feeling for you

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Being back in Alabama has given me a sense of purpose I so longed for in New York. But with great purpose comes the heavy weight of responsibility. I spent so long working out the kinks in my brain, I didn’t have much room to dedicate to work. And now, with a seemingly better-functioning psyche, I’ve run head-first into my work as a local journalist. I feel immensely lucky to have been able to tell stories for a living for going on five years now, something I know is not a common occurrence for many in the media world. But I have to keep reminding myself that it’s more than luck. I did this on purpose. I chose this career and worked my ass off to get where I am.

I’ve known I feel more than most ever since I could remember. My brain is hyper aware of the world around me, the people who inhabit it and my own place in it all. My feelings have gotten me into trouble countless times, so quick to fall in love and so lost without it. They’ve cost me lots of money in therapy and pushed friends away. Once when I was feeling stuck and couldn’t convince my brain to feel much of anything, I got an impromptu tattoo to jump start the process. But they’ve also and inspired me, forced rather, to create. When I was on stage in high school I could pretend to be someone else entirely, feeling through someone else’s brain. I painted and wrote in college to make something tangible out of my feelings. I created a blog to tell the whole world about every minute feeling I’ve had since I was 19. So I guess it’s no surprise I made a career out of it.

I write other people’s stories, mostly women. And it’s made me feel so acutely, I’ve had a hard time coming up with a place to put these emotions. For the past couple of months I’ve listened to women tell stories of sexual assault in hopes of encouraging others to feel. I’ve documented their strides in politics and highlighted laws threatening to take away rights the’ve so passionately fought for. And I’m feeling it all. I can feel the fight in my bones. I can feel their tears on my cheeks. And it hurts.

It’s weird to think about the many, maybe even majority, of people who aren’t emotionally attached to their job. I asked for this, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I could step back if I tried. I think my soul now runs on the stories of others. My own feelings just give me the drive to propel them out of my fingers and onto a page.

These photos were taken by Allie Hulcher on November 7, 2018. Voting day. I was hopeful, as I always am on voting days. Last Friday I wrote a story that made me lose it. I’d been fighting to tell the stories of young women in Alabama for about six months, but it was piece of possible legislation that made me question why. Why am I encouraging women to speak up and speak out, bare their deepest traumas for the world to see if in the end it doesn’t matter? All I know is that I can’t stop.

things I would buy if I didn't have to pay rent

New York is great for a lot of things and terrible for others. Soho is great and terrible. Great because walking through it makes you feel like a fancy Parisian socialite and terrible because I'm not a fancy Parisian socialite and can't afford the associated wares.

 Last Friday I waltzed around side streets, pranced into boutiques and demanded things I couldn't afford in a size smaller than I actually needed. I know I couldn't afford anything inside these precious facades of capitalistic designs, but nevertheless I fell for the siren songs of stores I couldn't afford. 

I tried on everything I'd ever wanted to see on my body, but was too afraid to confront the intimidatingly put-together shop girls. I asked for the $500 leather skirt and matching biker jacket and "put it on hold" for when my husband got off work. My alter ego is apparently entirely dependent on her husband's wallet and opinions. It just sounded like something a girl would say who wasn't going to purchase the piece right then. But it was a fun Me Day. I nibbled on croissants and sipped hot tea and bought myself a couple of cursory presents (Aesop hand lotion, a few new books, and a pin for my leather jacket) that would take my mind off all the decadent pieces I tried on. 

So here's a list of the things I tried on and would have bought had I not had to pay my rent. Click for links.

spring

It’s finally starting to feel like Spring. In my opinion, it’s New York’s best season. Though fleeting, as the sweltering Summer creeps in quickly igniting the eternal smell of urine and trash, springtime brings the city alive with cherry blossoms and rosé. Even the native New Yorkers can’t help but let a smile or two escape as they acknowledge strangers on the crosswalk.

My favorite parts about springtime in the city:

Not sweating and not freezing on my walk to the subway.
Leaving the windows open at night.
After-work drinks al fresco.
After-work dinner al fresco.
Picnics in the park.
Rooftops.
Rosé season.
Movies in the park.
Cherry blossoms.
Smiling strangers.
Sandals.
No more down coats/sweating in the subway.
Leather jackets.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
Dresses.
No more tights wedgies.
Pink lipstick.
Happy dogs.
The Met Gala.
Peonies at every bodega.
The famers markets.
Fruity gin drinks.
Less black.

pants-uniqlo, shirt-anthropologie(similar), shoes-anthropologie

rings and things

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I realized I never put up a "part two" for our trip to France. So here we go. For Part One.

After four days in Cannes, we took the train to Paris. It was by far the most beautiful travel experience through tiny villages, hills and valleys, rainy and romantically gloomy. We ate too much, drank too much, walked just enough, and explored until my brain was full.

One of my favorite moments was taking C through Sacre Coeur. Even though everything was in French and the place was packed, it still held the reverence and quiet I crave and reach for in the busy city. I showed him all the saints' statues and explained their stories the best I could. It's special for me to be able to share the important things I love with my best guy.

Our second day in Paris we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Even though I was mostly focused on the kids playing way too close to the rails, it was amazing to see Paris from way up high and imagine what the place looked like long ago. C rushed us back to our hotel to get ready for our 5:30 dinner reservation. He told me the restaurant had a dress code and I had to dress up— which I rolled my eyes to, and tried to convince him rules are silly and we should just stick it those fancy French rules and I should wear my Adidas tennis. I suppose I'm glad he picked out my outfit.

We arrived at a park, you know because even though we were running late we should stroll through on our way to dinner. It was beautiful and by far the prettiest place I had ever been. I kept repeating it looked like Narnia. We stopped at a bridge and he told me I was pretty or something. Again I rolled my eyes. I still don't quite know how to take a compliment. The rest I don't remember much of, just his goofy grin. But it ended with him on one knee and a ring so pretty, I still don't think it's mine.

So I suppose he's my forever man and we'll grow to be old and squishy and and completely wrinkled from laughing so much together. He'll make me go on adventures I never dreamed I could go on. He will leave me alone when I need to be, and bring back ice cream when he's back. He's the only person I'm ok with being smarter than me and I guess that's just who you're supposed to marry.

We THEN went to dinner at l'Arpege and had a 13-course dinner and wine pairing. The whole restaurant  clapped when we sat down and the chef came out to congratulate us at the end of the meal. I really can't think of a better way to come down off of a dreamy proposal than to eat the most beautiful meal you've ever seen and drink the most delicious bottle of wine you'll probably never have again. He did good.

Our last couple of days we skipped around the Lourve, literally skipped, toured the Catacombs, ate some more, and walked until we had soaked up every last bit of the city.

Now we're home and I supposed we will celebrate it all next fall.

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oh. and here's a fun video my sweet cousin made for us.

https://youtu.be/A06Kf5GHg-M

photos by the lovely marion colombani

Francey Pants

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I’m not exactly sure where to start. These past three weeks have been some of the most wonderful I’ve experienced, and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Fashion blog, shmashion blog we are heading into full on lifestyle here. But don’t worry, I promise I’ll still tell you what I’m wearing. 

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Three weeks ago I flew to Cannes to meet C for our lovely vacation in France. He was there for work and I just couldn’t let him go without me this time. I have never been out of the country aside from Jamaica and Mexico (both resort vacations) so this was extra exciting. Note: I am an awful, anxious flyer and will definitely post some travel tips in another post for all you fellow nervous Nancys.

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I arrived in Nice around 10 a.m. and was greeted with beautiful sunshine and a beautiful (yeah, everyone here is handsome) chauffeur. Really, C went all out. He was holding a card with my last name on it—it really doesn’t take much to impress me—and off we went to meet my beau in Cannes. It truly was the most gorgeous car ride I’d ever been on: mountains, the Mediterranean, palm trees, and pastels… basically the Instagram aesthetic I aspire to. 

The four days we spent there were filled with movie premiers, long dresses I haven’t sported since prom, Rosé, pizza, oysters and boat rides. It was “pinch me” perfect. I saw Ryan Gosling, Blake Lively and Steven Spielberg on the red carpet and tried not to squeal, because apparently that isn't allowed when you are on the red carpet and not bystander. I took a boat ride to a teensy island and contemplated my existence as a citizen of the entire world. Because I think in the back of my head I assumed I was on the Truman Show and the only thing that actually existed was me. I went to a premiere after party and stepped on the leading lady's gown, because me, and danced til my feet were bleeding. 

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I realize I am straying from my usual tone, snark-filled and bursting with self-deprecating side notes. But I’m at a loss. I bought new clothes for the trip and I looked good. Like, really good. And I had a blast. C is one of the most thoughtful and romantic people I know (lucky I know) and he was careful to plan our shenanigans down to a T, something I have grown accustom to in our relationship.  I thrive when schedules are involved. I was reminded when I should start getting ready for events, encouraged to explore on my own, and recommended to drop by the french Pharmacies to pick out expensive skincare products. Wow, ok. Writing all of that out has reminded me I should thank him.

Cannes is probably the most picturesque place I’ve ever been, and I hope to have captured enough of it with my DSLR and the new Polaroid camera I purchased just for the occasion. I mean really, when else is a good time to buy one?

I’ve decided to break up the trip in a few posts, so stay tuned for more.

10 Things I Love about my Neighborhood

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  1. Gladys
  2. I thought for the longest time my super knew my name, but was just saying it kind of weird. No, he’s been saying “baby.” But he has cooked me dinner and tells me good morning before I leave for work every day.
  3. I am one block from the farmers market, Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum of Art
  4. Someone is always barbecuing in the summer, so it always smells delicious.
  5. We are two blocks away from Alabama friends and it makes me feel like we’re on Seinfeld.
  6. My neighbor’s dog’s name is Coconut Dragon
  7. The two closest grocery stores are both kind of gross, limited and everything feels sticky. But, it makes decision making easy and quick.
  8. It takes one episode of Serial or Radiolab to get from my house to work and I’m never left with a cliffhanger.
  9. Everyone doesn't ALWAYS walk with headphones in and sometimes I get head nods and half smiles.
  10. My coffee shop is also an ice cream shop. Great coffee and better ice cream, but there’s also a “kid section” and it’s hard to get work done there because it smells like stale Cheetos and boogers sometimes.
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[dress-uo, jacket-uo, shoes-gap (old), bag-dsw]