February 26, 2016

Obsession, Fixation, & Inspiration


As you may have noticed, I've been running slow & low on posts lately. Like any writer, I hit blocks, and maybe that's what this is, but I also think it has to do with settling into a new way of life -- or way of wardrobe.

The capsule wardrobe phenomenon seemed to have its peak moment in 2014/2015, but lately I've seen more and more fashion bloggers turning away from it. Even Into Mind's Anuschka, who provided my own inspiration for embracing this method, has begun to question its universality.

A small part of me feels frustrated, almost betrayed, when I read posts like these. Weren't these the very people who considered capsules the be-all-end-all on the quest for the perfect wardrobe? Were they going to just abandon their hard work (and therein encourage their followers to do the same) just to level up to the next trend?

Last week I indulged a four-day binge through the third season of Orange is the New Black (subtitle: saving and inspiring female entertainers everywhere.) I'll try to keep this vague to avoid giving things away, but here's a SPOILER ALERT for those of you who (like me) resent even the slightest of plot hints when it comes to their favorite TV shows. Much of the fodder for this season's overarching theme is rooted in a side narrative, in which a group of prisoners come to find inspiration and comfort in one of their fellow inmates. Eventually, they begin to treat her as something of a spiritual guru. As the group of devotees expands, one follower in particular becomes increasingly wrapped up in the movement, gradually losing sight of why it was developed in the first place.

Oddly enough, I felt myself identifying with that character, and for awhile I didn't know why. She's never been one of my favorites, and I didn't agree with her behavior per se. What I realized was, I empathized with her dedication. This also probably explains my lifelong fascination with characters like The Phantom of the Opera, Jay Gatsby, and Duckie from Pretty In Pink. Since the days of my earliest sandbox adventures, I've had an inevitable tendency to become fixated on things -- often wanting to see them out long past the breaking point of other people's patience or interest.*

I do not bring this up to toot my own horn. There's a strong difference between fanatic obsession and pragmatic commitment, and harboring the former has often proved more hindrance than help. I bring it up because I suspect my own fear of this aspect of my personality -- the anxiety that what interests me will not survive another person's attention span -- has been responsible for damming/damning my creativity. Coupled with mid-winter lethargy, it's proven debilitating to my writing, and has actually infected several other areas of my creative life. In an effort to remind myself why I started this blog in the first place, I'm hoping to ease up on the pressure to be relevant and interesting -- to embrace my obsessions and run with them, whether capsule wardrobes are in or out.

Here's the kicker, though: in tandem with these bloggers, my own ideas are changing. While capsuling still takes up a fair amount of my mental energy, I'm also becoming fascinated with sustainability, minimalism, garment construction, and room for spontaneity of style within those frameworks. Hopefully, my embracing this new attitude will coax such fascinations out of my head and onto the blog. Hopefully, you will enjoy them too.

It's amusing to me that I started this post with a certain amount of resentment, and here I am ending it in praise of room for change. Isn't it nice how writing can do that?

All my love,
Rachel

*It should be acknowledged that my greatest friends and kindred spirits are such because they understand and/or reflect this quality back at me.

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