What Are Your "And"s?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

via pinterest
I think there's a lot of pressure when you graduate to choose one path of life; to pick one alleyway and go down it, headfirst. But I'm not really into that, as you know, and whether I was or not, my interests do not lend themselves to either combination or desolation. See there's something about picking one passion that to me becomes rather a rejection of some of the others, and I don't ever want to do that. I used to think that at some point I would pick just one passion and pursue it wholeheartedly, but the problem with this mindset is that you pose yourself the choice of picking one job for your whole life. I don't know about you, but that sounds incredibly dull to me.

The Skinny: I'm not giving up fashion and I'm not giving up writing and I'm not becoming a fashion journalist, either.

The response I usually get to this is "Oh. That's...unexpected." And it is. Is there anything wrong with that?

I was conversing with my friend Nicole about this a few weeks back, and I encouraged her to pipe up and share her own "And"'s, because I'm a firm believer in versatility. People want to categorize you - and that's okay, because how else can we tie words to such fluid things as Souls? - but a mature woman doesn't put all her eggs in one basket.

Sure I love fashion. It's at the heart of the majority of my interests. But I also am a wordsmith, and I cannot stop crafting words into journals and essays and books and poems, anymore than I can stop spending my spare time poring over fabrics and patterns and magazines (and Pinterest).

I love fashion and writing and I love literature, and I'm an artist. And interested in political science. And a photographer. And a classicist. And a graphic designer. And an Anglophile. And a gym rat. And a passionate arguer. And a beauty guru. And a blogger, and a hundred other things. 

The point is this: you are not just one label.
I disagree with the idea that we are to throw out all labels, because how else can we try to comprehend each other? How can we define ourselves to others if all labeling is "discriminatory"? But just as important as this is remembering that as women of power, women of elegance, women of maturity, comes the challenge to diversify ourselves, to be well-rounded and educated in every aspect of our lives. We should not be confined to one area of expertise, but be capable of handling many subjects well.

I used to use the term "Jack of all trades, master of none," in regards to myself somewhat disparagingly. Now I wonder if that is not ridiculous. Who says we have to be just one thing? Why can't we be all the things? Why can't we be multi-faceted?

If anything, it makes for better conversation...

So tell me: what are your "and"s? You might generally classify yourself as "writer," or "blogger," or "college student," or something else: but I know there's more to you than just that. What are your "and"s?


  1. This post reminds me of an improv game called "Yes, and?" By asking that question you keep the game rolling and to an extent, I believe having an "and" keeps your life going. It gives you more options and rounds you out.
    I'm an actress and a writer and a traveler and a reader and a sister and a daughter and so many other things :)

    1. I love that, Riley!
      You're absolutely right: it gives us something more, another layer, another passion, a deeper and richer existence.

  2. I LOVE this post! I wrote one along similar lines a few years back about the children's book "You Are Special." It's a marvelous book about a community that literally goes around sticking labels on one another, and one woman on whom labels simply will not stick. People defy categorization. We should not pretend that everyone can be pigeonholed, because that strips the recognition of all the fascinating, complex, surprising parts that makes us who we are.

    1. Kate,
      I love that book! One of my all-time favorite children's books. I'm going to go find your post & read it now. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Oh! I love this post so much! I have always held this same views. So I agree 1000%! Thank you so much for finally putting it in words. I'll definitely be sharing it around. XD

    As to my ands, I'm a writer, a blogger, pencil sketcher, guitarist, and is it okay to be a amateur in the curiosity of everything?

  4. This was so inspiring, I hate when people try to categorize me, my ands are writing, music, art, and photography.

  5. YESS!!! As I go into my second year of college and decide what I want to do, I'm faced with the "ands" and "ors" of life. Just today I felt a bit sad that I couldn't be everything that I wanted to be, and that's okay. I may not become a professional ballerina, but I can still be a ballerina and a writer and a business owner and a blogger. The ands of life make life something special. Great post and super encouraging reminder!


Design by Bethany. All images and text displayed here (C) Carmel Elizabeth 2010-16, unless otherwise stated. Please do not steal.