Saturday, May 5, 2018

Live and Let Live


"You astonish me in that you can look both stunningly dramatic and also cute and adorable, two looks that don't seem possible in one person." These words my talented blogger friend SHAWNA said about me in a comment to my post, and I cherish them, because they resonate with me deeply, and I've never heard anything quite like this description, either about myself or anyone else, really. Although I remember both comments being said to me independently from one another by other people who knew me in the past years. I thought about it today and realized that blogging is what bonded these two sides of me visually - the warm, genuine and personable part of me with the bold and dramatic part. It helped me to dress that bold part more consistently than ever before. And so thanks to my style and blog journey, my whole personality started shining through.


But it would not be possible without the years when I was still hiding! It's not like Fairy Godmother came to me when I was still a child and made a beautiful carriage of a pumpkin, graceful horses of rats and a stunning outfit of my modest school girl uniform. I had to walk the roads which were made by others before me, as well as make paths and trails of my own in places where no other foot has stepped before. I had to go on a journey that is called life - not to find myself, but to make myself the person I am today. And this person is far from finished yet! I want to believe that I still have the best half of my life ahead of me, taking one step at a time, making paths and trails where there were none, being grateful for sunny days and surviving the stormy ones, learning from both, exploring and discovering.


And while we all are different and come to ourselves under different circumstances and at different times of our lives, I think at the core, we have much more in common than we realize. I think that there is only one missing ingredient in making us realize how similar we all are. Do you want to know what is it? Then read on, we'll get to it soon... 


Sometimes I read texts by women who I genuinely like, that make me sad: no matter what the theme is, they just can't refuse the temptation to push against something they don't approve, as if it was a personal attack on them. I witnessed such wars about an elusive real borscht recipe, or whether women with young children should or shouldn't work, or whether mothers should or shouldn't breastfeed their babies and even if yes, then how exactly they should go about it it. And I read such battles when it comes to approaches to fashion, lifestyle, aging and the whole list of subjects that are deeply personal and really are not a reflection on anyone else other than the person who makes their choices, and therefore nobody else's business. I was probably a part of such battles without even realizing it, taking sides... but deep down, I know better than that, and I think we all do! 


So if you love wearing bold outfits, be unique and different and create your own rules and trends - by all means, be it! And if you are all for classical elegance and neutral color schemes, and find fashion expert's guidance helpful, then by all means follow it! And if you want to dress up in a costume every day, as if you were Princess Leia or Wonder Woman, then that's exactly what you should do! And if you are a history buff and find yourself wanting to wear traditional Celtic, Slavic or Japanese folk dresses, then do it! Live your life the way that suits YOU! Wear whatever you like and don't worry that others wear something else - they LIVE something else too, and it's exactly how it supposed to be. Life is too big and broad - we can't possibly all make the same choices.
Don't worry about others and their choices. There is enough room for us all, with all our differences! The sun never said to anyone, 'I won't shine on you till you straighten up your borscht recipe!'


Why should we ever judge each other? Why should we make one another feel bad about our choices? Instead, let us learn how to be compassionate towards one another. We don't know what someone next to us is coming through, even if we know their life story - we haven't been in their shoes, we haven't fought their battles, we don't face the dragons they face, quite possibly, every day of their life. But we know that we have our own battles and dragons and fears that we face, and we know what it takes to overcome them - great courage, that's what it takes, and sometimes it also takes years, and sometimes it takes a lifetime. Compassion is the only thing that makes sense when we see something not to our liking, be it solving the world's problems or...fashion choices. And compassion is the only missing ingredient.
Refuse the urge to judge others. 
Live and let others live.


Yesterday, Justin had an appointment and I was his driver. And even though, it was all that I was yesterday, I wanted to dress in bright bold colors - and this tropical birds dress became my choice. It is fully lined and made of polyester, but both fabrics are very pleasant, silky soft to touch, and seem perfect for mid 60s F weather with changeable skies. I pinned this large orange vintage flower to hold the deep V cut together and threw this orange faux leather jacket over my shoulders.


The yellow plastic earrings were another vintage find, and my green 'Karlusha' bag added another fun color to this happy, bursting-with-colors outfit. I will keep experimenting with different shoes for this dress, as style is not only about having it "pinned down" - but also about experimenting, trying new things, finding out what works and what doesn't. My old snake print pumps did it for the photo shoot, and metallic flats were the choice for later afternoon when we did a run for almond milk ice-cream to go with The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.


Dress - eShakti (last Winter)
Faux leather jacket - Lane Bryant (old, last shown in MARCH 2018)
Purse - Karl Lagerfeld via TJ MAXX
Pin and earrings - vintage via Goodwill


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26 comments:

  1. love your dress my dear! the print has a big art deco vibe and the cut is gorgeous!
    hm - compassion. about compassion i feel a bit biased - in german we have 2 words for it "mitleid" = someone feels bad because someone else is in a bad situation = bad feelings overall but nothing changed - "mitgefühl" = seems more active = feelings mostly resulting in actions to solve bad situations = help is on the way.
    but you guess it - i´m all for doing something. and about environmental things i cant be patiently - because its one minute before 12!
    lots to think about here! thanx!
    hugest hugses and much love!!! xxxxx

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    1. You are a beautifully PASSIONATE person, my dear Beate! And of course you are very COMpassionate too! We all feel judgmental at times - it's just part being a human. Lots of love, my dear!

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  2. Quite a thoughtful post, Natalia. I do admit that, although quite unintentially, I sometimes tend to judge people. With time and age, I am doing this less and less, but it's been such a learning curve. Now, to your outfit: the print of your dress is bold and striking. I'm loving the colours, too. I had to smile when I read that you pinned the flower to hold the deep V cut together. I often do that too, sometimes using a flower hair clip! Seeing you wearing your orange leather jacket always gladdens my heart. Well, seeing you and reading your lovely posts gladden my heart too. Mmm, almond milk ice cream sounds delicious! Hugest of hugs xxx

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    1. I admit that I also judge people at times - we all do it, and we all are capable of compassion. Thank you for your kind words, dear Ann!

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  3. Yes! Natalia... create your own rules. Wear what you want. Bold, shorts, not flattering.... all is okay, if you like it.
    Natalia I love this dress. You look fabulous. And this jacket is the cherry on the cake :)
    A very big hug and much love , Tina

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  4. So true, my friend. Women need to uplift and support each other. You wear colirs brilliantly-just glowing with self satisfaction. We all can learn from your words.

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    1. Thank you, Sam! Support and uplift, whenever we can, I agree! I am not perfect, but I think recognizing it is the first step for growth.

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  5. That's a lovely comment from Shawna. I do agree with her! I would add that when we feel comfortable in an outfit, we tend to feel more like ourselves- and this helps our personality shine through. If someone has a sweet and a warm personality, they can look both fierce and adorable in an outfit. I loved reading your thoughts.

    You make a good point! Women can be especially judgmental, something nobody warns us about (and perhaps they should, since psychological bullying is extremely common among school girls). If I had a penny for each hurting remark/ criticism/ judgement I heard and received from another women, I'd be a rich women now. It used to get to me when I was a kid and teenager, but not anymore...maybe it had something to do with growing older? Fortunately, at 33 years old, I find that I don't care about these kind of remarks that much. Growing old is both a blessing and a privilege. We start to feel more comfortable in our skin. That's what I heard from most women. It's something to embrace, I'd say.

    That dress is so pretty. I love its vibrant colours. I love how you matched it with that jacket. Perfect styling. BTW I do the same thing with V cut dresses. I find it easier just to pin them or sew them in strategic places then to worry about 'wardrobe malfunction.'

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    1. Harsh, critical words can stuck in our heads for years, decades... and without us even realizing it, they do the damage. I sure said words that I'd love to take back, but it's impossible. That's why it's so important to cultivate feeling compassionate to everyone, to whatever they are going through, and it's not necessarily a tragedy - it's just something people struggle with, however big or small it might seem to us.

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  6. Such a true and beautifully written post. The sun will still shine! I love also that you write about "making yourself". We get to choose, at least those of us so fortunate as to live in a free and prosperous part of the world. You are BOLD and ADORABLE! xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thank you for your warm words, dear Patti!

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  7. Dearest Natalia,
    Blogging has also helped me a lot to find my style, or rather, dare to wear my style. Partly through encouragement from my readers, partly because I got to know myself better by photographing myself and writing about myself. I believe that people who have fought hard for their self-confidence are more likely to accept other people and their so-being. People who have little self-confidence believe that they have to criticize others and try to raise their own value.
    I really like the way you express your moods or traits with your outfits. Your all-in-white look from the previous post and your outfit today are so different - but you are both and I like both styles well! The colorful dress is wonderful and your jacket is the "Burner" anyway! :-))
    Hugs my dear!
    Traude

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    1. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, dear Traude! I love what you said: "dare to wear my style" - I think I can relate to it! I remember in my youth, I had some bright bold outfits, but I would wear them very sporadically, mostly I felt like I had to be quietly elegant, classically elegant. I think it was my way to fit in, but I did not know it back then. I've always been my own person, but I struggled with self-acceptance and self-confidence at some level. And I'm sure that I hurt others' feelings on more than one occasion, even though I am not a reckless person at all.

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  8. Shawna is most certainly correct about your style. Your style is nuanced, as you are my beautiful friend. You are soft spoken and demure but your style is bold and colorful. It is quite an interesting and alluring style, precisely because it seems a bit contradictory. I absolutely love this floral dress and the brooch you are wearing also. The bright accessories really elevate this look. I wish you a happy new week!
    ❤️❤️❤️
    Elle
    https://theellediaries.com/

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    1. Thank you, Elle, you are always so thoughtful and kind! I love what you said about my style - nuanced and contradictory. I think it also a reflection of my character, which is definitely neither soft-spoken nor demure. I can feel shy at certain situations, usually in the very beginning when I don't know people yet. But those who know me well - know I'm quite a storm! :)

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  9. lovely and toughtful post, I really like your attitude and I'm grateful that you share your thinking on this: Live your life the way that suits YOU! (great phrase!)
    And I love your outfit (the dress suits you so nicely) and love that you picked an orange jacket to enhance the vivid colors of the print. You look fabulous!
    besos

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    1. Thank you, Monica! I really think that if we all relax just a little more and stop being afraid of life and each other, the world will be a much happier place!

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  10. Pięknym wyglądem rozpoczęłaś maj:))))Pozdrawiam serdecznie:)))

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  11. You are so lovely in that dress----and love the bold jacket!! Have a bit of fun with your clothes!!! I totally agree :)

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  12. Natalia , this is such a beautifully written post . I totally agree that we should support others choices , be it clothing , lifestyle or opinions.We all should celebrate and embrace our differences rather than be critical of those that fit today's homogenised mold.
    Brava for embracing your true self and celebrating with your style. Best Wishes, Jill.

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  13. A lady came over to me in the pub yesterday and told me I looked beautiful. She said that she hoped her comments didn't come across as strange but she felt women really ought to speak up and compliment each other at every opportunity. Kindness makes the world go around.
    I do admit to being judgmental when I see women in the supermarket wearing dressing gowns and slippers, maybe that makes me a bad person but I do get annoyed by slovenliness. Even at the lowest point in my life I always wore clothes to leave the house.
    On a brighter note that dress fits you like a dream and the jacket, which matches Gilbert, is utterly fabulous. xxx

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    1. We all are different, and that's the key - we all deal with life differently, so why compare ourselves with others and make a judgement? But I also judge sometimes, and it does not make us bad people, my dear Vix - just human! I loved the story you shared. I started complimenting men too. There was a stylish gentleman in the art museum the other day - he sure was happy to hear kind words!

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