Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

#30daysofdresses – day 19

This is one of my favorite dresses ever and another one H picked out for me.

I wore this on Saturday while in Vegas before we spent the afternoon at the pool.

Also rocked this on our one night trip to San Diego.

Dress is from Forever21 over a year ago. Flip-flops are still from Kohls. Jacket is from Forever21.

#30daysofdresses – day 18

Snapped this in the bathroom at Ellis Island Casino in Las Vegas Friday night.

H and I drove in that night, met up with my family and headed out to Ellis Island. We ate cheap diner food, they drank a lot of beer and we stalked the karaoke bar, which had a wait-list of 20 people and where no one was good.

We stayed out till 3am and I was glad I wore this dress, because again… pajamas.

I keep snapping these pictures with jackets on so you can’t see the full dress. If you’re keeping up with this challenge to actually see the dresses, I apologize. I have to say, I am not really cut out for 30 day challenges like this. (I’m getting tired of posts about me too haha). And this is how I’ve worn the outfits, so it’s legit.

In case you thought I was, y’know, making stuff up for blog posts.

Dress is from Ann Taylor LOFT from when Jess styled me a year and a half ago. Jacket is from Forever 21 in that same shopping trip. Flip-flops are from Kohl’s forever ago.

#30daysofdresses – day 17

While the day before was long and tiring, this day was calm.

And it.is.so.nice to have some quiet and calm.

This dress is from Kohl’s with a bird print. I love it. Another dress I knew when I tried it on at the store that it needed a belt, and the little yellow belt shows up again.

The boots are from Clarks and yay for it not being super hot again so I could wear them. They first appeared on day 2. Double yay for being more than 1/2 way done with this challenge. #boom

#30daysofdresses – day 16

The 14 hour work day…

Last week when I pulled this dress out of my closet, I was preparing for a full day of meetings. Higher ups were in town and my colleague planned a tour of LA from breakfast to bedtime.

It was a long, long, long day.

It was productive though. Because I’m a remote employee, I don’t get to experience the conversations that pan out between other people, the information sharing, the collaboration. I learned so much just riding in the car between meetings. It was a nice professional boost to attend these appointments.

At one point, a higher-up was asking me questions, feeling me out about my career goals. I said I believed we needed more leadership and maturity – and she asked about me.

Me?

I said I didn’t feel like I had enough experience yet… again, maturity, etc… and she cut me off, and said in a very direct but gentle way, “That’s a female thing. No man your age would say that.”

Oh.

Hello imposter syndrome: a situation where someone feels like an impostor or fraud because they think that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as those of the people around them. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is applying an unfairly high standard to themselves (and not to others).

The whole day got me thinking about where I’m at, what I want to do next, and circling back over this topic of having the authority over my own life.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate.

Just back from a weekend in Vegas and wanted to drop a quick line to say hello.

After the emotional chaos of a few weeks ago, work events and busyness (not to mention Mercury Retrograde) this week is quiet coming, and I am thankful for that.

The pic of above is from our hotel room early in the morning on Saturday. We stayed at The Paris and traveled in to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday and my parent’s 33rd wedding anniversary. Amazing milestones, to say the least.

As someone who is embracing being a highly-sensitive person, Vegas is.so.naht.my.place. but with those milestone celebrations, I couldn’t say no. So H and I packed up the car, drove the 6hrs each way and spent the weekend eating, drinking and gambling with my family.

And while I would rather have been out in the desert, out where those clouds touched the mountains, it’s always good to have the whole family (plus our significant others now) all together at one time.

This week is quiet as far as work / social commitments go, but we’re in for another eclipse and things pick up again for me in about 10 days, so I’m going to use this week to downshift a bit. I’m still continuing the #30daysofdresses challenge. Been wearing a dress almost every single day, just going to find some time tonight to write up the posts.

If you’re looking for something cool to listen to this week, check out the Back To work podcast where David Sparks guest appears. I loved hearing him speak about executing projects, balancing all of the things he’s into and his presentations field guide (which I plan on pick up). So yeah, dig around in that if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Have a great week xo

#30daysofdresses – day 15

Finally, a normal day.

Drove to work blasting It’s Blitz by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Listen to Zero and rock out.

Got to work early, answered emails, attended a meeting that wasn’t a complete waste of time, finished a project, had another meeting. A full day at the office and not one instance of drama.

Gosh, it’s been a while.

Maybe it was / is Mercury Retrograde or my own sensitivity… but I finally feel better (at least, I feel good as I’m writing this).

I liked the blazer over this dress, love the length and material of this dress, and overall felt super comfy all day.

Also, I’m growing my hair out some and it’s in a weird stage where I have to bobby pin it on one side.

That is all.

#30daysofdresses – day 14

I had Monday off and decided to take the afternoon and go on a little day trip alone.

The best kind.

I wore a dress my mom bought me for my honeymoon. It’s strapless, cotton, doesn’t require a bra and has pockets. It’s pretty awesome.

Read more about my day alone in Pasadena.

Day Alone In Pasadena

Monday I had the day off and decided to go to Pasadena alone.

I’m not sure why I wanted to visit Old Pasadena, but the idea popped into my head and off I went. Well, first I had to pick up and return tables from a work event. And I had to drive kind of far in mid-day traffic.

But once I found parking, I was off.

To lots of walking around.

I started near a park and wove my way up past Castle Green and then on to the main drag of shops. I’m always surprised how much of a place is generic – the same stores as anywhere else in the country.

It was hot out, the sun beating down on me as I walked with a fabric backpack on. I stopped at The Juice Farm. Sipped on this deliciousness while I walked around The Paper Source store and past a bunch of other places.

I love the old buildings – the brick and fired stone.

My original plan was to go to Intelligentsia (how cooooool does this place look??) and write and read in the cool darkness of a hipster coffee shop while sipping a fancy latte.

But the public restroom gods conspired against me. Or, I guess, the lack of public restroom gods… because it was hot out I drank a lot of water, then I had that smoothie, and then I needed to pee. Really badly, but there didn’t seem to be a public restroom anywhere. I even walked all the way down back down to the park to try some port-a-potties I saw and they were locked. LOCKED. Port-a-potties with big locks on them. WTF.

I wanted to spend my lunch money somewhere I’ve never been, but the need for a bathroom became the priority. When I did a loop through the coffee shop I didn’t see a restroom at all. I wasn’t that hungry yet so I felt frustrated – here I was trekking all over, trying to figure out where to eat lunch just to use a restroom.

Did I mention it was very, very hot?

With time running out, I stepped into Crepes de Paris, saw they had a restroom, and ordered food immediately. It was pretty much empty, so I had my pick of tables. Ate my egg and cheese crepe with a latte that was unbelievably strong and not worth drinking. I read a book and sat in the quiet.

It was magnificent.

I don’t know why people feel uncomfortable eating alone in restaurants. I find it relaxing and super enjoyable. I read more of The Highly Sensitive Person, stared into space, jotted some notes in my journal and enjoyed the a/c when the main door to the patio wasn’t open.

It started to get late and I was worried about traffic (was about 25m away from home, but in LA that could mean a 2hr drive). And I had one more stop to make…

Vroman’s Bookstore.

Come on, you didn’t think my day alone would include walking, eating alone, coffee, reading and writing and not include a stop in a bookstore??

I kind of wish I’d gone here first – I could’ve just eaten in their bakery and I found a little mall on my walk over that had public restrooms. At least now I know for the next time I visit where everything is.

The store was large and pretty noisy. People talking, telephones ringing and kids roaming around. I felt jittery and uncomfortable from the latte and the heat. I was pretty tired by this point and had a mile walk back to my car.

But I tried to enjoy wandering the stacks, reading the little tags that employees had written recommendations on, and basically satiating myself with books. I was overwhelmed and inspired – I wanted to go home and read and write forever. There were so many books, how could I even get to a small portion of them in my lifetime? I thought about taking notes on the ones that jumped out at me, creating a To Read Later list. I wanted to buy a few but also wanted to save money. It made me miss tangible, paper books in a really deep way.

On the walk back to the car, I enjoyed the late afternoon light, even though it was still hot out. I figured out where my car was and cranked the a/c while I drove home. I didn’t hit any traffic and the rest of the evening was relaxing.

After the chaos last week, I’m really glad I had a chance to travel alone for a day, even though I didn’t leave LA.

When I first read Mae Cheverette’s blog, and how she travels alone, I was so intrigued, her posts pulled at my heartstrings. Then there’s The Noisy Plume’s travels and my own day trip around SF 2 years ago now that I remember so fondly, and the deep pull Alaska had on me.

There is something about being in a new place, walking a lot, observing and experiencing without really having to talk to anyone, that opens my heart up. It feels so luxurious, so new, so silly that it can have that affect on me, but it does. It also feels selfish, but in a really indulgent, put-myself-first way. It’s exactly what Julia Cameron calls an artist date – “assigned play”.

I needed this break from routine, from my neighborhood and from the emotional turmoil I felt all last week. I’m so glad I went. xo

#30daysofdresses – day 13

Friday night I hosted an event for work and wore one of my favorite new dresses.

The little yellow belt was in play again, and I wore nude colored heels. This is also the dress I wore during the wedding weekend last month.

H picked it out for me at Forever 21 – he loves the cut of it, I love the color and texture. It feels way more expensive than a $25 dress at F21. Also, the back has an interesting opening though I don’t have a photo of that to share with you.

The event went really well – mostly b/c I made the executive decision to bump up the budget and cover everything well enough. Cutting corners is just not working for our events anymore. And I had my temp overseeing two volunteers – and the three of them rocked check-in, so I didn’t have to spend a moment dealing with the door.

It was the first time I felt like I hosted an event – instead of running around like a crazy person (but I already said that in Saturday’s post). Yay me. #levelup

Oh – and the bracelet is Alex and Ani (a trend that has yet to hit the west coast) from my awesome coworker (a thank you gift for helping her with her crazy event in June). While I’m not into super trendy things, I love that it’s from A and also that it means energy which is EXACTLY what I need when working events, and reminds me to protect my energy levels as much as possible.

Short post for a short dress ;)

#30daysofdresses – day 12

Where in I get to spend an entire day with one of my best friends from college…

(Technically, this is day 13 but I have yet to get a photo from the work event for day 12’s dress, so yeah.)

Saturday morning we were up and out fairly early to pick up Jo & L. Jo and I have been friends since freshman year at college in Boston. (Also, she sang at my wedding, so she’s kind of a big deal.) They were visiting LA this weekend and had all day Saturday to hang with me.

We took them up to a short 3m hike in Malibu to see the ocean view through the haze, back to our house to drop off the dog, and out to Plan Check Kitchen for lunch (one of my fav burgers ever). Jo thanked me for “not killing” her on the hike and we reminisced about living together and tried to catch up on all the people we know collectively from that time. We ate burgers and drank Mexican Cokes out of glass bottles. We talked about music and our parents. We filled each other in on work, school and daily lives. We shared our dreams of relocating, living near friends, getting out of the cities we’ve been in.

We took the afternoon off – H gave Carter another bath and I vacuumed and finally put down some diatomaceous earth on the throw rug to combat the fleas (note: now 3 days later, this seems to have worked #boom). We showered and napped.

Back on the road, we picked up Jo and L and took them to Wurstkuche for beer and brats. When we walked into the back a dj was spinning, the lights were low and the room noise was loud, full of people talking and eating. “Welcome to the quintessential LA restaurant,” I said to Jo. She ended up being too full from lunch to finish her brat. L ate two brats and drank two beers. He was a fan. We spotted the cool chick who cuts our hair and waved to her from our table. H came back from getting a glass of water smiling – and pulled his wedding band out of his shirt pocket – where it has been “lost” for at least 6 months.

Jo and I traded stories of ruining things because we’re clumsy. She spilled a bottle of carrot juice and also dumped a cup of coffee into their bed. I said, “Pen. Everything I own is covered in pen.” H nodded in agreement.

Our last stop was to an improv show – can’t beat $10 for an hour of laughter. That’s where we took the photo above. It was awesome to be with someone who’s known me for so long.

When we said goodbye, we hugged tightly and whispered good things to each other. I’m so proud of where she’s going and what she’s doing – and happy she’s happy. Lindsey said it best in her post I linked to this weekend on friendship:

“I’m always amazed by how swiftly we slip back into comfortable patterns and by how easy it is to be around each other, because so much of our history is known and doesn’t need to be explained.”

It’s been two years since we saw each other and it felt just like it used to when she’d walk into my bedroom (which was the living room of our 1-bed split) and sit at the table, eating breakfast and talking my ear off about how she couldn’t find her shoes… or keys… or homework.

I didn’t know it then, but the friendships I made in college truly shaped who I am today.
Love you Jo
xoxo

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