Things I bought 2016 #4.

fashion_quote_diana_cloudlet_alexander_wang

Back in the days when I had to wear a uniform to work, my off duty purchases were often a riot of sequins and sparkles – clothes chosen for maximum potential of enjoying my time off. Now that I’m no longer in my early 20s however, I need clothes that fit a lot of facets of my life. I have work clothes, weekend work clothes, days off clothes, going out to nice occasions clothes. I certainly don’t need the ‘going out drinking and getting shitfaced’ clothes as much as I used to, nor do I need a wardrobe full of cocktail or evening dresses, as much as my heart always beats a little faster for those things. Often I choose things that will perform across those four categories, though I’m as guilty as anyone of wearing casual pieces to work and then ruining them by instilling a feeling of them being an office-only piece (I’m not alone in that, right?).

My weekend style has changed markedly over the past 15 years. When I was rocking that uniform, I had a casual wardrobe full of quite smart, preppy pieces. Then as I entered the workforce, my casual clothing got a bit cooler with jeans and trainers and zip up tops – hey, it was the mid 00s. Nowadays I’ve found a happy medium between both – jeans are a default almost to a fault, but I’ll wear ballet flats and stripes, sandals and structured cotton tops. Even a sweatshirt would be paired with a less casual shoe, though I definitely love my Havianas. I’m always excited to get up every day and pick an outfit and let it help influence how my day might unfold.

I also love seeing what other people wear, both to work and on weekends. I particularly love when I see someone wearing a piece I’ve seen in a store somewhere and watching how they make it work for ‘real life’. The shoes they pick, their accessories, how they might tweak a sleeve or a cuff. Social media has also become a gold mine for seeing how pieces translate on actual people, not just models, and it’s some of the best style inspiration going around. Unfortunately it’s also some of the best buying inspiration going around, which can be a nightmare at times.

I’m still working on cutting down my purchasing AND culling my seemingly never-ending piles of clothes. For me the issue has never been really about spending overwhelming amounts of money on pieces, but buying far too regularly. Already this year I’ve bought 15 things but the most expensive was $60. Some of them were reasonably out of necessity ie buying new jeans to replace old ones that were too big or replacing the Converse I had to throw out in LA, but there’s also a lot of unplanned, snap sale purchases. Something I really need to keep an eye on and actively work to restrain myself.

So far this month I’ve picked up another pair of the Just Jeans jeans that have become my new favourite, a grey Sportsgirl t-shirt dress for $20 that is almost unbearably soft and was perfect for throwing on over my swimmers to go to the beach this past week, a rose gold and crystal Lovisa ring (looks just like the Swarovski ones but only cost $17) and a khaki skirt from Target that’s sadly a size too big but for $10 I can move past it. None were hugely necessary purchases and none were seriously expensive but again, it’s quantity that I need to watch. Definitely a work in progress.

Thoughts of the week – 14/2

flower crown

1. I’m back from a week up on the NSW south coast – the weather was perfection and all I did was sleep, read, swim in the ocean, eat ice cream, go on long drives and catch up with old friends.

2. Back to work on Monday and already it feels like I have so much to do.

3. I tried curling my hair on a wand rather than my GHD and of course I burned my finger. Fucking curling wands. I don’t mind the look though, it’s a bit more beachy wave than glam.

4. I watched Grease Live the other night and while I didn’t love it to begin with, it really grew on me. Vanessa Hudgens was amazing as Rizzo I thought. (And this recap is awesome.)

5. I injured my ankle running in Nike Frees a fortnight ago and it’s still not right. I went to the physio and got x-rays to rule out stress fractures but I’m still not walking properly. Not being able to run is absolutely killing me; running has become a really important part of my life (and sanity). Moral of the story is that Nike Frees are not running shoes, kids.

6. Going out for dinner to my favourite Thai place with a couple of girlfriends tomorrow night and I’m really looking forward to it. Probably not the Valentine’s plans I was hoping for this year but as far as a replacement goes, it’s not bad.

7. I have been drinking a lot of Coke Zero lately. Not sure why.

8. I read four books while I was away including Drew Barrymore and Khloe Kardashian’s new ones. Drew’s is awesome and definitely worth a purchase but while I actually unashamedly love the Kardashian family, Khloe’s was a bit bland.

9. I’ve been home from my big overseas trip for just over two months now and to be honest, I’m feeling a bit lost. It’s like the post-holiday blues have finally set in. I have a lot of things coming up to look forward to, but I’m also feeling like the big adventure has been done and dusted and what is there left to do now. I know it seems odd. I just can’t shake it though and nothing feels quite right at the moment.

10. Thanks again for all the lovely and heartfelt comments on my last couple of posts. It’s always awkward being emotional but good to get it all out.

I will survive

One of the things I’ve always loved best about writing is that – for me, anyway – it’s an opportunity to get something out of you and let go of it. The simple process of fitting words to thoughts and emotions is infinitely helpful in allowing me to decide how I feel about something and then move on from it. 

When I wrote my last post it was very much just for me and I debated on whether or not to hit publish before ultimately going “fuck it”. Then I went to bed and pretty much forgot about it until a few people started to comment. 

I will say that though it is entirely true and undoubtedly raw, it’s also just a moment in time. It’s me sitting at home feeling disappointed and sad and sorry for myself. It’s not rational in some ways because it’s completely emotional. 

Please be certain of this: I am fine and I will be fine. 

What I was overwhelmed by was the lovely messages from people, many of whom I don’t even know. I think when you have a blog you sometimes feel like it’s just yelling out into the void – you forget there might actually be people listening on the other side. So to have people say some incredibly nice (and helpful) things kind of blows me away. Thank you. 

I get to write this sitting in my old home town, in front of the most beautiful view in the world. Twenty-four years and 21 countries later, it’s still my favourite corner of the world and it’s been perfect timing to be able to retreat here for a week. 

I don’t know about the boy. What a complicated mess; unfortunately I seemed to have missed out on the girl genes that would let me handle this with any kind of finesse. He’s a brilliant friend so for now he’ll stay that way while I recalibrate. I’m also entirely aware of my own shortcomings. While telling a friend my sob story, she raised her eyebrows as I jumped to melodrama before saying at the end, “So let me get this straight: this guy came to your house to look after you because you were sick, then on the way out he made plans to see you again. You have no idea what his friend’s shit day actually entailed. If you had a mate with a shit day, wouldn’t you leave to see if they were OK?” Me: “Ummmm…” Who knows. 

In the end, all it proves is that I know nothing. Because I’m too afraid to ask questions then the only thing I have to go on is my instinct – and sometimes I have to accept that will be wrong. Whether it is this time only time will tell. But what it does do is remind me that ultimately I am the only person in the world who will always have my best interests at heart. I have to look after me. Though, hard as it was and determined as I am not to repeat the experience, if I can put myself back together once then I can do it again. Something to keep in mind. 

I will survive. 

Back to December

The thing that marks that period most strongly is the crying in the shower. How I’d race home from work every afternoon, run through wooded paths to the point of exhaustion, then come back and almost collapse in a long, hot shower. I remember leaning up against the tiled wall, my head in my arms, sobbing for what felt like hours. Every night, the same thing, over and over and over. Then I’d dry off, come out and pretend to the rest of the world that nothing was wrong.

And the whole time I was breaking apart inside.

I remember telling myself that I would never let this happen again. This. Will. Not. Happen. To. Me. Again. I won’t ever let myself get into this position again.

I stopped eating. I was listless and uninterested at work; at one point I was spoken to and asked if I actually wanted to be there (no, I did not). I remember a concerned friend pulling me aside at one point and asking if everything was ok and I assured her, repeatedly that it was (no, it was not). Every day I drove home from work and looked at the same tree on the same bend, wondering what would happen if I just stopped steering, if I let my car smash into it’s trunk in a cacophony of crunching metal and shattering glass. I wanted to know if that would wake me up and shake me out of this lethargic misery, if it would actually make me feel something. I was so horribly sad.

I cannot smell Stella, the perfume I was wearing for those months, without being instantly transported back there.

Eleven years ago.

You know, I had a dream about him the other night. He was with his two kids, standing not far from me and talking to them about me while I ignored him pointedly, pretending not to hear what he was saying as I pulled on a black hooded jumper. And he was actually saying nice things, that’s the thing; he was telling his children what a great person I was. I woke up and for some reason I felt relieved, like maybe I hadn’t just imagined I’d had any kind of impact on him. That I might have meant something. Because I’ve never quite been sure.

It was during my stop over at Auckland airport last September, mid-way to starting the adventure of a life time, when I got the shock of my life. I opened up Facebook to find a message and a friend request from him – we hadn’t spoken in about eight years I reckon. And now he’d found me. Wanted to be friends. I was angry that this was happening on the way to something I looked forward to and planned for so long, this trip where I would take on the world. All of a sudden I was just that naïve 26-year-old kid again. I closed Facebook.

I’m certain that I wasn’t in love with him but I’m equally certain I was heartbroken when it ended. He was the first person I ever imagined marrying, no mean feat given I’ve never really expected I would marry. I wondered at how easy it seemed, how I’d managed to find this person amongst the billions of other people in this world, how I hadn’t needed to go through the arseholes and crap dates and bullshit before finding my person. Here he was. Here we were.

Until we weren’t. Until he lost interest. Until he walked away. Until it petered out in my continuing bewilderment.

We had one last night out after my eventual move to Melbourne, a night where the air seemed thick with chemistry and I left expecting things to be different. They weren’t. Over time even the random text messages and phone calls stopped until he became just something that happened in my past. I’d Google him from time to time, eventually finding that he’d married someone else – someone else who was now living the life I’d imagined.

When I got to LA I accepted his friend request, then responded to his message. He went on about some blast from the past mutual acquaintance who I barely remembered. This time the chemistry was gone; I made jokes he didn’t laugh at, he didn’t bother to ask how I was doing. It felt like closure and I realised this person I considered to be the missed opportunity of my life actually wasn’t.

Instead I thought about a boy, thousands of kilometres away at home, who would have laughed at what I said.

It’s taken me nearly all of these 11 years to realise what a profound effect a few months had on me. How it’s made me worried that someone will just change their mind all over again (and again and again) and walk away from me. How it made me fearful that if I did just the slightest thing wrong, any type of relationship would just crumble. How I think that stupid things, like taking too long to reply to an email will make someone change their mind. So instead I stuck to the pact I’d made with myself and ensured that it never happened again, by never engaging with someone to the point where it could happen again.

I’ve had three important people in my life decide having me in theirs wasn’t important. And somehow, those three failures have overwritten the many great people I’ve met and become friends with, making me wary and cynical and reluctant. Something I’m now starting to realise the extent of.

I promised myself, repeatedly, that this would not happen again. I would not make this mistake again. But it was too seductive, too easy to spend time with this boy with pale green eyes, laughing and talking. I told him stories about my past that I’d never told anyone, then wonder how I liked and trusted him so much already to do that. All the while I kept hearing that voice in my head that warned me I’d been down this road before and it did not end well. Be careful, be careful, be careful.

We have so much in common.

Except he has  history of relationships with crazy girls and a thousand anecdotes to tell about them. I refuse to break down my own tragic experience into a story for others’ enjoyment, I don’t ever really want to think about it again. Until he pulls the story out of me one night, after too much to drink and I’m defensive and vehement. “This will not happen to me again,” I tell him, repeatedly. He looks at me with an inscrutable look on his face and tells me I’m going to miss out on good things if I keep acting this way.

We discuss it again, over the phone a few days later, while I’m waiting for my train to arrive after work. I’m sitting on the platform listening to his gentle lecture and trying to explain that I understand but old habits die hard. He loves talking about this stuff, emotions make me awkward and uncomfortable. Once he told me I was “hard to get to know” and I bring it up all the time, almost jokingly, but at the time it hurt.

Weeks go past and the fear is still there. I tell myself I’m waiting for some kind of sign about how he feels, a sign that never seems to arrive, much to my gentle bewilderment. We talk every single day and yet I cannot figure him out. I don’t know what any of this means or what it’s supposed to be.

I meet his family.

We make plans and he invites other people along.

The tenor of our messages changes, ever so subtly.

He offers to come over to my house and make me dinner and watch a movie after a running injury derails our existing plans. I’m reluctant to eat anything he cooks so I take over meal duties instead. He sends me a photograph of his DVD collection and tells me I should pick one, so I do. Then at 7.40pm he arrives, says he’s outside my house he thinks but he’s not quite sure if that’s the one. I go out to meet him and we hug hello.

We’re lying on separate couches, watching the movie and at 10.30pm he tells me he’s sorry but he’ll have to go in a minute because he has to call a mate. OK, that’s fine, I tell him but I’m more than a little surprised. The movie is still going. We keep watching. Then at 11pm he tells me he has to leave and so we stand up and say our goodbyes; his friend had a shit day he tells me. “I hope everything is OK,” I respond. We quickly hug goodbye but the air isn’t pregnant with any kind of expectation.

He leaves and I go to bed. Alone.

The next day he sends me a message, thanking me for dinner and apologising again for leaving early-ish. His friend had a shit day, he tells me again. He had to call them, he tells me again. I hope everything is OK, I tell him again. Then he explains that he’s only been friends with her for a few months but he gets the feeling that she’s the type where everything is a drama.

Her.

Her.

Her.

I make a glib reply but my mind is stuck on that word.

You left my fucking house mid-way through a movie to talk to a girl you’ve only known for a few months about her shit day at 11pm at night? I’m sorry but there’s not a girl in the world who wants to unload about her shit day at 11pm who doesn’t want more from the bloke who’s listening. And that’s not even considering what he wants.

This girl was more important than my company. Than our plans. And it really hurts.

This, this is the point where I realise I’ve fucked up. In so many ways because I promised, I promised, that I would not let this happen again. That I would not repeat all those long ago mistakes and find myself in this position again. That I wouldn’t give someone else the power over my emotions, even if they don’t realise they have it.

I have totally and utterly misinterpreted this situation and if anything is proof, then that is it right there.

I’m sobbing in the shower, 11 years later.

Because I’m stupid and I’m wrong, all over again. And I’m sad because a tiny part of me thought maybe this time it would be different. Instead I’m just an idiot.

I got out and dried myself off with a towel. Wiped my eyes. That will be your only moment of self pity I tell myself sternly.

This. Will. Not. Happen. Again.

And I mean it. I can’t not.

You pervert

perversion

For the last – probably almost decade – I have been an avowed fan of plastic/rubber bristled brush mascaras. Cover Girl’s excellent Lash Blast series are my all time faves and I always get a bit excited when they release a new one. On occasion though, a standard bristle brush will slip through and make me fall in love with it. Too Faced’s excellent Better Than Sex mascara is a good example and once I get through the half dozen mascaras in my stash then it’s definitely on the re-purchase list. However it’s now got some serious competition thanks to Urban Decay’s Perversion so it might get put on hold a little longer.

In short, this mascara is fabulous. I bought the sample size at Sephora and I love that the wand is still long enough to wield easily; none of those stumpy short brushes. From almost first use Perversion gave me really full and lush lashes without ever clumping. No matter how many coats I brushed on, every lash stayed defined and fanned out beautifully. If you’re like me – I have about five lashes on each eye it feels like – and you need maximum volume from a mascara, then Perversion is going to be your new BFF.

A friend and I were in Mecca the other week and I noticed they were selling the sample size here and I pretty much forced her to buy one. The sample goes for $16 in Australia so it’s comparable to picking a drugstore brand mascara up at Priceline if you’re keen to try it out. Mine lasted almost three months and given I’m resolute about tossing mascaras after that length of time, it suited me perfectly and was pretty good value for money. Perversion is seriously my favourite mascara in a long time so if you’re on the hunt for something that gives a lot of volume then make it your mission to track this down.

Things I bought 2016 #3.

marc

Over the past few weeks I’ve really stepped up my efforts to clean out my wardrobe. A couple of bags of things have gone to a friend and my to-eBay pile keeps growing. I have so much stuff I feel like I’m drowning in it at times, however at least I’m aware of it and making something of a conscious effort to rectify the situation.

As someone who has been a couple of different dress sizes over the past 10 years, I have more than my share of stored clothes. These are mostly the things I loved when I was smaller and haven’t been able to let go of or the pieces I bought thinking/hoping that “one day I’ll fit into this” (yeah because how often does that actually happen?). I’ve been going through those boxes and it’s funny how many things have ended up on my giveaway pile. Fashions and tastes change and even though pieces might be good quality or have a history, they have no place in my future. And it’s also a good lesson on not wasting money on things you can’t wear (and get value out of) immediately – no matter how great they are, they’re generally just wasting space and money.

I really like the Marc Jacobs quote above; basically if you’re not wearing things then they’re just that, things. They’re not part of who you are or present yourself to be.

This week hasn’t been too bad on the clothing front. I went and replaced the white Converse sneakers I chucked at the end of my US trip because they really are the most versatile casual shoe. I love the way they look with jeans, shorts and even dresses, plus they have a classic timeless feel to them that represents my style well. I grabbed mine from the DFO at South Wharf for $80 which is a decent price. While I was there I also picked up a grey/blue long sleeved tee from Volcom for $15 as a lot of my current ones are too big. This one is nice and light so it will be a good transitional piece or hey, just a Melbourne summer item given the shithouse weather we’ve experienced this week.

Two of my great weaknesses are J.Crew and Uniqlo and I couldn’t avoid either of them this week. I made the mistake of trying on this John Robshaw dress from Uniqlo and the fit was perfection (plus it was on sale for $30) so it came home with me. Then J.Crew was taking 40 per cent off sale items and this tee I had sadly left behind during my US trip popped up, so I picked that up too.

Four items in and about 30 out – I can live with that. For now, anyway. Baby steps.

 

Thoughts of the week – 31/1

hat

1. I’ve been cranky and moody for much of this week then I realised it’s because I’ve had one day off in the last 10 (and still have a few to go before I have any days off). Sucks to be me.

2. That said, I’m off on a week’s holiday up the south coast of NSW next week so don’t feel too sorry for me.

3. Last weekend my best mate and I headed to Geelong for a football function and had a really great day. We went to a fantastic café on Pakington St called 63 Degrees and I highly recommend it. I had the breakfast burger, she had cinnamon doughnut pikelets and both were amazing.

4. We then went to a fundraiser where Travis Boak, captain of my team, and Patrick Dangerfield, star recruit for her team, spoke. They were really open, honest and funny and it was such a great afternoon. We even went and got photos at the end and the players were genuinely lovely. I was tempted to tell Travis he’s my future husband but I thought that could be construed as creepy.

5. Somehow I’ve ended up signing up to play netball again. This season. Wish me luck.

6. Speaking of exercise, Nike Frees would have to be the worst shoes to run in ever. They just have no support and my legs always ache afterwards. I made the mistake of putting a pair on for a run earlier in the week and my ankles are so sore.

7. Lola Berry has a new book out, which makes me excited. I’m not much of a cook but I do love her stuff. I’m hoping to get a bit better at the meal planning thing this year.

8. Still no update on the new flatmate front and I’m really fucking over it, to be honest.

9. I’ve been culling like a madwoman and given two big bags of stuff to a friend. Clothes, shoes, accessories, make up, you name it. I’m sick of holding on to stuff I don’t really need or use.

10. A couple of mates and I had dinner at Fonda in the city this week, which is always fun. They have great Mexican food and even better cocktails. We then headed to Lygon Street for gelato at Pidapipo and it was delicious – the salted caramel was absolutely sensational. I’d had the worst day at work and a girl’s night with good food and plenty of alcohol was just what I needed.

11. I’ve got a heap of books to take up the coast with me and I’m looking forward to doing a heap of reading. I finally got my hands on Deanna Raybourn’s new one via Book Depository, so that’s a bit exciting.

12. No real boy updates. Still friends, still speak every day, still whatever.