Passionless Fashion

transforming our lives by transforming our wardrobes

Monthly Archives: December 2010

Day 31 – Wednesday

100 Days of Fashion.  It is decided.  We like deadlines and structure so we set a goal to keep this project going for 100 work days and see what happens.  Today is our last entry before the winter break.  Our regularly scheduled programming will resume Monday, January 3rd.

Ena - Day 31

Ena: Today is Day 31.  Bina and I agreed that since 31 days is about a month – and since Day 31 conveniently falls on our last day of work before beginning our holiday – we would take a moment in today’s post to reflect on the project thus far.  Hummm…

In case it hasn’t become apparent to everyone already, I will be frank; I am not really what you would call a sharer.  In fact, the idea of sharing personal information with anyone (anyone!) makes me feel queasy, defensive, and upset.  Wait, wait…that’s not entirely accurate.   I guess I should be honest – that’s the point, right?  I will share personal and sometimes highly inappropriate things with people I barely know, but that’s only if it’s something I want to share, something I want you to know.  I have a very difficult time sharing my feelings…look, it just took me, like, three sentences and significant beating around the bush just to get that out…and, I’m feeling a little light headed and angry now and every time I reread that sentence my pulse skyrockets.  Pathetic.

Truth be told, I have been inspired by Bina’s fearlessness, bravery, and brutal honesty – I really don’t know how she does it; she is much, much tougher than me – and feeling like I too should put myself out there emotionally.  After all, the point of this project is not just to learn to dress like we’re happy, passionate people, it is to actually become happy, passionate people.  So, in the spirit of really, really, embracing this project and getting my money’s worth so to speak, I will attempt to share how this project has been making me feel…here goes.

Thinking (and looking) back to November 5th – the day we hatched our genius plan – I find it surprisingly difficult to identify with what I was feeling at the time.  I had just turned 30.  Republicans had just made major gains in the mid-term elections.  The Giants had just won the World Series.  It felt like a precursor to Armageddon.  I was beyond dejected, feeling slightly hopeless, and finding it difficult to locate a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and I was wearing my melancholy on my sleeve…and my back…and my legs…and my feet…and my – oh well, you get the picture.

Now, I am not one who is prone to depression – I have even been known to be happy about being sad – so I knew that the pathetic mess that was my life at that time would not last forever, but I also knew that something needed to change.  Since finishing my MA last June, I have been feeling directionless, purposeless, and like I’ve lost all ambition.  I no longer have a goal.  This may not seem like a big deal, but I have not not had a goal for the last 25 years.  What do I do now?  Well, besides panic?

The short answer, figure it out.  So, that’s what I’m doing, that’s what projects like this are designed for.  As I said, I find it difficult to identify with what and how I was feeling when we began this project.  But, does that mean it’s working?  Am I happier now because I’m dressing better, or am I happier now because the shock of some of those traumatizing events has finally worn off?  It’s impossible to tell really.

So, to sum up this terribly long (you asked for feelings) post I’d like to offer two lists.  First, the most challenging things about this project so far; and they are: sharing my feelings (duh), facing my insecurities in such a public way, taking pictures every day, dressing myself well (yes, that is still hard), and not knowing how it will all turn out.  Second, the most rewarding things about this project so far; and they are: feeling more confident in appearance (well, most of the time), conquering some of my biggest and longest-held fears, inspiring others – like my wonderful sister who is much more beautiful and talented than I will ever be, having a reason to get out of bed in the morning even if that reason is only to get dressed…and not knowing how it will all turn out.

Bina - Day 31

Bina: When I look back on the full gamut of my outfits and emotions, it is kind of amazing to me how far I’ve come in about 6 weeks.  There have been hits and misses, for sure, but I feel like I am finally taking pride in my appearance on a daily basis and now that I’ve tasted the sweetly satisfying nectar of looking good, I don’t know that I could go back to my homely ways.

I’ve learned a lot so far about dressing to  impress.  I’ve learned that tights aren’t so bad and can totally make an outfit way cuter than I thought possible.  I’ve learned a little eyeliner and mascara goes a long way.  I’ve learned that men check me out way more when my waistline and legs are showing and my hair is down.  I’ve learned that I desperately need a haircut.  I’ve learned that while I’m proud of my rack, I’d rather it not dictate my whole look.  I’ve learned that I walk around with my heart on my sleeve and on my face – the photos never lied about how I was feeling that day.  And I’ve learned about the healing powers of looking your best and knowing it.

I’ve also learned that I will get out of this project what I put into it, like most things in life.  This blog is a good way for me to be held accountable to keep pushing and moving forward.  That even though I sometimes feel beaten into submission by life, it is far from over and I have faith that the best is still yet to come.  In the meantime, I can keep doing things to strengthen my soul and take care of myself.  I’ve discovered the restorative powers of yoga, rock’n’roll, and volunteerism.  I will be open to trying new things, and I will stop letting the fear of failure hold me back from the things I’m capable of accomplishing – both in my clothing choices and in life.  2011 will be a year of change, perseverance, new beginnings – and also, lots of fabulous outfits.

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Day 30 – Tuesday

Ena - Day 30

Ena: Well, much like yesterday, it is still raining and I still have nothing to wear in the rain.  So, I guess that’s that.  As suspected, a thorough tossing of my closets turned up nothing in the way of stylish rain apparel or even waterproof clothing, and I found myself attempting to get ready for work this morning with very few options – how that is different from any other morning, I do not know.

After discovering that my “rain” boots have sprung a leak, I am left with exactly two pairs of waterproof shoes; the ones I am wearing today and my running shoes, which may not actually be waterproof, but which definitely do not have holes in the soles – I know this to be true because I have hardly worn them…great, now I’m depressed.

Since returning from the Thanksgiving holiday I don’t even wanna think about how many weeks ago, I have been to the gym exactly three times.  There, I’ve said it.  Prior to the break I had been exercising three to four days a week during my lunch hour, but since returning my workload has not allowed me to keep the same schedule.  Work really does get in the way of life.

And, to make matters worse, our office has been experiencing an onslaught of gifted sweets since Halloween.  Unfortunately, efforts have been ramped-up in recent weeks due to the upcoming holiday, and getting from my office to the bathroom is like navigating an empty calorie minefield; I find myself faced with cookies, brownies, muffins, and cupcakes at every turn.  Danger!

Just today I have consumed three extremely buttery and delicious cookies which were delivered to our office courtesy of some bastard client; three cookies!  I didn’t even space them out, I just shoveled them into my mouth as fast as I could…as if that would allow me to avoid the impending shame spiral.  I have also had two rich dark chocolate truffles and half of a muffin.

Don’t worry, I have no intention of turning this blog into a food diary…though, maybe I should.  I wonder if knowing that at the end of each day I was obligated to share – with the five people who actually read this blog at least – what I have put in my body would have as life-changing an effect on me as knowing that I’m obligated to share what I have put on it.

Bina - Day 30

Bina: Last Sunday, something happened.  It had been a rough weekend for my psyche, filled with doubt and self-loathing and misery, but I had given myself a pep talk and put on a dress to go out and socialize at my friends’ holiday party.  I was actually having quite a lovely time – it was nice to see my sweet and supportive friends in one room together (some of us in our holiday finest, others in ratty t-shirts) – when I heard a loud voice.  Suddenly, the room seemed like it was shrinking.  No, it wasn’t an ex-boyfriend.  It was someone I hadn’t seen in years whom I strongly dislike, and I do not dislike many people, but you know what, I hate this guy.  The reasons for our mutual dislike are too convoluted to get into here, but he has felt the need to insult me on more than one occasion.  I was sitting on the couch talking to my friend Katie and feeling decent about myself when this guy sat down right next to me and said “So Bina, still single, huh?” and then he got up and walked away.

Now, perhaps I read way too much into that remark.  Or perhaps he’s an asshole.  Either way, it shouldn’t have mattered.  But at that moment, in my heartbroken haze, it did.  It mattered a lot.  My head was swimming with all the questions I had been asking myself all weekend  – “What’s wrong with you?” was at the top of the list – and tears immediately sprang to my eyes.  I had to get out of there immediately.  Katie encouraged me not to let that jerk get to me, but I did.  I went to the restroom and pulled myself together. I gathered my things and did my best not to Irish-goodbye the whole party.

Now, as I sit here a week and a half later, that remark seems, well, irrelevant.  I spend far too much time worrying about what everyone else thinks of me all the time, when in reality, they probably don’t give me much thought at all.  I’ve spent quite a long time trying to live my life by other people’s standards and it hasn’t worked out so great.  Although I’m still feeling a little blue and each day is a new challenge, I’m starting to see the world again.  And the world gets to see these goofy pictures of me attempting to be stylish.

Seriously, what am I doing?  Hiding?  Begging for bread?  Peeing on a fire-hydrant?  Who knows?  But I’m doing it wearing a sweater I bought in Tokyo and then relegated to a bottom drawer for the last 5 years.   Now that I have it on, I find myself admiring its sweet details, warmth, and excellent quality.  I should wear it more often.

Day 29 – Monday

Ena - Day 29

Ena: Well, it’s still raining here in Los Angeles.  It’s relentless, which is fitting since I am drowning in work.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain – none of us Angelenos should – but I’m gonna.  It’s terrible.  I hate it.  It makes me want to stay inside under a blanket.  It makes me want to wear pajamas and galoshes to work.  It makes me whine.

Perhaps worst of all, it makes me realize just how ill-equipped we – and our beautiful city – are for dealing with a little rain.  In all seriousness, it’s only been raining for four days (straight!), yet everything seems to be falling apart.  Our recently burned hillsides are sliding, our usually underworked gutters are spewing out water, and our streets have been plagued with an epidemic of potholes.

As for me, I have realized just how spoiled – and dry – I usually am.  My roof appears to have a leak (who knew?) and I am hoping that I do not return home tonight to find that my ceiling and my floor have become intimately acquainted.  My very cheap and very non-leather boots which I had considered great for wet weather also appear to have a leak (again, who knew?) and I have been walking around all day with soggy socks.  Also, I realized sometime this weekend that I do not have a raincoat – that is, a coat which is waterproof – and that I have become quite soft since leaving Seattle.

If this rain does not stop soon, I will be forced to get “creative” with my ensembles.  I plan to go home this evening and toss my closets looking for chic, stylish clothes which are well suited for work and bad weather.  I also plan to find nothing at all matching that description.  This is going to get interesting.

Bina - Day 29

Bina: Okay, I like the rain and all, but goodness, this is a lot of rain!  The torrential downpour has thwarted our best efforts to take pictures today, so this is what you get – photos of me and Ena toting umbrellas in our matching boots and knee-socks (apparently our fashion cycles have sync’d up) and with slightly frazzled looks on our faces.

Today’s outfit was inspired by my viewing of Black Swan this weekend.  (I was originally wearing ballet flats but had to switch to boots to maneuver puddles.)  Whoa.  I really do feel a doctor’s note should be required prior to seeing that movie.  Upon leaving the theatre, I felt deranged and a little nauseous.  (I felt even weirder about the fact that I got to my car and there was a pack of tissues from Jesus on my windshield.)  Being inside Natalie Portman’s head like that was viscerally upsetting, but of course, I thought it was very good.  And though I was nowhere near the caliber of dancer depicted in the movie, it reminded me that I used to love to dance.  In 2011, I plan to shake my booty again.  I will be trying out aerial dancing as well as Tahitian dance, and maybe some other forms as well.  I really think it would help raise my spirits to get my groove on, you know?

Black Swan reminded me about something else I used to possess: Ambition.  I don’t know where it went.  Hello?  It’s around here somewhere….I’ll find it – just as soon as I can look at myself in the mirror again…

Day 28 – Friday

Ena - Day 28

Ena: Today I’m wearing a flannel shirt, and though you may be tempted to label me a hipster, I’d rather you didn’t.  I like to think of this look as neo-grunge because I am old enough to have taken part in flannel’s last heyday during the 1990s, and because I am not a hipster.  If you can’t get on board with neo-grunge, then how about lumberjack chic?  It has a certain ring I think.

I am fairly happy with my look today, however I am having a rather difficult time with my pants.  There is quite a bit of gaping and stretching happening around my knees that looks very odd and is getting on my nerves.  I suppose I could have – and probably should have – worn leggings of some sort, but then there’s the butt problem.  Don’t pretend that you don’t know what I mean.  Leggings are pretty difficult to pull off, especially if you are wearing a short or short-ish top and are not exceptionally fit.  Jeans are much more forgiving, and, as such, are usually my first choice even if they are not the best choice.

Today begins what is supposed to be over a week of rainy days here in Los Angeles, which would be fine if it weren’t interfering with my plans.  Prior to beginning this project I had been working on another one also designed to help me spice up my life and find my passion…or at least a hobby.  I created a “30 things to do before I’m 30 (or there about)” list, and this weekend I was supposed to resume my efforts.  Along with a few others, Bina and I were going to walk from my house to an archery range along the Arroyo Seco River and take a free archery class.  Now, I don’t know if archery will become my passion or my hobby, but I am sure that archery in the rain will become neither.

Bina - Day 28

Bina: Call me crazy, but I adore this weather.  It’s the start to a drizzly, rainy, chilly weekend in Los Angeles, and I love it.  Maybe that’s why I have such an affinity in my heart for Seattle, and for some of the best months of my life thus far spent in Juneau, Alaska.  I have perhaps never felt more at home in any city than I did in Juneau.  Of course, my time in Juneau was emotionally heightened because I fell in love with the musical director of the theatre where I was working as an actor – what a cliché, right?  But I do know that I fell in love with the city before I fell in love with the inappropriately young guy who had so much passion for me that he talked me into having a long-distance relationship and then months later would eventually break my heart because it was too hard, he was too young and ambitious, we were too far apart, etc.

Here’s the thing.  I know that I am at my most attractive when I am happy.  Who isn’t?  It’s always when I’m feeling happy to be independent and single, when I’m doing the things I love for myself, that someone will come along and see me in all my glory and want to be with me.  This has happened countless times. No great mystery about it.  It’s just how the world and people work.  But the problem is my inability to continue “loving” myself once I get into the relationship.  As soon as I’m crazy about someone, my whole world becomes about them.  I take on my role as a caregiver and a pleaser, and I lose myself and my sparkle.  The same sparkle that drew them to me in the first place.  I hate it.  I’ve lost myself so many times now that I just feel dull and tired.  I want to find my sparkle again, dammit, and when I do, I’m not going to lose it or let anyone take it away.

Now you’d think with the number of times I just used the word “sparkle” that I’d be wearing something sparkly today.  I’m not. But I am wearing a belt of bird feathers, so that’s something.  The pictures point out to me that my tunic is very easily a wrinkled mess but that’s okay.  Because the other thing I’m wearing in today’s photos that has been fairly absent for a while – an honest-to-goodness smile.

Day 27 – Thursday

Ena - Day 27

Ena: Work to be done before vacation is piling up rapidly just as time seems to be slipping away.  Isn’t that always the way?  Thank goodness I’ve got all – or, almost all – of my Christmas shopping, wrapping and shipping done; at least my evenings won’t be as hectic as these last few work days.

Today I am wearing one of the two dresses that I have which I find acceptable for work – that is, they are not too fancy, revealing, or embarrassing – and I wore the other one yesterday, so there you have it, my entire collection.  Wearing dresses and skirts as part of this project has been huge for me.  Until recently I had worn nothing but pants to work for the last four years.  The way I see it, my reasons are twofold.

First, for the last 25 years and until this past June I had been a student, a poor student, so my non-work wardrobe consisted primarily of jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, and sweatshirts…lots of them.  During high school, my work wardrobe was a standard issue Safeway uniform, perfect for bagging groceries and fetching wayward carts.  Throughout my college years I worked at hospitals which required me to wear scrubs, which are just like pajamas and pretty much my dream, and coffee shops which required me to wear black clothing from head to toe which became permeated with coffee stains and scents within days.  So, the gist, I had no need, money, or desire, to fill my closets with anything other than jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, and sweatshirts.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, I hate my legs.  There, I’ve said it.  And yes, I know that everyone hates their legs and that it’s a complete cliché, but I don’t care; I hate them.  My feelings toward my lower limbs haven’t always been this dysfunctional, in fact there was a time – albeit over a decade ago – when I quite liked them.  The turning point was in 1996 (yes, I remember the date) when I tore my ACL – that’s anterior cruciate ligament for those that don’t know – and meniscus in my right knee while playing soccer.  Yes, it hurt and yes, it ended my promising soccer career but that wasn’t the worst part of it; the worst part was atrophy.  Atrophy is the partial or complete wasting away of a part of the body and it is traumatizing…at least, it was for me.

Third (sorry, forgot there was a third), I cannot tan, and it is a fact that legs of all shapes and sizes look at least 75% better when tanned.  And those are the reasons that I do not (normally) wear skirts or dresses; laziness, habit, self-consciousness, and pigmentation.  Really, are there any better reasons?  To be honest, though I’d like to credit my bravery, the only reason that I am wearing them at all now is because it’s winter and I can hide behind leggings and thick, dark tights.

Only time will tell if I am able to come to terms with my insecurities, or if I am able to continue the non-pants-wearing trend into the warmer months, but I’d like to think that, by my participation in this project, I am working on it.  I am taking baby steps, figuratively and literally.  Seriously, skirts are tight, dresses are short, and high heels are dangerous, so (much like a baby) my steps are short, cautious, and somewhat wobbly.  I find it fitting…and humiliating.

Bina - Day 27

Bina: The mystery of the chirping smoke alarm has been solved! A few weeks ago, the smoke alarm in my apartment started chirping.  I replaced the battery.  Then, a few days ago, I heard a chirp again! What?! I just changed your battery! I changed the battery again.  Later, I heard another chirp. WTF.  I dismantled the damn thing.  Yesterday, when I got home from dinner with Alexis, I heard the chirp again.  I got a chair to examine the situation.  I couldn’t figure out why it was still chirping!  I felt like Phoebe on Friends, on the brink of smashing the smoke alarm with my shoe and yelling “What do you want from meeeeee?!!!”  Then I went in my room. Chirp! I looked up.  Another smoke alarm. So the answer to the mystery – I’m an idiot.  I was, however, quite relieved to know that I haven’t completely lost my mind.

For some reason, solving the smoke alarm issue made me sleep a little easier.  And I finally managed to get warm – so what if I have no one to snuggle with right now, that’s what down comforters and cats are for, right?  So I woke up a little more rested today. And a little more determined to bring some A-game to this project.

This morning, I walked into the Water Tower Café and the jovial man who manages the place was manning the cash register.  He exclaimed, “Wow, you look STUNNING today. I mean, you look great every day but today, today you get extra credit!”  I blushed and said thanks.  He asked my name and I told him. As is custom, he asked where the name originated.  When I said India, he asked “What does it mean – beautiful goddess???” Ha! Nicely played, sir.  Nicely played.

As the day wore on, there were comments and glances at every turn.  I’m sure that gets annoying for some people.  Today, I relished every second.  I have never been said “Hello” to by so many strangers in one day before.  Interesting.  I walked across the lot to yoga, smiling and returning greetings to at least 5 different men along the way. And today in class…I DID MY VERY FIRST HEADSTAND.  This is very exciting. To me, anyway.  True, it was up against a wall, and I needed a little assistance to get there, but I did it.  My instructor said headstands are a great way to quiet the brain.  Maybe I need to do a headstand every day…

Day 26 – Wednesday

Ena - Day 26

Ena: Well, today I am wearing something a little less daring (and ridiculous) than yesterday, and I have to admit that I feel much better (and only slightly ridiculous).  This project is not as easy as it seems.  Really, it isn’t.  Sure, on paper it sounds pretty simple: show up to work every day looking as though you’ve put effort into your appearance.  And, I suppose it could be that simple but, for me anyway, it’s much more complicated than that.

Not only do I want to show up to work every day looking like I’ve put effort into my appearance, I want to look good.  I want to look fashion forward and slightly edgy.  I want to look professional and work-appropriate but fun and youthful at the same time.  And, I don’t want to break my bank to do it.  That’s all.  Is that so much to ask?  It turns out that the answer is yes, that is a lot to ask.  A whole lot.

Now, I haven’t done exhaustive research (yet), but it seems to me that there is very little help out there for a person with the combination of my particular set of fashion wishes and financial constraints.  I have mentioned previously how my scouring of popular fashion blogs often results in frustration rather than inspiration.  Fashion magazines are great, but they too usually present looks based on expensive or unattainable clothes, or looks that are strictly event, office, or street with very little in between.  Tell me, how is a girl like me supposed to figure out how to take the trends of the moment and turn them into work and age appropriate affordable looks?  Seriously, tell me.

I guess the answer is this.  Do this.  Try new things.  Show up to work one day looking like a cross between Charlie Chaplin, Pee Wee Herman, and a Catholic school girl.  Figure it out.  I suppose the path to fashion enlightenment is strewn with casualties, remnants of the failures, the attempts, the ridiculous.  A word of caution then, if I ever do reach fashion utopia, my path will likely need to be plowed.

Bina - Day 26

Bina: I was lying on the floor in some restorative pose with a funny name at the end of yoga class today, and my eyes were closed.  The teacher asked us to surrender.  Then, she asked us to surrender ten times more.  And then a couple of tears slid down my face onto the mat.  Surrender has proven quite difficult for me as of late.  My body is filled with tension.  I lie awake at night and I feel that my entire body is rigid.  And somehow I can’t release.  I can’t let go. I can’t sleep.  And when I finally do sleep for a couple of hours, I wake up in the morning filled with panic and morbid thoughts.

Yeah, the mornings are the hardest.  If I can just get past the initial flood of panic and nausea and manage to take a shower, put on some make-up and get dressed, by the time I’m walking to my car, I feel like a functioning human again.  Of course, the day doesn’t end there.  I am finding that the littlest things are sending me into tears, and it’s embarrassing.  I feel paper thin, though I’m still at least a healthy 130 lbs.

One good thing about feeling thin – more of my clothes fit again.  I haven’t worn this skirt in years because I couldn’t zip it up.  Now I can.  It’s nice to be able to zip things up again, but it’s not nice that I don’t want to eat.  I realize that my mental health can never recover if I’m not taking care of my physical health.  It just won’t stand a chance at this rate.  I need sleep.  I need nutrients.  And apparently, these days, I need to cry.

Looking inward is hard.  Anytime we decide to do it, it usually means it’s time to make some changes – and not just in the way we dress.

Day 25 – Tuesday

Ena - Day 25

Ena: Oh, when will I learn?  Today I am really out of my comfort zone.  I mean really…I can’t even see my comfort zone from here.  As noted in last Thursday’s post, I know that I need to take more risks and branch out more often.  So, I guess that’s what I’m doing today.  Yikes.

As has also been noted in previous posts, I seem to have some difficulty with planning ahead and/or leaving myself enough time to dress in the mornings.  In the past I have labeled these particular issues as serious shortcomings, things to be remedied if I am ever to get it together; however, today I present them in a different light.

Had I successfully planned ahead and/or left myself adequate time for dressing this morning I would have never left the house wearing this.  What’s the problem with that, right?  Believe me, I am none too thrilled with my appearance today – I was even heard muttering, “what am I wearing?” as I walked to my car this morning – but, if one of the points of this project is to learn by trying new looks and venturing into uncomfortable territory, I would never have accomplished that today if I did have it together.  So, it appears that there may actually be a method to my madness.  Who’d have thought?

Bina - Day 25

Bina: When I sit down to write my entry at the end of each day, I am always a bit unsure of what the hell it is that I am going to have to say.  I worry about things like being repetitive, if I’m sharing too much, or if it’s just plain boring.  But I guess I’ll just keep trying to write from the heart and see what happens.

I finally finished reading Eat Pray Love over the weekend.  Yes, several years after everyone else.  Partly because it has taken me literally a year and a half to finish the damn thing.  I read the Italy section quite a while ago, and had a hard time getting into it.  Then I picked it back up over Thanksgiving break and devoured India.  And then, Bali…oh, Bali.  I actually delayed reading the last 20 pages because I didn’t want it to be over.  I was finding it very comforting and a form of meditation in itself.  But finish it I did, and I’m glad.

Of course, this book was a hit.  Of course, women everywhere wish we could drop the turmoil in our everyday lives, and run away to Italy, India, and Bali for a year. We are not all able to afford such a luxury, and yet, we somehow all relate anyway.  We take from Elizabeth Gilbert’s lessons what we can.  I draw strength from the fact that she wrote about some of her intense lows along the way.  Of course, it somehow seems different when it’s all written in retrospect, and with the knowledge that it all gets better in the end.  I don’t have that knowledge, except as a form of faith.  That’s enough for now.

Today is a better day than yesterday.  I am comfortable.  I’m not pushing any style envelopes, but I feel good in my clothes.  This is my favorite shirt right now.  Well, it’s a lot of hipsters’ favorite shirt right now – I can nary go into a bar without at least 3 people matching me.  But I love it anyway – it reminds me of rain and camping and Seattle. And the boots give me strength and bad-ass swagger.  And these jeans, well, these jeans have just enough spandex in them to make my ass fucking sing.

Day 24 – Monday

Ena - Day 24

Ena: In case you hadn’t heard, it’s summer here in Los Angeles, and the doom-and-gloom that was Friday’s post seems inappropriate, for now.   Yes, my last post was…bleak, to say the least…but that’s how I felt, and, as Bina has reminded me numerous times throughout the course of our project, honesty is an important part of the process.  So, that’s what you get; the truth – bleak or not-so-bleak.

I woke up late today and with a splitting headache – caused, no doubt, by this weekend’s shopping excursions in which large sums of money were spent without benefit to my own wardrobe; ah, the true pain of the holiday season – so an easy, no fuss outfit was required.  And, since the thermometer hit upwards of 80 today, something light and cool was also in order.

So, here you have it: a comfortable, warm weather, no-brainer outfit – translation: a style-less, thrown together, thoughtless mess.  But, good weather, good attitude, so no complaints from me.  There is, thankfully if not dauntingly, always tomorrow, and I am sure it will be much better than today.  Truly, I am.

Bina - Day 24

Bina: Boy, Friday’s post was depressing.  I’m not going to lie to you and say that I’m all better now.  I’m still struggling. But I did manage to put on a dress and come to work this morning.  So that’s something.

Some of you may be wondering why I haven’t sought out psychotherapy.  Well, I have.  After over a year delving into my childhood and relationship history in therapy, I decided to stop those regular sessions during the spring.  Then, at the end of summer, I decided I didn’t want to take anti-depressants anymore.  I had taken them for over a year, and I didn’t want to be dependent on them any longer.  I felt like I was in a better place.  I felt like I could handle life.  I was also dating someone who I was very excited about – and let’s face it, that’s really the best antidepressant money can buy.  Well, for a while anyway.  So I slowly weaned myself off the pills, decreasing my dosage slightly over the course of a month or so.  At first, I didn’t really notice much difference.  I had a few headaches, but nothing seemed too alarming.  I was fine. I felt happy.

Things unraveled after that.  It has taken a few months, and the demise of a sweet and fun fledgling relationship, to bring me to this place.  In retrospect, I realize with the way I am falling apart right now, he was probably right to end things.  I most likely would have attempted to lean on him to help me get through this adjustment period, and I don’t think he was equipped to do that. I have to learn how to take care of myself.  But I do need some help.  So I’m trying to ask for it now.  From my friends and loved ones.  From Ena – who kindly sits and listens to me each day, and who, frankly, I think should pursue a career as a psychiatrist.  And I just called to make an appointment to see my therapist.  Because I realize my friends and loved ones aren’t fully equipped to help me either.

Inspiration: Alexis

This is our friend, Alexis. Isn’t she lovely? Alexis pretty much ALWAYS looks amazing. She inspires us constantly with her beauty, her fierce and on-point fashion sense, her baking, her mad-competitive volleyball skills, and her quick-witted humor. She’s what you would call a true Renaissance woman. And from the holiday party to the beach volleyball court, she is dressed to impress at all times.  She was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to send us a couple pics and tell us a little bit about what fashion means to her. Thanks, Alexis!

Alexis

Alexis: I’d like to start by saying how crazy I think it is that I was asked to do this – I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve been labeled an “inspiration,” so that’s pretty cool. Thank you, ladies!

I feel a bit silly using the word “passion,” so let’s start with the one it rhymes with – I LOVE fashion. I absolutely love it. One might even say I have an addiction. I definitely read too many magazines and I definitely have a shopping problem. You know it’s getting bad when you feel the desire to conceal the Nordstroms bag when you enter your door so that your boyfriend doesn’t exclaim (again), “Is that another new sweater?!”

I can’t think of a defining moment or remember when I decided to start caring about how I looked or what I wore. I think it was instilled in me at a young age by watching my Mother get ready in the morning. I’m from Dallas Texas, y’all…and in Dallas, you don’t leave the house without “putting your face on.” My Mother always looked amazing, and still does; big props to my Mom for keeping it together at 61! When not learning to bake, my time with my Grandmothers was spent “playing dress up,” and there are countless childhood photos of me in 40s style hats and gloves mugging for the camera. So, I guess you could say that I developed a healthy sense of vanity at a young age :)

I think I can also trace my love of fashion back to my schooling. I went to a private school K-12th grade, which required me to wear an oh-so attractive plaid uniform. Occasionally we would have “normal dress days,” providing everyone (especially the female population) with the opportunity to show who they really were – their personal style. I remember agonizing over outfits for these days, and exclaiming as an eight year old, “I have NOTHING to wear!” This continued as I got older, and outfits to wear to Friday night football games were scrutinized to the ninth degree.

So…with that said, my passion – ha ha, let’s call it what it really is, obsession – started early and hasn’t ceased. Read more of this post

Day 23 – Friday

Ena - Day 23

Ena: Well, it’s official – today I look as bad as I feel.  I’d like to just leave it at that, but I guess I should say a bit more.  Today has been crap.  I could not figure out what to wear this morning and left the house feeling disgruntled, depressed, completely defeated.

Today I don’t want to participate in this project anymore.  Today I feel like a failure.  Today I’m over it.  But, this is just today…hopefully this is just today.

On days like today, trying to dress well makes me feel worse about myself than dressing like a slob – at least when I dress like a slob looking bad is my choice.  I really have nothing more to say.  Why is this so hard?

Bina - Day 23

Bina: Acting can be weird.  Especially when you’ve been out of the game for a few years, like me.  It can all seem slightly amusing at first.  But suddenly you’re in a rehearsal where you’re asked to play the “Provocative Question” game, and you do not want to play the “Provocative Question” game, but you play anyway.  For those who do not know, this is played by sitting two actors across from each other, and one actor asks the other a provocative question of their choosing, i.e. “When was the last time you had sex?” or “Do you like to do it with animals?”  Yes, actors are perverts so more often than not, your provocative question is going to be sexual in nature.  After the first actor asks the question, the second makes eye contact and repeats the question back.  Then you are asked to make observations about the other actor’s reactions.  I’m fairly private (this blog is a major departure) so I kinda hate this game.  The observations made about me were that I am guarded, bitter, and a little sad.  Well, damn.  I thought I was doing a decent job of masking my inner turmoil.  I’m glad that we could all play this delightful little game and expose my current insecurities to the other actors here whom I barely know.

While at some other juncture in my life, I might have laughed off those observations, last night they got stuck in my craw, so to speak.  I couldn’t shake them.  Boys from the cast were trying to chat me up (as I said, perverts) and all I could think was “Leave me be! Can’t you see right through me? Can’t you see that I’m guarded, bitter, and sad?!”  What did I think? Throwing on a cute skirt and booties would suddenly solve all my problems?  Well, no.  But I am finding myself on a bit more of an emotional rollercoaster than I might have expected – one that is now open to the public.

I awoke at 4am to a chirping smoke alarm and a freezing apartment, not to mention the words “guarded, bitter, and sad” all rolling around in my head.  I replaced the battery in the smoke alarm but I couldn’t turn the words off.  Over and over.  This catapulted me into pretty much full-blown anxiety attack mode.  I felt overwhelmed, by the thought of getting up and baking for today’s potluck, of standing in front of the whole department for the Gingerbread competition announcements, of attempting to look decent for our pictures, of sitting in aggravating meetings while I have a full workload, and of going back to rehearsal and doing the show again tonight.  The average person probably deals with much more on a daily basis but I managed to make myself physically ill.  I thought “Maybe I should just stay home where no one can see my guarded, bitter, sad self.”  But I decided to try to do one thing at a time, with lots of deep breaths, and see how far I could get. I made a sweet potato casserole for the potluck, which is now all gone.  I got dressed. We came in 2nd place in the Gingerbread House Contest, missing 1st place by a measly 3 votes, which I find shocking, considering the winning entry below. And I’m here, which for me today, was a feat in itself.