Wednesday, January 9, 2013

If I rest, if I think inward, I go mad.





Outfit Details:
peplum lace blouse - Anthropologie (old)
denim skirt - American Apparel
belt - thrifted
socks - TJ Maxx
Rachel Antonoff for Bass shoes - gift from Lauren
glasses - c/o Lookmatic
lipstick - MAC Absolute Power (from their Strength collection)

Girls, girls everywhere, reading books.

I have this habit of becoming a shut-in, a hermit whose daily social interactions cease past the point of one-sided relationships with characters in books or films. It's a habit worth breaking, unlike other harmless quirks that are a part of my package deal (and there are many). This one is self-destructive and pops up every now and then - but sometimes, every few years or so, it sticks for longer than I care to admit. Last night, I was sitting around in my pajamas, bare faced and zombie-eyed from perpetual insomnia, when I realized: I remember this all too well. And if I don't put a stop to it now, I know exactly how this story goes.

Upon my initial move to New York, I knew hardly anyone. I barely even knew my roommate; we met a handful of times prior to signing a lease together, but for some reason, I was always in a costume. She was probably half-expecting a girl dressed as Snow White to inhabit the room I rented. I wonder, if not for our modern social networks and profile pictures, if she would have known what I looked like without panda, geisha, or doll makeup. Despite the strange girl that I am, we coexisted quite nicely and found a friend in one another. But normal girl that she was, she worked outside the apartment, had a healthy social life and also a boyfriend, and was generally a pretty high functioning adult with seemingly few hangups or phobias. I, prone to serious depression and forever floating in clouds above my head, found myself retreating evermore into the depths of sheets and infinite pillows, of pajamas and ratted hair, of books and songs that could make you want to draw a bath and drown in it. I even fancied myself a rather adept builder of blanket forts, seeking further a tangible hiding place that provided both infantile comfort and a shield from the outside world. Because they were all judging me, weren't they? Just silently picking me apart - every physicality I could and could not control. Or, at least, that's what I told myself to give a reason for my illogic, to victimize myself in the name of faceless, nameless, critical people who didn't actually exist, except in my paranoid mind. Remember, I didn't really know anyone at the time. So who was judging me, save for me?

In short, it/I was pathetic. It took awhile (and the patient persistence of people who love me) for me to coax myself out of that one, and I swore I wouldn't let myself go back to that level of reclusion. Well, I failed for a minute or two but I'm not letting myself stay there - and that's, at the very least, something. This week was difficult. I started spiraling out of control, and couldn't even put on a brave face to pretend otherwise. Whatever resilience I've had through the years seemed to abandon me, and I'm disappointed in myself. I know I'm better than this, and I am taking it all back. This new year starts today, and this past week - it just doesn't exist to me anymore.

I'm taking a few days to get out of the city with Bobby and Miku; we're leaving today. I'll still be around, but please don't be offended if I haven't responded in the last week or two. I plan on catching up next week. I'll be back to normal, or maybe even better than ever, in due time. I just need a moment to catch my breath.


100 comments:

  1. Fabulous top and shoes!

    http://lartoffashion.blogspot.com

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  2. Hi. I've never commented before, but it's nice to come across very personal posts. I know a bit about how you feel. I'm similar in some sense. I work from home and if I don't get out enough, I end up with anxiety about going too far or taking public transport (terribly silly considering I live about 10,000 km from home in another country...) My daughter was born in March and it was like in the months following I could have faced anything life threw at me. Then in August I slipped. Getting out again is hard, but it's possible. I've been there and back from depression and panic attacks before...more times than I'd prefer to think about, but still, I know getting out again is possible! I wanted to go to the center of my city (Milan) today to get some Macaron (keep seeing them on the internet and want to try!), but didn't manage because I'd slept horribly. I decided, maybe tomorrow and I hope I go. It will be find for my girl and I to go out mom and daughter on the town. For now, reading your post has convinced me to at least leave the house a second time today and take my daughter for some fresh air.
    Take care!

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    1. Though it's comforting to know I'm not the only one, I'm so sorry you're also prone to those issues. Get some fresh air and tomorrow, enjoy your macarons:)

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  3. You are such a beautiful woman - inside and out - and a true inspiration. I too deal with these troubles, and it takes a strong person to overcome them. I'm glad you have people in your life to support you. I just love your blog! <3

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    1. Thank you. Your support means everything!

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  4. What an awesome look. Love it.
    http://www.handbagmadness.com

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  5. You are such a beautiful person. I hope you come back from your getaway refreshed and ready to tackle the world!

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    Replies
    1. I am ready! It was just what I needed. Thank you!

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  6. I can't begin to tell you how much I relate to this post. Bravo to you for being brave enough to share it! This is the first time I've commented here (I don't know why its taken this long!), but I just had to write to you in support today! I also am prone the biggest of downs, and like you I also put on a brave face most of the time. Two years ago I put my (wooly bedsocked) foot down and decided enough was enough. And despite the sometime slide down to the dark, I don't let myself stay there anymore. I push like I've never pushed for anything else, and get back into the (figurative) sunshine. Also like you, I am so lucky to have the amazingly patient love of my nearest and dearest. So I just wanted to wish you the very best of success with your new year. Just remember, it's totally doable, and don't be too hard on yourself!
    Hugs to you, Ms K!
    Sway x
    loversnotliars.blgspot.com

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    1. Thank you, very much! And good luck to you:)

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  7. love!
    http://oppositelipstick.blogspot.be/

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  8. I recently graduated and don't have a job yet. So I don't have to leave the house. I tend to slip into this mood as well. I'd rather wollow in my own self pity and stay in bed/indoors all day. Luckily I have a boyfriend and friends who I see, otherwise I'd never leave the house and would be found buried underneath a pile of books.
    I hope you getaway will help you!

    http://in-so-mnia.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Life transitions can be really tough. I know a lot of people who have gone through the same thing after graduating, leaving the service, etc. If only we could have smoother transitions...
      Hoping your job hunt is successful!

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  9. I can so relate to you, I'm sure this break will be beneficial. You look adorable as usual.


    xo
    http://pinksole.com

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  10. You are not alone in that! I teach and every break we have I find myself slipping into hermit mode, leaving the house less and less, as you say, losing myself in the characters and stories on netflix or in books. For me too, it's something I have to always monitor. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing the nuances of yourself beyond the lovely lady we see in pictures. I have been following your blog for several years and you never cease to impress me. Happy New Year

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Aubrey. And thank you for being a teacher - my teachers saved my life. I'm forever grateful for people who choose that career.

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  11. This spoke volumes to me, and even if you don't read what I have to say (but like, I found you at a random moment at FNO and was only half-way internet creepy, so...yeah we don't have any real relationship, I'm reaching...), I think your being open about who you actually are aside from all of the glitz and glamour of bloggerdom is HUGE.

    I moved to NYC 6 months ago, under very similar circumstances. I've found that I'm still largely without a regular group of people to spend time with, but I'm managing. NY is daunting, especially when you can see how much other people are doing with their lives. For a time I grew bitter about how some people achieved success without any substance. Then I snapped out of it and grew up and realized life is not fair, but I can make my life good.

    Your blog serves as an inspiration to all us girls who are creative and driven, but human and still need time away--time alone to regroup. I don't think that makes you weak at all. In fact, I think having the lady balls to talk about it candidly on your blog has already helped me be more vulnerable (read: better) on my own blog. I hope I can meet you again one day in a less forced manner and thank you for that.

    xo - Akilah

    www.ItsAkilahObviously.com

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    1. If you ever want to meet up, just hit me up on twitter or email!

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  12. Lovely outfit and I can really relate to you on a lot of this! I hope you have a nice time away from the city! xx

    http://thehonestfox.blogspot.com/

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  13. Never thought A line denim skirt could be so playful and not reminding me of my childhood in a bad way. But this one does. Not a big fan of creepers, even flowery ones, yet somehow the vibe added by the textured tights saves it all.)

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  14. I can relate to you so much. I've always been such a recluse and would (because I'm not allowing myself to do it anymore!) find excuses or reasons to never even need to exit my tiny apartment on the 14th floor. Even if our fridge was empty. I moved to a new state (AZ) a year and a half ago and it took me a really long time to make this place feel like home. I as well suffer from random depression and I know the raw and intense feeling of building up the courage to go out into the world. I'm getting over this too! I even found a yoga center down the street from my house and I promised myself I'd go at least 5 times a week. This has gotten me out of the house (and lets be real, away from my computer) and interacting with other people as well as taking care of my body.

    It can be hard but we all love you and your blog and we know you will pull through this lull too. Have fun with Miku and Bobby! Take some much needed relaxation time and know you have nothing to fear in this world. :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience! I recently joined the gym down the street; I figured I would be more likely to go if it wasn't so far away. I think it will help. I also decided to start planning little things to look forward to. That way, when I'm having a bad day, I can remember that I have something fun coming up.

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  15. great post Keiko. I love that you shared this... keep your chin up and free your mind this week while you take a litle time off.

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  16. Your writing is beautiful and so are you! It's all uphill from here <3.

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  17. Great post, love your shoes.
    Katie xx
    http://gravityandshe.blogspot.co.uk

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  18. I've done this too- on the outside everyone thinks Im a friendly, but I get depressed and hide in the apartment, where is safe. It's been especially hard when I moved to Japan on my own, and right now, here in Hong Kong. Language barrier hasn't been easy. You probably have your ways to work with things, but having friends and your loved ones with you helps the most. Take care, and hope this year goes upward!

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  19. Unfortunately, I think more people can relate to this feeling than you know. We all go to dark places sometimes. Some of us stay longer and some of us find our way out quickly. It's definitely not something you should be disappointed in yourself for, so don't be so hard on yourself. The fact that you realized what was happening and were able to make a decision to "snap out of it" is just great! You are admired and loved by so many and we all root for your happiness and success! Enjoy your weekend with Bobby and Miku, taken in some fresh air, make a list of all the things you are grateful for (and read and re-read it), make someone's day (i know you do great things for others all the time but one more couldn't hurt!), breathe and chase Miku outdoors and then cuddle her! Like you said, you will be back, better than ever!

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  20. Thank you for posting this. I can definitely relate. I often think to myself I was built to be alone. But now I have a family and kids don't allow you the luxury of retreating into yourself very often.

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  21. Keiko,

    I don't know you personally but if I did- I would give you a hug and offer to buy you some coffee (or tea, if that's your thing). ;)

    Keep your chin up! My sister and I LOVE your blog and count on it bringing us happiness each week. We're always saying 'Keiko this, and Keiko that...'

    Grins from the Mitten State! :D *And have a nice little trip.

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  22. I found this post very relatable and after reading through some of the comments it's crazy to see how many of us are dealing with the same issues. I am glad that you are able to catch yourself when you fall into these moments because that is a very hard thing to do. Best wished to you!

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  23. Nailed it on the head. Thank you for this post.

    Best, Jamie

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  24. Oh how I can relate. And I need to say too---that I like hibernating. Love it actually. But, it isn't healthy..beautifully written and thank you for facing it and calling it what it is--and letting all us know we are not alone. :) Enjoy your getaway and hope you find time to catch you breath and be at peace. :)

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  25. Reading this I recognized myself. Yesterday I had to struggle just to get out of bed, today I had to bully myself into getting out and picking my son up from school. How does one fight - and gets over - this?
    http://fashionfauxpas-mintjulep.blogspot.pt/2013/01/twenty-one.html

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  26. I've done this... I've been in that bad, dark place, and it's really hard to get out of, and I'm scared of slipping back into it again. But those who love you will always help pull you up, just because they love you. It's really tough, but you will be okay.

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  27. Thanks for this post. I find I have to have solitary time to recharge and clear my head, but I also tend to take it too far and do myself damage. It's a constant balancing act.

    I hope your getaway refreshes you! We'll all be here waiting with open arms when you return. :)

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  28. I am the EXACT same way. Never feeling like I fit in or relate. If it weren't for my boyfriend I would never leave the house except for school and work. Im trying to get better too, but it's hard. Thank you for sharing this. It's always comforting to know that no one is perfect even if they look that way.

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  29. Such a beautiful post, my friend! Thinking of you!

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  30. Keiko, that was such a wonderful and raw and honest post. In many ways it was just what I needed to hear. Yesterday I felt soo so down! And it was a place that I had vowed to not return too. At least it didn't get any worse for the both of us and we realised the need to do something about it.
    Thanks so much Keiko and I am thinking of you!
    Britney of Lemonwood and Honey

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  31. You poor dear. Take whatever time you need with your loving boyfriend and pup. Sending love.

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  32. Wow- I am so impressed by the fact that you put yourself out there with this. Have fun on your trip.

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  33. I can really relate with you. Thank for sharing your story!Have a great time with your boyfriend!

    www.the-goldensoul.blogspot.com

    XOXO,
    Inês

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  34. You're definitely not the only one. I have this days a lot. I hope you start feeling better soon <3

    xo Ashley
    luckylittlebird.blogspot.com

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  35. I think that happens to a lot of us. It has happened to me many times, and at least you know how to control it better now. I'm still a work in progress. I think the time out will do you good. Feel better!

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  36. Gosh, I always love your pretty make-up! And these shoes are so cute too! <3

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  37. Sometimes, it's easy to slip into old habits and to feel isolated. It's hard to explain, the heaviness and whatnot, but I think you did. I know a lot of people are commenting how they relate, and I'm one of them. But I just wanted to say that it helps so much to know that I'm not the only one struggling sometimes. It's funny how quickly it comes, isn't it?

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  38. My dearest Keiko
    You are one of my spirit animals and I absolutely love your style but what I love even more is the fact that you are just another human being and you are bold and brave enough to share the bits that some of us work so hard at hiding.
    I hope you get back on your feet in no time and with lots of love, thank you for sharing this as I know what it feels like and feel less lonely to think that other wonderful people like you get back on track; that kind of makes me feel like I can do it too!
    xox

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  39. I can relate, and it's nice to hear someone who seems so put-together say it like it really is.
    Sometimes though, those weeks of isolation kick you into a different gear that you might not have arrived at otherwise.
    Happy holidaying!

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  40. Absolutely friggin' perfection!!!

    www.tinytwisst.blogspot.com

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  41. this is the best, most honest thing i have read in a long time, so thank you for that. i can totally relate!

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  42. While I'm sorry that you've had tough times, it's really nice to hear that people who look so picture-perfect have the same problems as me!

    Rachel

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  43. those shoes are to die for!
    ~niki <3
    http://youngandimmortal.blogspot.com/

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  44. Like you, I have isolated myself and fallen into depression more often than I care to admit. It's so easy to sink into it: to hide. I would get caught up in my negative feelings and believe them to be true. I still struggle from time to time but I have learned that getting up and out is always better than hiding away. Forging caring relationships is always better than being alone in tears. Much love to you Keiko. I know it's not much, but you have my support and understanding. I've lost friends because they didn't understand the trials of depression. But you can't regret the past, all you can do is do your best in the future. I'm glad you are allowing the first week of the new year to wash off of you and start anew. You need to come visit Portland one of these days!

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  45. Hi Keiko,

    I had to post a comment for the first time today because your post resonated with me so deeply. I so understand what you mean.. Thank you for writing and sharing this part of yourself along with all the pretty. It's an inspiration to the less-brave, but still kindred spirits, like me out there.

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  46. Lovely outfit, what a gorgeous top. Hope your feeling better soon xx

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  47. enjoy your trip, sounds like it will do you good! you look very nice by the way. :)

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  48. Keiko,

    What a lyrical way of putting into words what so much of us are feeling. The blogosphere is more powerful than one might think - we are so thankful that you are a part of it!!

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  49. i am impressed with your bravery and familiar with the inward spiral. long exhales and face-palms aside, your flair for fashion and way with words obviously reaches many. does that undo the blues? no, but its something. new york is a tough, but ultimately loyal. keep on keepin on.

    amanda
    http://thingstoholdandstir.blogspot.com/

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  50. So cute!!!!! love this look!! katejones.me

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  51. You are so beautiful!
    Love the knee highs!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

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  52. Keiko, I love you, girl. I've been reading your blog for a while now and haven't commented, but this post just touched my heart.

    I've had my fair share of insecurities, and when you talked about spiraling out of control and just hiding away from the world with sheets and pillows and books, it brought back all my old memories... I used to do the exact same thing, hiding away in my room for months on end until I got so claustrophobic I felt like I couldn't breathe, just talking to people online, cause that was the only way I felt like I had friends and I could whitewash my image... and it was horrible. It's a miserable way to live. :(

    I've been over my serious problems for a year and a half now, but you just gave me new inspiration to try even harder and be even more extra extra supportive of those with depression and insecurities. You go, girl. You are the most amazing example of confidence and strength I have ever seen. Keep being candid and honest; you are touching more lives than you know.

    Keep your head up, princess.

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  53. Thank you for sharing this. It is very brave of you, and I hope you feel better soon, and hope the trip does you some good. Sometimes it's nice to take a trip with friends and just leave everything behind.
    xx Allie

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  54. You know, I honestly never thought of that as depression. I've always just called myself a homebody. But, I'm on day three of not leaving my house (on vacation), and even when it isn't raining outside, I'm not all that social these days. Lack of money combined with not a ton to do in my town (and almost all married friends) has put me in that box as well. I think I definitely need to start getting out more. Thanks for the post. It's nice to hear I'm not the only one.

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  55. I'm glad you were finally able to get out of that funk. Once you're at that point it can be tough to dig yourself out of that incredibly self-conscious mindset so kudos.

    Also just wanted to mention I just discovered your blog through a photo on Modcloth's Tumblr. And love that top--Knew right away it was Anthro.

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  56. I know just exactly how you feel. It's like getting sucked into a black hole. Hope all is well again.
    Love
    Abbi

    http://rufflesinthefront.blogspot.com/

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  57. Your blog is an inspiration to many but your well being is more important. We'll be here when you post again. Thanks for being so frank about your situation, many of us women can relate.

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  58. extremely touching Keiko and so brutally honest and brave.

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  59. I was feeling really weird reading this. Like - what the... this is exactly my story! I struggle with the same issues. Most people see me as a creative, fun, open, energetic andeven pretty, young woman. I am - most of the time. However I sometimes tell them - guys, for me it takes some effort. Sometimes a lot of effort. I want to love life and myself, but it doesn't always come naturally. I have found that all I can do is keep living, go forward, forgive myself, know myself and stop, when I realise that I am doing nothing to get out from under-the-blanket and thus hurting myself. I am sure that you will manage too. Because one can cry, be angry, be sad, complain, despair, but in the end it comes to one thing - we have to live in this world, because we are not ready to quit yet. Some of us have to work to make the experience pleasurable, we have to relearn to be happy every morning again and again. People who have not experienced this will never truly understand.
    Thank you for sharing. Look forward!
    Linda

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  60. Love your top! You look so beautiful too! :) Love your blog xx

    www.pslilyboutique.com

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  61. One of the reasons I've been following your blog for some time now, Keiko, is, of course, your style. The fact that you're like the girl next door makes you feel incredibly real and approachable. However, the main reason why I don't just visit your blog for the eye candy is because you dare to bare your soul to the world. You are truly brave and I have quite a bit of respect for you :) I share the depression and the feeling of being under a rock most of the time, being inferior, inadequate and just about worthless, and like you, am blessed with a man as well as a 13 year old daughter who's my best friend, both of whom love me implicitly and without reservation, and whom think I'm actually a lot worth more than I believe. Go, smell some roses, Keiko, come back when you're ready to put sunshine back into the lives of your readers xoxo

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  62. Sorry you are having a tough time this week :-( Hope you enjoy your trip. If ya need a friend in BK feel free to reach out.

    Gina

    www.popcornandpandas.wordpress.com

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  63. I know all too well how you've been feeling. I've been a homebody more and more and it's very annoying and depressing at times. I hope you'll bring back some excitement and social activity in your life! I adore your blouse.

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  64. Oh my goodness, I know how you feel! It's ok to be a hermit sometimes, and I hope find your perfect balance.

    I have to point something out...

    "I, prone to serious depression and forever floating in clouds above my head, found myself retreating evermore into the depths of sheets and infinite pillows, of pajamas and ratted hair, of books and songs that could make you want to draw a bath and drown in it. I even fancied myself a rather adept builder of blanket forts, seeking further a tangible hiding place that provided both infantile comfort and a shield from the outside world. Because they were all judging me, weren't they?"

    This is some excellent writing with great descriptive words.

    I love this outit as well. YOu look gorgeous in red :)

    Tiff Ima
    http://stylehonestly.com

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  65. Thank you for being so open with all of us. You are certainly not alone. I suffer from anxiety/depression as well, and I know all too well that dreadful feeling you're describing. We have to keep fighting it! We will win! God bless you, Keiko, and keep going. I just love your blog.

    Love, Amy
    www.alooscloset.blogspot.com

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  66. Wow, thanks for such an open and honest post. I appreciate your "realness" and it just makes me love your blog more and more. You nailed it with these feelings of reclusion that many of us feel. The fact that you've recognized this pattern and are going to do something about it is a major step in the right direction. Just keep fighting through it, it's only temporary if you make it that way. I hope your getaway helps you clear your mind. Embrace that it's a new year and a great time to start with a clear head! Xoxo

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  67. I really loved this post! Great outfit too, btw :)


    www.inspirationlush.com
    http://www.facebook.com/InspirationLush

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  68. You are incredible. Thank you for this post.

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  69. I feel just like this. And through this post we all become community.

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  70. Your post really touched me today Keiko. I've been having similar feelings the last few weeks in what seems like a similar time frame to you- and this post and your resilience really buoyed me up! Have fun getting out of the city and thank you for this post!

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  71. I stare endlessly at your beautiful photos and have admired your blog for a long time. I guess am a little in shock thinking, how can this beautiful, confident girl feel this way. So stupid of me but it's me being honest. I am so much like you described, always thinking I am being judged and using that as an excuse to hide. I'm trying to lift myself out of that, it's a work in progress :). Thank you so much for sharing this post!

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  72. great honest post :)

    so easy to hide away so no1 can judge!

    Barnicles

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  73. i'm commenting from a sea of blankets and pillows right now. thanks for showing me i'm not the only one.

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  74. It takes courage to write about your feelings, I admire you. I think many of us feel this way nowadays, it's due to society which is very materialistic and doesn't emphasize honest friendship and affection. People are only after connections and befriend you for other reasons than pure friendship. Cheer up, we are all in the same boat. Happy New Year from your friend in Rome!

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  75. This is a very impressive, honest and courageous post, thank you!
    And as a scrap of comfort - being a psychologist I know that it's hard to imagine when feeling down, but every depressive episode will pass, it just will take some time.

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  76. Reading this reminded me of myself every time I've ever moved somewhere new in my life, down to the smallest details (at my worst, I went over almost two weeks without leaving my apartment at all-something I'm not proud to admit). I admire you so much not only as a stylish lady, but a person. So thanks for posting this. It makes me believe that if I ever decide to make the move to the big apple (which I'd like to), I might actually have a chance to survive.

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  77. love the socks, and nice shoes!
    Anyway, how I love your photos, even though it's indoor, it still is looking great!
    :)

    www.isle-of-view.blogspot.com
    READ 'isle of view' 3 TIMES.

    see you there? x

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  79. I, like many women who view this blog, often are susceptible to thinking that you have the perfect life--you're beautiful, like in NY, have a job you love, etc...
    But it's entries like this that really make bring us back to earth. You're human, and you struggle, and that's what's made you beautiful. Glad you've let us in.

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    1. I'm all typos today :)--"live in NY"

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  80. Get well girl. You have strangers on the interwebz who love you ;) And at the end of the day...those are some fab shoes.

    xoxo Britt

    www.PardonMyFashion.com

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  81. that's a cute look, and I love the shoes. It's sweet how open and personable you are here on your blog; I know what it's like to over think and over analyze yourself into anxiety and sadness; good thing you went away with your two favorites, it's always important to take a step back and a little break. hope you're doing better!


    XO Sahra
    EffortlessCool

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  83. You are very beautiful and you have a very cute outfit on, especially that denim skirt I like it so much.

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