Monday, September 19, 2011

In Which I Wear My Chucks and Talk About Moving Forward

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I’m the sort of person who needs to have a plan. As much as I like the idea of running out somewhere on a whim with friends, If I’m going out, I like to know in advance where we’re going, what time we’re meeting, and who’ll be there when I arrive. When I was with my ex-boyfriend, I loved being able to say that when I would be able to move to California at some point with him, maybe in two years or so. It was nice to have my future planned out because I like plans. As I think we all know, though, plans change. Life throws things at us and we’re forced to respond, and our response alters the trajectory of where we’ll go next. In the past, and even now, I hated uncertainty. I like knowing that I’m doing the right thing and that I’m making good decisions. Even when our lives are relatively stable, though, we don’t often get the assurance that what we’re doing is best, at least in my experience.

Something that’s been really helpful and wonderful for me, though, is listening to the experiences of other people. I’ve found that hearing about peoples’ lives and the choices they’ve made for themselves, from dealing with breakups they never saw coming (or, like me, making the terrifying decisions to end something that had lasted a very long time) to taking the risk of moving someplace entirely new. Hearing someone say that they’ve done something I feel to scared to do on my own makes me think, “Well, maybe I can do that.” I’m so busy telling myself that if something’s not planned, I can’t possibly do it. “I need a boyfriend to move across the country. No one will ever love me like my ex and I made a huge selfish mistake in breaking up with him. I can’t balance work and school. I can’t make new friends.” Am I worried about these things being true? Of course I am. Because these prospects are all terrifying. But, I’m trying my best to embrace the uncertainty of the future as a positive thing. Life right now are wide open. I’m a junior in college, I just started a new job, and I just made a big change in my personal life that I never thought I would make. I’ve been thinking of all of these things as daunting, like everything is out to upset me, and that I’m not capable of being strong and successful. I’m just beginning to look at my life as something full of opportunities for the taking. Sure, I don’t know what’s going to happen or who I’ll meet or where I’ll go, but these are good uncertainties. Things often aren’t as final or limiting as they seem, and though I know I’ll have moments where I throw tantrums and question all of this, I think I’m on the right track.

Just a note about what I'm wearing, since this is a self described "fashion blog." When I met with her, Michal and I were talking about our past fashion misadventures and how we used to dress, and skater shoes and converse came up. Since then I've been wanting to wear one of my old pairs. You'll notice the Bayside lyrics on the toes ("I've made mistakes, but I'll find my way) though I wrote the lines backwards on the wrong feet. There're also some Jack's Mannequin lyrics scrawled on the side, along with a Thoreau quote, and the word "transcend" written on one of the laces. All the words on those shoes seem appropriate for this post, and the idea of looking backwards but moving forward also seems quite relevant.

Dress, Jean Jacket: Salvation Army, Converse Sneakers

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Until tomorrow,


  1. I'm a planner too. Not having a plan makes me a bit terrified, but it is something that I am getting better at with age.

    I like your converse! I still wear mine a lot, partially because of nostalgia. In college I wore converse every. single. day. In fact, I planned to get married in them. To a boy that's long out of the picture. Oh, how plans change!

  2. I often have similar thoughts racing through my head. It's silly to think we spend so much time worrying about the future... but everyone does. It's daunting and scary... If you ever do move to the west coast, we should be best friends. :) you could come to college with me and everything! because i'm sure you'd like to do 4 more years of that...haha!)

    i think i got rid of all my converse! :( i like how you styled them though. very nostalgic.

  3. Seriously I <3 you! You are such a talented writer and managed to put to paper (well not paper, but virtual paper) what I'm sure so many of us have gone through/are going through/will go through. The last two years or so were a period where I had to come to terms with uncertainty, and overcome lack of confidence, and deal with many other things you have touched on here. Although I definitely still have a ways to go, I'm proud that I've taught myself to be more flexible and more out-going and less fearful of an unknown future. I think we are a lot alike, in that we are naturally introverted and like a plan. I have friends who seem to be able to do anything at a whim and I always admired that, but it can be tough for some of us! I am rambling on now, but I just want you to know that I completely relate to what you're going through (although I may have experienced it in different ways). You are a talented, funny, & beautiful girl & although you may not be able to forsee it, I am sure life has a lot of wonderful things in store for you. Remember that you can't make everyone happy, no matter how hard you want to. You are one of the sweetest girls I've ever met! xo

  4. great post, and the shoes look cute!

    xo, allie

  5. This is such a good outfit! You look so comfortable but still super adorable.

  6. I ended my three year relationship when I was a junior in college too. It was the best decision I ever made. It took me a couple months to realize that but I'm so happy and won't ever go back even if I had the chance. I hope you are doing well Nicole!

  7. aw, converse! i still have a couple of pairs hiding in my closet i'm going to have to pull them out! anyway. this post was so well written, you are really a terrific writer. i am dealing with a ton of uncertainty in my life right now regarding school and the future, and i really don't like it. i love the mindset of embracing the uncertainty and allowing life to take you wherever it may lead. you inspire me, nicole! <3

  8. I think you're quite brave! Not trying to micromanage everything is one of the hardest things for me to deal with. It's hard to just let things play out! You're looking fabulous. This is going to be a great fresh start for you!

  9. I used to be a planner, and then like you things became unplanned. I never thought I'd be living home after college for this long (but I wouldn't have met Rich), or that I'd be working in NYC (I wouldn't have met you!). It is very reassuring to talk to people and hear their stories because it reminds you that you can do it. You can do ANYTHING you want. I promise.
    I love your sneakers. I have a pair of 11 year old converse with Good Charlotte lyrics on them. Its good to remind yourself who you were when you were younger. <3

  10. I totally agree that hearing other people's stories can be so life affirming. Some things always seem impossible but sometimes all it takes is hearing somebody say that they've taken those risks and that everything turned out great! I'm also a planner, just like you, so I really understand how hard it can be to follow your plans when a piece of the alleged puzzle has gone missing or refuses to be found or just plain doesn't fit. Anyway, keep your chin up kid--you've got great things ahead of you :)

  11. I really like reading your introspective posts. It drives me crazy sometimes to not know what's coming next (right now, I'm always trying to imagine what my next full-time job will be and when I'll finally find it). But hey, I think being a planner helps you make smart decisions, even if it is stressful. Your purple Chucks look great with this dress...they remind me of when I used to work with my friend Natasha in the writing center at a local community college. She always wore colorful Chucks with drawings on them back then. She is an animator now =)

  12. Loving the this outfit, ESPECIALLY the shoes! Oh man. I used to own like five pairs of converses--all in different colors. I really do miss them. I might just buy myself another! I love that yours has so much meaning behind it (or well on it hehe). I loved this post too Nicole. I've often found that sometimes the best kind of things are NOT planned. I didn't plan to be with Robert at all (I used to hate him actually lol). I didn't plan to be a teacher either. Both just happened and I really am glad I took a chance on both. But I still am the girl who needs to have everything planned out. Even on a day to day basis, I'm always asking Robert "what are we doing to day? what's on the agenda?" And I really do envy his spontaneous/no-plan attitude sometimes. Everything will work out for the best <3 You CAN do anything Nicole because you are super sweet, smart, and beautiful (inside and out).

  13. i also broke up with my high school boyfriend at the end of my sophomore year of college, and although it was tough at the time (we still talked almost every day until summer came), I absolutely do not regret it because the second half of my college experience was monumentally more amazing (and i grew a LOT as a person when i was on my own). it's definitely tough not to know what will happen in the future--i'm totally a planner and the fact that i don't know when my boyfriend will be finished with his grad program really drives me up the wall, but you're still so much younger than me!!! you don't have to know what you're going to/where you're going to go AT LEAST until you graduate college. you will never have this chance again to live 100% in the moment--so enjoy it!! :)

  14. I know what you mean: I feel the need to control every aspect of my life,otherwise I feel lost. And planning my life and future helps A LOT, even if it makes even harder if my plans don't become true!
    Hold on Nicole :) everything will be fine for you, I'm sure. You're such a great person...
    Oh and btw you look great- I love that dress!

  15. I like this post a lot. You just wrote it so well. At almost every point I thought "wow she describes me"...although I must say I don't have a boyfriend and never had one (but come on we're pretty and smart girls someday we'll meet someone special and he'll find us special too)....
    I think you shouldn't fall into too dark thoughts because at some point it can harm you and that's something you shouldn't do to yourself...One day it will get better and you'll see it as not that bad.
    Moreover plans are good and we definitely need them but you should leave a little space for the changes and opportunities life offers :)

  16. Great outfit and LOVE the chuckies!! You really should wear chucks/Keds more often as they look amazing on you!! :-)


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