A Dash of Peonies & Subtleties

During this holiday weekend, I would like to welcome a special blogger to Styles I Like.  My friend and former classmate at Villa Walsh Academy, Kelly Brand, has also begun developing a blog over the past year. You can bet that each time she posts, I will be one of the first to click the link because I genuinely enjoy reading. Her writing style, like Kelly herself, is intelligent, quick-witted, and always ends with a bit of beauty.  Read on for today’s dash of Peonies and Subtleties from Miss Brand herself about her passion for words.

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 2.07.02 PM

Writing is part of my nature. It always has been. There are pictures of me, six or seven with blunt edge bangs (always ahead of the times), scribbling my heart out into the journals I began and never seemed to finish.

And when I wasn’t writing, I was reading. Or perhaps it was vice versa but it doesn’t matter much because in the scheme of things all reading did was further infect my soul with an unyielding need to write everything down.

This was downright adorable when I was 6.

It was just peachy when I was 12.

My skill was impressive when I was 15.

But by the time I was writing my college essay about how my mother read me ‘Sweet Dream Pie’ every night before I went to bed and inspired me to get lost in the creativity of words, so much so that I knew in my heart of hearts that I must write, this passion of mine had become a bit burdensome.

So, instead of telling you all how I came to write in the first place, I will share with you the story of how I learned to accept writing as my very own.

I was raised by practical parents in a well decorated home. My mother read the classics. My father played football. My mother is a businesswoman, and my father a businessman. They buy me books and cheer for my writing. They are as supportive as they come. Their practicality buys me nice shiny things, takes me on pretty-penny vacations, and has never left me wanting.

When my middle school turned me out I went to a little private school on a hill with girls that were force-fed math and science.  Math and science would get us into the ivy leagues. We took the humanities of course, and thank God for that because sometimes I could choke on the practicality of it all. But somehow the whole idea of it got me anyway- would I ever be truly successful as a writer?

When I applied to college I wrote the essay “about anything.” I tried to write it about big moments in my life. All those quote-on-quote big moments just brought me back to this extreme force I had come to live with. So, I wrote about writing and got into my school of choice on impracticality of my passion.

Yet, after all of that, I still decided on undecided.

It was the perfect storm of the level of comfort that ‘business’ had given me, the support that my small school had given math and science, and a strong fear of the drab style of a journalism education. I would search for a major that made more sense for my future.

But you see, there wasn’t any other answer.

Nothing makes sense for you future if you can’t envision it. This is what I envision: A New York City apartment, a MacBook, scribbled scrap papers, and the freedom of freelance. It’s impractical. It might not happen. But it’s so clear that I have to go for it.

So, I applied to the GW School of Media and Public Affairs and was accepted fall 2012 as a Journalism and Mass Communications major. I launched Peonies and Subtleties in January 2013. I was picked up by the GW Hatchet for my Slice of Life Column in May of this year, and became a weekly contributing writer for Sweet Lemon Magazine early last month.

It just so happened that all it took was a little push. Don’t ask me where it came from, because it eclipsed practicality and pulled on the heartstrings of my passion. Journalism as we know it is dying. I’m dying to be a part of it- whatever degree of life it still has in it. So, here’s to throwing yourself in full force, ignoring whatever you think rationality is, and hitting the ground running.

Words are the style I like.

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 2.14.10 PMKelly, Kim (Her Cousin), & Katie (Her Sister)

I am honored to have Kelly featured here today, and I wish her nothing but the best of luck as she continues her successful journalism pursuits in the coming years. You can be sure I will be laughing out loud to her cheerfully hilarious tweets on Twitter and following along with her insightful contributions to Peonies and Subtleties. What can I say? The girl has a way with words.

Stylishly Yours,

Erin ★

[Looking to stay up-to-date with even more Styles I Like? Follow me on Twitter & Instagram!]

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