Having had the chance to be invited to the Weardrobe conference last month was an experience that I will never forget. I met some girls whose blogs I'd otherwise never been exposed to. We not only talked about fashion obviously. Which, is a reminder to all of us who see pretty pictures on fashion blogs, the incredible opportunities and exposure that bloggers get for being, well, bloggers.

I think I can speak for a majority of us bloggers, that blogging is not our life. We have other aspirations, other things that are much more important than a beautifully made ensemble, an IT item, or whatever tangible thing it may be. But let's be frank, of course it's nice to have that beautiful bag, the hot shoes, the amazing trench coat you've been saving up forever to own, etc. That is not what life is about. Not to me anyway. I may sound very firm on this right now, but let me just say that it did take me a long time to come to this realization myself. But let's not go there...not today.

I heard bizarre stories about younger bloggers, one story in particular that stuck to me, was about a girl whose father lost his job during this terrible economic turmoil, yet, she either asked or saved up for a pair of $500+ shoes because she wanted to fit into the blogging world. Having that particular pair of shoes would vindicate her as...I guess, whatever she had in mind. If you don't live in California, it's very probable that $500 can make a big difference in your monthly mortgage or rent. If you can afford it and not starve, of course, by all means! Just know your limits.

I suppose I can rant and vent out my thoughts and feelings about this topic, but having been through the experience myself, I can only say that one can advise all they want, but it is in the hands of the person herself/himself to snap out of it and realize what truly is important in life. The answer, (I hope) is not anything fashion related.

Everyday we see younger and younger bloggers out there. Some of them are extremely mature, take Jane, thestylishwanderer, Belle, and Tavi. I'd like to believe that I have pretty good instincts, these girls are who the younger bloggers that have their head on their shoulders. I met them in person to be able to say that on my own account. Yes, they do only post fashion related things, but they are people. Just like you and me.

Switching gears...
Not only did we get some amazing sponsors at the Weardrobe event- Pacsun, ModCloth, Fredflare, Indi denim, Nooka, ShopRuche, Necklush, Moo cards, I also met girls whom I admire so much from afar. Anyway, these are only among a few of our sponsors for the event. Once I am all settled I will get photographs taken of the great stuff they gave us.

One of the girls I met during this event was Gretta. Her blog does not consist of outfit pictures, but rather, material that is more true to life. If you're looking for a new daily read, I highly recommend you stop by.
Here are some of her excerpts that I really appreciate:

How does it feel?

When I was younger my parents taught me the difference between sympathy and empathy. The first supplies you with heart-felt feelings for another. The latter, is about being that person and feeling as they do. It is a simple enough concept, yet fully experiencing both terms brings about a greater understanding and ability to give. As humans we are predisposed to think of ourselves and our own comfort. The majority of us, save the Gandhis and Mother Teresas of the world, don’t selflessly ask, “How must that feel for them?” Instead, we say (sometimes angrily), “What about me and how I feel?” It is of course good to check in with oneself and know what you are indeed feeling, but then get past that and shift your focus. Internalize what those around you- especially those you care most about- are going through and then ask, “If I were in their position, what would I want/ need? How would I feel?” Existing in this space where you again feel empowered and useful is so much better than the previous whiney self- centered persona you were entertaining. Being on both the giving and receiving end of this, I cannot express enough how important and constructive it is to practice empathy- in all situations.

The (good) bad review.

Sometimes the opinions about you from others make their way back to you. It can be in a gossipy way, or in a more objective evaluative form. Either way, you have an opportunity to hear what was said, and after you have calmed your ego, use it to improve yourself.

The first step is to take what was said into context and understand why it was said. Then, look inside yourself and see if it is true. If it is and you can see the value in “fixing” what you have been criticized about, then clearly identify those areas and set an action plan for how you want to change them. Sometimes, just the awareness is enough.

Don’t let that critique become a sore point but rather a place of strength, insight and growth. I recently received some cold hard feedback and went through the above listed sequence before coming to a place of empowerment. The good news is, I saw value in what was said, and disregarded some of it- but in the end am grateful for the honest review.

Know thyself.

So often we are quick to point out the flaws in others. We make a judgement and truely feel that we know what is best for them- what they need to change to better themselves. What we don’t realize is that often this exercise proves to be one more intrinsic than we recognize.

When you say, “I really like so-and-so, but they are so loud.” You really ought to look at how loudly you speak, because it is likely you are not content with your own gauge, which is why you are pointing it out in someone else.

Another point of self-reflection is to be honest with yourself, in the quite chambers of your own mind. Don’t let thoughts of what you would like to be or perceive yourself as muddle the true image. There is a time and place for visualization to promote your movement forward, but this is not it. This is when you want to be completely honest with yourself and ask, “What are my weaknesses? Or, what do I need to improve upon?” Only in this space can you constructively build towards being the person you envision.

My sister is in town for a visit, and during her time here, I have really gotten to know her better. One of the things I admire greatly is her ability to know what does not come naturally to her, and when in a situation where it is demanded be prepared for it- thereby ensuring her best “performance” and outcome. I was so inspired by her self knowledge and couldn’t help think, “Do I know myself that well?” Do you? One thing is certain, we should.

I don't have any pictures for this post. Here's one that I find appropriate for this post.

via Flickr