Runaway Train

Jeans, American Eagle
Tee shirt, Forever 21
Scarf, Forever 21
Sandals, Target

These photos look grainy to me, but I don't know if I'm being overly critical of myself. They are in direct sunlight which is such a pain and I don't really have any good shaded spots to take photos in. And I wanted to get these done quick and blah blah blah. I feel really disappointed in my outfit photos lately -- I feel like I've gotten bad at it or something's happened. But again -- I might just be overly critical of myself, as we often are. (Please be honest if you ever think my photos suck. And if you are good with DSLRs, let me know any tips for shooting in direct sunlight.) 

This leads me to an important point. I've been really self-doubting lately, especially in regards to my abilities. For the past few weeks, I've been considering quitting blogging -- I feel like I'm not good at it, not as good as other people: my outfits aren't as good, my photos aren't as good, I lack personality or charisma. I've been blogging considerably longer than 90% of the bloggers I know (almost four years on Wordpress/Blogger under the Locked Out name and then before than throughout high school on Livejournal under various pseudonyms) and yet, I've not met the same success. Then part of me feels bad because I wonder why I'm blogging in the first place -- I know I love fashion and I love sharing my ideas with people. But if I feel like I'm bad at it just because I have less followers, less views, and no brands banging on my door offering me stuff, well, then, am I just in it for narcissistic reasons?

Ultimately, I think it'd be a lie to tell you that I'm not being narcissistic when I blog. Obviously, we all want attention. It's nice to say "I feel like I look fat in these photos" and have people tell me that I don't. But on the other hand, that doesn't fix any issues I have and it doesn't contribute to me as a person. I'm not building anything by relying on the internet for my self esteem. 

When it comes down to it, I want to keep Locked Out going because I genuinely enjoy sharing my outfits everyday. I think I've come to terms with the fact that I'm never going to be sponsored; I'm never going to have people want to put ads on my blog. It seems easier for some bloggers and maybe, it just is for them; they have the personalities for it. Maybe I don't or maybe I just haven't been doing anything right. Either way, this blog is really one of the only things that makes me happy these days -- besides Danny, baking, and cooking dinner. I can't quit it, because I think I would just lose my mind if I did. 

A little heavy, perhaps, for this outfit. I almost didn't post these photos because they are grainy and I hate how I look right now. I hate my face and I hate my hair and I hate that I've gained weight and I could just go on and on and on, but I think ultimately, my dissatisfaction with my life for the past year and six months is culminating. Maybe this means I'll stop feeling sad soon.

I don't mean to be vague. But hopefully you all remember that my grandfather passed away last November and before that, he was paralyzed for six months. His illness and death was extremely hard on my family: it prevented any celebrating for essentially six months, including my graduation and several family members' birthdays, including mine. After he died, none of us knew what to do. I was lost before my grandpa died, but I felt even more lost afterwards and there are still many times where I still feel lost. I could write lists of questions I want to ask him and things I want to say. Sometimes I don't believe he's really gone. I still look outside expecting to see his work truck parked in the driveway, him sitting with his worn, black lunch box on the bench outside my grandparents' house.

It's hard to pretend I'm not sad when I really am. Everyday is hard to not feel sad. But the more I try to pretend I'm not broken up inside, the more it wears on me until suddenly everything I had that kept my "I'm not sad" skin on in the first place is worn away and I can't help it. All the sadness, all the anger, all the bitterness and hatred (self and external) bursts out and reflects back. It's hard. Life is hard. But I'm dealing with it. I'm trying the hardest I can, from now on, to confront what I have to confront, to turn my life around, to make things better -- or, if nothing else, to make myself happy and content again. And in the meantime, this blog is an outlet that keeps me feeling like I'm accomplishing something every single day. That's what I need: to keep writing, to keep moving forward, to keep accomplishing things. To feel like I'm taking steps. It's like I'm learning how to use my legs again.

I hope you all are having a fantastic Friday. To celebrate my new outlook, Danny and I made bacon cheeseburgers and potato salad, then watched the Dark Knight while eating ice cream. (I picked French Salted Caramel -- he picked Oatmeal Cookie Butterscotch.)

Thank you for reading, as always.


  1. I was actually going to say that I really love this outfit on you. It's so simple and classic but I really like it.
    Regarding direct sunlight, it's hard. The best advice I can give you is just avoid taking photos in direct sunlight. Yeah, I know that's not helpful. I have the same problem myself when I wanna take photos at midday.
    I would be very sad if you stopped writing your blog. Yours is one of my favourites. I think for me, there are a lot of blogs I read because I love the outfits but there are many blogs I prefer because they're honest and real. I love reading your blog because I feel like I know you. And I think you should just blog because you love it. I know it's hard when you see bloggers who have been blogging 6 months who have hundreds of ads and companies who want to work with them, but that's life. You can always tell the bloggers who are doing it because they want free stuff, not because they care, and I think you are definitely one of the bloggers who blog because they want to and it shows. I get blog envy all the time, but I know I like my blog and a bunch of other people like my blog, so who cares?
    I think you're doing really well since your grandpa died. Life is tough, but you have to keep going. But it's okay to be sad. As I've said, I have much more respect for you, and other bloggers, who are honest when they're having a tough time. I can name a lot of bloggers who I'm starting to dislike because they pretend life is sunshine and butterflies. This is your blog and you can be sad. That's what makes you real and relatable.
    Things will get easier, but I know it's hard. I didn't have the same relationship with my grandparents as you did, but losing them both in 4 months has been awful. I still think they're going to be there to hear about my summer when I get home. It's really hard, but you don't have to pretend it's easy.
    I hope this helps. And I hope it makes sense. Please keep writing. And if it helps, your ass looks great in those jeans!

    Charlotte x

  2. Everything you said rings so true with my own life. About blogging. About being sad. About nearly everything.

    Also, as soon as I saw these pictures I thought to myself "Her hair looks so good. I love it." and then you said you hate your hair right now... Waaah? It's adorable!

  3. I don't comment much because I always read from my Google Reader, but I would miss your blog if you stopped posting! You're refreshing because you're honest and relatable: the piece the other day about bloggers who can afford six bottles of $8.50 nail polish and a ModCloth dress each week made me laugh and sigh and nod. It's somehow more inspiring to see someone who's my age and in my income bracket keep posting and keep true to herself. The full-time, majorly-ad-sponsored fashion blogs are fun, but they're too much like magazines-- too unapproachable, maybe.

    I started reading right before you left your job at the deli, and I was so impressed with you: when I was working my shitty grocery store job and away from my fiance, I didn't have the spirit to wear anything more than jeans and schlumpy sweaters all the time. YOU kept on writing and posting even though you were stuck in depressing limbo. The blogging world needs that strength and that perspective, even if it doesn't (and its sponsors don't) realize it.

    Please do keep on. I'm going to try to comment more and pin more of your pictures!

    And I know it's little consolation, but I like your simple outfit! It's pared down in a good way-- and that summer scarf! I just bought one, and all my attempts to wear it end in me looking like I've got a wad of crepe paper under my neck-- yours looks effortless. Teach me your ways?

  4. I just found your blog and I love your outfits!
    Please don't stop blogging :)


Thank you for reading my blog! :]
xo Michelle

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