My posts have been very fashion-forward lately. I love sharing life and being vulnerable, but writing those posts takes a lot of emotional energy which has been in short supply. Outfit and shopping posts are easier in that they don't require me wading through my emotions and putting together something that hopefully others can relate to. Today you're getting a doubleheader from the fun fashion part of me and the emotional, somewhat-messy day-to-day!
First up: Fashion
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I've been obsessing over off-the-shoulder everything this summer, and this dress has been a favorite. It's from City Chic, which is a favorite brand of mine that I haven't talked about in a while. It's an Australian company but sold in the US across various stores including Macy's and on the City Chic website. Their sizing is a little different, and I wear their XXL which they equate to a 24. I will say that I can't wear all of their items – fitted ones especially, or ones without stretch. But dresses like this where there is smocking or some fit and flare element are no problem.
Some older City Chic looks I previously shared:
- Button down maxi dress from June, 2018
- Boho fall maxi dress from August, 2017
- Mint green, very sassy fit and flare dress from August, 2015
- Zip front, short tunic dress from August, 2015 – I actually just bought another one of these in a different print
I think this is probably one of my favorite looks of the year so far. I can't put it on and NOT feel better!
I saw this meme a few months ago when I was upset and laughed so hard because it is exactly the back-and-forth I've experienced all year:
On paper, things are good: no traumatic events, I haven't killed any of my houseplants, and newlywed life is still good. In reality, something has been off-kilter. My mood has fluctuated from emotional overwhelm and sadness to “wait a damn minute, I'm awesome!” The good news is that in the past I would have hung out in the emotional space for a lot longer before pulling myself out of it. Progress!
My trifecta of anxiety, depression, and ADHD have taken me on a rollercoaster this year. The first 3 months of the year were filled with anxiety while the following 3 were filled with depression. My ADHD just hangs out all the time, like a tiny pebble in your shoe that you can't take off. It's annoying, but I can still function.
Talking about mental issues is always a double-edged sword. On one hand, I want to reduce the stigma behind mental illness, while on the other hand, I worry that talking about it means people will think that I'm in a dangerous mental space or unable to function in the day-to-day. Let me be clear that the latter is untrue. Mental illness isn't a deficiency. I've dealt with these issues since I hit my teens, and have been in therapy and under medication management ever since. Sometimes, things change and it's time for readjustment. This is one of those times.
I'll be the first to admit that I've not dealt with moving to Louisville very well, and it's surfaced issues that were lying dormant. Fears of abandonment, not measuring up, not being seen. It's really overwhelming to think about forming new relationships in this city. Like, paralyzingly so. It's also difficult since I work from home, where there are days where I don't interact in-person with anyone but Steve. Beyond him, there really aren't any relationships I feel very secure in these days – those types of relationships where you feel totally comfortable being yourself when things are messy and there's no energy to keep up appearances.
Beyond external relationships, the relationship with myself has been rocky. I'm an overachiever, and always want to do more and be more. So if this is the case, why are there some very big projects I've wanted to tackle that I keep stalling on? I've become a master at throwing up my own roadblocks because I'm afraid of failure, or of not doing something perfectly. So instead, I burn out from having one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas. The cycle is wearing me out.
I'm not sharing any of the above because I want sympathy or advice – I'm simply trying to just share what's going on. I'm working on things slowly but surely! This means:
- Asking people in Louisville to do things with me.
- Working on mindfulness and gratitude. Broke out my journal again for the first time in a couple of years.
- Trying to work on my inner child. I can't even believe I just typed that out. I previously thought “inner child” was some woo-woo, joke of a concept, but it's not. My therapist started talking me through an exercise, and it took all of 3 minutes before I started sobbing uncontrollably and then had a 24-hour emotional hangover. It's really hard, emotional work. My inner child is very, very hurt.
- Pushing myself out of the house. For example, I signed up – by myself – for a floral arranging workshop at a favorite local shop, Mahonia. I seriously got in my car like, “look at me, I did something fun with strangers and didn't die!” #introvert
My photographer knows I get a kick out of outtakes, and this one was perfect for making my own meme, ala Adele:
Life won't always be one side or the other, and that's what makes us human! I really appreciate you for reading through this and hanging out with me, whether you're here for fashion realness or life realness.
As I was about to publish this blog post, I caught this on Instagram and it hit me in the gut in the best way: