Bri and I wandered off the wet cobblestone streets of Burlington, VT into a tiny shop that felt like home. Oversized chunky sweaters greeted us, floppy brimmed hats lined the wall, dresses I could move and dance in beckoned me, not to mention 1/4 of the store was assigned to some of the most beautiful boots made for meandering feet that I’d ever laid my dark cocoa eyes on.
Shops like this remind me what lights that lava in my belly — storytelling. Aesthetically illustrated moments + intentional choices (plus some mood lighting) make me so giddy. It reminds me what I love oh so much about styling.
The soul finds quiet moments to sneak out it’s bedroom window and traipse about town with freedom + deep joy, colored ribbons trailing behind it, trying to keep up with the patter of bare feet and the echo of laughter. Sometimes when we are still + patient, we notice this in the nooks of old buildings, the stroke of a calligrapher’s brush, or a beautifully curated shop.
Inspiration tapped me on the shoulder in this shop and it left in my shopping bag. After we arrived back in NJ, I decided I wanted to share this feeling with my readers and the yearning to style was so loud, even my noise canceling head phones couldn’t drown it out.
I happily turned up the volume.
Welcome to the first of three outfits I’ve put together for Christmas & holiday gatherings. Each outfit will have a mood and writing attached to that overall theme.
Aesthetics + writing. A needle and thread.
Gilded is all about unconditional love. The kind we give our best friends when they’re having a shit day or when they’re disappointed at themselves. You know.
“Oh, love. Cut yourself a break. You are a badass/goddess/old soul/glowbug/HUMAN. I hear you. I see you. I’m here and I love you.”
This particular mood is about that kind of unconditional love, but it focuses primarily on giving it to ourselves. It’s about turning that
“Ugh, you idiot. You knew better. You know this lesson. Now you’re empty and hurt again, tired and ashamed, and you could’ve avoided it if you were just more/less/cooler/braver/funnier ridiculous adjectives you already are but can’t quite see in the moment”
“Hey, champ. Keep your chin up. We’ll be ready the next time this lesson comes around. Breathe in and out. Forgive yourself. You are a badass/goddess/old soul/glowbug/human. Give yourself a little hug. Yes, a hug. Do it. Awkwardly wrap your arms around your body and close your eyes and love every single moment. You know you do.”
When we walk through the night with our darkness we notice the light of the stars and moon. Soon, we’re so busy talking and getting to know each other through the discomfort and fear and anxiety, we don’t realize we arrive together in the morning light — hand in hand.
Loving ourselves isn’t always easy. And if anyone says it is, they aren’t being honest. But it’s absolutely a reality and a worthwhile one at that.
Gilded is about celebrating that relationship with ourselves.
And just in time for the holiday season.
Sending you (+ you) love.
The sun filled my cracks with golden hues as it rose through the sky like dust particles in front of a brightly lit window.
Kintsugi, they call it.
How does it feel to be gilded? // alive
I woke up this morning with the wind dancing outside my window as well as inside of me. I’ve been finding lately that the movement inside has been my recent wake up call — a choreographed number complete with leaps, twirls + grand allegro. I had to stop + ask myself if this was anxiety + if so, what may be triggering it. But the more I cued in, the more I realized it was excitement. And quite uncomplicated excitement, at that, for simply waking up.
I stood in the shower yesterday facing the faucet with the water streaming over my hair + face, opening my mouth every few moments to take a breath + I felt in my body real, sincere happiness. This expansive excitement + gratitude for my life began to mix with the water + wash over me. I thought about how much the future holds, the adventures, the love, baby feet, waterfalls, fires in the fireplace. And then I thought about late teen years, sweet Devon + how lifeless she was, lying in her dorm room bed unable to find any tenacity for her reality, any vibrancy. A sepia colored life. Blinded + paralyzed by pain, yearning for self-love + self-worth but lost on how to find it + battling with the notion that maybe those demons were right, maybe she didn’t deserve it. It was a noble fight, + she knew she did, in fact, deserve it. She knew even then that “the wound is the place where the light enters you.”
I would’ve done anything to be madly in love with life, to be excited about being. I never stopped seeing it, feeling it, knowing it existed. And as I stood in the shower, I drank in the water like a time-traveling elixir + ran back to that girl with happy tears streaming down my face. I spoke of the healing that takes place, the strength she reunites with, the forgiveness + compassion that floods her life like much-needed rain after a drought. I tell her about the love + care she has for herself, how she’s dedicated her life to never forgetting how truly special + needed she is in this world + the next. I hold her hand + we laugh as I describe the sometimes unfathomable, bone-deep love she gives + receives and how her life is built on this — on making sure others know the life raft of love and how it awakens people from the dead. I hear myself in my mind’s eye tell her that she officially loves life no matter the current or past situation, no matter the outcome, but every single present moment, and I can hear her rejoice and nod. “I knew it. I knew it.”
I woke up this morning with the wind dancing outside my window as well as inside of me and I want to thank every ether in this realm + the next for its awakening. I want to remind each of you that your “broken” pieces make up a mosaic, beautiful enough to change the world + inspire others. Have faith in your past, present + future place in the world like a blooming flower does in its soil each season it dies and is reborn. Arch your back to the sun and soak. We need you.
Waffles are ready, I can smell the cinnamon sneaking up the stairs like a little kid on Christmas morning. Cheers to my windy soul mornings — I’ll see you tomorrow.