As a Christian, I’m not big on envy, but it’s something I struggle with. I look at successful people my age and wonder why I don’t just get up off my butt, find more hours in my day and do one of the many amazing things I have dreamed up to wow the world, because I just know I can. After reading your feature in Teen Vogue, I added your name to the mental list of people that I (should not but still do) envy. When I read on your blog that after finishing high school a year early (something I very nearly pulled off, but as Brandy once said, ‘Almost doesn’t count’), you have now finished college a year early too, I moved you to the top of said list. That’s above the Fanning sisters. That is like, Huge.
While Elle and Dakota lead amazing lives, I wouldn’t actually want to live one like theirs, since their lives involve a lot of acting and modeling - not really my thing. A life similar to yours, on the other hand, is something I can both aspire to and possibly attain. An (evidently) ordered life that includes enough time for fashion nerdiness and everything else I love is something I really, really want. See? Envy. *dramatically rolling eyes*
I reiterate: you finished both high school and college early, and you run a really cool blog. I still struggle to find time to blog between college (where I am an annoyingly good class rep with serious time management/procrastination/over-thinking problems), church (where I am on the youth group committee and in the choir), All Things Fashion Africa (my sister’s new fashion website; I’m the copy editor), and my internship (working around my school schedule as a research assistant and social media manager at Eponymous, a South African luxury leather label). I haven’t even started work on my charity project yet…
On the subject of my must-do-everything persona, everyone tells me the same thing. Some say it while rolling their eyes and calling me names for being ambitious (because they’re too scared to dream that big), and some, like my awesome dad, say it while patting my back and wiping my silly tears, but they all they say the same thing: “You are not superwoman and you can not do everything. Please stop trying before you burn yourself out.” I’m not trying to work myself into a nervous breakdown. I just really want to do all the things I love to do.
So if I won’t cut down on the time I spend at church or at school, and if I refuse to give up my Eponymous paycheck or helping my sister, and if I need sleep to function at all, precisely what am I to do?
I started this letter off intending to end it with a dramatic extension of that question (It was going to be one of those epic paragraphs that people ponder and quote and reblog forever), but the act of introspect while writing it has brought me to the answer: plan and execute. Everyone thinks I’m a bad planner, because my behavior and the hectic-panic-crunch situations I get myself into are indicative of bad planning. The truth is, I am an excellent planner. I plan like no one’s business. My problem is the follow-through. I plan, and sit there. Looking at my plan and how great it is. Imagining how great it will feel to be able to relax after having checked off the last ‘do’ on my to-do list. Celebrating my awesome plan and doing absolutely nothing to make it happen. That is my issue.
Well, now that I’ve identified that, I’ll get to work on it. Thanks Nicole, it’s been great talking to you. :)
PS, while I finish this letter, I am putting off completing a paper due in 6 days for Theory of Art and Design. I will stop procrastinating immediately.
Image: Erica McCartney for Teen Vogue