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Dare To Be



Here, we've got a few options: sit around and do the lonely hearts thing, whining about the repulsiveness of SAD; * listing off the galentines and valentines of our respective lives, basking in the radiance of recognizing, if only for one day a year, what it means to love and be loved by those who complete us; become highly introspective, and mull over the importance of self love in a wild, wild, world full of naysayers and corporate villainy.

For the first, I, unfortunately, couldn't give a hoot about Valentine's Day. It's historically irrelevant, grossly commercialized (and, due to its sexual nature, highly awkward for me, immature kid that I am), and isn't a national holiday. The second topic is quite romantic, but I'm not really the romantic type. As for option three, well, there are many women who have been on the self-love journey much longer than I, and who could impart wisdom more eloquently.

It seems, then, that I have no choice but to provide (brief) discourse on the topic of curation.

Over the years, I, not unlike anyone else, have amassed collections of objects with personal importance. From the special occasion pieces that see the light of day once a year to comfort pieces, many an ensemble garnish adorns the mantles and shelves of my small space; taking inventory of these objects (as I suggest one must do periodically, to avoid ending up on Hoarders) led to small, but significant insight into how I collect and organize my surroundings and ultimately, my life.

Blame it on the philosophy course I'm in and the novelty of a good Instagram flatlay, but the concept and visuals of creating a completely cohesive entity by combining "simple" qualities has utterly consumed my thoughts. In this case, jewelry sets are the first tangible foray into "micro-curation." The creative process that goes into making a visually appealing flatlay (as best I can),  can give your wardrobe new life by accenting relationships between pieces theretofore unperceived. Hell, I wouldn't have even noticed that I really have an affinity for princess cut diamonds without the occasional themed accessory assemblage idea.
In the brave new world born of the digital age, it is general consensus that one must apply a similar tack when approaching the ideas of self-improvement and self-branding. It is no longer enough to be a masterful one-trick pony; the norm is diversity, and your average ten-year old has more accomplishments under their belt than I did by 11th grade. Jealous much?  You bet. But there's no journey more self-revealing then the one taken to discover all of one's passions, and master as many as possible.

Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, wrote:
"We all, at some point, grow old and acquire other qualities, and these can always be turned to good advantage.”
As a typical Millenial afflicted by the desire for instant gratification, I like to sometimes ignore the "grow old" bit. But the acquisition of qualities is highly important in the process of self-improvement. It seems that the general connotation of the phrase is that one's unhappiness with oneself must be because we are imperfect, and therefore need to forcibly alter ourselves to fit others' perception of perfection.  
Screw them. You are, at your very core, you. And you are always complete, and therefore always perfect as only you can be; but, to avoid airy confidence boosters, there is always room to grow, improve, learn, create, and be more of you than you already are. Constantly adding simple qualities to your increasingly multifaceted personality is not a sign of weakness or dissatisfaction with oneself, but rather, one of strength, hope, and perseverance. Much like the themed flatlay, it is always nice to have an ample number of talents, accomplishments, skills, experiences, etc. to present in any situation that calls for it. Self-branding, they call it, but self-curation emphasizes that you compare yourself to a work of art held in high esteem and priceless in value. Remember that while love lingers on in the atmosphere, kids, and all the rest comes easy.

Kind of. 
Necklace: H&M
Earrings: Forever 21
Ring, Skirt: eBay
Bracelet: High School Prom Corsage
Top: Boohoo

Shot on Nikon D3200 w/ 18-55mm VR lens
*SAD=Singles Awareness Day...just in case you've been living under a rock.