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  • Millie Liao

Trinkets to Add To Your Holiday Wishlist

As the holidays are just around the corner, and Christmas in fact is actually this coming weekend, I'm sure many of you have been considering what to ask for in your gift wishlist! As the year comes to an end, it's the perfect time to treat yourself and reward yourself for all of the hard work that you've done this past year. I know that I often have a difficult time actually slowing down to say thank you to those who have helped me through everything, as well as show gratitude towards my body and my mind for serving their purposes.


With all of that in mind, I've compiled a little wishlist, in the form of an outfit as well as a couple of metaphorical gifts, that you could wish for this holiday season!!


(With this outfit, I will show you all some of my favorite purchases from this year that you could wish for for xmas or any other holiday!!)


1. A good set of bluetooth headphones



I might be late to the party, but I am in love with my AirPods Max. They were my Christmas present (given to me early) this year, and they have now become an indispensable part of my wardrobe and day. Getting yourself a good set of bluetooth headphones not only elevates every outfit, but also can give you a meaningful separation between the outside world and the inside world when you need it - it can be a non-verbal signifier to those around you when you want some you-time or just a little silence! My headphones have definitely helped me to get through some of the more difficult parts of school for me, such as walking through the crowded hallways or feeling uncomfortable in certain social circumstances. They are a way to get privacy, while not having to verbally say it. I would warn you all not to have them in for too long, because headphones have caused headaches when I wear them for over three hours at once (trust me, I've done it before...). But at the same time, I see that as a good thing, because after a couple hours of just being in my own world I am sort of forced to take a break and interact with others, which gives a good balance between me-time and socializing. That being said, if you don't already have them any set of bluetooth headphones could be a great thing to ask for this holiday season!!


2. A boundary line for when to say no


To go along with the theme of drawing lines, I think a hugely important one to know is your own line of what you can and cannot do at a given time. With winter break starting (or coming up) for most students at this time, we have little more time to just relax and celebrate all of the things we've done this year. I remember that this time the last two years, I was still overworking myself, and feeling like I wasn't doing enough if I wasn't busy every single day. But when you start to draw the line with your own mind as well as with the demands that are made of you, it truly makes a huge difference. Usually, most young people like you and I want to do the most that we can, and take on every opportunity that piques our interest and sounds fun to us. And while I'm not telling you all not to take advantage of the interesting opportunities that come your way, I'd advise you all to know your limit of how much you can handle, and always remember that saying "no" to an offer is an option. Just last year, I didn't know how to say "no" to a spectacular opportunity for an awesome job at an art museum, but in the end found out that I simply couldn't handle it with the amount of work that was on my plate. If I had really stopped and considered whether I would be able to take on another activity, I think I would've reconsidered saying yes to the job offer, but the appeal of working at a museum I loved so much sort of outshone those worries. I of course don't regret the amazing times I got to spend there, and all of the knowledge I gained, but it was a very stressful experience simultaneously because I realized I was balancing so much that I was about to topple over. So this coming year, let's wish together for a more decisive ability to say no when we need to, and think things over so that we can choose what's best for us, not just what's most appealing to us!


3. A classic staple: an oversized grey jacket



I never knew that I needed a grey jacket in my life until I finally purchased on on Black Friday this year. The one that I have is the Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Full-Zip Hoodie! When I tell you this jacket goes with literally every single outfit, I truly mean it. And it's surprisingly warm without looking really stuffy or poofy! It's perfect for a California winter, which is like relatively cold weather but nothing compared to where I come from (Michigan...). So if you're in a colder state, this could be an inside layer for an even bigger coat!! Either way, I'd really recommend it as it can be worn with almost any shirt and just add extra dimension to an outfit. Oh, and did I mention that the pockets are massive?! You can actually fit a lot in there, and although the pockets themselves don't have zippers (the only down side) I've used them to carry my water bottle which is pretty amazing. But if you did have the option and really prefer carrying things in your jacket pocket while running or doing an activity that requires a lot of movement, I'd recommend getting a jacket that has zippers at the pockets as well so that way your things don't fall out. Also, if you all are interested, I can do more fashion exploration on here in this coming year! Let me know in the contact form if you'd like to see that in 2023 ;)


4. Fearlessness to be who you are


Now that I'm halfway through my final year of high school, and almost reaching my adulthood (I still cannot believe I'm writing this!), I have been reflecting deeply on how I spent my teenage years. There are many things that I regret, and many things that make me cringe or keep me up at night when I think back on them. Sometimes, I wonder to myself, "why would I do that?!" or "I can't believe that I thought I was cool" etc... but ultimately, what sticks with me the most are the moments where I felt most fully myself. I think the feeling that one has "wasted away" their teenage years stems mainly from feeling like you weren't actually being who you are, as cheesy as that sounds. Which is why I am beseeching all of you, with all of my might, to live as you are, and be fearless in acknowledging both your strengths and weaknesses. It's easy to say this, and to hear this advice as it's always being said, but it's difficult to put into practice. I've found that the best way for me to keep myself in check is constant reflection (but in a healthy way!) and meditation on who I am, and why I act the way that I do. In being kindly curious, but not overly critical of what goes on inside my head, I've been able to suss out so many new nuances and subtleties in my personality that I didn't notice before. For example, I've discovered that I am very much a nerd. And that's totally okay! I feel like I was in denial about this fact for a while, but now that I've reached senior year and really reflected on what was important to me in these past four years, I can't help but notice that studying and grades made up a large part of what I thought about. Don't be hindered by what others say is "cool" and what isn't, because at the end of the day those things often won't make you happy. What gives me the most satisfaction is knowing that although it was difficult, I found the bravery in myself to face whatever fears I had of not being cool, or being considered a loser, etc. etc., and really choose what was important to me instead of what I thought others would like me to choose. So this coming year, let's choose ourselves, rather than anyone else!


5. An over-the-top necklace



Every outfit needs a statement piece, and nothing less can be expected of an elaborate, detailed, intricate necklace! This one in particular makes me feel like royalty, and the colors sort of remind me of the classic white and gold prince charming jackets (but of course, I am my own prince charming ;)). My relationship with jewelry has been a rocky roller coaster, as I wore rings, earrings, and necklaces almost every day of freshman year (2019) but then stopped wearing any sophomore and junior year (2020-21). I've only just started to re-experiment with jewelry, but even now I haven't really gotten used to the feeling of it again after never wearing it during the pandemic. But what I've found is that when I want to celebrate a day, or make it feel extra special, I can pick out some jewelry that really adds a new dimension to whatever I'm wearing, and makes the entire clothing ensemble somehow stand out more. Even if others don't notice it, I feel fulfilled to wear a cool piece of jewelry that I like because I think it reminds me that sometimes the best parts of us are the little things that others don't notice. Furthermore, I believe that jewelry tends to have a story that comes with it, and oftentimes many pieces have a personal significance to us. Some of my friends wear jewelry that is symbolic of a lost loved one, or a long-distance friend. But I wonder whether jewelry can also help us to conjure our own story - for example, the necklace that I'm wearing in this outfit making me feel like a princess charming in a fairytale. That's why super decorative and over-the-top jewelry in particular has become my new obsession, as I've collected fuzzy hair clips, huge dangly earrings, and lace chokers. These small but powerful pieces make me feel like I can take on a new persona when I don them, which is always fun! I encourage you all to play along with me and try out your own crazy jewelry pieces this year.


And with that, the 2022 season comes to an end!! I'll likely be taking a holiday break from writing to spend time with family, as I want to make this break a real break for myself! I hope all of you will take care of yourselves in the meantime, and thank you for reading with me and growing with me this year. I'm wishing you all so much sprouting and branching out and blooming in 2023, and as always I write this


With love,


Millie.


Start of 2021 -> Start of 2022 -> Now!

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