Friday, July 22, 2016

Polka Dots and Stripes

Today was my last official vacation day. I still had the weekend before returning to work, but with respect to the days I actually requested off, today was it, the last one. My favorite thing to do on days off when I am in the city is just walking around in Manhattan. On the weekends, it is extremely crowded everywhere you go; on the weekdays, however, everyone is at work and the city is at its quietest. You get the luxury of exploring the city without the accompanying crowds of people. 

As I got up in the morning, I went to the park for a quick run in an attempt to get back to my fitness routine, then I got ready and headed into the city. The plan was to meet up with my roommate for lunch. She works on Upper West Side, and there are a number of nice lunch places in that area. However, before we headed over to the lunch place, I asked her to take a few pictures of my outfit. So here it is - my combination of polka dotted top and striped shorts. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Hair, Again

Yes, the inevitable happened - I decided to go blonde again. I just went to San Francisco on my vacation and my friend there has these beautiful blonde highlights. Every time I would look at her hair, I would remember how much fun it was being blonde. So as soon as my plane landed in JFK airport, I emailed my hair stylist, admitting to her that 'Yes, I know I am crazy' and does she have any openings tomorrow. She did! She also responded with a long 'hahahaha' - she knows how insane I am when it comes to my hair. It's about those changes, and unfortunately I want them a little too often. 

This time, she told me if we do this, I cannot do anything else until at least September. I agreed and told her if she sees yet another email from me, she definitely can ignore it and put me on her 'blocked' list. We both laughed, but I knew that this time I would absolutely have to wait at least until the fall as otherwise my hair would start breaking off. I keep making these jokes, but I do need to be careful this time as the process of lightening very dark hair can be quite damaging. 

This whole experience made me think how happy I am that I am finally settling down in New York. You know those moments when you live somewhere for a long time, you have all your necessary people (such as hair stylist, doctors, dentists, etc.) around you, and then you move and you have to start the search for those people all over again. It takes time, and it gets frustrating because you go through bad experiences, but then once you find the right person, you feel like your life is finally coming together, like all pieces of the puzzle are coming into place. I'm glad I found an amazing hair stylist, who is honest, personable and trustworthy. It always makes my transformations fun and easy. Maybe a little too fun and easy...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Just an Outfit

Another one of my closet pieces that I bought a while ago and have never worn. This skirt has been in my closet for one or two summers, and finally it saw the light. See, this is exactly why I have troubles with getting rid of things I don't wear because I know that someday I will find a use for them.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Follow Your Heart

There are certain actions and events in our lives that are governed by certain emotions.  Fear can prevent us from taking certain risks; anger can lead us to doing something we may regret in the future; boredom can help us explore new horizons; love, passion and attraction can push us to do brave (or stupid) things. One of the most cliché advices people can give to one another is “follow your heart.” Generally speaking, the advice is absolutely great. You find something you like and you pursue it. What happens, though, if following your heart always relates to acting based on your feelings towards someone? How many times have you found yourself going an extra mile for someone? How many times have you taken the risk you would have never taken just to show someone you are strong and invincible? How many times did you have to pretend you are not afraid almost dying from fear inside? How many times have you done all those things just to impress someone you like? As I thought about this question, I realized that the majority of the choices I make are triggered by my feelings for certain people. I take the expression “follow your heart” a little too literally, as there is always a love interest, or a ‘choice of my heart’, involved in my decision-making. The general 'follow your heart' approach, as perceived by other people, has never really worked for me, as I would always get sidetracked by the public opinion and outside influences to the point where I would not know what is 'after my heart' and what is someone telling me what is better for me. The only exception where I've succeeded with going after my own heart and disregarding any outside influences has been when there a person associated with my decision. A little crush is always the biggest incentive. When I have a crush, I don’t think about regrets - if I think I should do something, whether it’s to impress someone or to show someone I’m brave even when I’m not, I make an effort to do it. Right or wrong, good or bad - I always opt to think about the consequences later.

So in my situation, following my heart would literally mean giving in to my heart, to my feelings, instead of using my mind and thinking rationally. Is it crazy? Maybe. But each one of such situations has actually lead me to something good, be it achieving a goal that I’ve set or learning something new about myself and about my life. A good example is me living in NYC. I moved to NYC because I got a job out of my college internship; I got that internship because I joined the risk management and insurance major; I joined that major generally because I had a crush on my professor. There's a revelation for you. Of course I had interest in the subject, otherwise no crush would make me want to do it, but having an emotional attachment is typically what truly motivates me and keeps me going. And there is a number of instances where if it were not for another person I would be simply sitting at home, watching YouTube videos and shopping online. Now the 'romantic' part of this equation usually does not work out, as I always fall for the wrong guys; however, it always brings me to a new experience. It may be through other people but these experiences help me find the real 'me'. So maybe for a few of us following our hearts is associated with falling in love, with going after our feelings. It may be wrong to depend on the others like that, even indirectly, even knowing nothing will come out of this emotional attachment; however, each such occurrence has helped me move on, be braver and be more determined and each of them has been helping me find the real me tiny piece by tiny piece. So don’t be afraid of what the others will think, this thinking will only prevent you from finding yourself. Be true to yourself and do follow your heart, regardless of how you view this expression.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Do you have difficulties with sticking to what makes you happy at the moment? For some reason, I really truly struggle with that. I guess I have a pretty impulsive personality. I get into things/hobbies very quickly, I enjoy them to the fullest, usually getting obsessed with them and ending up overdoing them. As a result, I get either exhausted, sick of them or just simply bored with them. And then I'm back in pursuit of my new occupation. 

I guess there is nothing wrong with trying different things, but when everything you try seems wrong for you, that's a problem. The thing is, there are a lot of things I truly enjoy. Writing, fashion, drawing, photography, playing guitar, working out, etc. I can't say that I am great at any one of these things, and I am having a trouble with accepting that fact. Always the overachiever, I am used to striving to be the best at the things I do. I know I was a good student, I know I am a good employee, but when it comes to my hobbies, I cannot say that about any of them. So a lot of times, before I even try something, I get discouraged because I know I won't be able to be great at it, i.e. I will fail. 

I keep analyzing what is causing it, and I think it is mostly two things. One, I know I will not be a great writer, painter, fitness professional, musician, so this fear of underachieving keeps me unmotivated. And two, I think I am truly afraid of commitment. As crazy as it sounds, somehow the idea of making something a part of my lifestyle scares me. A good example of this would be fitness. I just started consistently working out. I go to the gym pretty much every day during my lunch break. I feel absolutely great after it. I feel healthier and I feel happy, and also I feel a little scared because I 'know' I won't be able to stick with this routine. But why do I feel this way? What is preventing me from making gym a part of my daily routine? We go to work every day, we go to sleep every day, we eat every day, why is it so difficult to add gym to the list of daily activities? Well, somehow the idea of this life-long commitment gives me anxiety. 

The more I thought about it, the more I started wondering - is it that I am afraid of the commitment itself or is it that same fear of failure again? I am thinking it is mostly caused by the latter, plus the fact that I am very impatient. I started consistently working out two weeks ago, I am not seeing results yet (obviously!) and I am already thinking of quitting because "what is the point?" But any normal person would know that things like this take time, sometime a very long time. In these situations, instead of giving up and never having something we want, we have to make an effort to stay consistent and be patient. Things, especially the good things, don't happen over night. It takes time to get to where we want to be, and the most important thing to realize is that the journey is not about the final destination; it is about the journey itself, it is about the process of learning, improving and expanding one's views and abilities.