About The Unaccomplished Lady
All of my goals seem to be in hopes of making myself a perfect ideal, an ideal much like the Accomplished Lady of the 19th century, an ideal which nowadays seems to exist only in the minds of ambitious young women like myself. I know for me, it’s an ideal built up hidden inside me, maybe from reading Jane Austen novels or from my parents.
So this is the task I’d like to share on this site: update these definitions to a modern standard so they continue to be qualities worth attaining, and chronicle the experience of struggling towards becoming the modern Accomplished Lady. This means failure and success, pushing myself into uncomfortable tasks, seeing where I’m falling short. The first part of the task: to accept that I am not an Accomplished Lady, and in fact, that if anything I am The Unaccomplished Lady.
So why do this? I realized there’s a problem with holding an ideal from days long past: it’s a dead ideal, not engaged with modern living or the challenges it brings, and therefore that goal of achievement is repressed and hidden away. I began to realize that when hidden and subconscious, this ideal could come at me in subtle ways, turning negative, affecting how I valued myself, undermining the clarity of my intentions. When not dealt with, a hidden ideal is fixed, inflexible, and impractical: neither alive nor engaged with the struggles of real, modern life.
We’re not in the time of Jane Austen, so the ideal has to be updated, the basic qualities are still relevant but in need of clarity and expansion. An Accomplished Lady has poise and grace, mastery of several languages and performance, social etiquette, skill in arts and crafts, is both genteel and engaging in conversation, a loving daughter/sister/wife/mother, and more. But an even more basic characteristic is that she struggles towards achievement and self-reliance, or in other words: accomplishment.
Through this journey, my specific goals may change. In fact, that’s the whole point: refining and clarifying. What you’re reading is the beginnings of a record of me: the person taking on this ideal. In reality, I think this is something many people are going through, holding an ideal just out of reach, and seeking a kind of objectivity in that pursuit. My hope is this blog can provide that for them and for myself.
This blog will showcase the art, thoughts and musings from several Unaccomplished Ladies:
Jocelyn lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, Rene. She works as a media entrepreneur, with a background in film, advertising, and new media. She would also like you to know that she was a valedictorian in high school and graduated from college with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa, but keeps it real by being an avid video gamer, cooking real food, and spilling her guts on a blog.
Ms. Smarty Pants
Ms. Smarty Pants is a Northern California native and intends to stay that way. She is a literary and satirical junkie from all her years of snorting and injecting witticisms and daily (non)fictionalizations of life. Rehab is not in the cards at this point. By day, Ms. Smarty Pants works as a desk jockey inside a glass office doing legal things to keep the lights on and water running at her place. At night, she enjoys life. She loves traveling when funds are available and is always open to trying new foods to keep her palate fresh. Caffeine is her drug of choice, but alcohol in the form of a great Cabernet is a close second. She loves and cares for her family and close friends deeply, and will not hesitate to cut a bitch if you mess with them. Ms. Smarty Pants can often be found at some sort of café with a book in hand munching on a pastry
Adriana is a Los Angeles native, but she also spent a few years living in Quito, Ecuador as a child. She currently works at an arts non-profit by day, and enthusiastically paints and illustrates by night. She is an avid board gamer, novice hula hooper, and infrequent yarn and seed bomber. When she isn’t working or painting, you can likely find her reading graphic novels, eating ramen around LA, or searching for the perfect avocado at the grocery store.
Nicole is a Los Angeles based artist and problem solver. She loves the outdoors, swimming in the ocean, and listening to music. Nicole currently works as an in-house graphic designer and assistant to Lisa Saltman, an art consultant based in Calabasas, CA. Nicole is focused on freelancing in the visual art world, while also developing her own projects. She loves to write and illustrate children’s books, make album art for bands, and paint with watercolors.
Brit McGinnis, aka Princess Dread, is an author who once dreamed of being Carrie Bradshaw. But she traded in her imaginary Manolos for Converse sneakers, and moved to Portland instead of Manhattan.
Her first books are coming out in 2014, and she works as a virtual assistant in between drafting sessions. She loves Mad Men, video games and chilled Diet Coke. Brit’s also a huge fan of traveling, and is (officially) the Ideal Travel Companion.
A student of many, and master of none. A Photoshopper by trade, crafter by night, a closeted punk, and full time animal lover. I eat mostly organic, vegan, homemade food. I like to share crafting tutorials, natural lifestyle tips, and recipes. I tend to be pretty acerbic in person, so if my writing seems watered down it’s just because I’m editing out that tendency.
li’l ms bacon bits
li’l ms bacon bits lives in a charming almost homemade house on hill near-but-not-too-near Los Angeles, has a son, is married to a man named Bacon (no kidding), has pet chickens (and a turkey) and drives a Grey Goose (a mini cooper, NOT a vodka bottle). You could say that the “foodie” in her sprouted from a delicious childhood abroad and grew into a life long pursuit of tasty treats and fortunately, a career. She works as a personal chef, making wholesome, nutritious foods (think of how grandma used to cook! but also Paleo, Weston A. Price, GAPS/AIP Protocol) and also enjoys selling pasture-based meats & eggs at SoCal Farmer’s Markets for a local farmer friend. Her passion for food (especially Bacon, obviously!) and helping folks eat well means she pretty much lives in her kitchen. But if she’s ever not in the kitchen, you can find her binge-watching TV series (anything with Zombies!), reading recipes & food blogs or helping Bacon with various remodeling projects.
Jessamyn is a New Englander by birth and a Californian by choice. On paper she holds a BA in Art History but in real life, she’s a reluctant waitress, argumentative gym-nerd, and amateur cook who spends far too much time on the quest for the perfect eyeliner. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her animal friends, including a turtle, a fish named King Renly Baratheon, and two spoiled, wonderful dogs.
Eric is a California native and spent most of his 20’s in LA. He has an office drone job like many of us, but moonlights as a copywriter and spends much of his free time working on one of his several horror scripts or writing essays about horror and science fiction for his infrequently updated blog. Eric thinks the best way to recommend a movie is to say, “Oh, really, you haven’t seen that yet? You should check it out when you have a chance, I think you will really enjoy it,” instead of, “YOU HAVEN’T SEEN BLANK?! WHY ARE YOU EVEN TALKING TO ME???!!!!” He dreams that someday he’ll be able to juggle–and hopes he is not dreaming too big.