Seasons are a part of life. The seasons naturally transition from summer, to fall, to winter, to spring, and the cycle begins anew. The leaves fall, the trees are barren in the winter months, the trees blossom with vivid pastels, and the air with damp with moisture during the summer. Nature depicts a cycle that is incessant, constant, unchanging. Yet, while these seasons promise sameness, a quality that life remains the way it was, it also glistens with change, with a metamorphosis, a sense of a foreign wind on the horizon. Change is a part of life, and while change is uncomfortable, it allows us to grow more comfortably in our skin. When a season of change, of difference, of alien territory enters my life, it a struggle, a plight that often overwhelms me and would rather ignore. That is something that I very much wanted to happen when I was in Europe for the summer.

When I was told that I would spend 3 months in Europe, I was beyond elated. Scared and frightened what I could encounter, but excited nonetheless. However, when I was informed that I would spend time in Romania--my country of origin--suddenly I wasn't so excited anymore. I didn't want anything to do with the people, the culture, the country, nothing. I wanted to distance myself from everything I would eventually encounter. The first 2 weeks of settling in Romania was extremely difficult, and that it not something I say lightly. Personal matters have exploded and combusted that sent my family in a slight state of turmoil, augmenting our difficulty to adjust to the culture. Shortly thereafter, it was as if an obstacle was removed from our path, an obstruction no longer present. I found myself eager to get the place from where I come, the people that would have been neighbors, and the way of life. I wanted to get Romania. I began to drink in the culture, discovering the music, taste, scents, and sounds that made up this fascinating country. I began to recognize people, their mannerisms, and their characteristics. I began to dress myself as a European, no longer lusting over European vogue via Pinterest, but actually getting inspiration from the streets of Oradea, Timisoara, Cluj, Sibiu, and Brasov. I wanted to experience Romania. That was a massive turning point because before that, I would have bartered something to have as little to do with it as possible. And in hindsight, I held some prejudices solely based on a person that embodied everything I disliked about the country. Once that individual left the picture, suddenly, I began to see Romania for the first time in my life. I really began to see. As I would travel to the country and mountain regions, I would encounter different kinds of people in comparison to the ones I would see in more cosmopolitan regions. The deeply set wrinkles all tell a story of hardships, effort, and sacrifice, while the frivolity of the young generation angers the older generation. The people, places, things, lifestyles, and attitudes became part of my experience. I had finally allowed the experience to change how I saw things, how I did things, how I thought regarding particular topics. My taste palettes had matured, my thought processed matured also, my eyesight and perception had gone through a metamorphosis, the way I touch and view touch has changed, and how I hear had changed. All of my 5 senses had irrevocably changed. For the better. I saturated myself in a culture that began to show me clearer images of who I really am. Instead of distancing myself, I drew myself closer to it, inevitably allowing me to change for the better.

It has been nearly 2 months since I've returned to America and the experiences, smells, sights, sounds, and people are as vivid as though I experienced it yesterday. I had returned to my 3rd year in college as a completely different person. I left Canada to Europe for the summer as one person and leaving Europe to go back to school in America as another. I see, think, smell, touch, and hear things completely different than that of 3 months ago. I simply cannot have such an enriching experience and then continue as if it had not changed me. I would be lying if my time abroad had not changed me, not simply for the locations and places that I visited, but rather the experience of saturating oneself in a culture different that what is known or comfortable. This made adjusting to college life (and American life) much more difficult than I had anticipated (but that's another topic, altogether). Before, I felt that I was stuck between 2 worlds--Canada and America--but after this summer, it's inclining toward me being misplaced.

Seasons come and go. But they always return at the same time every year. In this season where the leaves are changing and the temperature dips, I find myself in an inexplicable place where things are not the same yet nothing has changed. Growing into myself and growing in the world around me is not necessarily an easy task, but yet, there is some element of unpredictability that I simply cannot resist.


Carpe Diem

I do not find this the least amount of surprising, that I have not worn out the effects that Europe has on me. In fact, if anything, I emphasize it here during my time in America. When someone experiences a different way of life, how to do life, it's difficult to shake that experience off. It is hard to unsee or unexperience things once they have been seen or experienced. Gaining a lot of my personal style from Europe (particularly Britain and France), it's not a surprise when I try to implement that on my school campus and my own personal style. Thanks to the invention of tumblr and Pinterest, I receive daily inspiration, augmenting my European vogue. A very popular trend is the headscarf. It is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, yet it was something I could not achieve. For whatever reason, I just didn't do it. However, I envied people who could pull it off and could wear it well. 

So finally, while perusing Pinterest and lusting over several blogs, I finally got the courage to pull it off. Taking a couple of tries and several missed attempts. I have finally pulled off the headscarf trend. Deciding to not go along the whole hipster, edgy alley, I veered towards a very European look. It seems a little trite to share this rather mundane news with the people of the internet, but this is quite an achievement for me, since I very rarely do anything with my hairstyle that doesn't include bobby pins or hats. So this, is very much, seizing the day. 



I'll be very honest with you--I was never much a fan of autumn, mostly for the reason that I never got to experience it. Many lust and lavish in this wonderful season by experiencing the leaves change color, indulging in coffee shops speciality drinks (ahem, the pumpkin drinks available at Starbucks), and dressing in comfy knits. Growing up in Canada, we don't experience fall; we experience winter and summer. So fall is literally only a few weeks for me. As a result, I never got to experience wearing the comfy knits, laying up in cute vests and jackets, wearing chic boots, and literally wrapping myself in scarves because when I would be able to, the season to wear such clothing would be over. And then winter would come. So, ever since living in Virginia, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that fall is a full season--a good 2-3 months. Imagine that! It was then that I was able to discover seasonal drinks at Starbucks, I could invest in light yet fashionable jackets (a woman can never have too many jackets), and buy three-quarters sleeve shirts. And so with autumn on the horizon, I am quite ready for autumn weather and fashion. Akin to be reunited with an old friend, these are several things I am waiting for upon the arrival of fall.

1. Jackets. I am very much a jacket aficionado. My roommate once linked me to Blair Waldorf (a huge compliment on my part), since I owned so many coats. In my defense, I hardly thought that owning 10 different types of jackets was a lot, but nonetheless, I was quite flattered by her connection. Due to my upbringing in Canada, I do, in fact, own quite a lot of jackets. However, some of them serve a purely aesthetic purpose. Simply because it is cold outside does not mean that my fashion sense needs to suffer. I enjoy wearing all types of coats: trench coats, double-breasted jackets, bomber jackets, peacoats, and blazers. It is such a staple of fall fashion: it is a vehicle upon which individuals can express their individuality through coats. That is why jackets serve a much higher purpose that merely a practical one. Yes, jackets are supposed to cover you up and keep you warm in cold temperatures, but they are also supposed to be very stylish.

2. Darker neutrals. Spring is all about soft, muted neutrals, whereas autumn is about darker, smokier neutrals. Colors such as oxblood, maroon, burnt orange, and gray are popular, some of which I am particularly excited to wear. Color palettes darker, resulting in more frequent fashion risks. Darker colors elicit a more confident, more adventurous, and more exciting vibe. Wearing these colors can perhaps prompt you to do things that you never though you'd do, such as calling that guy who gave you his number, flirting in a more blatant manner, and going to different places. Colors, speaking from a psychologically point of view, can also illustrate how a new season of life is on the horizon.

3. Tea. More opportunities for tea. Rain, cold temperatures, sleep days. Those are all opportunities for tea. Vanilla rooibos, earl gray, chamomile, chai, etc. It is essentially the perfect season to indulge in teas, buy more teas, and take more trips to Starbucks.

4. Leisure reading. Although fall is often when the school semester amps up its reading and assignment load, there are moments when Netflix, Pinterest, tumblr, Twitter, instagram, and any other social media does not satisfy leisure time. Rather, I find myself scanning my bookshelf for the next novel to read, the next world to enter in, and the next plethora of characters I will encounter. Recently, I am planning on finishing Emma, and then go on to read Jane Eyre.