Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hopes and Fears

Phew! My first week of grad school is almost over. All that's standing in my way of my three day weekend are three articles to read and six hours straight of classes this afternoon, in the same classroom with no windows. It's been pretty draining and overwhelming already. It's been hard to keep up with all the reading, and I already felt like I was behind on the second day. Going back to being a full time student is like riding a bike: I've already settled into a routine of going to bed before midnight, and waking up before 8AM. It has been really enlightening learning about the disastrous, broken, and cyclical state of our country's education system, and also meeting people from all different walks of life. Even though I've been kept busy, I can't help but still miss my job and my kiddos. I realized this week that I am no scholar: six hours of work is so much easier to get through than six hours of class, for me at least; but I am determined to get through this year, and to do it well. And so while I do think it's ironic that I'll be teaching students (and require them to be scholarly when I am not), I do think it'll be better to teach them that determination can overcome anything.

It still feels surreal that I'm a grad student, and that in a little over a year, I'll be a real teacher. I love that being in this program has given me a sense of belonging, purpose, and responsibility; however, as the week wraps up, I'm also filled with some fear. Fear of history of failed reforms repeating itself; fear of becoming one of those examples of an inadequate teacher; fear of not having enough strength to endure the inevitable rough beginning years to come (apparently, a lot of new teachers quit after a year). I hope that all these fears will motivate me rather than dissuade me. I just don't know if I'm ready to take on the different roles of being a teacher that we've learned about, especially that of being a mentor. Sometimes I wish I could go back to work, where I was comfortable and didn't have all this impending responsibility; but I hope in a year's time I'll feel differently.

I don't know how often I'll be able to keep up with my outfit posts since most of my time is now spent on reading articles, but I will try, especially since every weekend is now a three-day one. I think, for once, I haven't felt guilty about not posting. True to my word though, I have been wearing loose tops and high-waisted shorts everyday this week. I am in the process of writing up my first Teaching Tuesday post too, so I hope to finish that up this weekend after my GRE exam on Saturday (ugh).

Until next post,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Short Summer

Summer is officially here and I am loving it! I hope you guys aren't sick of the beach pictures already, because I am determined to visit it as much as possible this Summer. It's one of the few addictions that I can actually afford to keep. This is the outfit I wore last Friday to the Newport Pier. I have been living in loose t-shirts and high-waisted shorts lately. I feel so much more free in shorts than in dresses or skirts. Unlike in skirts, I can run, hop, skip, and even sit worry-free! I picked this pair up from J. Crew recently when they were having a 30% additional off sale items sale two weeks ago. I wish I owned a neon or a bright colored belt to brighten this outfit up, but I realized that I don't wear this belt (or a lot of my belts) enough. While we were out on that day, Robert told me that I looked better on days when I don't try so hard. He also told me that he likes how simple my style has become. And I think I have to agree with him. I feel most like myself in casual, relaxed, and simple outfits like this. I'm slowly pushing the words "blog worthy" out of my mind, because everything should be and is "blog worthy."

Until next post,
t-shirt - h&m
shorts - j crew
belt - anthropologie
flower hair clip - h&m
sunglasses - raybans

Friday, June 22, 2012

Photo Friday: Newport Pier

In my last post, I introduced three new series that will be a regular part of my blog now. Photo Friday's are one of them, and I don't think I would've started it off any other way than with photos from my favorite place--the beach. Being behind the camera was such a cathartic experience for me. The world just seemed to slow down a little, and became more beautiful and luminous. I started noticing little details again that I normally would've overlooked, like the "step up" words along a telescope on the pier, or the "live slow" sign on someone's porch. Today was my first day being unemployed. Robert and I spent the day doing two things that I love: shopping for stationary (grad school begins Monday for me!), and going to the beach. Since I had nowhere to be, I took my time and soaked in the sounds, smells, and sights around me. It was just the medicine I needed for my heart that has lately been weighed down by sadness and fear: sadness from having to say goodbye to my kiddos and coworkers at work, and fear of the unknown and of doing poorly in school. I find myself realizing that everything's going to change over and over again as if each time were a new idea. It's a little overwhelming. I don't think I'm ready, but I have to be by Monday.

Until next post,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Changes Coming to TW

I said in my last post that I've been rethinking the content of my blog, and all this rethinking has made me excited about blogging again! I'm still going to have the regular outfit posts, but wearing pretty things is not all there is to me and my life. I mentioned that I might want to incorporate teaching, writing, and photography into my blog, and I mean to do that. I'm going to start two weekly series, and a monthly one.

Photo Fridays: This is going to be the first one I start, hopefully this week! I remember one of the reasons I started this blog was to improve my photography skills, and for the first year of my blog, I took all my photos by myself. Then when Robert started taking my pictures for me, I spent more time in front of the camera when often times I prefer to be behind it. So now that he's leaving soon, I'll get a chance to do both. Remember the days when I wanted to pursue a career in photography and did wedding gigs for a while? While my career path has changed, my interest in and love for photography have not. Besides what's the point in having a DSLR if you're just going to use it to capture your outfits? I am so lucky to live in gorgeous Southern California. It's time that I start capturing its beauty once again.

Teaching Tuesdays: This is one I wish I had started earlier. It would've been nice to look back to see past mistakes, experiences, and lessons learned since I started working with kids, but I'm really excited to start this one when I begin my fieldwork and student teaching in the Fall. Until then, I think I'll write a post to wrap up my experience working in after-school programs for the past two years, and maybe about some things I'll learn in my Summer classes.

Monthly Fun Money: Tomorrow is my last day at my current job, and so starting next month I'll be sticking to a monthly budget of $50. I call this my "fun money" because it can be used on just about anything I want: clothes, movies, books, going out, etc. This is going to be hard for me since I'm used to shopping and being able to buy things and do things I like, but I'm kind of excited for this. This is going to be good for me. No more impulse shopping for me! I'll be keeping tabs on this allocated money every month and recapping it here. I'm allowing unused money to be rolled over to the next, but I cannot get an advance from future months. I'm going to be the cliche poor grad student, and I'm super determined to stick to this budget.

I had so many other ideas, but for now, I just want to stick to these three before I take on anymore. The weekly series may become biweekly if grad school really is as rigorous as people made it out to be, but I hope that you're all excited about these changes coming to Transient Withdrawal as I am. I started this blog to be my little escape from reality (hence the name); but slowly, this blog has become a huge part of my real life, and so I want my real life to be a huge part of my blog. My priorities and interests are shifting, and I feel like my blog should shift with them. A big reason why I wanted to be single was so I can find and love myself again, and I just know that in doing the things I love will help me be...well, me! 

Until next post,

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Way Things Are

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for the positive response on my last post in which I was honest with how I feel about blogging and life lately. I was a little nervous how people would react to it because it's such a touchy subject, but thankfully, most people seemed to be in agreement with me. At first I thought I was a little too harsh, but just as people are free to blog what they want, I wanted to express my opinion on the changes I've noticed around the blogosphere. But I don't foresee myself quitting my blog anytime soon, especially since I'm kind of anxious to see if or how my style will change over the course of graduate school and student teaching (and my unemployment). I am rethinking of the content of my blog though. Besides my outfits, teaching, writing, and photography are other ways I am able to express creativity. I think I might want to add some new things, maybe about teaching, budgeting, and other things about my life besides what I wear.

I said in my last post that I didn't want to force the creativity anymore and that I wanted to be a little more real. Well this outfit isn't all that creative, but it's truly something that I loved wearing. I put it together it effortlessly. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you would've known that I recently splurged on three pairs of shoes, completely on impulse (never again!). I mulled them overnight and the next day I returned two pairs but kept this black pair. I need them for my future days as a student teacher. If you've followed my blog for a while, you'd know I hardly wear black, but these are so comfortable and they just go with everything.

Hope everyone had a good Father's Day weekend!

Until next post,
cardigan - gap
top - urban outfitters
skirt - urban outfitters
shoes - aldo
belt - gap
watch - nordstroms

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

At work, I always tell the kids that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it all; and I've tried to follow that as much as I can as an adult. So when I first heard of Get Off My Internets, I was angry that there would be a website where people write hateful things about bloggers, some of whom are my friends. But as of late, I've been spending a little more time than I'd like to admit on that site reading the forums and I also hate to admit it, but I actually agree with a lot of what they say there. I think one of the reasons I just haven't been motivated to blog as passionately as I once did is because of how much blogging has changed since I started in 2009. Clicking on an affiliate link to a product via a blogger's tweet recently made me feel a little used as a follower, and all the more compelled to write this post that has been haunting my mind.

Almost two years ago, Chictopia invited me to speak at their conference about social media and a little about the blogger-business relationship. I still stand by what I said that day that the blogger-business relationship should be transparent, fair, and honest. However, I feel that sponsorships have become even more apparent on blogs since then, and that the shift in purpose of blogs has shifted from expressing creativity to getting free things. The fantasies of fame and glamor have created so many formulaic bloggers who lack real originality and personality. I can find countless girls wearing a floral dress with doc martens; girls wearing an oversized sweater with cut off denim shorts; etc. while scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard. Who were once relatable, genuine girls trying to find their personal style within their closets and budgets are now basically live mannequins for companies. Free stuff is always nice, but is it still "free" when it's at the expense of your originality and personality? It just wasn't, and still isn't, worth it to me. I'm not saying that I'm overflowing with originality and creativity, because what's so hard about putting a striped top with a skirt? All I'm saying is that I think we need to go back to our roots and the real reason why we started blogging. What happened to that loving community that fostered friendships, creativity, and personal style? I feel like almost every comment, tweet, and blog post have become PR attempts to build relationships with companies rather than with fellow bloggers and their readers. I have honestly made the best friends from blogging who I wouldn't trade for anything and who have thankfully remained true to themselves through all of this, and I will be forever grateful for all the opportunities I received through blogging. I just hope that other people can still find friendships and equal opportunities even among all the greed that has littered the blogging world.

GOMI also criticized bloggers for not being real on their blogs, and I admit to putting up a happy facade, but let's be real for a little while. From throwing up on the flight to last year's NYFW to creepy men starting conversations with me while I take self portraits, I think I just might have the most un-glamarous blogging life. For me, most mornings of getting dressed on "picture days" are neither effortless nor are they fun. Sometimes they result in a cute outfit and then a blog post; sometimes they result in mini-breakdowns over hating my closet and my body; and sometimes, probably the worst of all, they result in an impulsive need to buy something new. That last one is something I'm getting better at--dressing for me and not for my blog. I know it's stupid and ignorant of me to have breakdowns over having too many non-cute clothes, but it happens and that's something I've been working on too (especially now that I'm going to be unemployed soon, I have to love every single thing in my closet). Honestly, I think if I didn't have my blog anymore, I'd probably just live in basic t-shirts with a skirt, shorts, or jeans; and on non-picture days, I do. But that's the great thing about having this blog right? It pushes me to be creative with my closet, but sometimes, I worry that the creativity is too forced and not genuine. At the same time, I think I have to stop worrying about creating and just start being...myself.

I'm currently on the cusp of a new chapter of my life. I'm excited, and I'm terrified. I'm scared that maybe I'm not all that great with kids as I thought I was. I'm scared that since the classroom setting is so different from the daycare setting, I might not even like teaching. Now that I'm single and Robert's leaving for Hawaii soon, I'm scared that we made the wrong choice and that I'm going to be forever alone. I'm scared of not finding a job when I graduate. Sometimes I think I'm scared more of success than I am of failure. I'm also scared of spiders and clowns, if you didn't already know. At the same time, I'm excited to meet new people who I can talk to about teaching and kids. I'm excited to learn about a subject that I'm interested in and that I can apply to my life for once. I'm excited to being on the last chapter of being a student, and to beginning a career.

All these feelings, coupled with the fact that sometimes I feel like my blog has outlived its purpose since I have found my own style, have made me want to quit blogging altogether. And I think if the blogging world continues towards this direction, I just might one day soon. Until that day comes though, I mean to stick to my New Year's Blogging Resolution of not forcing the posts/outfits but to let them come naturally. I'm going to try to be a little more real too if I didn't scare you off already.

Until next post,
picture sources: 1 / 2

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sheer Joy

I've been feeling a little down, so on Friday, Robert and I made a quick getaway to the beach before I had to go to work. It was hot that day, which explains why I refused to wear a cami underneath my new shirt--but at the beach, anything goes (don't worry I didn't show up to work wearing this)! I'm not usually a pink person, but I just couldn't resist how cheery and breezy this top is. It was so easy to style too! Before the paychecks stop coming in next Thursday, I've been frantically trying to make my closet a little more "grad-student-like," whatever that means. I don't know why I have it in my head that "grad school style" is different from any other style, but I do. I think it's because during orientation, I was the only one in some cutesy print (I wore my hot air balloon print skirt), while practically every one else was more formal. I think also it's a combination of being mistaken for a middle school student while I was doing field work, and the fact that I do look so young, that I feel the need to make up for it in how I dress (because I really can't/don't want to change my face). I do know though that once I start student teaching, I will have to look a little more put together than usual. I'm kind of anxious to see how my style is going to change over the course of the next 15 months of my program. I am excited though to finally get to wear some things in my closet that I wasn't able to wear to work, especially sandals. If you can't tell from these pictures, I have a really bad flats tan.

Don't forget to enter my Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Until next post,
top - forever 21
skirt - cotton on
belt - forever 21 (from jen)
sunglasses - raybans
watch - nordstroms

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway

It's been pretty quiet around my corner of the Internet, but I'm just having one of those weeks where I'm hating everything in my closet. Thankfully until I get my act together, I have a giveaway for all of my wonderful readers! Shabby Apple is offering one of you a $50 gift card!

To enter giveaway, you must:
1. Leave your name and email address.
2. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook.
3. Be a Google follower of my blog.
4. Tell me your favorite Summer drink.

Extra entry (leave a separate comment for it):
1. Follow me on Twitter.

This giveaway will end Thursday, June 14th at 11:59 PM PST. Good luck! The winner will be drawn at random and will be notified via email.

Until next post,

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Hot Air Balloon

I found this hot air balloon print skirt at Macy's of all places. I don't usually shop at department stores. They just have too much stuff that I don't usually like, which is why I've stopped shopping at Forever 21 too. It just takes too long to find something that I actually like, is of decent quality, and at a decent price. But I went shopping with some friends and one of them had some Macy's coupons. I circled the racks a couple times before I came upon this gem. I knew before I brought it to the fitting room that I'd love it and want to bring it home. Since my grad school schedule is going to be pretty hectic, I'll be unemployed once the school year ends at my workplace in less than a month. This has made me even more frugal, and so at $29 (with a coupon), at first I decided to leave this skirt behind. But while we walked through other stores, I couldn't find anything else and I kept thinking about this skirt. In the end, I obviously caved and got it. The print is just too cute and unique not to have in my closet. I'm still on the fence about it so I took it out for a quick little test run out to a quick lunch. So keep or return?

I must admit, knowing that I'll be unemployed for at least the 15 months of my program scares me, a lot. I'm used to working and have been since high school. I'm curious though how my style is going to change from it since I'm also used to being able to buy new clothes regularly. Before the paychecks stop coming in though, I need to find some appropriate student teaching clothes. After being mistaken for a middle school student during one of my recent field work assignments, I want to ensure that doesn't happen again. I'm not sure this hot balloon print skirt is helping my case though.

PS. Can you believe this gorgeous field and hiking trail is only a 5 to 10 minute drive from my place? This will definitely be a frequent place for self portraits in the future. It was pretty deserted so hopefully I won't have anymore run-ins with creepers.

Until next post,
top - urban outfitters
skirt - american rag (via macy's)
shoes - swedish hasbeens x h&m
necklace - brandy melville
ring - jewelmint