So long, Flare

Remember that time I said “BRB” in my last post … and then was never “RB”? Please, next time you see me, punch me in the face for not following through with the one commitment I made in that post. I don’t know if you thought my 19-hour car ride turned into a three-month excursion, or you assumed I fell victim to a highway kidnapping spree, or, maybe you figured I was just a lazy turd and never got my act together to post again. Whatever your reasoning, here is my public apology (and attempted justification) for why The Flare went missing a few months ago.

The decision in itself to stop blogging was not an epiphany. I didn’t awake from a dream and swear to no more Flare (in this scenario, I imagine myself waking abruptly in the middle of the night, sitting up, and whispering “the Flare is dead.” Sadly, that didn’t happen). I really can’t pinpoint a moment in which I decided to end this blog … my best explanation is that there was a gradual rearrangement of priorities in my life.

When I got to school, I’d like to say my focus on academics was the reason behind The Flare’s termination. But, let’s be honest, as a twenty-year-old lucky enough to attend such a beautiful and exceptional school as Elon, that would just make TOO much sense.

The shift in my priorities was not intentional. It began when my desire for clothing and the fashion industry started to fade over the summer living in New York City. There was a certain disenchantment I experienced within the fashion world while I was in the midst of it all. A tiny voice inside of me stirred guilt in the pit of my stomach as I continued to put so much time and energy into a blog I no longer had the same intentions for.

I’m not saying I found it all meaningless. When I was consumed in the beauty and ingenuity within the fashion industry, this blog was my creative outlet. I enjoyed planning the outfits and sharing my writing. But when my passion for clothing dimmed, I couldn’t justify taking pictures of myself and posting them on the web anymore. It wasn’t what I was passionate about any longer, and thus felt quite shallow.

I wish I could say another passion took the place of this one. Say education, or politics. But as I lost that urge to be in the fashion industry, it was replaced with a feeling of, “Now what?” I’m at a period in my life where I have absolutely NO idea what I’m going to pursue as a career, let alone this upcoming summer (any advice would be greatly appreciated). And you know what, it's pretty invigorating. That absolute absence of a plan is not scary, but actually refreshing. This small identity crisis has encouraged me to explore other job sectors to see where my strengths lie and what I'm supposed to do for the rest of my life. But as of right now, I haven't a clue.

SO. I wanted to thank you all for being an amazing source of support and inspiration during the almost two years of this blog. The Flare was a ton of fun keeping up and, hey, maybe I’ll start another blog soon. On calligraphy. Or vegetarianism. Or taxidermy. Who knows.



19-hour car ride BRB

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Keeping this post short because it's about time for this Al to drive her shift in our 19-HOUR CAR RIDE TO ELON. Ugh. No. Thank. You. Some peoples' Facebook statuses of "BOO HOO I have to drive 5 hours to school :(((" or "WAH WAHH I'm stuck in traffic right outside of Greensboro :/" gain NO sympathy from ME. And for those of you driving 20+ hours, you can hate me right now for being a drama queen. 

Luckily, Mom and I packed plenty of fruit (and cookies, duh) to keep us fueled. And now, bathroom/Starbucks break. Until next time, friends. 



Ask your grandma

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I have a favor to ask of you all. I would really, really appreciate it if you could call your grandma, woo her with small chatter of the weather and the latest gossip of your crazy uncle, and then ask her, Can I have her hand-me-downs?
This skirt had me on a serious granny vibe yesterday when the nearest and dearest thrift store in KC, MO had nothing to offer but some outdated floral patterns. Yes, this print teeters on a vintage Hawaiian ensemble gone wrong, but I truly believe a midi-skirt and crop top has become my spirit ensemble and thus any combination of the two MUST be purchased and worn with pride.

In other news, in case you haven’t noticed her wildly active presence on Facebook and Instagram, I decided to exploit Zoe’s cuteness and put her on the blog today. But look at her. Seriously, LOOK AT HER. HOW HAS THIS PUP NOT BECOME THE NEXT FACE OF IAMS? Especially the picture below. My mom and I were rolling on the ground laughing at this one.

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Sometimes, being a twin is annoying. Like when your adolescence was defined by, “now share, you two” and no one could quite distinguish the phonetic difference of “Alison” and “Alisa”. Also, there’s that never-ending argument of Is it Alison and Alisa? Or Alisa and Alison? (the former being correct, of course).

Then there are times (most of the time) when being a twin rocks. A go-to buddy in high school for class projects (team Ryncarz = team domination), a second closet to consult, and most recently, someone to endure the pain of a jellyfish when it decides to unleash its stinging wrath on your legs in the Atlantic Ocean (fortunately, it wasn’t necessary to pee on each other – EVEN THOUGH I WOULD HAVE).

I’m thankful for this girl – she makes life funnier and happier and is a great adventure buddy when the kids team up against the adults on vacations. 



Core skills

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I made it back home to Kansas City this weekend and you know what that means…every life skill I had to put to use while fending for myself in New York has abruptly, completely, utterly, vanished. Even the simplest of tasks, from putting away my shoes to making breakfast, now seem to be lost from my mind, and tasks that were before a necessity to my survival (scavenging for food, paying for my shampoo) have now become me mooching off my parents for everything.

In other news, Alisa dragged me to her kickboxing class today, where I have never experienced such physical and mental strain IN MY LIFE. I couldn’t help but add my commentary to ease the pain throughout the hour. For example:
Instructor: “Now lie on your back, hold your medicine ball in the air and drop it on your abs.”
Instructor: (laughs, looks directly at me) "Anddddd GO." 
I think he got a kick out of this clear physical torture. 



So long, for now

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BIG thanks to this guy for helping out with the blog this summer. Couldn't have done it without his mad photo skillz. Sorry I made you model for me...consider yourself Flare'd. THANKS Matt
And just like that, my summer in NYC has come to an end. Three wonderful and hilarious roommates, two (dang expensive) unlimited metro cards, and one incredibly rewarding internship later, I'm ready to go, Dorothy style, back to Kansas (City, that is). 
Though the city opened my eyes to a ton of different people, places and things, I don't feel like the concrete jungle changed me much. As much as I want to walk on campus with oversized sunglasses, greasy hair, a venti Starbucks and a blanket worn as a coat like an Olsen, the old Al is still this Al. But now, nothing takes me by surprise. Literally, nothing. A man walking down Broadway in a clown costume? Not out of the ordinary. A woman sitting on a bench without pants on? (yes, that HAPPENED) I don't even look twice. 
Even though there's a lot more black in my wardrobe, I've learned what a cortado is, and my Yelp skills are now out of control, I'm looking forward to getting back to the midwest and then North Carolina to be around family and friends. So long Big Apple, Big Al loved ya! 

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