It’s going to be a bit of a slow week here, and next week too. I know most of you are busy and doing things other than spending time at your computer or reading blogs on your phone, so I thought I’d take advantage of this time to catch up on housekeeping, update some older blog posts and maybe do a bit of design work. Mostly back-end, boring stuff that I neglect throughout the year, which of course, piles up and needs to be dealt with at some point, which might as well be now.
I’ll still post, but perhaps with less frequency than usual – please don’t worry about me (VAL!!). I do owe Laurie a post on fitted tops to wear with her new Elizabeth Suzann pants (coming tomorrow), and I can’t NOT do outfit posts for two weeks, so expect some of those as well.
But in my head, I am closing things out. Balancing the register. Crossing things off. It is the end of a year that has been rather difficult for me. In finding and sharing myself through my “Minimal Closet” journey, to a certain extent, I lost myself as well. I continue to flounder; search for more, for something, for myself. Although I know I am only searching for who I THINK I am, or who I think I MUST be, at this age, at this time in my life, for I do know myself. I am right here. I am just not living the life I thought I’d be living. And I continue to struggle with that. I simply do not know how to not.
So lately I soak up every word Joan Didion has written, about self respect, about fear, about mourning, about life. And I think what I must do is fake it. Joan wrote also in her “On Self Respect” essay I referenced above that
Self-respect is something that our grandparents, whether or not they had it, knew all about. They had instilled in them, young, a certain discipline, the sense that one lives by doing things one does not particularly want to do, by putting fears and doubts to one side, by weighing immediate comforts against the possibility of larger, even intangible, comforts.
They didn’t think about what they had to do, they just knew what it was, and did it. It is discipline, definitely, but it is also the idea that this is how things work, and there’s no time for thinking and crying and worrying. If you want to live, really live, you must get on with it.
For that, I am making plans. I know…I know…still over-thinking it, but if I’m going to fake it, and just do the things I know I ought to, the things I want to do, the things I NEED to do, then I must have a strategy. A routine. A schedule. No time for drama, or feeling sorry for myself. Ultimately, it will all become second-nature; habit. I am tired of being paralyzed in thought/worry/analysis.
Again, from Joan:
Self-respect is a discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth. It was once suggested to me that, as an antidote to crying, I put my head in a paper bag. As it happens, there is a sound physiological reason, something to do with oxygen, for doing exactly that, but the psychological effect alone is incalculable: it is difficult in the extreme to continue fancying oneself Cathy in Wuthering Heights with one’s head in a Food Fair bag.
Anyway, enough of that. Enough about me. More about Joan.
I know she became (although she was before) a style icon to millions of younger women who weren’t already familiar with her, this year, via her Celine ads and various articles. To me, she is a writer first, and a style icon second. A close second. Did you know that La Garconne Moderne has a “Didion” collection?? It is full of gloriously slouchy, gamine, easy, neutral pieces, that you can picture Joan herself in. Now, that is.
But what gets me about that is that she seems to have gone through as many style iterations as any of us do; she writes about buying/wearing Lily Pulitzer shifts, more preppy than gamine. Yes, at some point, she cemented her style persona and created a “carefully crafted image” for herself, an image that we all seem to associate with her. But she did not come out of the womb that way. Who does? And why should I expect that for myself, still?
I do take solace in the fact that in this image she’s basically wearing a velour version (and slouchier) of any number of my beloved, comfortable, long James Perse dresses. It belongs on her and she belongs in it.
Somehow it comes back to our clothes, doesn’t it? At least if I don’t feel like I belong here, where I am, I can belong in my clothes….
Please tell me if there’s anything I can do to make your experience here better/easier/etc. in terms of design. I did add navigation links to the bottom of each post that goes to the previous post and the next one. Anything else I can do?