May 21, 2010

Things I Try To Remember When I Am In A Style Rut, OR, This Looks Like A Refrigerator With Cheesy Magnets, OR, I Have Reached New Pretension Levels

"I like making images that from a distance seem kind of seductive, colorful, luscious and engaging, and then you realize what you’re looking at is something totally opposite. It seems boring to me to pursue the typical idea of beauty, because that is the easiest and the most obvious way to see the world. It’s more challenging to look at the other side."
-Cindy Sherman

A lot of the time I blame my style ruts and lazy dressing on life being poopy (I know I'm lucky, but I'm also angsty, and a teenager) and on hostile environments. No matter how many times I try to stick with the "life is beautiful! Everyone is nice once you get to know them!" mindset, I end up more with the "life sucks, you're standing on my neck" one, because I go to school (or anywhere, but mostly school) and get all sad because there is sexism and racism and ableism and homophobia and other isms and phobias and general depressing...middle schoolyness. For a while I've let myself use this as a reason to wear a very basic combination of things, every day. But really I should use these hostile environments as reasons as to why I should create my own world through my outfits, because a certain outfit totally puts you in a different place, and it's easier to ignore certain kinds of people when I'm in my own world, yes? And as far as life sucking goes, this then makes me want to create and learn and absorb as many interesting things as I can. This doesn't mean the realities of Life Suckage, like the isms and phobias, should go ignored, and I try to do both (not the isms and phobias, I mean creating my own world as well as trying to make life not suck for other people.) This is fulfilling to me. I'm putting this here because I want to hear what you think and because I'll get in more ruts and have to come back to it. If I read this in many years I will shake my head at all the teenagerness, then be sort of pleased.

130 comments:

eat me said...

I can't help but feel the same way: when I wear something that I'm proud of, something that represents me, my life changes into a new direction. Even if it is just for a single day, at least that day was better than the last.
High school for me just goes on better when I do this. Living for yourself is so much more fun than just living for the sake of getting straight A's.
Though I do need to face "reality" every once and a while.

Sandy Joe said...

I went to university and ended up wearing black for 4 years, now that I've graduated, I'm not even sure what to do with myself. All my colourful 60's clothes are foreign to me.

Don't let external sources justify putting off expressing yourself otherwise you'll lose your flare for life!... and I'm not ready to stop reading your blog!

Just remember what an inspiring city you're living in... and if you forget, watch High Fidelity and Ferris Bueller's Day Off

FASHION SNAG said...

Agree with the quote by Andy.

www.FashionSnag.com

Leslie said...

i started college this year and i was all excited to meet people "like me" and be pursuing "what i want to do" and unfortunately i feel the same general what-the-fuckery towards my peers as i did in middle school and in high school. this might be an assumption but i feel like you, like me, have had to supplement everyday people who just don't have any thought process, with people on the internet who are absolutely brilliant. it's awesome the kind of relationships i have fostered through my blog, etc. but it also kind of sucks that i can't manage to find these kind of people in "real" life.

the only thing i really have learned is that personal growth is just like, you know, awesome. really fun. and 99.9% of people aren't interested in it, and aren't interested in you (or me, that is), and it doesn't really matter. i have sort of reached the point where i substitute interpersonal relationships for knowledge/learning and self-analysis. and it rocks.

Caitlin said...

create your own world mna. its the most inoffensive things that get you the most crap anyway. dont wear a tshirt that says 'voldemort' on it though. bad things will go down xx

Madison Rae said...

I think a lot of times it's better to live in a world where you create sunshine and rainbows for yourself and everybody else than to live in a world that is 'reality'. Reality is no fun, and reality is often times depressing and icky.
So go for it and make your own world through your outfits. I guarantee you there are hundreds of artists out there who do the same thing through their work. (Like me. ♥)

Becky said...

racism and sexism often make me sad, too. sigh. I wish it would just go away!

Caleb Poling said...

Such a balance to be held for each person. You often find a person is either in his or her world and neglecting everything around them. Ignoring problems don't make them go away, in fact they create new problems. But then the opposing person only cares about the world and neglects his or her own person world, personal mindset where they can dress how they want, and think how they want. I think you have it right. You need to be able to do both. And I mean that in the good way, not the miley-cyrus-hannah-montana-best-of-both-worlds way.

sidnee said...

when are you going to post pictures of your outfits?? you said you would ??

WendyB said...

I'm suddenly thinking that the average person believes his or her self to be above average. I want to meet someone who is below average and proud.

Chloë said...

i have to say that i can totally relate to what you're saying and i can honestly tell you that i think most people feel that way actually. truth is that life does suck most of the time, but even if a day has been crappy, it's still a day in your life that's gone by and it's not coming back, so yeah, you just keep reaching for that rainbow and create your own sunshine. it sounds so cliché and random but it's true!
it reminds me of something a friend of mine said when we were watching a horror movie and i was freaking out and scared out of my mind; as people were getting cut into pieces and zombies were on the screen she just turned to me and said: how can you think this is scary? real life is much worse. so true though!

The Purple Boot said...

As a high school student who grew up in the same environment as you (also in Chicago!), I would say hang in there. The general suckery doesn't end, but the more you stick with you who you are and what you love, the more it doesn't matter. You are truly a intelligent person, and life is there for you, so grab a hold of it (by the horns and such)!
There are a lot of people looking forward to hearing more from you.
Sincerely,
B

Claire said...

You may feel small in your big school, but if you wear what you like, then you will be giving inspiration and hope to those around you, even if they never let you know.

I used to dress pretty weird in middle school and I didn't really listen to the same music or do the same stuff as the other kids. I was not exactly an outcast but not popular either, and now, what, more than 15 years later, I meet people who tell me that I inspired them to let their individuality shine. All it takes is one person to tip the scales!

50two said...

life is so terrible that its really not worth living if you can't bear to enjoy it.

Rocio said...

tavi, i´m not speak english ... www.translate.google.com
entra en mi pagina y dime lo que piensas!! www.laamoodaa.blogspot.com
gracias...

Eleanor said...

you are wonderful.

KD said...

I have no idea how many times I've commented on your extreme well-spoken-ness, but it's been alot. This post is yet another example.

kasmslo said...

I actually enjoy the repulsively idealistic, beautiful and glamorous, particularly perpetuated in the magazine and fashion industry. Hard to distinguish my exact thoughts: it's all a disgusting and disastrous reflection of society, in a ironically beautiful way? It's kind of why I like fashion, because it tends to depict both. I've always liked that juxtaposition. If you are trying to feel out a different angle on reality, maybe just try to focus on the destructive, tragic qualities of beauty and idealism. That's a more sickeningly glamorous way to perceive the world.

I also think it's important not to become too immersed in either world and try to maintain a healthy balance between reality and fantasy. Or sometimes fantasy can reflect reality (think messages from McQueen shows)! I guess it can be visa versa. Once again, why I've always been turned on to fashion.

mleeoliver said...

Going to uni/the state of the country I live in (England) has opened my eyes wider to things like sexism and racism more than ever. What you wrote at the bottom is the basic thoughts that have been filling my mind recently. I've felt a wave of dispair with humanity at the same time as getting into more punk music (!) and feeling more free with my style now I have nothing stopping me! I'm inspired by things like Kurt Cobain wearing a dress to shove it in the face of homophobes ,etc. I want to shock, and displease people who feel like they need to control me and everyone else. It's a classic case of how deeply one's style can really be an expression of how they feel on the inside. It makes me feel free. Although I've found myself much more aware of and angry with racism, sexism, etc since I've been at uni, I've also found people who are just as angry as me, people who are doing a lot more about it, people who have suprised me, people who are a lot more open to differences, and people who are a lot freer. These people, and being able to create my own world as you put it, has definitely reinforced my belief that yes, life is pointless, but surely that means, like any free time we have, we should be enjoying it, learning, creating and paying attention to the beauty around us?

blahablagrg long comment, but this post is very relevant to me!

x

kz said...

Read Warhol interviews in The Paris Review.

November Grey said...

I needed to read your post today. The ruts happen to us all (my GOD, don't they... hello!) and sustaining a rosy outlook on life is just not possible all the time. I'm with you, sister. And sometimes my love and passion for art, music and fashion are the only things that keep me sane. And the more I remember to use these things as the tools that they are - to inspire and invigorate the world around me... somehow I manage to pull through it, and remember the magic that life can be.

Hang in.

xx

http://novembergrey.blogspot.com/

Ami said...

As a middle school student (also.) I know what you're going through. I've learned during my life so far that life isn't all butterflies, unicorns and cupcakes. I used to think life was so beautiful but I know now that life is a cruel cold world you have to make the best out of. I learned that You can't try and build walls and run away from fear, sadness, or life suckage, you have to learn how to handle it and learn from your mistakes and tradgities. Basically, Life is a pitcher of sour lemonade that you have to turn sweet. You might run out of happiness. (and I've run out of it like a million times. My heart's been through the grinder more than once.) But always remember to stay true to yourself and keep on loving what you love. Be your own induvidual and wear what you want to wear. Remember that people are watching over you and love you and that you should ignore the haters. Everyone's life is sour but your here to make your sour life sweeter.

For me, music and fashion have always seemed to make my world feel better.

Tanti Saluti,
A.D.T

The Vegaran said...

Personally, a lot of the time I think it matters very little how you look as long as you're comfortable, and if you're comfortable you can do whatever the hell you want, it doesn't matter if your comfort style is a red cape and a green bodysuit or stilettos and shoulder pads. Do what you feel, and everything will fall into place on its' own.

Maia said...

I completely agree Tavi, while i was in class today, i was thinking about doing a post on how fashion isn't just about being provocative, and so many people think this word automatically means egotistical inorganic japs. but i find myself dressing crazier as the workload seems to get harder, and i just did it because of like what you said, to get into my own world and and ignore the poopyness of humans and life. you are the one who gets me out of ruts, but now i think were just overthinking the complexity of clothing. BLAH I MAKE NO SENSE. i need tea.
dude i love you
xxxxxxxxxx
eyefromthebigdipper.blogspot.com

zoomslow said...

Some suggestions:

Number 1: School is just something "you have to" do. So do what you have to do, and make it as easy and as smooth for yourself as possible [as unappealing as this may be :-(( ], so that you can eventually be all like, "School?!?!! Ha! Been there, done that, brother!".

Number 2: Be creative and take on the greater challenges when you have spare time. Not only will this give you energy and inspiration for when you have to lock yourself down to school, but it is all good practise for when you've finished school, and am (hopefully) able to devote more time to your own work.

Number 3: Do more painting and drawing!!! Colours, lines, shapes and such are fun, and as a bonus, it will stop me from telling you to do it :-))

Emma said...

Hi Tavi,
I know what you mean! I feel that middle school has made life just so much more dismal, too. I only have a month left of it, so I can't be complaining. Just the girls and their Uggs and drama, and boys with their lame naked girl jokes. I am now waking up to all of the bad things in life, like racism and sexism as you mentioned. We just finished up To Kill a Mockingbird, which was about the best thing that has happened lately. At least we don't have the sexism and racism that existed back then - but then we do! It's the internet fueling this new brand of racist/sexist kid. It's not cool.
So, I think I'll just wear big overalls, clogs like Scout (in To Kill a Mockingbird) and 90's girls. I can't wait to start reading Girl Power soon! Thanks for that great post on it. Have you ever thought about starting a Girl Power club? If so, I'm sure that many people will join, plus it could make life a little less "suckish."
Thanks for the post!
-Emma

Jenna said...

I agree with absolutely everything you just stated.

thegirlwhocriedwolfe.blogspot.com

Moira said...

well, if the world did not suck, we'd all float off into outer space, lol.

and yes, it is very hard to stick to 'life is beautiful'. so every time you feel like you're having a rough time or something, just think that someone else is having an even tougher time.. :<

cassiecle said...

I'm pretty sure that life is meaningful so keep on making it mean way awesomer things, thanks

Luna Ti-k said...

Hey Tavi, I can tell u that not only in school but also in life, no matter the country... us who feel the right to be different come across those who dont get it and like to make us belive theres something wrong with the way we see life, but what I apply here is the old saying of "Those who matter dont count, and those who count dont matter" Im translating this from my saying in spanish I hope it makes as much sence in english.

Elissa said...

As a teenager, you're the youngest adult on earth. Being an adult is like someone dropping a super advanced alien smart phone into your hand. At first you're like, OK great I can phone home now, but as you spend more time with it, you figure out all the different apps. You'll never figure out all the apps, but you can always learn more of them. Also, I feel a lot better looking back on my teen years now that I've learned that your frontal lobe/cortex thing that governs reasoning and all that shiz isn't fully developed until age 20. It explains a lot of shittasticness, both in how you yourself feel and how others act.

My advice? Continue creating your own world. You're the lead in your book, why would you willingly submit yourself to a lesser role in someone else's?

little ghost said...

sad to say, it goes beyond school :/ it seems the older people get(generally of course, theres always exceptions), the more judgmental they become. negative remarks are simply insecure and scared people's way of making themselves better. you're great and your style is amazing and UNIQUE. who else at your school can say that they have "the fashion world at their feet"? :) you're wonderful tavi, and its kind of weird for me to say this because i'm 20, but you inspire me. you're witty, have an amazing sense of style, and SMART. if only i would have been true to myself when i was your age! instead i went along with everyone else and let what they considered fashion affect my own sense of style. i regret it so much because i tried so hard to fit in so i could be popular, and only ended up being in the background :/
screw everyone else. you're you, and if they don't like what you're wearing, saying or whatever, thats their problem.
and one more thing;
part of what makes life beautiful is that despite all the negativity that people generate, unique original people and ideas still make it! without the "suckiness" there would be no beauty because everything would be so easy! just keep that in mind :)

rafa said...

hope you dont mind but im gonna put these pics in my bulletin board or something

teri seaglass said...

Hi Tavi,

I feel the same way. Every single day of my life, and especially this year at school, I look around and I think "damn what have we done to ourselves?" and I get mad and sad and I want to cry and at night I feel this longing to do something to make the world different and I'm sorry this sounds really corny and I'm babbling. BUT SERIOUSLY. This has been my problem forever, and I have made it my personal goal to make sure I learn as much as I can so when I try to change the world, I can argue sensibly, with a worldy and educated mindset. That's the only way people will take me seriously, and you sort of need people to take you seriously if you want to change something. I don't know, but that's my goal. I want to argue, I want to question beliefs that are STUPID, so I must fight it in a smart way, or I'll just be one of those bitter people ranting all the time and I'll get nothing done. That's how I see it. As for the style rut thing, thank you so much- you just inspired me... AGAIN. You can get away from the suckage by creating your own world, and dressing is a big part of that. I was actually starting to lose faith in that vibe recently... until now. Thank you so much for brightening up my day.

teri at tintedseaglass.blogspot.com

bolaji said...

hi tavi, i think that "style-ruts" are "normal" just as our conflicted feelings abt racism and sexism are. i'm not in school, in fact i'm way out of school, but i do have 2 daughters, one of whom attends a montessori school. she is all of 5 and so far, touch wood, she likes her friends and her environment. of course children are blissfully oblivious to the "real world" issues unless their parents and caregivers subject them to those adult themes. if i think abt it, fashion too might be considered an "adult-theme" given the politics of what we wear, how we wear it, how it gets photographed, who styles and stages it, the models used, or "unused" as the case may be etc.

the style rut happens more often than we think. and for some of us, it typically has nothing to do with fashion or style per se, but life. ask any post-partum new mom who dons loose pants and sweats on the regular the first few months after birth. she is not thinking, "style rut," but rather, what's clean, easy, and comfortable?

that said, i guess it is different for teens. i don't remember.

what i do know is that like anything in life, we most simply go through it, experience, embrace it, and try hard not to dwell too much on it. the "rutty" moments never last too long anyway, but they are indeed necessary to help us recognize when it's time for a change-up!

lotsa luck to u. xobolaji

www.ithinkyoushould.com

Lovers, Saints & Sailors said...

Life is full of ruts. Of ups and downs. And definitely of crappy sexist, racist, and all other types of "ist", people. No matter what you do, they will always be that way. What matters most is what type of person you are.
Live and dress for you. Live in your own world where YOU make YOU happy. That's what's most important.

Steve said...

Aww, I guess I didn't realize you feel down sometimes (you know, because you always seem awesome and in high spirits). For me, absorbing interesting things is a really good coping mechanism, but at some point you'll want to find people who are interested in some of those things you absorbed, and it becomes discouraging if you don't have any of those people around.

In any case, "hostile environments" sounded like something an artist would call a painting! Maybe instead of an escapist outfit, you can create a "hostile environments" outfit, hahaha!

Tom Ford once said something about how "the times" we live in have an effect on fashion. He said that right now we live in a sort of a 'fake' society, where it's all about looking like a beautiful car by getting plastic surgery and stuff. He said that even though this seems dystopian, you don't need to look at it that way, just look at it as something different and work with it.

Poppy-Rosy said...

I love that fridge magnet.
as this guy Noah would say
"thats and EPIC fridge magnet!"

www.poppy-rosy.blogspot.com

Chalk Girl said...

Art is the affirmation of life.

Mary said...

I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and something that's great about graduating, and even high school and college years, is that you have greater control over the types of people you surround yourself with. It doesn't mean the sexism and racism go away, but you won't be exposed to these kinds of ideologies unless you want to be.

I've found that removing yourself from people like that is both good and bad. For one, you get to interact with like-minded people who inspire you and make your life better; however, you may begin to believe that people in general have evolved and that these problems are not as pervasive as before.

I think it's important to distance yourself from associating with negative people while maintaining an awareness of the problems that remain and that we still need to combat.

Kate Rose said...

Thank you, I really needed this. Lately I've been feeling really torn about this aspect of fashion (and have been an equally poopy dresser)...what I mean is that is that is fashion for me, personally, about self expression, or is this and the "unconventional" outfits I wear overshadowing me as a person and are they becoming or replacing my personality? (I don't know if that even made sense outside of my brain). But then really, why should I care and try to please people who don't even understand me. My parents are always getting on my case about the way I dress. One of my teachers even remarks that I dress ridiculously. I don't really know how to deal with this. I can't stand it. pompoms on my head and shocking color combos just make me smile. And when it overwhelms me, the pressure of everyone telling me that I will be rejected if I don't dress a certain way,that I am devaluing myself, when I sometimes give in, I can't stand it. I want to be true to myself, yes, even create my own world. At the end of the day, what will make me the happiest? smile? I don't want to give in to the safe prettily average or anything else. wow, was that an angsty tack-fest rant or what.

Jenny said...

I used to be cynical, about everything but I figured it wasn't getting me far. So I decided to be more realist, that way I could be negative when I felt like it.

Sofie Marie said...

You've really taken the words out of my mouth there Tavi!
I also know I'm lucky,and spend a lot of my time trying to stick to "life is beautiful".But then these sort of things happen,and everything just seems to suck.It get's difficult because the more we think about the suckyness,the more suckyness we find.It can just start with one person saying something mean....and then your mind whirls off to think about racism,and mean people,and then horrid deaths,and predjudice,and all the sad things in the world.
It's like being in a little pool of despair,that affects our mental state,and the clothes we wear.I'll find myself laying on my carpet feeling just rubbish,wearing clothes that make me feel rubbish,because I hadn't bothered to think about clothing-because I was too busy thinking about crap.
Whenever this happens to me I really try to make happiness out of the tiny things.I'll look at the sunny sky and think how lovely it is.Or a friend may say something funny,and I'll realise how amazing that person is(and how amazing it is that I have that person as a friend).Or I'll see something inspiring,and remember that as human beings we can create wonderful things. A really good outfit definatley makes me feel awesome too.
Anyways...I've dragged this out too long.Basically,try not to let it bog you down too much.The most important thing I find is that you shouldn't stop yourself from feeling crap-as in you shouldn't feel guilty.I often find I feel guilty,because I'm priveleged in life-I shouldn't be having these thoughts,because there are people out there suffering so much more than me
But that is a wrong-just allow yourself to be sad sometimes,but make sure to try see the brightside as well.
Thanks for such an interesting post,and I've really enjoyed reading some of the responses!
Sofie
onetoomanywishes.blogspot.com

Misanthropic Pulp said...

Warhol and Kubrick.
It's like they really knew what was going on, what is going on.
All these amazing people...a dream to someday be like them.
(not measuring in fame or anything, but in personal fulfillment - to do what you beliveve in and in mental fulfillment - to know yourself)
great post.

Just Another Londoner said...

'however vast the darkness, we must supply our own light'. amazing. thank you for posting these.

jungleworldcitizen said...

I've been waiting for that "rebirth" for a while now and still haven't lost hope :p
But the thing is, I'm always twice your age. Seriously, at 14 it's already starting to look that bad? :(
Hope not!
xoxo

Amanda "Creamy" Apriani said...

Nice!!
O, I've posted about simple skinny and back to childhood

Wanna exchange link? Mail : icecreamyworld@gmail.com

Xoxo,
-Creamy-
Be my follower : Ice Creamy World
Twitter : caramel_manda

CORA said...

So true. If I wear something that is truly me, i feel so much better about everything, happier. But if I wear any old jumper, or throw on a pair of ragged trousers, my day instantly worsens.

Hope you don't get into many more style ruts..

Cora x

CORA said...

So true. If I wear something that is truly me, i feel so much better about everything, happier. But if I wear any old jumper, or throw on a pair of ragged trousers, my day instantly worsens.

Hope you don't get into many more style ruts..

Cora x

hanne said...

Tavi, I'm old. More than 30. And unlike the interview you quote, I shall claim that the "life sucks" part do get easier when you get through teenage-hood /puberty. Now an artist soul might claim that this is because we die inside when we grow up, adapt, pretend, fit in, stop caring. I think that this is true for some people, but it doesn't have to be. We must learn to work with what we've got. You seem so confident, so smart /able to see through things, so able to observe and understand your own reactions that I don't think you will fall into the trap of loosing yourself.

That said, sometimes you have to adapt a bit to avoid unwanted attention, or to be practical. Like the sports day at school where you had to wear sports clothes. Later you'll have to wear clothes suitable for your job, at least to some extend. But you can still express yourself within the space of "suitable". You can always find ways to express yourself.

Dressing to fit into a group, to get friends, to stop expressing yourself and start looking like the others is not worth it. Not for someone as strong as you. The people who are worth having as friends will like you much better if you are your real self.

Create a beautiful world of your own, and wait and see, the worthwhile people will come to you and you will make their world a little bit better. Perhaps not in high school, but a bit later, when people mature, and you get to meet more of your own kind.

You are already making the world more beautiful to your readers.

"I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."
(C.S. Lewis, Puddleglum in "The Silver Chair")

Meaning that the unfortunate fact that life sucks is no excuse for not living as you would in a better world.

Margarita Gutierrez said...

"it's easier to ignore idiots when I'm in my own world."

EPIC and so true.

trisha said...

i think you are misunderstanding the last quote a bit. what is he trying to say is that life is purposeless. and it is. it is inherently purposeless. there is no purpose in the vast amount of clothes you own, no inherent meaning. but if you are strong enough, you can overcome this sense of hopelessness, of meaningless existence, the fact that no one will remember you 50 years after your death, that you will make no mark in the world, and grow into something more. the quote isn't really about racism and sexism and middle schoolyness bringing you down; it's about the inevitability of death and the lack of meaning in life.

why do we go to college? to get a good job. to do what? to live a life in a suburban home, have a few kids then die. purposeless

there is no purpose in putting so much thought into materialistic pursuits and clothes, BUT if you give it purpose and assign meaning to it you will live a full and happy life.

but whatever interpretation works for you.

Agnes Juice said...

Oh, darling, I exactly know how you feel, 'cause I feel the same way. I'm 14 and I attend high school in Italy (and, believe me, it's worse). Everyday I'm surrounded by stupid people, so I build kind of a wall with my clothes.
Several times, we aren't born in our dream world, but we definitely can create our habitat and search for people whith whom we can live better.
Thanks Tavi for being one of that people to me.

http://agnesclutch.blogspot.com/

Katie said...

These quotes are thought provoking and kind of inspiring and maybe a little sad. They have given me a lot to think about.
It kind of reminds me to the answer I pull out when people ask me why I dress the way I do.
"Because this world is boring and the easiest way to make it more interesting is through my clothing"
I hope that you can get out of the rut which is middle school ASAP and that you can work on making it a little bit better as you leave.

Photogenicbliss said...

Life can be definitely sucky sometimes, you just have to make the most of your time here and think that each day you can achieve something that will lead to something bigger.

S. Lynn said...

I just started reading your blog and am thoroughly impressed. I've got to say, though, that as someone old enough to be your mom--my oldest daughter is the same age as you--I still feel this way sometimes.

At the ripe old age of 41, I've finally realized that how I dress affects how I feel and that I shouldn't care what others think. It's been a refreshing release. With all the "isms" in the world, my appearance is truly of little importance. It is my choice of action that counts. The suckage of life will persist, but at least I'm not adding to that suckage.

Limequat said...

This post has pushed me from the boundaries from lurking into commenting (though might be a post-and-run). Reading blog posts like this from young people is so encouraging! It makes me feel like even though there is life suck-age and bigotry, I know that in our future, there are people like you who make their own light and will shine it as a beacon for others. I had a pretty rough childhood, and I definitely realized I had to make my own joy and awesomeness since nobody else was going to do it for me, and people were actually trying to put it out. Now I can't say for sure whether or not I've made any awesomeness, but I can say I've emerged from the situation strong. I wish you lots of hope, courage, and inspiration. Please be the future.

Gegenstück said...

"it's easier to ignore idiots when I'm in my own world."
you're absolutely right, love the way how you pen your thoughts

direchef said...

What would life (or fashion) be like without contrast?

Assata said...

I feel the exact same way. For me, its really hard being the chucks or the Doc Martens in a land of Ugg boots and flip flops. Keep ignoring the idiots in your own world Tavi!

Cristi said...

i hate to say it, because I love fashion too, but maybe fashion is not always the best way to address things as radically disturbing as sexism and racism and other inequalities that inevitably show their faces in middle school. maybe on some level you are trying to channel your energy into a new, more formidable venture. like the new sassy you were talking about. or making movies or music that influence the way people think about these issues. i know you are still young, but eventually you might find that wearing a "basic combination of things" to a director's chair or an editor's desk will be really really rewarding.

Aneta said...

Tavi, with all that privilege, it seems to me you also have a heavy burden to carry. So many people DEMANDING to be inspired! Daily :) I take so much from you! I wish I could protect you.
The second thought - with all it's fakedness, school is where people learn strategies of dominating others, getting their way, etc. - to be used in future power positions. You can either learn the skills, or learn how to build your own world and protect it. Both of which is fine, I believe! I'm happy I'm through with school, though ;)
And at the age of thirty six I'm convinced life has much more sense than manufacturers of consumer goods would like their consumers to believe. I support you with whatever you feel and whatever you need to do.

leather lace blog said...

school is school..you have a while left, but it is absolutely nothing in the entirety of your life..just live how you want to live and dont worry about the rest.. easier said than done huh ? but there are always going to be people that bring you down...so you've got to pull yourself up!!

xoxo

http://www.leatherlaceblog.com/
http://www.leatherlaceblog.com/

Emma Rose said...

If only you knew how much I get caught up in the mindset that life sucks! For me, the best way to get out of, or at least forget about for a while, what you call a rut is to remember that you can be yourself. Further explanation? It is true that there is sexism and racism and that school sucks, but it is also true that people can detach themselves from situations. For example, lots of people are racist, but that doesn't mean you are, and, even though it might sound lonely, the best way to cope with these things sometimes is to isolate yourself. This isolation doesn't have to be physical, but it can lead you to realizations, and these realizations could lead to an overall change if enough people are able to do it. And that's what can make life suck a little less.

Emily said...

Kenneth Cole does both - and you have a serious head start on him. Go for it. And blog about it, please :-)

Leigh said...

Tavi, if you're classmates don't appreciate you, your style, or your feminist commitments, then know that the your readers do! Your writing is really refreshing.

Go you!

Georgina said...

I've read about you Tavi! And finally now I follow your blog! Great writing!

xoxo

FOLLOW MY NEW BLOG- THANKS!
www.toogirlytooyoung.blogspot.com

i.c. blogspot said...

It's hard to challenge the minds of mass youth ignorance, because it's easier for others to judge, form cliques and stick together in their bands of thoughts and leaders. Those that see the difference such as your self can rise above the chaotic silly-ness and become a liberated individual, that may either be admired by others for your ability or face the brunt of jealousy. Regardless, you are a role model for your fellow peers and by continuing to be your true self in style, attitude and mindset you will have a positive impact on those around you.

"dont stop believing... hold on to that feeling"

Take all of that angst/ energy and pull together a wicked outfit. Use your feelings as a source of inspiration to create... a collage... perhaps of your perspective of high school but translated through fashion related photos.

Well those are just a few thoughts... hope something is helpful there!

xxxxx

Rar Traum said...

Many times while wearing something that I know is stylish, but for others may look odd, I don't care. I have whiles olf weackness, you know, when you feel not comfortable in your own body it's hard to dress original... :)

Letizia Evangeline said...

Oh Tavi,

I grew up on after school tv specials, John Hughes films, and The Smiths and Morrissey. They left me depressed, overcritical of situations and myself, and pretty cynical. While I enjoyed the dark side of things (including humor), looking back on things, I think I did myself a disservice. The external is just that - external. It is for you to decide what you will internalize, and what you will leave out of the sacred space called your sanity. I think we all start out in the world hopeful and naive beings. Try to hold on to that hopefulness despite all the things you might learn about people and the ratty things they can do. As for the bigots you come across, they aren't the only ones who can put their brand of humanity out there - so share your humanity with others! You're lucky that you know your passion at such a young age. As you get older, you may find that one of the most important things is to know how to make your own happiness. Use your passion for fashion as a starting point. If you're in a rut about how you would dress yourself, think about your role models, people you admire, and think about how you'd dress them! If you could rehab someone who you think has committed a crime of fashion, what outfit would you put them in?

Having said all that, if you fall in a rut, give yourself a break and cut yourself some slack too. Everyone needs a holiday at some point!

Have fun!

Letizia Evangeline said...

P.S.

In regards to your comment about it being easier to ignore idiots when you're in your own world, I hope that doesn't mean you retreat from the world. You've got a lot to offer the world, and the world has a lot to offer you! My take on idiots is to say "You're being an idiot? Well, good luck with that, but I can't be bothered!"

RepublicOfChic said...

Going to save these an give these a read in similar times too..

PS. Much admiration all the way from India :)

http://republicofchic.blogspot.com

Roz said...

I thinkyour honesty is great, and your problems sound quite identifiable. I'm sure I could use some of your examples to describe certain aspects of my life too.
However, I think creativity is one of the best things to have in life, and you certainly have bucketfuls of it!
Everyone gets stuck in a rut sometimes, but there are always solutions and ways around it. I went through a period of always wanting to wear an 'individual' outfit and geting frustrated if it didn't look perfect.. So I made moodboards for inspiration and every time I came up with an outfit I noted it down or photographed it.
I totally agree about the fact that it can spur you on to do things though. I'm always thinking about the next classic to read, or photography project to do!

On another note, I like the range of inspirations you've posted here.. Especially the Andy Warhol quote.

http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/

Beth said...

:D just :D

Beth said...

*nods*

Dollface said...

Trust me, we all feel the same way and usually at about the same time in our lives. Maybe I'm lucky, because I've in many ways gained back my childlike wonder...but I do not believe that is exclusive to me or certain people. You'll have bad days and good days, schlumpy days and brilliant creative days. Just by being a good person, you already achieve so much by way of saving the world. Also, I was wondering if you've read Bust magazine? It's the closest thing to Sassy there is nowadays...I highly suggest you read it if you haven't.

blackbird said...

You, my dear, are absolutely right. One of the most fascinating, creative, thrilling ways to interact with your world (even the yucky parts) is to create yourself...and you are wonderfully good at it. Keep up the good work - and have fun.

Tracy said...

Excellent quotes.Life isn't always beautiful but you can be, so it seems that you've got the right idea. The best part about creating your own world is that when you do, your world can seep into the lives of others as well.

Leslee said...

Andy Warhol's quote is spot on. I can't but feel the same way, regarding the way life sometimes sucks. I feel like this is more notable when you are kind of forced to mature faster then the other kids or a faced with experiences that open your eyes to the "real" world.The problems that our society is faced with could be solved, but the closed-mindedness of those who have power don't allow the problems to go away with much ease.
I can see why you immerge yourself in your world, i think we all do. To some extent we all try to make the world a better place but it all starts with ourselves, once we are at peace with our mind & sould we can help others with words of ease and understanding.

All best...

You're posts are always inspiring. Be happy and Smile.

Leslee said...

Andy Warhol's quote is spot on. I can't but feel the same way, regarding the way life sometimes sucks. I feel like this is more notable when you are kind of forced to mature faster then the other kids or a faced with experiences that open your eyes to the "real" world.The problems that our society is faced with could be solved, but the closed-mindedness of those who have power don't allow the problems to go away with much ease.
I can see why you immerge yourself in your world, i think we all do. To some extent we all try to make the world a better place but it all starts with ourselves, once we are at peace with our mind & sould we can help others with words of ease and understanding.

All best...

You're posts are always inspiring. Be happy and Smile.

Leslee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggie said...

Amazing quote. Thanks for posting. I used to dress really outrageously in elementary school, then I went through a skirt phase in high school when all I wore was skirts. Fashion helped me forge my own identity, explore my weirdness, and create my own world, like you said. And, yes, it did wonders for my sanity because we all know that it's not really life that sucks, it's that mostly people just suck, and they suck hard.

hikariiii said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVEEEED your spread in ViVi magazine! Fashion is your life, it's your world. Make the best of it and make it you. You have the power to do that in your life and inspire others with it!

alicia xoxo said...

amen to this entire post.
i feel the exact same way and to be honest i feel most comfortable in my own skin, and in my surrounding environment, when i am dressed to please myself and forget about everyone else. Fashion is one of the only ways to express yourself individually without needing to explain yourself to anyone.
love your blog!
xoxo
alicia

mybackpagesxox.blogspot.com

Fourth Daughter said...

If you think school's bad,try working in an office!! But I don't think that will ever happen to you as you are too amazing. Someone recently told me JUST HOW MUCH colour (and therefore what you wear) affects your attitude, spirit, whatever, so I'm going to be wearing lots more red.. I'll let you know if wearing red gets me my dream career... read the post if you have time/are interested in colour theories. http://stylewilderness.blogspot.com/2010/05/its-not-my-birthday.html

rachel said...

I always used to comment that the NY Times 2nd and 3rd pages during the week are always of the most horrific global crimes while being flanked by the most outrageous jewelry and accessories ads. Some folks think the juxtaposition is awful, as if there's a graphic design philosophy that is laughing at the horrors of the world with materialistic frivolity.

I don't think so. For me, anyway, the only way that I can cope with the enormity of all of those awful things in the world: genocide, oil spills, natural disasters, government upheavals, etc, is to look at the beauty in the world. Some of it is certainly materialistic, absolutely; Neiman Marcus doesn't place ads there purely for aesthetic purposes. Nevertheless, for all the crap in the world, I am happy to look at the facets of elegant diamonds, hoping that they refract the light a bit differently by the time I get to the arts section and remember why it's important to keep my vision alive while I'm here. Sometimes there's a revolution in simply that, and that is enough.

Christina said...

Please read A Room of One's Own, by Virgina Woolf. It's one of the most life-affirming books I've ever read, in that Woolf allows herself to acknowledge the injustices of the world without letting anger overtake her work.

kathrynnova said...

i've seen that quote before and it made me cry - cry at the joylessness i've adapted to - cry about the meaninglessness of life that i've suspected and it being acknowledged by someone else - cry about the beauty of actually having the power to supply our own light (and the necessity of that light in this lousy world).

"What have you lived for? Why have you suffered? Is it all just a vast, terrifying joke?"
-gustav mahler.

sometimes i feel it is absolutely futile to bother making my own light in the world. but somehow it is made anyway, even during my darkest hour. are we anything unlike the stars? isn't everything eventually the same thing after all?

the only thing that drives me through life is my curiosity and my quest for beauty.

"lust is a quest for the unknown"
-the futurists believed this

i hope that there is enough electricity in you so that it doesn't dim as you get older. this is perhaps the most dreadful part of existing.....

kathrynnova said...

oh and in response to wendyb:

i am below average and pretty damn proud.

firefly said...

100% Awesome. So right. I know how you feel, sometimes I'm in an unproductive rut-and I feel I can't do anything worthwhile.

fireflyworks.blogspot.com

Rosalba said...

well, friend, the unfortunate truth, and I will give you the truth because it is too rarely seen these days and I want it, NOW, FACE 2 FACE, is that the scales will probably always tip a bit towards the sucky side of life because you are a creative person, and creative people often find the goings-on of the world to be spectacularly ridiculous farces composed of canned content that's been shoved down our throats of anyone who's learned to read from that moment on. This is not to downplay the extraordinary beauty and imagination that exists in the world and delivers an arrow straight to the heart. It is just an observation that you will probably have more days prescribing to the former description, rather than the latter. But, as they say, don't let the bastards grind you down... Love.

DJ 1958 said...

I agree with you, too, Tavi. In my first year of high school, I would get teased for looking so much different from my two sisters. At school I got boys who can be so nice to my two sisters and be such a foul mouth towards me. I do nothing wrong but I guess I got it bad from those boys it's because I was all natural and wasn't interested in makeup.
Sorry, if I sound like a freak here for sounding so competitive -- I'm just a proud person and I bruise very easily! Thank you so much, Tavi!

Meet Virginia said...

umm I think you could be a genius! You're my BIBLE! Love you gurl, keep being original. And I agree, it's not always easy to think that "life is beautiful" but you remind me to try my best. Best wishes!

xo
hotfunkyvibes.blogspot.com

Chelsea said...

as someone who grew up in a small town in new england, and has been getting the "what the hell is she wearing?!" treatment since 8th grade, I feel your pain. now that I'm a second-semester high school senior, I'm inspired by the fact that I'll be out of here in less than a month and dress with abandon. but even in these last few weeks, it's easy to get stuck in ruts when you're a men's tuxedo shirt/four-inch heels kind of girl living in an american eagle world. my advice? make as many guy friends as possible. they're low-drama, low-maintenance. the one person I can tell anything is a guy who doesn't know rodarte from mcqueen, but listens to my chatter anyways. I would also advise having a teacher or two on your side, especially if your school is as anti-fashion as mine. chances are you'll have some battles to fight with the administration (or in my case, the guidance department, whose reaction to my pursuing a career in fashion was not pretty). I've only just realized in this craziness of senior year that there are more people on my side than I thought. There is such untapped power in all of us to fight against the suckiness of life, if we admit to each other that life sucks and we need help changing it. Finally, I want to say that I am so amazed by your maturity and talent. It sounds cheesy, but you are truly an inspiration.

Booga said...

These quotes speak to my very soul-I-don't-believe-in (atheist!). Hmm, maybe I should just call it my "core", yes, way more succinct.

Fashion is me said...

SHOES CONTEST!! YOU WIN!! Try it!!


My dear friends I decided to do a small contest. To win a T-shirt by me. I invite all to participate just need to answer the question.


More find in

http://fashionispartofme.blogspot.com

Fashion is me said...

SHOES CONTEST!! YOU WIN!! Try it!!


My dear friends I decided to do a small contest. To win a T-shirt by me. I invite all to participate just need to answer the question.


More find in

http://fashionispartofme.blogspot.com

Fashion is me said...

SHOES CONTEST!! YOU WIN!! Try it!!


My dear friends I decided to do a small contest. To win a T-shirt by me. I invite all to participate just need to answer the question.


More find in

http://fashionispartofme.blogspot.com

Sonia said...

Hmm I think you emailed these quotes to me - they're really inspiring!
I do try to wear what i really want, an not be influenced by my peers, but in secondary school it is hard.
Ah well, your always inspiring! :)

Sonia // Dozen Dresses

Michelle said...

Tavi,

My belief is that you've got to keep your head up through the bad times and not let them effect you or the way you look at the world. Everyone is dealt a bad hand (or many), but its those who remain strong and know themselves throughout the bad times, that get the reap life's splendors. Of which there are many! I don't like this general belief that "life sucks", I just don't believe it. One has to be able to own up to the fact that life is not perfect, and the world is not going to accommodate your happiness. But shit, you can accommodate your own happiness, and that counts for something! Just remember that middle school tomfoolery (and high school, and college...) is fleeting, and you'll get to make a life of your own. But there is a lot to learn in the meantime. Just remember that your opinions matter most to you, and if others don't get it, persevere! Sticking to your guns always pays off. And some people commented about life being scary, but I think fear is scarier than anything you may face. Everything is as bad/scary as you make it, and will only effect you as much as you let it.

That Kubrick quote is stunning and articulates things better than I can. Life being deemed "meaningless" is not negative to me. There is no textbook "meaning" that works for everyone. We all get to create our respective "meaning"!

And you may feel as though you're in a rut now, but look at all of magnificent responses you inspired through just this post! x

Sara said...

Why try and escape from reality when you know for a fact that doing so is futile because reality isn't leaving anytime soon? Wouldn't it be more satisfying to take reality from a different perspective and thereby redefine it? The "real world" can be every single bit as beautiful as the richest of fantasy worlds and even more satisfying because it's not a dream you have to wake up from, it's real this time. Look for the beautiful things, and try looking at the old familiar things in a different way. You may be amazed by what you find.

David Moreno said...

I needed this SO SO very much. I keep seeing ugly and bad everywhere, I needed these words to give me a lift. THANKSSSSS

Stitchybritt said...

Tavi my dear, hold out. I remember clearly how school, and all its injustices, quashed my inspiration for life so many times. It was an awful place. But once you kick it through to the other side - studying, or working, or both, you are thrown into an environment where people around you are into the same things you are, and you feed inspiration off each other. It doesn't stop the injustices of the world, but it makes them so much easier to deal with. You will get there.

Hearts,

Stitchybritt

Chérie said...

I know what you mean!!!! School just gets you down. And then you feel uninspired and sad and also you're mad at yourself for not being optimistic. I think you're handling this well, though.

Mathilda said...

Tennessee Williams used to say that hapiness is a total lack of sensitiveness. You´re very sensitive and sensible, girl. You won´t take life for granted ever, despite all your creative skelpticism.
Excellent quotes. You are Andy Warhol´s reincarnation. I´m sure you´re founding a new concept of pop. I wish I could show you a song of mine called "Mary Shelley", but it´s in Portuguese.
Don´t worry about your angst. Everything that is really alive experiment the pain and joy of existence.

Cooltop said...

<3 Cooltop

cool-top.blogspot.com

Roseparis said...

Love it <3
If you like the french vintage style qo on my fashion blog:
http://leblogderoseparis.blogspot.com

Patricia said...

hi Tavi. visit me on the http://fashion-world-style.blogspot.com/



yours

Letizia Evangeline said...

Wow, I just read some of the comments to your post.

There is one post in particular by someone who sounds not only sad, but depressed and hopeless. I hope I am wrong.

There is another post by someone who is sad, but is just biding her time til she can stand on her own two feet, two feet that will take her away from where she is now. She has hope. This makes me smile.

Tavi, I hope you never lose hope. You've seen for yourself how big this world is. And you know that there is more to the world than the middle school you attend. As you grow and mature, so too will some, if not all, of your peers. You will all change and as you get older, your peers will see the error of their ways of sexism, racism and the like. Well, at least some of them.

I'd like to share a quote from Tim Blanks on the passing of McQueen. "... He was also an arch romantic with a pessimistic streak. It produced some of the most beautiful, shocking images in the history of fashion, but it’s a state of mind that can lead to endless disappointments. ..." This was poignant for me because I am a romantic with a pessimistic streak, and indeed it has lead to endless disappointments. But, what keeps me going is the realization that when I have hope, my eyes are open wider than when I have doubt. The thing that sucks so much when your eyes are open is that you see some pretty ugly stuff. But the great thing about having your eyes open is that you get to see the beauty in this world too.

poppy :) said...

okay this may be all blahhhh but me im so very positive.about life and stuff.so i know everythings not hunky dory but all i know is that we should get over the bad stuff and stop dwelling on it becuase its a waste of time.what annoys me the most is when people are like whats the point of living.god i hate that.its like shut up please. the f-ing point of living is to live even if it is sucky you've got to laugh and say ow well.i seem to laugh at my misfortune even when it was my heart brocken.it actaully sometimes annoys me that i get over stuff so quickly but i guess im just lucky.we've only got one chance we've just got to remember to laugh and smile and be happy.because without those things nothing would be worth it.

i realise i ramble but i get very in to t his kinda thing becuase it really gets me going

please look at my blog xxxx

Lillian said...

I'm in my twenties, and I still think middle school had some truly awful moments...For some reason it's a place that often tries to squash creativity and unique expression. However, the people that can stay strong in their ideas through all of that are the ones that come out on top. My best friend was much more into fashion in those days than I was. She would pour over books and magazines and started to make her own clothes...As you can imagine some people didn't quite get this. But she stuck with it, and to this day she is a beautiful, serene person. She's lived all over the world, she loves yoga and cuisine and fashion still, and she's currently in design school, living it up in Chicago!
It's not always going to be easy to hold on to youthful enthusiasm, but it is always worth the effort! Trust me! :)
And that's a random bit from a geezer in her twenties!!
I love your blog, I think it's fresh and sharp and not a little genius. So best of luck, and lots of happiness to you!

Rachel said...

I purchased a back issue of Lula and asjdklasjdlkasjdlaskjd it's like a bible.

Ramona Apples said...

Hi there! i have just made a blog, check it out!
Tavi you're sooo inspiring and originall!! Congrats!
=)

Me said...

Tavi, you won't read this post in many years and shake your head at the teenagerness because I don't think it's your age that makes you realise that life is 'poopy,' it's your intelligence! Smart people are always going to see most aspects of every day life as pretty meaningless and futile, but then there are moments of pure beauty in life and art that makes everything seem perfect for a moment, your imagination & creativity will award you quite a few of those moments in the future.


'The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.' - George Lois

Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cancercowboy said...

philosophically, i'm with Mr Kubrick on this one. life really has no meaning besides those we are able to impose on it. we gotta take that calmly.
ruts come and go. so does discontent with oneself. same with periods of creativity. i'm pretty sure you'll learn how to deal with that. try to put yourself not under too much pressure. enjoy beauty in all those different varieties of art and nature and companionship. of course you will experience defeats and throwbacks and whatnot. just don't let this discourage you. i know, easier said than done, but life's the proverbial dance on the razor blade. between "wow, i just wanna vomit, or maybe set something on fire" and "i'll compose my own 'Ode to Joy' now" might just pass a few hours.
you wrote: "And as far as life sucking goes, this then makes me want to create and learn and absorb as many interesting things as I can."
can't think of a better antidote myself. the narrow-mindedness of people has many causes and will not go away anytime soon. the human mind evolves slowly and needs the right framework conditions to do so properly. today, when progress seems to be synonymous with technical advancement, people tend to forget this.
so keep a stiff upper lip, go and knock 'em dead.

Marcela said...

Are you still reading comments after all of these?
I don't think what you described is part of teenagerness, I'm 21 and still feel like that sometimes and I believe everyone does at some level (obviously only people with some degree of brilliance can understand how good it is to create one's own world) but, at least for me, it's always like this. I'm always feeling like REALIZING if life's either fantastic or horrific and art and images and music almost always bring me up and leave me believing that yes the greatness outshines the suckage. This Kubrick answer is pure brilliance! I was actually thinking about something like that today and reading his genius words is relieving, in a certain way.
Btw, I'm not bipolar, life's 75% of the time fantastic.

http://ledazzler.wordpress.com

Meurice said...

Inspired quotes!

Tavi. I have so much to say and so much advice that I want to impart, but I don't feel it's my place.

Keeping that in mind: Things will get better, things will get worse-- and if this blog is a result of your angst, then I hope you never grow up.

Criteriamour said...

I completely agree with you. I think most school-goers want to be themselves but they are afraid and so conform and that can breed hate. I remember when I would tell myself to completely be myself, and by the end of the day I was pooped and so not myself. But now that I'm not legally obligated to be in that hostile george orwell-like environment I feel a lot more comfortable....I'm probably not helping, but I empathize.

silvia-duchessa said...

I'm so pleased to read this article, because I've been in SUCH a rut the past week, and I've been going round thinking I'm the only one, so to know that people who spend their time writing about fashion, instead of politics or fiction or TV, like me also suffer and for I think the same reasons, is kinda reassuring. I also feel when I discover new blogs or books or websites like OMG I WANT TO ABSORB ALL THIS CULTURE, and I too try to remember that when everything gets kinda grey and sad, and I read things like yours and other people's articles on Terry Richardson. So thanks for sharing your fashion rutness, and letting me and other people know we're not alone :)

Ben Rains said...

One of my favorite passages on being in a rut, or otherwise being uninspired, comes from a personal letter of John Szarkowski's that's published in the book John Szarkowski: Photographs--

Summer 1958
To Dorothy Burge


Dear Dorothy:

I am immersed in a lethargy deeper and broader and more sticky textured and sweet smelling than any I have known before. I must even screw up my sense of purpose to go trout fishing, and the fishermen who hold salon at the Menard Lounge are beginning to whisper that I arrive on the stream downstream, with the current, like the old men do. The last is a vicious libel; in truth I have been lying supine on the bank, watching the leaves unfold.

... A week or so ago... I got a letter from [Helen Clapesattle,] formerly head of the U. of M. Press, [who said] that she hoped that I was now lying fallow, as I deserved. The put a whole new light on it, a respectable, almost shining light. So now when my fellow townsmen ask me if I am just loafing I cut them dead with my archest look and say, not loafing, stupid; lying fallow...

One of my friends at the college here, not so easily put off as most of the townsmen, said the other day: well, if you are lying fallow why aren't you doing it in Mexico City, for example; why do you always show up here when you are out of work?... I said that I always came back when I had a couple of months to look for my Grandfather's watch, which I lost while trout fishing at the age of twelve or so. It was gold, and as big around as a beer can, and as thick as a pack of cigarettes, and had a winding stem as big as a cockle bur, and I lost it. This was said not to answer the question but to avoid it, but it seems to me now, in the middle of the night, that perhaps that is the real answer after all. Or if not to find the watch, then to find something else of a similar nature, once owned, and irreplaceable, and admirable, and perhaps irretrievable...

ktmemory said...

is the model on the cover of Lula Ali Michael? If not then it's just one of the multiple look a likes on the runway.
http://kemichic.blogspot.com

wrysuitor said...

Hey I've been reading this for just a few days (since Feministe linked to one of your posts)but I honestly have to say that reading it is getting ME out of a rut. So maybe you will not be shaking your head over the "teenagerness" of it. At the ripe old age of 27 I can honestly say I have not thought as clearly or hope-fully or creatively as I have in the last six months since I was thirteen (this is due largely to life events, though, so do not let adulthood scare you). So reading this puts me in touch with this part of myself that got unfairly silenced. Thanks for putting your thoughts out where others can benefit from them. :)

saharmom said...

WOW, I really liked that piece. It made me think.
Basically, get over the ‘shit’ you! Sometimes you might have to grin and bare IT, but push through it because you are what you make of it (your life that is!) Dress up and look good because even if you feel like crap, you still look good! You are what you wear!

weebeast said...

Tavi - love the Kubrick answer.... "The most terrifying this about the universe is .. that it is indifferent" The universe! Imagine the universe is "thinking" about us, or you, or Brooklyn (where I live). NOT!

Once you realize life is meaningless (we simply *create* meaning) then you can do ANYTHING, create anything. Really - what do you have to lose? But you clearly, clearly.... know that somehow.
Cheers, Ian

M said...

great read tav

Keren, rhymes w/ Heron said...

Joanna Newsom is like listening to a foreign language only I can understand.

Her voice isn't very much a voice, but a cry.

Sometimes we cry together, me silent, she having the balls to be loud.

duckstheblog.blogspot.com

anonymous said...

ah be quiet girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am 12 and i wish i were you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
how dare you say that lige sucks!?!!!