Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: monarch butterflies

#30daysofdresses – day 4

Or the plight of this little black dress…

I’m realizing quickly that 30 days of my own outfits is starting to feel a little… self-indulgent. It would be silly to think that anyone wants to read about dresses when they come from stores like Kohl’s or H&M, or see 30 pictures of me.

I snapped this on Thursday – it was a helluva day at work. I ended up taking the afternoon off because, like all first world white girls, I COULD NOT EVEN.

So the combo of needing a boost of creative time in between meetings, and the self-consciousness of not wanting to post 30 selfies, produced this photo. And I thought about my friend Nina who takes these awesome self-portraits and a whole world of options expanded before me.

Yes – it’s #30daysofdresses – but more importantly, it’s 30 days of sharing my creativity, my story, of me inside and out.

So that’s where I was at when I took this photo.

I’ve owned this dress for a very long time… definitely before I moved to LA.

When I first moved here and started working at my internship, I had a boatload of new business clothes (thanks mom!) from Ann Taylor Loft and was basically terribly overdressed for the occasion. One day, a coworker said “You wear a lot of black” as if this wasn’t a good thing. “Well, I’m from New York,” I said, because in New York everyone wears black (just look at my Google search). It’s classic, powerful and creates a good silhouette. Plus, people are hardworking, driven, serious – any pop of color, like the crazy teals and neons LA-ers wear – could be seen as not taking things seriously enough. 

And who the f-has time to be all bright and happy when it’s 30* outside and you’re working a 10hr day?

But, I digress.

As I shopped for myself and tried the SoCal style on for size, I started pulling navy, instead of black as my base neutral. I didn’t realize this until Jess pointed it out. Awesome. So what do I do with this black dress I didn’t care much about? Jess suggested I keep it, since it was cute, light-weight and versatile.

Then another 18 months went by and I didn’t wear it.

It wasn’t because it didn’t fit right, or it was black, or that I don’t own black boots (working on that).

It was because the last time I wore this dress, I wore it to a funeral.

It was July 2011 and we had plans to be on the east coast for our two engagement parties (long story). One in PA and one in NY. A few days before our departure, we woke up to a slew of calls on H’s cellphone saying that his granddad had passed away overnight.

I don’t remember the actual timeline of things, if we flew in early or traveled back and forth from PA to NY a few times, but it was such a huge blow to H’s mom’s side of the family – completely unexpected.

His grandfather was quiet, but super warm and friendly, and so kind-hearted. He really was the nicest. He always treated me like I was part of the family, long before H and I were engaged.

And this is the dress I wore to his funeral – the only part of which I remember being in a room where people were giving speeches about him – and we were all laughing and crying. There was music. I hung out with H’s little sister who seemed to know that I needed the company more than she needed me – mostly b/c this wasn’t my family. I felt a little out of place. And I just remember, as everyone wrapped up the speeches and went to move on to the restaurant, people picking up purses and organizing carpools, I started to cry. H hugged me and I remember saying into his chest, “It’s just so sad” because it was.

We’d lost a really good person. I could cry writing this.

Some time later, I remember his daughter, H’s aunt, saying that now when she sees monarchs, she thinks it’s her dad visiting her. And our LA neighborhood is full of monarchs, so now I always think of him too. And of course, when I wear this dress.

Dress is Old Navy. Boots are Kohl’s. Necklace is the shape of an arrow.

 

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Piqued

Well gee, all the good energy I wrote about last week seemed to fizzle and evaporate this week. It was a rough one. Not sleeping well, anxiety, crying – and no real explanation for it. I could’ve written about it, but with two work events and the general feeling like crap, I just didn’t.

I can tell you what helped though, after the fact: seeing my therapist (objective, yet supportive, sounding board), spending an afternoon with Billye and her dog in the pool, having helping hands at my work event, having one gal tell me she was floored by my abilities in my work, taking a full day off, and getting 10 hrs of sleep.

Top that all off with climbing Point Dume again last night, the hardest I think I’ve ever climbed outdoors (!!!), and a belly full of pizza and Mexican Coke, and I’m finally feeling normal again.

Here are a few links that made me happy this week:

I’m a fan of the Japanese, and if there’s one thing they do well, it’s spotlighting adorable animals… like this Shiba Inu WHO WORKS AT A STORE. Carter knows how to close a cabinet door, so the next likely step is to have him open a slider and poke his head out like this kid. Canine help you? I die.

My friend Stephanie (you may remember when we said our goodbyes) is kicking ass and taking names at her accelerated program at John Hopkins University  (b/c she’s a smarrrrrrteeee) and she’s blogging for them. Read why she decided to leave LA and become a nurse, with all the humor that makes me love her to death.

Another adorable dog story (I can never get enough) that turns out is maybe a hoax, but I don’t care b/c LOOK AT THIS BEAGLE. Who cares if he doesn’t actually work for the airline / return lost items?? The last 10 seconds? My heart bursts.

But in real news, Leo has a FULL BEARD. While he makes a wonderful speech about climate change, I could not stop staring at his facial hair and man-bun. He is my absolute favorite since I was about 13, so I’m rolling with this new look. True love, I know. Other people think his beard must be stopped. I can’t believe he hasn’t made it on this Tumblr yet: Fuck Yeah, Men With Buns.

And for something more on the serious side – or at least not dog or man obsessed – I liked Paul Jarvis’ post Do What You Love which opens with this quote by Mika Tokumsitu: “If we believe that personal fulfillment is really the ultimate purpose of labour, then who do we expect to do all the other jobs that are not so existentially fulfilling?”

Jarvis goes on to write:

Find a job that you don’t have to worry about when you’re not doing it. Or a job that doesn’t make you miserable every single day. And you’ll be far better off than a lot of folks.  As I enjoy telling my wife, work is called “work” and not “super happy fun time” because often it’s just tasks that need to be done. It doesn’t mean your life is less meaningful just because your job lacks existential value.  You aren’t your job. It doesn’t have to define you unless you let it. Plus, you can always do what you love in your spare time. I do.

Last but not least, I found Retta via Instagram where she shared the story of a few monarch butterflies in her garden. It’s inspiring to see these small projects she’s documenting. I’m also enjoying her blog Will & Wanting.

Have a good weekend xo

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