October is here and fall is definitely in the air. Even though it’s been painfully hot (for October), I think we’re finally turning a corner in the PNW and can safely assume that we’ll be seeing sub-70 days for the rest of the year. *cue the seasonal closet swap*
Fall has always been a time of reflection for me. Something about the change in the weather, the shorter days and the all around cozier vibes gets me jazzed to curl up with a cup of hot tea and my journal.
This year in particular has been a big reflection and transition year, which I realized I haven’t shared much about. I’ve been very much so “in it” trying to navigate what I want to do next in my career. When I moved on from my previous role (and business) at the beginning of this year, I did it to spend more time blogging, creating content and exploring creative projects. I more or less assumed that things would just click, and that I would be on my merry way. But it’s felt like the complete opposite. The best way I can describe it is this feeling of being restricted, at times lost, and most of the time like I’m walking through sludge – like I’m heading in the right direction (or what I feel like is the right direction), but I’m going nowhere fast.
Last weekend I was having coffee with my Mom and I shared these sentiments with her along with my frustration around not knowing what to do. As a child and young adult I never had a problem knowing what I wanted and going after it, and when I did it usually came easily. What was it about now that left me feeling so lost and insecure? Was it my fear of perception that was holding me back? Or maybe a fear of failure? Was I not doing what I’m meant to be doing? Should I just go back to corporate? The questions and self doubt were endless.
She proceeded to tell me a story from when she was pregnant with me. At the time she was getting her Masters in International Public Policy from one of the top schools for international studies. After graduating, she had planned to pursue a career in international business that would require her to spend more time in Europe. However life happened such that she had to choose between her professional dreams and giving her kids the life that she wanted them to have. She consulted her closest friends and confidants and ultimately chose not to pursue international business, or go to Europe. Instead, when she graduated she defaulted to financial planning, a career she knew she could fall back on and generate enough income from to support her family, while also raising my brother and me. Even though she went on to have a successful career, she always felt she held herself back, often prioritizing the opinions of others over her own.
As she was telling me this story it clicked – everything that I was feeling – restricted, held back, stuck etc. was perhaps the energy that I learned from my Mom. Even though I wasn’t even born yet, everything that she felt while she navigated that time in her life I felt too. I didn’t think I was holding myself back, in fact, I thought I was doing the exact opposite by putting myself out there, and I thought that I had already worked through being overly concerned with what people thought of me, but the more I sat with it, the more I started to see the similarities in our stories.
It got me thinking about the ways in which we hold ourselves back. Sometimes it’s more subtle than not taking a job or pursuing a certain career. Sometimes holding ourselves back looks like hiding certain parts of ourselves, or not speaking up, ultimately pretending to be someone we are not or relying on the opinions and direction of others. It’s also not always crystal clear. Sometimes we don’t even know that we are holding ourselves back because the way that we have been living and being in the world is what we’ve known for so long. It’s only once we start peeling back the layers and tuning into who we really are the we can see it.
As I’ve been pondering this the past week or so, I realized that I’ve been holding myself back, both creatively and professionally, and maybe even personally, and not bringing my whole self to the table. In an effort to be more strategic and “figure it all out”, I ended up ignoring parts of who I am, who I want to be, and what I want. I realized that I have been holding back the deeper, wiser, more intuitive side of me when it comes to what I create and share. What I’m coming to understand though is that it’s often the parts of ourselves that we choose to hide that are our greatest gifts and that the whole – the parts we hide and the parts that others already see – is what makes us unique and unlike anyone else in the world.
To stop pushing so hard, cut myself some slack and embrace my feminine energy. I’ve always been very good at putting a lot of pressure on myself to “figure it out”. Whether it’s my career, where I want to live, travel plans – I like to have some form of a plan (even if it’s a rough idea) at all times. As a result, when I’m feeling stuck or like things are “crunchy” I often power through it or keep pushing when at times I simply need to be, reflect without needing to understand, and lean into my intuition before making my next move.
On The Calendar
Not a lot and I’m totally ok with that! After a very busy second half of September, Chris and I were both feeling pretty run down. So much so that we ended up with a gnarly cold that we’re still trying to kick. This month is very much so about replenishing our reserves before the holiday season. We booked a long weekend in Whidbey Island to unplug and go off the grid a bit, otherwise we’re just plugging away at home enjoying the change in seasons.
On My Wishlist
So many fall things! I think fall is my favorite season for fashion. I love all of the earth tones and light layers. After going through this years trends and perusing many, many, retailers, I feel like I finally have clarity around those pieces that I’m always reaching for when the season changes. My top 10 are:
Brown Loafers – I’m undecided between two-tone or solid brown, but I think I’ve settled on brown for now. I also love the idea of a brown suede loafer and can’t stop thinking about these. They feel outrageously expensive for an otherwise simple design though so I’m trying to see if I can find something similar or a deal.
Transitional Jacket – a big whole in my closet atm, I’ve narrowed it down to a suede jacket (that I’m going to try to find second hand) and a more lady-like-Chanel-esque jacket that’s more cropped.
Dark Tan or Brown Shoulder Bag – still honing in on the style I want.
Brown Knee High Boots – I love the shape of these, but am looking for a taupe brown that is more matte like these!
Khaki/Beige Suit – I’ve been hunting for this for years, and struggled to find something that works with my undertones. I would love a blazer with with matching pants, but would settle for a blazer.
Leather Blazer (or jacket of some form) – I think I’d get more use out of a jacket, but do like the idea of a trench.
Brown Belt – Been working on building out my accessories as they are always an after thought for me.
Black Ballet Flat – Can’t go wrong with a classic.
Outside of those pieces I’m also looking to focus on some of another version or two of foundational items like tees and long sleeves that typically form the first layer of any outfit.