Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Come back, New York

Have you been looking through old photos? Longing for a time pre-pandemic? This is me on the steps of The Met in 2012. Look at all those people not wearing masks and not social distancing! I am grieving for a New York I had no idea would vanish overnight.

There is comfort knowing New Yorkers are collectively grieving. Though we can't gather and embrace and cry together, reading these heartfelt love letters are like a balm for my soul.

  • Forgive me, New York, as I forgive you. (NYT)
  • We miss dollar slices, rats and La Guardia. (Man Repeller)
  • We miss museums. (The New Yorker)
  • The crowds, the big-ticket blockbusters that were a subway ride away, "just everything." (NYT)
  • We miss the sounds of New York. (New York Public Library)

A list of broken dreams. (Vulture)

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Is fashion even relevant right now?

Day 50-whatever in quarantine and I wonder what's the point of having more than one outfit besides pajamas (PJs count as an outfit, right?). I've been wearing the same thing every day: black sweatpants and a blue flannel button down. Sometimes my quarantine outfit doesn't smell very fresh because of whatever I cooked the night before. I have no shame. 

If I don't feel like getting dressed I will stay in my favorite pajamas, pictured above. It's coke bottle glasses most days. My make-up brushes have been neglected for weeks. Lipstick seems like an irrelevant luxury (why bother when you'll be covering up with a mask?). The hair? I'm letting it grow like a mermaid's and letting the white hairs have their way.

It begs the question: is fashion even relevant right now?

The pandemic is putting a lot of things into perspective. Before coronavirus my lens was wide angle: I took the world in, curious and full of hope, always anticipating an adventure. Now that lens is in sharp focus: survival. When all of humanity is in lockdown, there's little bandwidth for designer dresses, $100 moisturizer or getting your nails done. These things seem trivial, even frivolous. 

These days, there is liberation in letting go of my past grooming behavior. But I do miss dressing up. I miss swiping Nars Schiap on my lips. I miss wearing heels and clutching a cute purse. I look at pre-pandemic photos and think, "Wow, that was the old me."

What's the point of a fashion magazine? (NYT)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

We're all grieving

What kind of emotions are hitting you as you shelter in place?

The world is changing so fast I have whiplash. It feels like the month of Forevuary (the days just melt into one another) and though it's temporary I know things will never be the same. There was BC (before coronavirus) and there will be AD (after the devastation [of Covid-19]). 

Everyone keeps saying things like, "When life goes back to normal," and "After all this is over," but I don't think there will be such thing. Normal is never coming back. Just like going to the airport was forever changed after 9/11. 

When sheltering in place is lifted, I will think twice about putting my teenage kid on the subway. I will wonder how many germs are circulating in the coffee shop where I'm writing. I will weigh the pros and cons of attending a concert, going to the farmers market, eating in a crowded restaurant, getting on a plane.    

This is hitting me and I am grieving.

But life cannot and should not go back to the way it was. This is a wake up call. This is our chance to make change. We need to do better because it hasn't been good for a lot of people way before coronavirus.     

Where do we go from here? The experts say grief happens in stages, with acceptance being the last step in the process. This is happening. I have to figure out how to proceed. "Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance," says David Kessler, the world's foremost expert on grief, in an interview with Harvard Business Review.

I'm not quite there yet but I have faith I will get to a place of acceptance and forward movement. For today, I acknowledge that I'm sad and anxious and nostalgic for simpler days. 


That discomfort you're feeling is grief. (Harvard Business Review)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

What I miss

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Thank God she's back

Fiona Apple is back and unbound. Praise the Lord!

My favorite lines from her single, "Fetch the Bolt Cutters":

I listened because
I hadn't found my own voice yet
So all I could hear was the noise that
People make when they don't know shit
But I didn't know that yet

I grew up in the shoes they told me I could fill

Shoes that were not made for running up that hill
And I need to run up that hill, I need to run up that hill
I will, I will, I will, I will, I will

Fiona Apple's art of radical sensitivity. (The New Yorker)