Dressing up the Dictionary: Lithium

Lithium

/ˈlɪθɪəm/

noun

noun: lithium; symbol: Li

1 the chemical element of atomic number 3, a soft silver-white metal. It is the lightest of the alkali metals.

◦ lithium carbonate or another lithium salt, used as a mood-stabilising drug.

Needle in. Blood drawn. Three working days. Results. Every three months (if I’m being good about it) I have to go through this process to check the levels of lithium in my system aren’t toxic and are within therapeutic range. It’s strange, right? I’ve literally got the stuff inside batteries running around in my blood. One of my brothers actually told me this officially makes me the Duracell battery habit in the adverts, LOL. Whether or not I want it to be, it is a part of me, and the odd hand tremor here and there serves as an obvious reminder.

I’ve been on the stuff since I was 19, and believe me it’s not been a straightforward journey these past 6 years. It hasn’t been the only medication iv’e been on in an attempt to level out my mood. At one point one of my Psychiatrists had me on 7 different things on top of lithium in one go. It’s safe to say I was one hell of a fat zombie at the time. Now I am just on the one thing, I don't really notice it all that much, apart from having to pop 4 pills of it every night. Doing that has become second nature though. I don't really think about it, think brushing your teeth twice a day, it’s just routine. If you look at me, you wouldn't know that I take medicine let alone know that I have Bipolar. Ultimately the only reason I feel different to others is because said others make me feel that way through their reaction, not because I really am. Anyone living with a mental health related diagnosis will know what I mean, you live with it every single day and in the end it is your normality.

If you've read my blog so far you know the drill by now; this topic features an outfit I have curated to go with. I have opted for the very party season appropriate metallics. I am loving this pewter knit from Zara, it provides a different take on the usual sparkle from sequins and I can’t wait to style it in all sorts of ways. Being the magpie that I am, I have teamed it with my Valentino Tan-go pumps and Fendi Silver Du Jour bag. It all just works together without being OTT. To me this outfit represents what lithium is to me, from the inside out.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Metallic Sweater, Zara

  2. Velvet Bomber, similar here

  3. Metallic Pumps, Valentino

  4. Bag & Sunglasses, Fendi previous seasons

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Dressing up the Dictionary: Maintaining

If there’s one thing I find very difficult, it’s maintaining things.

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That’s because my mood disorder has a plan of it’s own. Cue journal excerpt dated 16.07.18: “It is really hard to maintain or upkeep the use of journalling… Even though I understand it’s cathartic value, I don’t like that it doesn't make things feel better instantly… The irony is I'm so obsessed with maintaining what I set out to do.” I pretty much left it there and didn't revisit the subject again, until now.

Why now? Because I feel at a loss with everything I am doing, and I am exhausted by my expectation of instant gratification. The same sentiment of wanting to feel better straight away has trickled down to my pursuit of becoming a lifestyle blogger. Honestly, I didn't think about what maintaining the process would really entail. I quickly learnt that there is a shady side to the community of lifestyle bloggers; nearly all of them are buying their followers and engagement. It explains why trying to drive in the traffic to my own website and Instagram has been so damn slow. We live in a world where everything is instantly obtainable, and it would seem cheating your way to get there is the norm.

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Excuse me, but I did not work that much harder to prove myself and my capabilities against all odds, to be told that paying my way into things is “all that matters.” Well, guess what? MY EXPERIENCE IS MY WORTH. If anything, the people I went to school with (think rich beyond realms imaginable and then quadruple that amount) have encouraged me to do the exact opposite of buying your way through life. Granted, it would be lovely to amble along Bond Street purchasing whatever I want, but I want that to be something I have TRULY earned. You don't go to work expecting to pay you're way through it. Everything you EARN (not buy on a dodgy website) pays for all that you do: Commuting, check. Morning coffee, check. Going out, check. Eating, check. The clothes on your back, check. Travelling, check. Car, check. Bills, check. Everything, check. Did you pay your boss to give you all that? *cough* Didn’t think so.

Maintaining my path to a blogging career is proving to be super hard, it will probably induce some kind of mental breakdown, but I am willing to take that risk. Haha, I just realised what being passionate about something really feels like, #growingup. It’s a combination of feeling sick and insanely high levels of determined all at once. I’ll continue feeling this way and putting all my hard work into what I do, because I believe I can do it WITHOUT LYING to everyone who decides to follow me. As a result, I will be thankful you're a human and not a damn bot.

*Sigh* All I know is if there is one thing I can maintain, it’s my honesty, both with myself and my followers. I would rather that then simply have a number (because that’s all it is) on my platforms just for appearance sake. If it fails, wearing all black-a tone that will never go out of fashion-and drinking coffee will have to be maintenance enough.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Chunky Knit Sweater, H&M Similar here

  2. Faux Leather Skinny Trousers, Zara Similar here

  3. Suede Ankle Boots, Topshop

  4. Wool Biker Coat, Sandro

  5. Bag, Stella McCartney

Dressing up the Dictionary: Pretty

Am I pretty? Do other people think I am pretty? Does the person I like think I am pretty? What does being pretty even mean?

Pretty, in Pink

It’s all just too deep. I know your supposed to love yourself and not seek validation from others, but heres the thing; I do. I don't rely on it, but without some sense of validation from others, I don't think I would know how to see myself as “pretty” entirely on my own. Also the fact of the matter is, I know I am, but it never hurts to hear it! Don't lie to yourself, we ALL think this way at some point in time.

Because it is too deep, and because the word itself suggests something a tad more superficial, my look this week is a reflection on the face value of what being pretty is. Familiar with the phrase “pretty in pink”? I mean, if not, you gotta get out of that rock your under. It’s an age old saying that stands the test of time. When I want to feel pretty in a whimsical kind of way, I think of that saying and in turn the colour pink. They both translate the dictionary definition of “being attractive in a delicate way” all too well.

I have wanted to get my hands on the perfect mohair blend jumper in a dusty pink and while I haven’t got my most desired one from Acne Studios (yet), this one from H&M does the trick. I must say they are killing it with their knitwear this year. On top of that I feel the need to add an edge to my outfits, which can often be seen as very polished, hence the fishnet tights alongside the more feminine skirt. While shooting these images I kept saying to my friend “ugh, I feel like this is too pretty for me!” So, I guess I was hitting the nail on the head for the topic this week! I felt exactly that in this outfit and it was exactly what I was going for. Sometimes it can be makeup, sometimes it can be clothes and sometimes (on a deeper level!) it can be someone else making you feel that way. Looking at the face value of the word serves as a reminder that yes, anyone can make themselves feel pretty on the outside, but it takes a lot more to feel that from within. Having said that, why shouldn’t you be able to do the former anyway? It’s all about perception in the end and as Tyra Banks says “you gotta fake it till you make it!” I’m totally inclined to agree.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Pink Jumper, H&M

  2. Over the Knee Suede Boots, Stuart Weitzman

  3. Bag, Chanel

  4. Rectangular Hoop Earrings, Astley Clarke

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Dressing up the Dictionary: Optimism

“Optimism," said Cacambo, "What is that?" "Alas!" replied Candide, "It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.” Candide, Voltaire

Optimism is a strange thing, to me at least. I don't consider myself to be an altogether optimistic person but it would seem that’s only really the case when I look at my life as a whole. It presents itself in smaller doses, like when I take on a task, I know the end goal and I am optimistic about reaching it whether that be through my blogging, working or even going shopping (because, duh, my ever expanding wardrobe doesn't exist because I am negative about how I want to look).

Working on the bigger picture, however, is going to take some serious amount of time. My cynical nature overrides my optimistic one when I think about the big goals for my future. It doesn’t help when you live with a condition which constantly throws you off balance or when everything going on for you is shat on by the universe, damn you seagull like universe, s@%!ting on everything. But I suppose that’s the point, courtesy of Voltaire (see quote above) it is in fact maintaining that you can see the best even through the worst.

Gucci Boots and Zara Red Patent Biker Jacket

When I think of the word itself, the colour red blankets my mind. Being optimistic carries this sense of fieriness with a side order of passion, which screams all hues of bright and vibrant red. It’s bold and headstrong, you know exactly what you want when you have it and you will do anything to obtain or achieve it in spite of any obstacles and all of life’s persistent twists and turns. So, for this weeks look I wanted to capture how I feel about optimism and how I can best represent what it means to me.

It’s finally jacket and coat season and I couldn’t be happier! I think it’s safe to say that outerwear can either make or break your outfit. I am obsessed (to my mothers distain) with buying them, filling out 3 wardrobes in my own home and not to mention those hanging up at my dad’s place. This red patent jacket is perfect for my look tied to the word optimism. Clearly, having this many coats and jackets really pays off, lol. I’m teaming it with an understated ensemble of a black knitted turtleneck, dark skinny jeans and the most boss boots I have purchased this winter from Gucci.

All the darkness underneath the bold and the bright is my scepticism and the red is all of my optimism. You get me? I hope so.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Red Patent Jacket, Zara - Similar here

  2. Black Turtleneck Jumper, H&M

  3. Dark Wash Skinny Jeans, 7 For All Mankind

  4. Ankle Boots, Gucci

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Dressing up the Dictionary: Monochopsis

Monochopsis - “The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.”

When I put together my look for this weeks blog, it was a matter of how I am feeling; disassociated/invisible. I threw on clothing in muted tones and loose shapes because it gave me comfort while feeling the discomfort of the not belonging to the outside world.

When I am in a dissociative state of mind the only thing that makes me present are my feet planted to the ground, hence the not so neutral leopard print ankle boots. There is a strangely dissatisfying yet satisfying notion about feeling out of place. On one hand everything happening around me isn't bothersome, while on the other I get too stuck in my own head. It’s like floating around aimlessly, getting on with the things I have to, literally only because I have to and living another life in my mind. In a way it’s like going window shopping, you know you aren't going to buy anything because well, funds, yet you feel the urge to spend spend spend. Outwardly, you are out of place because inwardly you can’t buy the things you want.

So, my clothes are my armour, they have the capacity to make me feel safe. This Topshop bouclé coat is one of my favourite purchases for Autumn Winter ‘18 so far, it’s as if though I am in a cocoon all warm and cosy, ideal for the up and coming cold stretch (although you couldn't tell, given its currently 22 degrees celsius as I write this). Everyone loves a good old oversized jumper, I chose this beige turtleneck from H&M. The colour really sums up how I am seeing everything around me, muted and blurred with a touch of haziness. The white denim culottes are also from H&M, they are UNBELIEVABLY relaxed, I literally could live in them all day everyday. I kept it classic and minimal with my accessories, opting for my 10 year old Chanel bag so as to let the shoes do all the talking.

Observing everything passing by your line of sight is odd when you know you can’t do anything about your thoughts which go along with it. Right now, the world of Amira I am living in, is because I am processing a number of big changes in my life and frankly doing so really doesn't make me feel present, anywhere I go. The only way I know how to navigate this subtle and persistent feeling of being out of place, is to see where it takes me, even just through my clothes.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. White Bouclé Coat - Topshop

  2. White Denim Culottes - Similar here

  3. Beige Oversized Jumper - H&M, similar here

  4. Leopard Print Boots - Zara, similar here

  5. Sunglasses - Celine, similar here

Photography by Hayley Ku’unani @thoualone

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