out of the depths

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

(i don’t think pain always leads to beauty, or that “beautiful” is quite the right word, but i liked this)

Which Golden Girl are you? An existential crisis

I am a Rose. Always have been, probably always will be.

But I’ve spent most of my life trying to be the other ones.

Sure, Rose is sweet. But she’s the one you make fun of for being so innocent and optimistic and ditzy.

Dorothy is the cool one. Dorothy is the equivalent of being a badass, snarky cool girl in a leather jacket, chain-smoking and playing drums in a riot grrrl band and dating a woman totally nonchalantly even though it’s the ’90s. (Very specific, I know.)

I had a *~breakthrough~* in therapy today and realized I have been trying SO SO long to NOT be a Rose. (Excusing for the moment that no one real person can 100% be a fictional character created in the ’80s.) I was afraid as a Rose I’m not good enough. I guess I thought if I really admitted and embraced being a Rose, I’d have to hang out with other Roses 24/7 because the Blanches and Dorothys and Sophias of the world wouldn’t like me.

It’s silly, I know, but I was am insecure.

But you know what? Trying to be someone you’re not is EXHAUSTING. Beating yourself up for not being edgier or snarkier or more extroverted or having more sex is NOT healthy or productive!

Nobody’s like, “Yo, Rose. Quit being yourself. We need two Dorothys instead of one Dorothy and one of you.” That’d be ridiculous! (Also boring, right?!)

It’s like that quoted-to-death saying, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Being myself is scary sometimes, though. I’m very judgmental, especially toward myself. There are tons of things I don’t like about myself (still getting zits in my 30s! constantly running late! unwillingness to go to even the world’s most convenient gym!).

How is it OK to be myself when I “should” be so much better or even someone else entirely?

That sounds like a pretty shitty way to live, though. The only answer is to accept my Rose-ness and trust that the Blanches and Dorothys (not really Sophias, because she’s just so caustic…see? total Rose) of the world will still want to be my friend.

Plus, I tell WAY fewer stories about St. Olaf. 😉

Why people choose chaos over love

It is harder for many people to allow love to pierce their heart than to have chaotic, painful relationships…When I was an adolescent, a very dear young man named Eddie pursued me. I liked him, I enjoyed being with him, and one day I just froze up and couldn’t talk to him. Many years later I came to understand that I feared his love would penetrate my heart and open up a torrent of buried heartaches and pain. It was less threatening to date people who emotionally starved me.

from If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl

who i have a crush on

People who thank the bus driver.
People who tip extra.
People who let people with one or two items go ahead in the grocery store line.
People who help empty the dishwasher at work even though it’s not “their job.”
People who pick up litter.
People who flatten their cardboard boxes before recycling them.
People who put the toilet seat down and replace the toilet paper roll.
People who are considerate.
People who are kind.

top 15 songs of 2018

These songs didn’t necessarily come out in 2018, but they were on heavy rotation for me this year! Enjoy! Bonus: They’re all by or featuring women. (Sorry not sorry at all, cishet white guys.)

In no particular order…

Continue reading “top 15 songs of 2018”

there’s nothing wrong with you

My therapist told me that today. Not in a “We’re done here; you’ve evolved and are perfect, TRUMPET NOISE!!!!1” way (snort). In a “You go through life thinking you’re bad and wrong and messed up and THAT’S why people are shitty and that’s not true” way.

There’s nothing wrong with me. Or you. WHAT A REVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT.

“There’s nothing wrong with any of us–except maybe Trump,” she continued (um LOVE HER). “Or sociopaths, or narcissists, or like serial killers.” I nodded. “People are inherently good.”

RECORD SCRATCH say whaaaat?

I grew up hearing we’re all sinful and evil and hopelessly flawed and only by the grace of some white guy (he was Middle Eastern, but that’s another topic) do we have ANY hope of escaping our inherent shittiness, which will otherwise make our lives miserable. And if we don’t apologize and feel guilty constantly, we’ll be damned to torturous hellfire. Woohoo!

So the idea that there MIGHT NOT be anything wrong with me is a bit of a shock. It’s gonna take a while to sink in.

I mentioned how when I was young, some female “friends” excluded me and were basically catty, petty, insecure trashbags (can you tell their actions were emotionally scarring?). And I concluded it was MY fault they were mean to me. I had done something to push them away, but I didn’t know what (being a self-righteous little goody-goody? being super judgmental?), so now I’m afraid of pushing people away without realizing it. Of breaking some unwritten rule. Because who I am is flawed and not good enough.

My therapist pointed out it probably wasn’t even about me. For the first time, I thought about the damaging family dynamics and body image issues those girls were struggling with. There was alcoholism. One of them was obsessed with getting a nose job–at like 15. Another one of them would come out as gay later and was probably struggling with a sexuality our school condemned. There was a lot going on! It’s almost funny I thought I had that much power over them, when we were actually all just struggling through the meatgrinder that is puberty and adolescence.

Anyway. “There is nothing wrong with you.” It’s an amazing concept! And I think I believe it. We’re all (OK, most of us) just trying our best to find happiness and love and stability. That won’t scare people into going to church, but it rings true. Sometimes we hurt each other, mostly (I think) because of childhood/family wounds we haven’t worked through yet. But we can learn and address our issues and change and apologize–without self-flagellation. Who knew?!

Not me. Not until today.

There is nothing wrong with you.

~*fall 2018 + resort 2019 runway lewkz~*

Remember when I had daily access to Photoshop AND a plausible reason to look at Womenswear Daily all day long? I miss those days. Not that job, just making fashion collages. So armed with a free online Photoshop ripoff and slightly rusty skillz, I’M BACK. Here we go (all photos via WWD):

The Valentino team realized, “OMG, women kind of look like FLOWERS! What if we, like, put blossoms on their heads?!” Gee, what a groundbreaking thought. Kaia Gerber’s gravity-defying hair was the MVP here (sorry, other lady whose name I don’t know).

WAIT stop the presses I had this image open in another tab and forgot to put it in my collage AND IT IS THE BEST ONE (sorry sorryyyyy):

I MEAN.

Is that Michelangelo meets Barney? Is it an eggplant kale turtlenecked toga?! Is it a Greek god and/or taste like Greek dressing?! Pun not intended! Moving on to L’Atelier Sonia Rykiel:

Black and white usually puts me to sleep, but the textures (feathers! yarn!) and thoughtful asymmetry really got me here. The second lady from the left is straight outta some hip MacBeth adaptation. Love these slouchy berets with embellishments! That sweater thing on the right could be hiding at your local Goodwill. YOU NEVER KNOW.

Back to your regularly scheduled mermaid unicorn vibes, courtesy of Fendi. Sheer fabrics! Faux (hopefully faux???) fur! Slightly Black Swan-esque cat eyes! Um…yeah. That’s all I got.

Calvin Klein spring 2019 was a bore except for this sensitive firefighter, who saves lives by quoting Wes Anderson:

U ready to get RILL wild? Maison Margiela is serving alien-dumpster-diving-outside-a-Crayola-factory vibes:

There were lots more that looked like the designers ran out of time and just belted the models in huge puffer coats at a lopsided angle and called it a day. Otherwise I really liked this one.

Fasten your spacebelt, Ziggy, cuz it’s time for intergalactic prom:

Wearable disco balls from Rami Kadi. Bowie would approve. And what’s more dapper than a woman in a boxy hat?

Miu Miu was hard to choose. Flowy sheer fabrics, neon florals, and fluffy sandals all really rang my bell. (Still processing the Mia Farrow-esque lady in a babydoll slip…infantilizing but not sexualized?)

Although it seems kind of mean to make grown-ass women like Chloe Sevigny slick their hair down into the most unflattering hairstyle ever and strut around with emaciated teenage models, who would make even the most fit and Botoxed celebrity look fat and saggy. I’m not being ageist–people should be allowed to be fat and saggy! It’s normal! The fact that the fashion industry’s holy grail is basically a white, 6-foot-tall, 90-pound 9th grader, and that that is for some reason what American women are judged against, is all kinds of FUUUCKED UP. /rant

OK. Two more. Let’s cheer things up. SUNNY BUBBLEGUM THYME:

Aren’t those shoes just the best thing you’ve ever seen? And I am ALL ABOUT a two-tone polo!

Here’s Christian Wijnants:

I LOVE THIS GREEN. (Grass? Avocado?) I feel like fashion designers, at least the affordable mass-market-y ones I buy, stay away from green in favor of navy, red, and neutrals. But green looks good on lots of skin tones/colorings! Thank you, designer whose name I can’t even spell and know nothing about, for making some lively patterns and bright bicep-high gloves and using this lovely green. Plus, these outfits look comfy, except for the pointy shoes.

All right, for the zero people still reading this, WE MADE IT TO THE END! Thank you for tuning into this episode of Holly’s Arbitrarily Selected Fashion Lewkz. What will you be wearing this fall? I personally am itching to buy some wacky oversized dresses from Goodwill, patterned ’80s blazers, and a long trench coat, and wear ’em all with my Docs. Which meaaaans I’ll probably just wear jeans and t-shirts. Yep. K. Bye.