

There’s us. Just us. And there’s nobody in the world that can fit beside us like a perfect puzzle piece. We are so rare; so hard to find, so hard to perfect, and yet, so hard to love. We are so seemingly imperfect in our own eyes. The probability of being in this world is slim to none. The idea that if your great-great-great-great-great grandparents had never met (and thus, disrupted your entire familial chain), you wouldn’t be here is… a sobering one. And a lovely one, to say the least. Despite the hardships of life, if we weren’t here, we wouldn’t also be able to experience love or a sunset or a warm breeze. None of it would be felt.

Love should be given freely to ourselves, no matter how hard it seems. We’re not diamonds or Louboutins, or the new iPhone, we’re rarer. And so much more shiny.

And that is amazing and worth loving.

N.