(Alternate title: When your addiction to aesthetics is stronger than your crippling self-consciousness, but just barely)
I wish I could start this post like this: I went back to CA for the weekend and had a morning to kill with my sister Brittany of @the.b.law, so we decided to go exploring. We stumbled upon this adorable coffee shop/boutique in the heart of Downtown Tustin! We spent a little time window shopping, then ordered jasmine teas and matcha macarons. What a perfect place for a sister date!
But alas, I can’t. Because I love you guys and I’m not here to lie. I’m here to shamelessly embrace this life and everything I want to make of it. I’ve also been inspired by @indyblue (of indysev.com) and @steffy (of steffysprosandcons.com) and lots of other bloggers I’ve seen admitting the ridiculous lengths they’ll go through for the good shot! So, let’s be real. Here’s what really happened.
Britt and I planned our day a week in advance. I got in from Vegas around 10:30. We spent so much time talking that I didn’t have time to wash my hair, so I had to wash, blow-dry, and style my hair in one sitting. While she finished her make-up, I went to Target for a sticky bra because I forgot a strapless. We drove like an hour to get to Tustin, where there was no parking, so we parked in a tow-away zone and changed into the tops we specifically brought to go with the décor (One does not accidentally wear lavender to Morning Lavender. Y’all are lying to yourselves.)
Once we arrived, we made a quick lap perusing the clothes and smelling the candles. Everything is gorgeous—think Anthropologie in pastels. We didn’t buy anything because let’s be real, it’s a little pricey and we’re ballin’ on a budget. I snapped some pics for the blog. Then we move into the back and it is a ZOO of aspiring Instagram aesthetes. Every seat is taken by lush tea parties and small parties holding a cup and a camera phone. The entire patio is reserved. There are maybe two men in the entire building. We take photos for a group of ladies in front of the flower wall and they reciprocate for us. We wait in line, order, feel awkward and in the way because there’s hardly room to stand, then get our drinks and feel awkward again because there’s no available seating anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, Morning Lav is super cute and is probably the most pleasant place when it’s not bursting with millennials! Would go back (on a Tuesday afternoon, maybe…)
We’re not new to this. I love helping out when Britt needs content for her blog and she always inspires me to get in front of the camera even though that’s always a bit out of my comfort zone. The thing is that Britt and I like to get places at 7 am when no one is around. We have no problem with changing outfits in our cars and seeking out pretty spots. We just don’t normally have an over-capacity audience watching.
Despite feeling very exposed, we came there on a mission. I reminded myself of that as I looked casually out the window, spitting “TAKE THE DAMN PHOTO,” through a smile. That’s when I realized that most of the people willing to wait out the crowd were there for the same reason. It’s like some weird evolutionary instinct that blossoms in the heart of basics. I must find pretty places. I must document them.
The photos could have come out better if I didn’t spend the whole time looking like I was in pain, but it was nothing that a some Lightroom presets and 10 minutes whiting out the background on Facetune can’t help! Moral of the story: DO go to the cutest places and have fun being lame with your sister. DO NOT forget that there’s solidarity in feeling awkward in front of strangers. DO learn how to edit the weird lighting of the only decent shot you could find. We’re still working on reminding ourselves that even if we are being judged, we are never going to see these people again. Judgmental looks are temporary. An aesthetically pleasing IG feed is forever. You know what the ancient proverbs say: Don’t let the fear of looking dumb keep you from getting the ‘gram you deserve.