I started La Vie en Ginger in 2007, my senior year of high school. My hard drive had become a graveyard for “outfit inspiration” I never gave a second glance (the ol’ right-click tic, nawmsayin’?), and I was seeking an outlet to assert my presence as Teen Fashion Guru. La Vie began as a public shopping list of sorts—my picks from the latest Urban Outfitters catalog, my wisdom on selecting a winter coat (in short, refuse to wear one. You can find me in faux furs and wool blazers through February to this day), my shoe crush of the moment. My trademark sassy commentary was always present, but it wasn’t until halfway through college that I began to put significant time and effort into the quality of my writing, crafting my posts around original content and photographs rather than reblogs and product reviews. Over time, the blog’s scope widened to include experiments in the kitchen, anecdotes from my “day job” as a magazine intern, and musings on body image and the big picture of personal style. It truly became la vie en ginger.
Then I quit being a ginger. So that was awkward. Then I went through a period of serious personal turmoil and tried to pretend like nothing had changed. Then I stopped blogging altogether while I rebuilt myself from the penny loafers up.
There’s a dangerous trap you can fall into when you decide to make your life public, and that is deciding that your public life is the only one that matters. You start doing things so you can blog about them later. You stop caring about the things no one will see. You ignore or suffocate the things you’d rather no one see, sometimes at the expense of your own well-being. It’s very easy to become more of a persona than a person, and in retrospect, blogging became toxic to me for a while. Those days are over. There’s a veneer of perfection and glamour that no longer interests me. I mean, I read those blogs. I enjoy those blogs. But I’m not that girl. It’s okay if you know that I’m not that girl.
BITE is more than just a catchy anagram. It’s an approach to living life. Boredom is the enemy. The moment you cease to marvel at your own existence is the moment you get stuck in your head, the moment life ceases to be cause for celebration in and of itself.
It applies to fashion. In the past year alone, my style has evolved from edgy urbanite to vintage queen to man repeller to prepster dandy to quasi-gothic minimalist to I don’t even know what (and I think we can all attest to my ever-changing hair). Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to find my “signature look,” but for now, I find that the joy of fashion lies in experimentation. So what if I want to wear a mod minidress one day and a bow tie and oxfords the next? I take note of how at home I feel in each ensemble, how the world responds, the degree to which I care how the world responds or find a spring in my step despite the sideways glances. I hold tight to the pieces that feel like me and I ruthlessly dispose of the ones that don’t. I’m not afraid to look foolish. I just don’t want to be bored.
It applies to food. After struggling with my size for as long as I can remember, then losing over a third of my body weight only to find myself in eating disorder treatment for bulimia (not how I lost the weight, but a byproduct of the resulting obsession and a restrictive diet’s lack of sustainability), I’ve finally found my own euphoric – if fledgling – balance of eating and living well. It doesn’t include flavorless diet “food.” It doesn’t include a guilty rollercoaster of feeling alternately starved and stuffed. It does include a great deal of delicious fuel—much of it healthy, some of it not, but all of it savored with intention. I’ve found mindfulness and variety to be the keys to maintaining both my weight and my sanity, to deriving maximum pleasure from food (a genuine hobby of mine) while still feeling energized and at ease. I’m not afraid of calories. I just don’t want to be bored.
It applies to life. Your job, your hobbies, the people with whom you surround yourself. I don’t advise that you quit the moment the going gets gristly, and there have certainly been times when I may have been too quick to cut my losses and move on. But life is not about misery. Life is not about “should.” If you feel backed into a corner in your career, or like one of your relationships has gone sour, or like reality television or Facebook or running ten miles a day is ruining your life, stop it. Bored people are boring. You’ll find a more satisfying way to fill your time, I swear. It may not happen instantly, but it will happen. I’m not afraid of change. I just don’t want to be bored.
I’m a work in progress. We all are. Take what I have to say with a grain of Himalayan pink salt. This new blog will cover all the same topics as La Vie en Ginger – pretty stuff, yummy stuff, working through tough stuff. Wiping every last crumb of boredom from of life’s proverbial table. Who knows what the next course will bring? The only thing I’m ordering is joie de vivre.
Take a bite?