Tit for Tat

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Top: City Chic

Skirt: Target

Shoes: Carla Milani

Tonight we ring in a new year, hoo-bloody-rah! It’s a good time to take stock of the previous twelve months, to gird your loins for another year, and to set yourself some resolutions if that’s your thing.

My friends R, JC and I have always preferred to set a theme for the upcoming year rather than individual goals. Themes like “Expand Horizons”, or “Take Chances”.

My theme for 2013 was “Survive”, 2014 was “Rebuild”. I’ve done both of those things, and I’m in a much better place today than I was twelve months ago. My sister is well, I’m surrounded by a network of incredibly loving and supportive people. I have a home that I love and a job where I feel challenged and valued. New people have come into my life who are enriching it every day. I’m happy. Hopefully 2015 will continue on the same trajectory, so my theme for the year will be something along the lines of new growth, building momentum, having direction.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that a few months ago I gave myself something to remind myself to value the person that I am.

I call myself Lilli, but most of you know by now that the name on my birth certificate is Lian. It’s a Chinese name in honour of my Chinese grandfather, and it means “The Graceful Willow”. This is a bit of a running joke with me, because I’m not particularly graceful, and I’m certainly not willowy. At the start of this year I discovered a Chinese constellation called The Willow and it inspired me to research what my name actually symbolised.

It turns out my Mum got it right. In Chinese mythology the willow tree stands for strength, but it’s a strength that comes from being able to bend without breaking. It’s a tree that can withstand great storms and survive. It also symbolises resilience, because it has deep roots that allow it to recover even after it’s been cut back.

I thought about it for a while, consulted some friends, did a few preliminary sketches, and then finally handed everything over to the talented Melanie Knight at Forgotten Son who designed and inked this wonderful, permanent reminder of something I should be very proud of having: Strength and resilience. An abiding and unwavering sense of self. Deep convictions. A strong network. The ability to withstand challenging times and recover from setbacks.

constellation tattooSo. That’s the serious stuff done, now on to the fashion! Do you like my top? I somehow missed it on the City Chic website, and it wasn’t until I saw it being worn by someone on the Aussie Curves FB page that I spotted it. It reminds me so much of this Marlies Dekkers bra that I couldn’t resist. It’s sexy and strappy, and a bit edgy, and not something I thought I’d be able to pull off, but I really like it.

Frocks and Frou FrouI’ve worn it today in an all-black ensemble with a floaty skirt from Target and some great new Carla Milani flats that I bought en-masse from a little stall that had set up shop in Melbourne Central.

Carla Milani FlatsThe guy who served me was a total riot, and I ended up walking away with three pairs of ballet flats, but they’re soft, leather, kid-lined (no socks required), cheap, and he promised they wouldn’t give me blisters (which they haven’t) so I don’t feel too guilty about it.

My bangle is very important to me too. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to talk about why yet so I’m just going to put up a photo of it and let you admire it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHappy New Year, my lovely readers, and here’s to a wonderful and fulfilling 2015 for all of us.

Love, The Graceful Willow.

20 thoughts on “Tit for Tat

  1. I’m dubious about any feet prisons that say they are “blister free” but I may have to check those out as they look super cute.
    Also, way to leave us on a cliffhanger/mystery/puzzle!

  2. Ooh, are you bringing out a jewelry line with your sister?

    I love reading your blogs, there are always depth & substance to your entries.

  3. Being able to pick yourself up & carry on is an admirable strength and one not everyone has. You’ve done exceptionally well to do just that over last couple of years, you should be proud! I’ve surprised myself this year too. You know from my comment on Instagram that I too got a cancer diagnosis this year and just under three weeks ago I had a total hysterectomy and my ovaries removed. I saw my consultant on Monday & it’s looking highly likely that the cancer is all gone! All I need to do now is focus to getting back to full strength & planning my future with the husband. The fact I’ve recovered so quickly has been attributed to my ability to be strong & not fall apart.

    I too am going to mark this in ink, and plan to have some tattoos over my scars to make something of them other than the trauma I’ve been through.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2015 – I’m very intrigued by your bangle & I look forward to (hopefully) hearing the tail behind it in the new year!
    Xx

  4. Honey,
    you are wonderful, wonderful woman! Enter New Year with a smile and head up, for your smile is one of the most beautiful things in this world! Never ever stop smiling!
    No matter what!
    As for theme: instead “Take Chances” I’ve read “Have Cupcakes” 😀 so hell yeah, have cupcakes and smile! 😛
    Love

  5. Belated merry Christmas to you, Lilli! Your tattoo is beautiful, as is your writing – may 2015 bring you all your heart desires

  6. I wasn’t sure I would like to see your perfect skin inked with a tattoo. I have marvelled at that skin since you were a baby. But actually, it’s not bad. It’s a nice piece. And it has a deep meaning. So I guess it’s OK. I almost quite like it. But let that one stand alone….

  7. what lovely ink – I think your momma definitely got it right =) It’s been such an honor to watch you navigate the last few years of joys and struggles and you seem to have come through it with such strength and grace. I hope the bangle means there’s been some happy squee-ing for you this holiday season. Blessed new year to you!

  8. Happy New Year, Lilli!

    Love the tattoo it really suits you. Here’s to a great 2015! 2014 turned out to be my year to ‘survive’ so I personally am very glad to see the back of it.

    And what a gorgeous bracelet with a most intriguing inscription! x

  9. Happy New Year Lilli. Your tattoo is beautiful and has such lovely meaning. Thanks for keeping your blog through everything – you’ve touched more people than you know. Upward and onward to 2015.

  10. Thank you for sharing your personal story, Lilli! I love reading about the clothes and love your style, but the glimpses into your life are precious and I really appreciate you putting them out there. Through your posts last year I really felt for you, and loved seeing the light come back into your eyes in the photos as the year progressed. (did that sound a bit creepy? I don’t mean it to!)

    The tattoo is wonderful and perfect, and the name meaning is too.

  11. I love every single thing about this! That top, the lovely & sweet tattoo, the bangle, & just everything. I’m hoping to hear soon about the lovely inscription, & happy to see that joy and positivity seem to have returned to your life. Enjoy the happiness, lovely lady – you deserve it!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *