I was recently contacted by a student from my alma mater, Haverford College, who asked if I would be willing to participate in a series of Q&A about my career and the journey from HC to where I am now.
Of course I said yes! I loved loved loved my time spent at Haverford. I think it is so important to give back and provide support and guidance to students who are just starting to figure things out. I remember quite vividly being in that same position, not knowing what I wanted to do, feeling like the whole world was open to me, and what a burden that was. A crushing amount of opportunities, making it so hard to decide where to take the first step (this is possibly one of the only downsides of a liberal arts education).
Answering the questions made me reflect on my current situation. It is strange to me to think that I have advice and guidance to give others, since I still feel like I have an eternity of information left to learn. But the takeaway is that everyone has something to offer, and we should not downplay our own experience(s) as they may speak poignantly to another.
I’m not going to lie, this has been a tough start to the year for me. I am struggling with what seems like almost everything in my life- my career, my goals, my personal relationships, my friendships, my health, and my commitment to causes and things I should be passionate about.
There are several things that, on paper at least, should be (or in the future should be) very exciting. But I am finding it harder and harder to dig out of what I’ve been calling the winter blues.
Why is it that we are so conditioned to put a smile on things and laugh when we’re really not OK? Or is that just me?
I will admit, I have been known to screen grab some text exchanges with exes, before I delete their info from my phone. Those texts are the modern-day version of love letters. Which is kind of hilarious, and sad, all at the same time. Instead of a beautifully thought-out and written yellowing letter, I have a text from six months ago that reads ‘Whut up’.
The other murky area of modern-day dating is the leftovers. Nowadays, Facebook friending and following each other on various social media sites is de rigeur if you end up dating someone longer than a month or so. What happens when those relationships end? I have some ‘friends’ and I don’t know how to manage my connection with them. Is it creepy to remain friends/cyber stalkers once the relationship is over? Is it a natural progression in today’s interconnected and digital world?
Why does no one in Miami have home alarm systems? Makes it super easy for Dexter Morgan to waltz in and out of unsuspecting victims’ apartments!
Have any of you ever used Rent the Runway? For those unfamiliar with RTR, it’s an e-commerce site that allows women to rent designer dresses. It’s luxury, on a budget. Many women end up ordering two or more sizes of a given dress they would like to wear, because let’s face it– we’re not all built this way and it can be hard to figure out what will look good on YOUR body.
Many of us have hips, and thighs, butts and boobs. One of my biggest pet peeves is that dress designers don’t seem to understand that not all women are an A cup, and not all women enjoy flashing as much boob as the average Kardashian. But I digress.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that RTR is replacing their models with pictures of real women, uploaded by users themselves, with the ability to search by characteristic (e.g. height and weight). RTR is not the only company that does this– ModCloth is another one that comes to mind. Modcloth lets users upload pictures of themselves in their reviews of an item. These types of ‘modeling’ are so so so helpful because you can actually see what the article of clothing looks like on someone who might look like you.
This shift away from the visual of the stick thin, ‘perfect’ model is notable because retailers are acknowledging that their customers do not fit the fantasy that most brands offer. However, does this mean that the brands are losing some of their cachet as a result? Or does this type of customer interaction make the brand more accessible? SHOULD brands be more accessible? There was an interesting quote from a NYT article on RTR:
“When you present a luxury brand, in my opinion it’s not about being accessible — it’s all about the dream, it’s all about the aspiration,” said Marc Beckman, founder of Designers’ Management Agency, which has negotiated deals for the designers Oscar de la Renta and Stella McCartney. While embracing customers’ own photos made sense for midprice brands, he said, it did not work at the higher end. “There’s a lot at risk,” he said.
In my opinion, luxury brands are always negotiating this tightwire of accessibility, especially in today’s world where social media is so prevalent. Ultimately the brand must decide whether or not they want to embrace new methods of communication, or hold tight to traditional roles and branding. (Eunnie and I explored this very issue with our Digital Beauty blog!)
Do I take my laptop or my tablet with me on my business trip? Or both? And what about my Kindle? How many electronic devices does one girl need, really?
So I am going to watch the Hunger Games tomorrow- a full day before the release date. Thank you, BU Alumni Association! I will admit, I resisted reading the trilogy at first because I didn’t think the books would be that good. Well, they weren’t. I mean, they were enjoyable– light quick reads, interesting premise, alternate reality. But I didn’t find them all that well written, the characters were shallow and ill-defined, and in all honesty I really don’t like the Katniss character. I think she’s one of those typical female characters you see too often these days in young adult books. She’s beautiful but she doesn’t know it or believe it. She has at least two guys who are in love with her. She doesn’t really have much of a personality– her anger, pettiness, and petulance is supposed to mask a deeper depth of character– but there’s really not too much beyond the surface. (Shades of Twilight, anyone?)
In Katniss’s case, she is also good at hunting and tracking, so she has that going for her. But please, where are the girls who are plain and have skin problems? Where are the girls who DON’T have any guys madly in love with them? Where are the girls who are book smart as well as street smart? Where are the girls who have a sense of humor?
In case I haven’t made myself clear, I didn’t think the Hunger Games were that great in terms of literary young adult fiction. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading the books, and that also doesn’t mean I’m not excited to see the movie tomorrow! I have a feeling that the plot will transfer well to the big screen– and if stories like this are any indication, I’m not the only one who feels this way!
What do you call a person whom you are dating… just dating… who isn’t your boyfriend? There has to be a word that is appropriate but not ridiculous.
The best part of my day wasn’t:
*Realizing I hadn’t left my cell phone at home after all
*The lovely email in my Inbox this morning
*Beer and sushi at work
*My date after hours at the Trident Cafe (one of my all time favorite places in Boston)
It’s right now, sitting on my couch in my PJs, a bowl of popcorn and Revenge on the TV. Is that sad?
Happy New Year! I can’t believe I have to start learning how to write 2012 now. I still remember being in grade school and having difficulty replacing the ’87 with an ’88. That was a long time ago.
2011 was a mixed-up year. It was filled with some incredible highs:
-Travel to India
-Graduation from business school with two masters and an intact sanity
-Summer vacation, for the last time in my life
-Finally moving into a grown-up apartment of my very own
-Starting a new amazing job, and getting a steady paycheck once more
-Running my first 5K
and some incredible lows:
-Feeling cut-off from my friends; realizing some people were not who I thought they were
-The day after my 29th birthday
-And some other things which I won’t detail here.
Overall the pros outweighed the cons of the past year, so I guess I can’t complain too much. I wrote some things that I didn’t like about 2011 down on slips of paper and burned them last night. Two of the slips were named ‘fear’ and ‘complacency’. Without setting any specific resolutions for this year (I don’t really like resolutions, because I think they’re made to be broken), I hope to be more conscious about not letting these two things take me over.
So far 2012 has been wonderful. I have watched movies, hung out with friends, cleaned my apartment, hung pictures, unpacked boxes, cooked, caught up on reading, and have just been happy. If the rest of this coming year can be like this, it will be a great year. There will be bumps in the road (in only 1 month I turn 30, ugggghhhhh … really not looking forward to that). But I definitely have high hopes for this coming year. Here’s to you, 2012!