It’s all connected.
It’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve graduated from UCDavis and just an update, the reflection is surreal. What’s next has been unfathomable. In fact, I don’t think this type of feeling applies to just graduating college. Its a universal feeling, embracing ambiguity. Anyone else experience this?
Reflecting also has me thinking about how every instance of hardship or every milestone whether big or small for practically all of my life involved not just believing in myself, but allowing for people to believe in me.
Now I live for the mantra: “Don’t allow the opinions of others define who you are,” but this doesn’t mean disregarding the truth that nothing we do in this world ends up being a singular, self-realizing piece. Even if we do something for the sake of ourselves, it ends up affecting others. We can touch many or just one, but the effect ripples.
Which brings me to what happens next when it comes to our built connections?
The process of reaching out to your contacts, relatives, friends, and possible employers is uncomfortable post graduation. It can feel like you’re baring your soul to someone who may inevitably not be able to provide you with anything more than just words of wisdom. But the process is necessary. Honestly, even advice is something crucial to a listening ear, and honestly your networks have plenty of “knowledge nuggets” to share. In my five years of college and employment, I constantly danced with the term “networking.” For me, the importance of that term lies not in its ability to possibly land you a career, but in its ability to motivate you to think about your interactions with people and how you maintain relationships that may be significant or insignificant to you at the moment. We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to relationships. Let these serve as lessons to absorb from.
Just like my combination of neutral color blocks interacting with the world of bright hues around me, I see my future as a mixture of experimenting with stability in my basic clothing set, finding color dotted throughout because I need balance. A balance of color and neutral. Of common and abstract pieces. Of risk and realistic. The truth of the matter is that relationships in life are a balancing act, whether we choose to accept that or not.
And remember, that it’s never a bad thing to have people in your corner. People who are willing to take a chance on you. These are genuine connections that add color to our lives. Someone who came to mind as I went through this conceptualizing process is Cindy Suzuki, a community activist, ethical pillar, and believer of style as an expression of our truths.
Cindy’s XO |
Post-graduation comes with the vulnerable territory of, “what’s next?”
That vulnerability is something I knew I would eventually wallow in, given the time to face it. But instead of having that vulnerability weigh me down, the one thing I’ve consistently heard from my peers and mentors is this: embrace it — don’t be afraid.
To me, that means to live bold and colorfully.
That’s where this look comes to play. I comfortably embrace grays, blacks and whites in my wardrobe to create streamlined and sophisticated looks. The crisp array of colors and bright patterns highlight my vision of living colorfully; stepping outside my comfort zone physically and visually.
H E A D to T O E |
Statement Necklace | Forever 21
Tie-Neck Top | Papermoon and Crescent for Stitch Fix
Pencil Skirt | Renee C for Stitch Fix
Lace Up Sandals | ASOS
H E A D to T O E |
Fedora in Brown | Topman
Oversized Color Block Top | Urban Outfitters
Distressed Black Denim | DIY, original pair, LEVIS
Almond Toe Boots | Aldo
Spike Ring | ASOS
Black Laced Ring | ASOS
Collaborator and Visual Director of What Happens Next | Daniel Joseph Aniciete