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Palo Alto, CA
USA

Welcome to The Shabby Suitcase - a blog documenting the creative outlets and general wanderings of a nomadic twenty-something. 

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Blog

The latest adventure.

 

Unruly Alive

Marissa Conway

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the look: coat by H&M, bag by Skinny Dip, dress by Reiss, shoes by Nine West


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The past few months have been a series of starting and starting over, flinging myself into the deep end and then dragging myself out for fear of drowning.  I find myself repeating like a mantra - I just want to know what I'm doing! - because in all I do, I make it up as I go.  I crave stability but relish in the adventure that newness always brings; for all the delight in turning my life into an odyssey, I am constantly bone-tired and overworked.  As always, it seems what I do flows through a series of contradictions.  And in the end, I'm lead back to the one lesson I'm always certain I've internalized until I need to learn it again: quite simply, to trust myself.  Because despite the delirium: the people in my life, the business I've started, the knowledge I've gained, even the way I dust on my makeup each morning - I've never felt more solidly and organically me.  I'm alive, an unruly alive, the kind of alive that leads me to brazenly jump into the tide in desperate hope of getting swept away, because to be out of control has become my comfort zone.


Five Months

Marissa Conway

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the location: Bath, England


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the look: coat from H&M, bag from Zara, boots and sunnies from Topshop, playsuit from Anthropologie


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It's been five months and what a whirlwind.  I've been swept away and never felt more grounded.  Each day seems like a adventure in maintaining what scraps of sanity I have left and simultaneously conquering the world like the boss bitch I am.  Because we all are boss bitches - and I suggest we collectively be done with the odd sense that acknowledging our self worth somehow falls into narcissism or naivety.  Perhaps knowing and owning your worth begs wisdom more than anything else could.  

2016 has simultaneously been the worst and best, to continue with this theme of paradoxical living.  Though it's never been realistic to section off bits of life here and other pieces there, we've all seemed so enthralled by labels and categories and keeping things neatly classified.  But the year of academia I've just digested keeps shouting "Nuance! Where's the nuance!"  The roar of empty noise is deafening, so 2017 will be a study in caliber, quelling anxiety and racket, and meeting complexity with a level head.  May we find some resemblance of peace at the end of 2016 and a fire to motivate us in 2017.


A Kind Fierceness

Marissa Conway


location: Lisbon, Portugal


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the look: dress from H&M (their Coachella collection... I'm a little embarrassed about it), sunnies from Topshop, shoes by Birkenstock


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I had a conversation the other day with someone who danced with niceties around a rather un-nice situation. I told them - you are far kinder than me. I have spent too long pleasing people and moulding myself to the will of others to let it happen any longer.  I've had to grow comfortable with an assertiveness that runs through my body and seems to get stuck at my throat, the words removed before they reach my tongue by those who say - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.  But I wasn't born to be nice.  I was born to run wild, and to allow my emotions to do the same. 

Their response, while well intentioned, rattled with the hollow drive to keep me silent.  Think about others, they said.  Stop being so forceful, they said.  Know when to pick your battles, they said. 

I'm not sure I have the luxury to pick my battles.  When the world is at arms against women, against our minds and our bodies, every day is a battle to wedge our way one inch closer to autonomy, to freedom, to self-expression.  And if being forceful means speaking my mind - with kindness, always, but with a fierceness that people still seem to think women aren't supposed to have - then I can only laugh at those who whither in front of a sometimes sharp-tongued wit.  If all it takes to scare people is stringing a few brave and vulnerable words together and allowing them to tumble untamed past my lips, demanding to be heard, acknowledged, recognized - then let our tongues be our swords and let the real battle begin.