A pretty significant life shift occurred earlier this year and I kept pretty silent about it in the public arena. In fact, even last week I was fielding questions from old friends on if something happened because 'something seems different that [they] can't quite put [their] finger on.'
I've wanted to publicly acknowledge that 2013 has been a year for the record books, but I wasn't quite sure how to talk about it without getting into gritty details. Then I found this post and it seemed like the perfect way to play catch up with not only friends, but with myself as well.
- What Younger You Would Like About Present You. My younger me would like that I've traveled the world a lot in my adulthood. The younger me would be incredibly impressed that half of the stamps in my passport were from trips I took alone or for work. Younger me would also be in awe of Older me's resilience.
- The Watched/Read It List. I don't know what it is about these major life events that often translate into trips to Italy, but I've spent a lot of time this last half of the year watching (and reading the books of) Eat. Pray. Love. and Under the Tuscan Sun. Other books that have been particularly well read by me this year have been Straight Up and Dirty by Stephanie Klein and Falling Apart in One Piece by Stacy Morrison. I got divorced this year (there, I said it....publicly) and throughout the process, and even after it was final, I found that reading other women's accounts of their own breakups had a chicken soup for the soul quality to them that made me realize yes, I will in fact be okay.
- The Mistake You Never Want to Make. I don't want to be reckless with people's hearts. This isn't really so much a response to things that have happened this year in particular, but more of a theme I'm trying to cultivate in my life.
- Your Ideal Outfit. I sometimes wonder how I managed to survive pre-Pinterest. I swear on Chanel that I've learned more in the last year about styling an outfit than I did in my previous 36 years on this planet. Of course, this blog has done wonders too (as has Instagram). All of that being said, my ideal outfit (for winter anyway...because the windchill in Chicago is -15 right now and I can't even think of bare legs) looks something like this ----->:
- A Deep, Dark—Shhh—Secret.* This is a public blog. Of the many things I've learned this year a major one has been to keep stuff private that should be private. The original list calls for 11 things to write down. Suffice it to say, my list is trimmed to 10 things.
- The Most Unexpected Compliment You Ever Got (this year). The judge in my divorce told me I appeared to be a smart, educated and very competent young lady. Appearing in front of a judge is never a comfortable experience. But that day, dressed in what I now call my 'Little Black Divorce Dress,' a set of pearls, kitten heels and well-coifed hair, I felt like I could have taken the bar exam and then gone out on a date -- all in the same outfit. I was polite, friendly, and confident. Apparently, it translated into smart, educated and competent. It was unexpected and much appreciated, especially that particular day.
- That One Quote. Eleanor Roosevelt gets the credit for my favorite life quote: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway." But the quote that I've clung to most this year, the one that is the inspiration for what will probably be my next tattoo isn't a quote so much as a sentiment: That an arrow, to be shot forward, must be pulled back first. When life feels like it's pulling you down, remember that you're about to launch into something better. I'm hoping later this year or early 2014 to get an arrow tattoo as a reminder to a) always be moving forward and b) always remember the idea of pre-launch pull-backs.
- The Best Surprise You've Ever Had. I've been fortunate to have experienced good gift or event surprises from wonderful people in my lifetime. But how generous my family and friends have been with their time, wisdom and shoulders (for crying on) this year has been the best surprise yet.
- Your True Happiness. There are moments in my life that I glimpse back at and think of so fondly that my heart almost hurts. Most of these moments have to do with travel or with seeing things I never thought I'd ever see. In flipping through pictures and positive memories, I've figured out that my true happiness looks something this: a firm set of roots sprinkled with a dusting of wanderlust.
- Your Favorite Failure. It's probably a cliche to say this but the entire year 2013 might be bronzed and put up on a mantel as proof of things I tried and failed at. There have been a whole host of things I tried to do well this year and which didn't quite live up to expectations. Suffice it to say, I'm confident I'll look back on 2013 as the character-building year my life changed.
- An Amendment to the Bucket List. I've kept a bucket list since I was in high school. It's got 48 things listed on it and 75% of them are crossed off by now. There are some things I don't really care to do now, which is the point of this last item. There's a great article about how to create a better blueprint for life via your bucket list (great reading) and a few of the suggestions have inspired me to amend my list, which now includes: Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge, visit the Statue of Liberty, complete the Chicago Triathlon, attend a performance at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, ice skate in Chicago's Millennium Park, learn to cook from a real Italian cook...in Italy, and live in a cute apartment in Chicago somewhere close to great music and good people.
|Ideal outfit as pinned |
on my style board