At some point during the grueling three year long stretch of law school, I found myself urgently yearning for a creative outlet — something that was entirely detached from the highly regimented structure of writing legal memorandums, citing statutes and referencing case law. I quickly began to take note of the chic fashion blogs that several acquaintances of mine had launched. They were posting street style-esque photos of themselves in designer duds and fun frocks, outfits that they had pieced together, taken pictures of and then published on a forum for the whole world to draw inspiration from. And inspiration I drew. (Well, actually, funds from my ever-dwindling bank account I drew in an attempt to take my closet to the next level, but that’s for another post). I became obsessed with studying their photos, incorporating the half shirt tuck trick into my own wardrobe, improving my ability to (seemingly) effortlessly accessorize, and then popping up at school the next day looking like an off duty employee at a fashion house, rather than your typical sweatpants clad, sleep deprived, law student.
I actually went to law school in the first place in an effort to build somewhat of a unique background for myself and subsequently enter into my true field of choice, which is broadcast journalism. That already rendered me a bit of social outcast in the land of law books and litigators. But now, I wanted to be a fashionista, as well? This elicited quiet a response from some of my peers. Who does she think she is? Where does she think she’s going? And then I, too, began to think…who do I think I am? Where do I think I’m going? This prompted a bit of an internal debate (Okay fine, a series of massive anxiety attacks). I’ve had a passion for fashion since my mother took me shopping for back to school clothes (and I’m referencing my matriculation from kindergarten to first grade here) at Bloomingdales, scrunching a fist full of suit fabric in her hand and then quickly releasing it just to emphasize the lesson that quality wool rarely wrinkles. To me, style is an expression of self. There’s that Gore Vidal idea that “style is knowing who you are and what you want to say and not giving a damn.” I’m a woman, and I embrace the notion of retaining some degree of femininity regardless of what field I’m working in. I have several girlfriends who are deeply unsatisfied with their chosen career paths not because they don’t enjoy the vocation itself, but because they’re ascribing to a theory that dictates what the quintessential businesswoman should be. That means that they leave their red lipstick, high heels, visions of glamour… and true sense of self at home in the morning, only to retrieve it again later that evening after they’ve fulfilled their daily duties and can settle comfortably into their own skin again. My mother taught me about style. But, she also taught me to be an intellectual. To be a stylish intellectual, would I ultimately have to choose one identity over the other?
And, not to get really philosophical on what is supposed to be a fun and entertaining blog post, but does the word “identity” suggest something synonymous with persona here? Meaning, can one incorporate all of her attributes into a single entity and be looked at as a multi-faceted adult woman, rather than a scatter-brained girl who has not yet learned the etiquette required to succeed in her particular industry? As a news reporter or a lawyer, I am who I am, and part of who that is quite obviously a woman. This is reflected in the way that I relate to the world, in the way that I speak, in the things that I love, in the way in which I dress, and in my everyday life.
For me, at age twenty-five, fresh out of law school and hoping to launch a well-rounded and fulfilling career as a broadcast journalist, I began to think about how I could structure a blog to make it seem cohesive and streamlined. Many people advised that I write solely about law to showcase the fact that I’m not just another woman trying to be on television; instead, I am a woman with a legal background wanting to be on television. And, truth be told, I am a woman with training in law. But, I’m also a woman who loves to report, write, travel, apply makeup, style my own outfits, and spend time with wonderful friends. Incidentally, I’m also planning a wedding, raising a puppy, and living between two separate cities. In truth, there’s nothing particularly cohesive or streamlined about me.
Thus the name NoteBrooke was born. It seemed to illustrate all of the things that I want to encompass within the scope of this blog. A notebook is often used as a diary. A diary is reflective of who one is, and it’s used to record many of the different things that occur in everyday life. My main priority in life right now, vocationally speaking, is to launch my broadcasting career. That being said, some posts might include political content or celebrity news, while others may allude to what it entails to become “camera ready” entirely on one’s own. Remember, I am my own hair and makeup team right now, so I’ve been forced to learn a lot of tips and tricks, which I’m happy to pass along to others. On off days, I’ll style an outfit because that’s a hobby of mine, take you travelling with me or show you what is entailed in planning a four hundred person wedding, set to take place in the middle of Manhattan. After spending so many years thinking of an appropriate theme for my blog, I realized that I’m already armed with a repertoire of topics to discuss, just as everyone else in the world is. Every person has a story; here is mine.