Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Living Through Fiction

shirt (under): Love Tree; sweatshirt: Vans;
skirt: Forever 21; socks: Forever 21; shoes: LoveD

I spend most of my days with books and screens. Even when I'm not doing homework, I choose to absorb the world around me through books, music, YouTube, television. Rather than going outside and experiencing life first hand, I tend to acquire life experience via stories--primarily fiction. And that kind of worries me. Because fiction is just that: fiction, made up, exaggerated, and glorified. How much of what I think I know is false? It's just like in Animal Farm. Most of the animals trust the pigs to read for them, so the pigs easily manipulate everyone to do their bidding. Instead of going out and living life on my own, I trust other people to teach me about the world through their stories. What if I'm being horribly mislead?

I watched a lot of Disney Channel sitcoms as a kid. And you know the whole thing with sitcoms is that the characters get in trouble or they do something embarrassing, but then they manage to work their way out of the situation in a comedic way.

Probably unnecessary description of sitcoms aside, whenever I watched Raven make a fool out of herself or Zach and Cody destroy some Tipton property, I always had the same thought: it would save them a whole lot of trouble if they would just be honest from the beginning or not tell a bunch of people about their crushes or listen to their parents or avoid taking risks.

So that's what I did. I played it safe. I did what I was told. And for eighteen years, I've successfully managed to stay out of trouble.
I remember in eighth grade, my language arts teacher told the class that bad decisions make good stories. For the most part, I don't make bad decisions. And for the most part, I'm pretty boring. Sure I'm a complex human being with problems and emotions and thoughts and whatever, but I've never really thrown myself out there and taken a real risk. Hence, I don't have a lot of stories to tell--I'm boring. Even though playing it safe means I avoided a lot of lows, it also means I missed out on a lot of highs. While it's great that I've never had my heart broken, isn't it kind of sad that I've never been in love?
Not to mention, as I get older, the lows manage to hunt me down regardless of how sneaky or fast or completely in denial I am. Because let's just be honest, life sucks. Depression and anger and frustration and stress are all coming for me no matter how hard I try to live my life in neutral. So if I'm cursed with all this bad stuff anyway, shouldn't I take a few risks in order to be happy? To feel excited about something?
That's right! You've been tricked into reading a New Year's resolution post. Gotcha!

Now I'm not going to go around screaming YOLO or whatever. (I'm a bit concerned about the people who plan to. It's 2016, guys. Come on.) But I want to do things like going out even though it'll cut into YouTube time, or being less paranoid about people secretly hating me (so I can make friends). Things of the like.

I might run into trouble along the way, but whatever I've been doing for the past eighteen years is getting kind of old. It's time for a change.

I'm also going to not be so cynical about cheesy and cliche. (See preceding statement.) I even bought a journal that says "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" on the front. Cheesy, but not cliche--I'm easing into it. (By the way, I'm sure fellow bloggers will be proud of me when I say I managed to fill out an entire journal in 2015! I'm trying it again in 2016. Though I'm not too optimistic about filling it up in one year's time because it's four times as thick as the last one. We'll see.)

Got a bit rambly at the end there. Sorry about that! Happy New Year, everyone!

<Lucy Cartin

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Dustland Fairytale

hat: Daiso; shirt: TJ Maxx; dress: Free People; tights: Kohl's; shoes: Born

Your mind is poisoned.
Castles in the sky sit stranded, vandalized.
The drawbridge is closing.

from "A Dustland Fairytale" by The Killers

Bright silver coins flipping through the air;
Cannon-balling into rushing waters.
Quiet whispers escape her lips:
Toys and clothes and money and fame--
Each request is nearly the same.
The stars shift as the flowers die.
She thinks of a new type of wish to try.
Thousands of coins sink to the bottom,
Joining the crowd of failed and forgotten.
But she still saves shiny coins just to say,
"I wish that I will be happy one day."
 These past couple of weeks I've been dressing more preppily than usual. I just made up that word; you know which one. It's just been this knit beret and collared shirts constantly. Typically when I notice myself dressing in a "uniform" I force myself to switch things up, but I think I'll see where it goes this time.

I really like the combination of patterns and colors between my shirt, dress, and tights; and the black knit beret and wedges serve as a strong frame for the outfit.

This is actually an outfit idea that I've had laying around for months. Sometimes I'll be going about my business when an outfit just pops into my head, so I scribble it down and save it for another day. This one has been on a sticky note since before I left for university, so I'm so pleased to have it posted.
I find that my general mood these days is "fine". Not particularly happy, nor particularly sad; just fine. And that itself kind of puts me in a sour mood. Why aren't I doing better?

There's a lot of mixed commentary on happiness. Some say that happiness must be pursued; some say that happiness just doesn't happen some days. In the same sense that I need to take my happiness into my own hands, I don't really have total control over it. So what am I expected to do?

I suppose the best anyone can do is keep trying. I know for sure that I'm not meant to give up.

<Lucy Cartin

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Lights

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to see Christmas lights, and when I went I ended up taking some photos, so here they are!
There's a little lake in my town that's surrounded by houses, and during Christmas, every house goes all out with the lights and decorations. Last night, my friend and I took a little walk around the lake to see all the pretty lights and colors, but plot twist: it was raining. While the rain did make everything ten percent more cold and wet, it did give me some cool photos. In the picture above, it looks like snow is falling, right? (Well, to a girl who's lived in Southern California all her life and has never seen snow falling, it looks like falling snow. For people on the East Coast it might just look like my lens was dirty, I don't know.) The little white spots are actually the reflection of my camera's flash on the rain. Oooooh interesting!
 We were walking by when I randomly noticed the reflection of this laser light in the rain drops. I literally have no idea where these lasers were pointed. The nearest house was about twenty feet of water across from me, and the only thing behind me was an empty street.
The holidays are a weird time for me. I always get excited by them, but because I don't really talk to extended family that much, my Christmas is usually just dinner and gifts with my brother and my parents. And as much as I appreciate a low-key celebration, it can be underwhelming sometimes. I don't know, maybe one year I'll somehow end up doing a big holiday with loads of friends and family. Maybe only now and then... because now that I'm thinking about it, it sounds like a lot of work.

Happy Holidays!

<Lucy Cartin

Friday, December 11, 2015

I'm Alive!

hat: Forever 21; sweater: Forever 21; dress: Forever 21; 
bag: Esprit; socks: TJ Maxx; shoes: Unisa

I survived--er "survived"--my first quarter at university! Now I'm on winter break for three weeks, so I plan on going full force with this blog to make up for the past few weeks. I'm talking posting two to three times a week, responding to comments, and reading all the blogs on my Bloglovin' feed. I've missed being able to do all this, but with all my schoolwork, I fell so behind on blog stuff that just logging into my blog e-mail was intimidating.

But enough about how busy I've been, let's do a little update!

1. Over Thanksgiving break I found out that I get to be an editor for my school's law journal! So starting winter quarter, I'll be working with a writer to publish an article! Apparently it has to be a minimum of fifteen pages, which I think will be a challenge, but it sounds fun! I'm excited to have something to take my mind off of classes a couple times a week.

2. I'll be taking four classes next quarter, even though three classes were crazy enough (because engineering). But I happened to have two awful professors this quarter, so I put in a lot of hours teaching myself material. I was told that once you have these two bad professors together, it only gets easier. So that's good to hear.
 3. One of my awful professors may or may not be crazy. We have a class Facebook page, and after our final, someone wrote something along the lines of this: "I'd like to note that during the final, the professor was talking to the TAs and just kept repeating 'strange times, strange times'". He's one weird dude.

4. I'm going to be rooming with one of my current roommates next year! That'll be fun. We can eat endless cakes in the dining halls together for at least another year!

5. Sometime during the break, I'll be going with my friends to see Christmas lights with my friend. It's really simple, but it's something that people do a lot, so I'm excited.
6. I've been feeling this insane urge to go shopping (I'm sure most of you can relate), but I keep trying to fight it because I've recently learned that buying a lot of clothes is actually really wasteful. Ugh. The moral dilemma. Maybe I can go to Goodwill or something...

You'll hear more from me soon!

<Lucy Cartin