Diving In


January 31 marked the 1st birthday of my blog, Shoshington: 12 months, 13 photo shoots, 14 posts, 15,000+ words, and many awkward hair phases.

What started out as a therapist-prescribed salve for my burnt-out brain, soon turned into a love affair with words; one which, in part, helped save me from a somewhat debilitating depression. Now, I relish the thrill of sailing the English lexicon through unchartered territory, leaving behind a wake of words: translating my tidal wave of thoughts into a gentle, palatable foam. If I’m lucky, those words may even move someone. But that’s not why I am doing it. Writing has given me a reason to get up early every morning. When I am writing I feel grounded, my mind is tethered to the task at hand and it cannot retreat back to the dark corners of my consciousness.

I have grown to appreciate language so much more — it is evocative, complex and versatile. Language has the power to incarcerate or liberate, articulate or discombobulate! Words are heavy with history and meaning but they are also highly dynamic, maintaining the pace of our rapidly changing world. Writing is a dance: sometimes you stumble, sometimes you can’t quite keep up with the beat. But when you connect with the right words, in the right order, you feel like you are gliding, being propelled forward by your own momentum. It’s freeing. 

I am cognisant of my fledgling writer status. Perhaps I am even better aligned with the altricial stage of word-manipulation, when one’s plumage is still mostly comprised of that soft, fluffy, down. (And one who still uses cheesy bird life-cycle analogies to describe their lack of experience).

In terms of writing, I still have my training wheels firmly in place.

I’ve always wanted to write. As a child I was prolific, spilling onto paper tales of heroic girls, mythical creatures and far-away lands. Along with reading, writing was my favourite pastime and it came so naturally to me. As adolescence set in, I found less constructive things to be interested in (like drinking and boys). So when adulthood arrived, unannounced, and I wanted to pick up where I had left off a decade earlier, I couldn’t understand why it was suddenly so difficult. Soon, I become my own worst critic, determining I was never going to be good enough. The more this belief was instilled in me, the less I wrote. The less I wrote, the more my forecast became true. 

T by Alexander Wang shirt; Zara short-sleeve skivvy; Laer biker shorts; Topshop shoes

Another decade passed and that’s when it hit me: I wasn’t ‘bad’, I was out of practice and simply needed to start back at the beginning. This blog is my beginning. We all work at our own pace and I have managed to impregnate in my mind the idea that age doesn’t dictate your life coordinates. I get to decide where I go next.

Age is just a number, right?

I chose fashion as the anchor for my blog partly due to its subjectivity, and partly due to its relatability. Wearing clothing is part of what makes us human, making it as relevant to our culture as film, literature, music and sport. I also just find clothing beautiful, there is a buoyancy to it. Fashion doesn’t have to equate to vapidity: it doesn’t need to be about spending money, maintaining an ‘on-trend’ status or unrealistic constructs of beauty. Apparel, like language, when selected thoughtfully and compiled with a certain level of prowess, becomes art. (It can also simply be a lot of fun!)

What you wear can tell a story or set a mood. It has the ability to make a statement — the outfit becoming greater than the sum of its parts. The garments hanging in our wardrobes are also a visual representation of the time in which they resided, because fashion is heavily influenced by the social, political and environmental arenas surrounding its incarnation. Clothing can be used as a tool to define cultures/subcultures, and allow a sense of ‘belonging’, but is also multifarious enough to provide a platform for individual self-expression. 

And here I am, expressing myself!

Thank you, THANK YOU, to everyone who read any of my posts last year! I am so grateful that people, other than my mum, took the time.