A girl and her dog, 2011

mo-dog

The other day I was looking through old photos on my laptop trying to find a “high waisted clothing” photo for a previous post. While looking through summer 2011, I stumbled across the above photo. Air caught in my throat and I immediately felt full of sadness. Moses. Mo-dog. My blogging companion for so many years. My companion for so many years.

I remember this photo like it was yesterday, and also like it was a forever ago time that I’ll never get back.

It was my high school graduation, 2011. No one was home to take my photo so I took them myself. Instead of my grad cap (which, by the way, I had to bobby pin into my curls because those are not meant to be worn fashionably!), I wore this cloche hat, mixing pin-up with flapper. I set up my tripod and took these photos on a timer. Moses was snuffling around in the yard, as he usually did when I took photos for my blog, so I dragged him into a few photos for the last shots. And here he is, eternally. My dude. A girl and her dog.

I was 17 years old here. The best year of my life, thus far. I had been through a lot in the past couple of years & was on a high from my achievements and new-found freedom. I remember being too embarrassed to invite my boyfriend to my high school graduation, as he was so much older than me, so I graduated in secret from him. But my sister came and I felt so happy. She showed up for me. It was the world here on my special day.

But besides my own memories, there are so many more. I posted this photo on my Instagram the other day, and immediately I was flooded with comments.

“I remember this photo!”

“I remember your dog from Lookbook.nu days!”

“I loved looking back at your old pictures because it reminded me of where I was in my life and what was happening when you posted.”

If I had been PMS-ing, these would have made me cry.

It’s easy for me to forget what a presence blogging had in my life, and, apparently, what a presence my blog had in the lives of others.

During college, on my days off from work, I’d rush home after class and set up my tripod and snap a few photos then head inside to edit and write a blog post before beginning my studies. This was my routine. I did this for all my years in college (4 and a half, thanks!) and then when I interned, I did the same thing.

I can’t tell you a measurable number of my former blogs’ reach…and I’m not sure that I really care. But I’ve heard the stories. When I was 16 and shopping in H&M after work, a teenage girl stopped me to ask if I was on Lookbook.nu. Yes. When I was a fashion design major (a brief stint), a girl in one of my lectures stopped and asked the same thing. When I was 17, my boyfriend’s best friend, who was doing basic training in the southern states, texted my boyfriend to say, “Mike, one of the girls here reads your girlfriend’s blog!” When I was 18, I got into public speaking class one day to find that the boy who always sat next to me had a good friend who read my blog – and had showed it to him, not knowing that he sat next to me every day!

And then there are all the others. There are the comments over the years from someone saying they’ve been following me for 3, 4, 5 years. There are the friends I’ve made. There are the people who have continued to follow me on Instagram, reading my abbreviated thoughts & stories, while my blog took an unintended hiatus. There are the people, both friends and acquaintances, who have persistently asked me to get back into blogging, cheering me on by sharing stories about what my blog has meant to them – and how I flourish when I write.

But to be honest, I very rarely think about my history in blogging. I don’t think much about the time I spent taking photos, building relationships, and spilling my stories out for the world. I just don’t think much about it. And then, I saw this photo. Me & Moses. And everything rushed back. Yesterday, and a far away dream. But, an actual time in my life, when I was undoubtedly happy and inspired and running with the world connecting at my fingertips and spilling through my veins and back out into the air I breathe. That’s what is beneath all of this. But, on the surface, I am just a girl and her dog. And that is alright, too.

9 thoughts on “A girl and her dog, 2011

  1. High waisted clothing does fit you right! 🙉, btw, is this Moses?:

    I find your accent really cute. What was going on in your life back then?, I had just graduated from Uni earlier that year 😆🎓

    Like

    1. Oh my gosh! This was such a blast to the past. I completely forgot about that! Way too many people have watched these and wow – I am basically still the same person…except I wear less makeup and my face is less chubby. Thanks for sharing! I was a college kid back in these days, working at the Mall of America (as I mentioned in the video), and preparing to backpack Europe! Gah I was so cute, my goodness. I’m embarrassed these still exist on the internet, but also glad….

      Like

  2. You included my comment! 😛 but of course over the years we’ve gotten to know you and wish you the best of luck and good fortune. How can we not? You’ll told us a lot and we feel like in some way, we know you

    Like

  3. Okay, this is totally random that I’m commenting here, it’s just that I don’t understand your last instagram post, and for some reason I can’t comment on it. It just seems kinda weird to make a comment and tease a woman for enjoy ice cream at a Saints game? To post a strangers face on social media, making fun of her…? Is that even necessary? I’m sure you’re not a bad person or anything, but it’s so mean/inconsiderate to do that. It makes me sad. And it also seems really invasive. I know you’re a big feminist, and I think that is great, but I also think that means you should be more sensitive. Do you know how many people feel self conscious eating in public? Maybe that woman totally doesn’t care, but if I was that stranger, I would be mortified.

    Like

    1. Hi Alexis – no worries about commenting here. Thanks for the note. Because the photo was of my friend & I, and she was just a small chunk of pixels in the background, I really don’t think it’s an issue & absolutely wasn’t intended to be insensitive. If I had intentionally taken a photo of her and posted it online, that would say something big about my character (& definitely would have been insensitive and invasive). My friend & I took a selfie and he pointed out that right between our heads was a woman eating a massive ice cream cone. We laughed – the staging was funny and all she really was was an ice cream cone with sunglasses sticking out on top. If I had an ice cream cone like that, I would’ve been going to town on it too. I’m not really sure how being a feminist has anything to do with finding an awkward photo-bomber funny. I think in almost any photo there is the potential to find people doing weird things in the background. I didn’t post the photo out of spite or rudeness – it was just a funny thing happening behind us at a baseball game.

      Like

  4. It’s inevitable that strangers will show up in our instagram photos. It’s a sad truth. The problem is when we put them center stage (I am posting this for the woman going to town on her huge ice cream cone). Even if you didn’t mean for that to be shaming, it is. It is every overweight girls nightmare-being called out for daring to eat in public, especially by a skinny girl. I think you can understand why that’s a problem. I mentioned feminism, because I am a big believer that a movement/group is stronger when it includes intersectionality. Food shaming (or the appearance of it) is a serious trigger for many women (and men!) that I think some of us skinny ladies don’t understand. When you or I “go to town” it’s ‘sexy’ or we’re praised for eating whatever we want. When fat ladies do it, they’re mocked or told that they need to worry about heart disease. But regardless of weight, we don’t know how others may take it, dependent on their insecurities. I just think that we should be cautious in our overly-documented world, and considerate of others’ who may not want to front-and-center. I don’t think it was spiteful-but snarky. Sorry if this comes off as preachy, but I think it’s important, as people I know have been hurt by actions like these. If you don’t want to worry about it, you don’t have to. But here is a link if you want to maybe understand how our actions affect others 🙂 Didn’t mean to harangue you, so I will stop with this comment!

    http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2014-06-stop-posting-photos-strangers-online/

    Like

    1. Don’t worry about “harangue”-ing me – that’s what public spheres are for. I totally understand the issues with women who are “skinny” being applauded for how they eat, whereas women who are overweight are shamed. This lady was just a normal sized woman so that didn’t even cross my mind (I don’t think you can even see more than her head in my photo). I just LOVED how she was just going after that waffle cone, giving zero fucks about anything else (including anyone who might be walking by “shaming” her). I would totally be doing the same thing! My comment wasn’t meant to be snarky. I just loved that she was photobombing our selfie at that moment, in such a way, and while just going after this massive waffle cone – no judgement for any of it, just appreciation for the moment.

      Like

  5. Now I feel less strange having followed you from LookBook! I never blogged myself but there were a few blogs I checked regularly because I liked the clothes or the way they were written, and I had them all bookmarked on my old laptop. When my laptop died, I sort of forgot until a couple of months ago when I thought I’d “check in” and see if any of them were still going. Previously I never really engaged with the writers, but found myself quite gripped by reading about other people’s lives. Glad to see yours is still going, it’s the only one I’ve found so far that is!

    Like

    1. That totally happened to me too – I had sooooo many favourites, and somehow had the time to check in & read them weekly. Lately I’ve been stumbling back across from of my fave fashion bloggers thanks to Instagram & it’s amazing how many are still fashion blogging. And some have morphed their blogs entirely – like Gala Darling. She was one of my favourites a few years ago & now her blog is totally different! It’s so strange being closely engaged with someone’s life via the internet for so many years, but also something really comforting about it. I’m glad I’m back to blogging!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s