The Balancing Act
By Laura Ellner
People always tell me how “amazing life must be” and how “I’m so lucky for being able to go on all of these adventures”. While I am grateful that these lovely individuals, for some reason, seem to care enough to follow along and join me on my confused journey, I must also say that I never intended to give the wrong impression (that being the impression I am living a glamorous, or even an easy, life). There are already plenty of blogs you can visit to get your fix on that false sense of reality. I have always made an effort to avoid being one of them.
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Rainbows And Fairy Dust
People always tell me how “amazing life must be” and how “I’m so lucky for being able to go on all of these adventures”.
While I am grateful that these lovely individuals, for some reason, seem to care enough to follow along and join me on my confused journey, I must also say that I never intended to give the wrong impression (that being the impression I am living a glamorous, or even an easy, life). There are already plenty of blogs you can visit to get your fix on that false sense of reality.
I have always made an effort to avoid being one of them. It isn’t all about rainbows and fairy dust…nobody’s life is perfect. The latest Celine bag or a super expensive camera just won’t solve it all (not that I wouldn’t love to have both). ;)
Before I go on, I know that I have a good life. I am thankful for the fact that I can walk, talk, and think for myself every single day.
But this isn’t what I am about to get into…
I started OnTheRacks about six years ago, and it has served as a creative outlet for me to express my love for fashion, but also (and more importantly) to relate to people, and hopefully be someone others can relate to on a human level. I am humbled that some of you have stuck around to respect and stand by the unpredictable lifestyle I chose to adopt. But, at the end of the day, that’s all it is, really…
Mad To Live
Yes, I am “mad to live” (thank you to my once-friend Jeremy for inspiring the tattoo on my arm and to Mr. Matthew Houlemard for the amazing and nostalgic reminder as to why it is there).
I will never quit my mission to find true love, happiness, and contentment. That isn’t luck, though, that is determination and an unwillingness to give up even when the world continuously sends signs saying I should…I am just too frustratingly stubborn to turn around and take the easy route. Thank goodness for that.
No Backing Down
On My Own
I get restless. I am anxious and I struggle. I am not rich.
I am self-sufficient because I bust my f*** ass (not as a blogger, but as a consultant after 8+ years of hustling, most of which was spent at a “9 to 7″ gaining valuable full-time experience).
I don’t bounce around on “daddy’s dime”. In fact, what money I did have was ultimately stolen from me a few years back by the person I thought I could trust more than anyone else in the world. Bummer. Life goes on, and I can make my own money. Even if that does mean working 16 hour days…at least I can call it my own.
And at the end of the day I feel contentment in knowing that I’m creating something at the same time.
On My Own
I have been screamed at and I have had shoes thrown at me.
I have experienced sexual harassment from bosses, and endured very lawsuit-worthy mistreatment from some “super cool” NYC fashion brands. I spent a few years pursuing a career path that I temporarily thought was leading me toward “living the dream” (whatever that even means).
At the time I guess I thought this was having a chic apartment in Manhattan and finding success in the fashion industry that NYC is known for. Getting noticed by “important people” and wearing head-to-toe designer apparel. Making a name for myself in that traditional, “I work at Vogue” kind of way. But at what expense?
Beware The Cost
I opened my eyes and realized there were other ways to do that.
Perhaps I am not there yet, but I would rather climb Mt. Everest and keep my dignity to “arrive”, or whatever, than succumb to one more second of that bullshit.
I am grateful for the experiences that led me to learn that my “lifelong dream” was way off point at an early age. I am grateful for the setbacks that gave me the courage to believe in myself enough to start my own business and thickened my skin to the extent that, at least on a professional level, it is nearly infrangible.
Figure It Out
And yes, there has been many a morning where I wake up not knowing what in the world I will do with my life, and in all sincerity I do still have those mornings pretty frequently…
where just moving is basically the hardest thing in the world. I guess I just chose to try and embrace them and acknowledge it as my mind telling my body that something is off. If you feel this way there must be something that you need to change, right? So just change it. Figure it out.
Not happy with your job? Quit.
Not happy with where you live? Move.
Not happy with your boyfriend? Dump him.
Not happy with your friends? Make new ones.
Figure It Out
Maybe this is the worst advice ever, but I do believe that sometimes the only solution to finding happiness -
or getting out of a dark place -is to throw caution to the wind and have enough confidence in yourself to believe you can “tough it out”, whatever the outcome.
Perhaps all you really need is a wrecking ball and a firm belief that you have the spark and ambition to figure out how you’ll put the pieces back together after you break them, one way or another. I like being impractical. A lot of times its those decisions that make no sense to anyone but you that turn out to be the best ones.
Head To Toe
This life here is all you’ve really got, so you might as well grab it by the horns and take control, right?
I choose to learn from the bullshit, swerve my way around any undesirable roadblocks, and persevere. I am trying to at least. And let me tell ya, if I can do it, you can too.
*head to toe: And Other Stories cat-eye sunglasses, Marine Layer tee, H&M coat, Trollbeads 5th Ave. Bracelet, Strathberry Scotland tote (exclusive discounts if you support their kickstarter — best bags ever), design by Loft trousers (awesome French brand, must check out) pants, Office block heel mules