This is a post I recently did for Branch Birdie, the shop I work at. Anna, my lovely boss, was so kind to invite me to Portland Fashion Week a couple weeks ago and after hitting up Pepe Le Moko for their famous Grasshoppers, we made the 5 block trek, heels and all, to Pioneer Courthouse Square to catch the Bridal + Couture show. It was quite the spectacle and we had a lot of fun seeing what these up-and-coming local designers created for their collections. Anna and I oohed and awed over the luxuriously textured wedding gowns, were smitten over the beautiful embroidered pieces and were completely entertained, baffled even (our inner Anna Wintours inevitably came out at times), by some of the more outlandish looks. Super revealing, lingerie-inspired bridal looks? Sure, why not! 5-foot-long fluffy, white tail feathers? Hell, yes! Models in psychedelic printed bikinis complete with fishing gear, followed by a Victorian-dressed woman with a snorkeling mask on? Just go with it.
The musical entertainment of the night did not disappoint either. My favorite performer, Adam Hurst, an internationally acclaimed cellist, plucked and bowed some beautifully haunting music for Wendy Ohlendorf‘s collection, which was inspired by the films Metropolis and Blade Runner, as the models strutted their stuff and even danced down the runway. Another favorite performer of the night was the incredibly talented and adorable 15-year-old, Daniel Seavey (he’s America’s next big star–you heard it hear first), who did an amazing rendition of “Hallelujah” just before the Couture show.
Ultimately, all of what was thoughtfully presented on the runway that night was such a great representation of the ingenuity and charm of this city and it’s excellent that Portland Fashion Week has been doing their thing for 12 years now–bravo! Us Branch Birdie gals certainly loved being a part of the festivities. Until next time, PFW!
Posted in: Fashion, Shop Girl
One of my favorite things to do in Silver Lake is fish with the boys on the shore. We hike the pathway beside the lakeshore, through lush trees and greenery, lugging all of our gear (and all of their beer) to ultimately find the perfect hideaway for the three of us to fish for a few hours. These little nature nooks we find have the best views of the lake and surrounding mountains with shape-shifting clouds drifting above them. Once our lines are casted and the bait plops into the water, we get comfy in our nerdy folding chairs and wait. That’s usually when all of the laughing, reminiscing and nonsense talking ensues, which is exactly what I love most about fishing with these two.
Posted in: Nature
I will preface that this post will be a messy post. One that I’m not sure how to begin to start writing, but it’s too important to not share for fear of it not being well-received by my readers, peer bloggers and especially my parents. But I no longer want to censor myself even though this is my blog where I can somewhat say what I want to say, but I’d be lying if I said I freely write what I want to write on my blog. The truth is that I shy away from talking about certain topics, specifically my childhood, because blogging is such a public and direct form of expression and I know my parents will most likely read it. (I believe this is the reason the subject of less-than-ideal childhoods seems to be taboo amongst bloggers.) And that’s not right for me, especially since writing is such a personal conduit for my self-expression. But as we are all, more or less, products of our childhoods, and me being the introspective person that I am, I try my best to learn from the way I was raised and curb the person I was molded to be and become the person that I want to be. There will be no blame here, just an observance and taking stock of what I was given from my parents when I was little versus what I was innately born with. So it is in my best interest to unearth uncomfortable topics like this in order to grow and heal from the emotional aches I’ve endured. Because, as it turns out, it is a matter of physical health that I honor where I came from and where I need to go.
Two days ago I underwent a biopsy on a large nodule on my thyroid. It was traumatizing to say the least, but it was a necessary step in understanding what is going on with my thyroid physically, particularly whether or not I have cancer in there. But in the days leading up to the procedure, apart from feeling really nervous about the prospect of needles being poked into my neck, I was overwhelmed with insecurities that go way back to my childhood, specifically feeling alone and being an inconvenience to those around me as I did my best to endure, on my own, the health issues that have arisen recently that which have only gotten more serious. And I wasn’t suddenly struck with these self-doubts, these are matters I’ve struggled with my whole life. But it has taken something as big and serious as the threat of cancer to totally dig up these feelings of worthlessness, hardness and my lack of self-trust that I developed as a result of not being listened to, valued and emotionally supported as a child.
I found it fascinating that while mentally preparing for my biopsy, which would be emotionally and physically invasive to my throat, an area of the human body that houses our ability to communicate (which, in yogi language, is called the 5th chakra), that I also was welling up with my age-old issues centered around my ability to self-express, that is the ability to communicate to the world who I am and what I want. Coincidence? Maybe. But I tend to believe that we all store certain emotions within our bodies and those unresolved feelings can manifest into some sort of physical or mental ailment. Whether or not that is definitely true, I find that it makes sense for me. And considering all of the guilt and shame I experienced as a child, this type of neglect not only manifested into my younger self being riddled with anxiety, stifled creatively, ultimately rendering the real me trapped in a well-trained daughter’s body, but it may have also materialized into an underactive thyroid, the place in my body that correlates with the trouble I’ve always had in finding my voice. This is something that Anodea Judith of Eastern Body, Western Mind, calls “unbalanced self-expression” as a result of certain “home environments destructive to the developing child’s fifth-chakra health.”
And then Sam said these words to me, “You are not an inconvenience.”
And I sobbed. Hearing those words several days before one of the scariest things I have ever done was a relief whilst also being consumed with sadness. But my sadness was a hopeful kind. I felt sad knowing that is how I felt the whole time growing up. I felt sad that my parents, as much as they loved and still love me, conveyed that to me as a young girl. I felt sad that I had to endure so much on my own when there could have been others ways, other people to rely on, but ultimately I believed I’d be too much of a hindrance on their lives to lean on them. Sam continued saying, “You don’t have to endure the hard stuff on your own anymore.” I cried even more. My parents will inevitably fall short, as all parents will, but I no longer have to get hung up on the stuff they lack or aren’t capable of doing. It’s up to me now to allow those who love and support me to actually do those things for me and to fully embrace all that my parents can give me with gratitude. I am not an inconvenience in doing so.
So there I found myself laying on the gurney with Sam by my side, a pillow under my heart and my throat completely exposed. And I felt a release. I was overwhelmed with love. Granted I was scared, but I was surprised by my tears, as they were an acknowledgment of the love I was feeling. I finally felt cradled and fully supported despite the fear I felt. And that was just it, I was back to being a young girl again, getting to redo it all with this experience. I was mentally tough as I always try to be, but there was no hardness of an adult woman too afraid or apologetic to give herself to others. Instead there was only the softness of my body being loved by those whom she loves back. I had my biggest supporter in the room with me but the rest of my people didn’t have to be, I could feel they were lifting me up in the process, telling me it’s okay to let go.
Fast forward to later that night to the stickiness of the bandage being gently peeled from my neck by Sam, in all of his solid devotion. I was undone after the day I had and to be emotionally held like that, despite me being frayed, was wonderful and something I’m not used to. And yet I was not an inconvenience to him. And all it took were a few pokes and prods to my neck to understand that a little better.
So I want to thank my friends, family and especially Sam, from every cancer-free cell in my body (yes, I found out today that my nodule is benign and I am thrilled about it), for your constant support. I am so amazed by the amount of love I received and for that I am so grateful. And thank you readers for allowing me to share my journey here with you. This experience was just another step towards me finding my voice, the voice I’m sharing with you right now, so thank you.
More on stressed thyroid glands and the fifth chakra, here.
Posted in: Personal Health
Can’t you picture yourself wearing this outfit to a big, exciting meeting? It’s such a chic and effortless look with the coolest, quilted sweater and luxe, kitten heels. And because you nailed the meeting, you should treat yourself to lunch at St. Rose, a sweet cafe with the most inviting storefront. (It’s located in Victoria, Australia! Let’s just pretend we live there, ok?) And because none of your big successes in life don’t seem truly acknowledged without treating yourself to some sort of stuff-your-face dessert, you go to your favorite bakery/cafe and order their chocolate cake. And you savor every bite, feeling thankful for all of your hard work. Pretend you deserves pretend cake.
Visit my Pinterest page, here. Images one, two, three, four.
Posted in: Picture This
These photos I took in Silver Lake send me right back to the excitement Sam and I felt after we (mostly he) built a fire for the first time using our own tinder we gathered. A tinder bundle we so affectionately called it. It’s such a thoughtful and resourceful process, making a fire. That first glowing ignition that bursts in front of your eyes is exhilarating. And to enjoy the aftermath of your own fiery creation in all of it’s warm and toasty splendor is something special. I think crackling firewood has got to be one of the best sounds ever. I associate it with crisp mountain air, starry black skies, charred mallows and Sam’s acoustic renditions of my favorite Dylan songs. The kind of summery perfection us current Fall dwellers miss, am I right? And you thought I’d write about that silly dating app.
Posted in: Nature