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Reunion

Montreal, Canada

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ― Lao Tzu. Funny thing about the past…revisiting it can bring back all kinds of dark twisty things you were certain you had long moved on from. What’s up with the moody intro quote, you ask? Well folks I went to my 10 year high school reunion a couple weeks back and boy did it stir up a lot of shit. If you have been a reader for a while you know I have a fun little unpredictable ongoing battle with anxiety and depression, that I don’t talk about too often. It seems to rear it’s ugly heads when I expect it least, and always surprises me with how long and hard it sticks around.  

I consider myself a well adjusted human being. I let a lot of things roll off my back, don’t let what others think of me bother me too much, and rather move forward than muster up unwanted emotions that may lead me off the deep end. Peter has really helped me evolve from the anxy teen I was when he first met me, to the cool, calm and collected young adult(ish) human I am now…and boy am I ever thankful for that. That being said revisiting who I was then, and more importantly how I portrayed myself and was viewed by my peers and even teachers then, left a yucky stinging feeling in my heart. As those of you who deal with anxiety and depression may know, they rear their ugly heads in waves, and the tide can take a long time before it is still again. Recently I have felt tired, a little unmotivated, overly sensitive, and easily triggered. To put that into perspective, the episode of The Walking Dead I just watched, has lead me into enough of an existential crisis to write this post as honestly as I am right now. So instead of feeding the bad, I am going to give myself the advice I should have been hearing, facing, and believing since that day I came home feeling sorry about who I used to be.

As much as I may feel like I’m still 16, I am not…and that is a great thing. I have become a kind, open hearted person, who is always there in times of need, but wise enough to never be taken advantage of. I have grown to idolize women of substance who have taught me I am strong, capable anything, but most importantly that I am enough. That I should never dumb myself down for the comfort of others, or to make sure the joke lands at my expense. That though I may be underestimated, my worth, intelligence, hard working nature, and skill will no longer be…and to those who still think me a fool and dismiss me, are simply missing out. My accomplishments are my own, and their greatness cannot be syphoned by disbelief. Others’ words and actions do no control me, they do not affect me, and most importantly they do not define who I am. As much as I may feel like I’m still 16, I am not…and that is a great thing. 

So I am going to let the young girl I left on that pedestal all those years ago step down, and step up there myself. I am going to keep her joie de vivre, open heart, and faith in people, but realize that the change I have nurtured within myself is one of my greatest accomplishments. I am going to acknowledge the growth that has happened to her in the past 10 years, and will no longer shame her for who she was. We all think we know everything at that age, and isn’t it interesting to see how wrong we were…and how wrong we’ll probably be again looking back 10 years from now. Yet again the cliché seems to bring forth the most concise truth. I am who I am today, because of who she once was. Because of what WE went through, and the mistakes WE made. So it’s time to forgive her for them, and be at peace living in the present. Hey! if Lao Tzu said it right…

Gucci sunnies and shoes, Zara suit, Forever 21 sweater, and Dior “Saddle” bag.

On a Break

Tokyo, Japan

Guys this is it. Our very last Tokyo post! I’m almost embarrassed it took me all this time to get them up on the site, but selfishly I really enjoyed reminiscing while at home working this Summer. On that note, we are finally heading on our European adventure with the fam for the next few weeks and I can’t even describe how excited I have been for this moment to come all year! I love taking you guys along on all of our adventures, and magical moments, but I do kind of look forward to unplugging a little…well trying to anyway. For the next 3-4 weeks I will be taking a baby break after a hot hectic Summer, and for some strange reason I don’t feel too anxious or guilty about it. Maybe my mind feels it’s well deserved so my conscience is letting me off the hook for once. In any case, do not fret that I’ve let myself go, as I will continue to let you guys in on our shenanigans via Instagram post and stories, and we are even still considering filming a third edition of our annual European vlog series. That being said I’m going to try to dedicate most of our time away to family and making the kind of memories you don’t need a photo to remember forever. Man that’s cheesy! Anywhoo enjoy this last little post of the season and I look forward to sharing all that comes next in just a few weeks, after mama takes a little Kit Kat break.

Gucci sunnies, Off-White tell, Storets dress, Dior bag, and Balenciaga socks and sneakers.

Goodbye Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Tokyo, Japan

I was trying to write a regular blog post. Tell you about the tourist attractions, and incredible restaurants we visited in Tokyo…but that just isn’t what I have on my mind right now. The images might be of cute outfits in beautiful places, but this blog has always been where I could let all my neuroses and dark twisty thoughts run free, even when it would probably be more appropriate for me to write about the weather. Today will be no exception. My grandfather passed away yesterday. I’ve dealt with grief many a time during my childhood, lost more family members than most, but this one’s been different, harder if that’s even possible to say without disrespecting the ones that left before him. Though he held an incredibly special place in my heart, I think the manner in which he departed makes it harder for me to live with, without having more existential thoughts than I’d like.

You see my grandfather decided he no longer wanted to continue on. Once he learned that his ability to walk was deteriorating and he wouldn’t be able to live autonomously anymore, even if his mind was bright, the kind of life he saw in his future didn’t feel worth living. He was a humble, quiet, solitary man with immense pride and dignity. If anything I think that, those qualities were what defined him as a person and where he drew his happiness and joy. That being said, when we heard he had taken maters in his own hands, I was in incomprehensible shock, and immediately my heart ached for my mother.

Though the attempt wasn’t successful, his mind was still made up. After spending a week in the hospital, his condition having deteriorated, and only learning more bad news regarding his health, he asked for a humane death. A death which would give him the chance to say goodbye, live only as long as he felt his life was worth living, and be surrounded by his children when he finally left the world. Every part of my being that is logical agreed with his decision, but every other little bit was devastated. I kept thinking of his bucket list, where hadn’t he traveled, what hadn’t he seen, wasn’t there something he wanted to do with the time he had left to conclude his journey…but that’s not who my grandpa was. He was firm, at peace with his decision, and the last item on his bucket list was for his loved ones to understand that this was the right choice for him.

Saying goodbye was probably the most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever done. Telling a person they’ll forever live on in your heart…saying I love you for the last time, those words were probably the hardest I’ve ever said out loud. He didn’t speak much, except for when I came close “Ma Belle Alicia…”he said with pride, as if I he believed was the most beautiful being who’d ever lived. That moment will probably make my heart ache for as long as I live. I held him in my arms, kissed his head, kissed his hands, and walked away, so afraid that if I looked back for just a second I’d never be able to say good bye, I’d never be able to let him actually go. Yesterday morning, at 10:10 AM he left this world peacefully, surround by the ones he loved, and who loved him in return.

I’m happy for him. Happy he left the world the same way he lived within it, on his own terms. So why am I so uncontrollably emotional, why do I, without a moment’s warning drench myself in puddles of tears. Perhaps the actual act of saying goodbye is what keeps me crying. Maybe the shock and immediacy of passed losses overwhelmed me to the point that I never truly understood that the person was gone. Goodbye seems to be the hardest word, Elton was right. I didn’t write this piece to make anyone feel sorry for me, or sad or cry even, though I failed terribly at not doing so myself while writing it. I just don’t want to forget this feeling. The tears come, because of the love I had and continue to have for him after his passing. They come because of the bittersweet feeling that swaddles my heart when I remind myself that he is in a better place. They come because as hard as it was, I got to hold him one last time, and the emotions of that moment live on. I hope they don’t fade too quickly. I had the privilege of saying goodbye and I want those feelings to resonate until I’m finally at peace with them, and feel grateful for them as I know I will someday.

This is probably the longest piece I’ve ever written on the blog. Still debating if I should even post it at all. All of these sentences and paragraphs to say that I loved him, and I hope his spirit lives on through these words. That they honour him, the way I intended them to. Je t’aime Grand-Papa.

Gucci Sunnies, Zara suit, Lacoste X Supreme polo, Loewe bag, and Christina Louboutin pumps.

…Girls

Walt Disney World, Florida

Happy International Women’s day to all the wonderful readers and supporters that have allowed be to pursue my dreams these past years. Let’s be real, the vast majority of you are girls, women, and some of you are a little in between just like me. It’s thanks to you that I have been able to live through my passions and do what a love everyday and for that I’m eternally thankful. I’ve been thinking lately, why have these narratives pinning women against one another existed since the beginning of time. Are we to blame?..and I came to the conclusion that maybe we are a little, sometimes even without realizing it.

I realize supporting another woman’s success isn’t always easy. Even I, who preaches girl power, equality, and feminism every chance I get, have had those negative thoughts and feelings before. When seeing someone in the same field achieve more than you, getting an opportunity you wished you were given, or even following a path you wished you’d taken, it’s hard sometimes not to ask “why not me,” “I’m just as good,” “just as talented,” maybe even “a better fit”. So why should I celebrate her accomplishment when I wish they were my own…and that ladies is where we’ve been getting it wrong all along. I realize jealousy is a part of our emotional repertoire as humans, but I also know that life is all about perspective. Perhaps you can’t change those feelings and thoughts, but you can change the way you look at them. Someone else’s success means yours is achievable and isn’t as far away as you’d have thought. Someone finally accomplishing the impossible makes it possible, and someone doing it first, paves the way for you to accomplish just as much if not more.

It’s all about what we choose to put out in the universe. Negativity, hate, and all those mean and passive aggressive internet comments we know all too well, truly bring nothing to our journeys, besides maybe a little fire within those who it is directed towards. So why waste the time, the energy, the space, if you can help it. Why let envy leave a stain on your emotional make-up, when you could be doing you, persevering, and finding your way into the other’s shoes.

One lesson I learned early on is Always Love. As simple as it sounds, it’s never failed me. Be proud of the people around you that are working hard making their dreams come true, and celebrate when they finally make them happen, especially women. It’s become no secret when reflecting on the history of our world even to this very day, that these accomplishments require more work and dedication out of us girls, than the other sex will ever know. We must conquer obstacles they’ll probably never be made aware of, let alone face. When women support each other, INCREDIBLE things happen. The bond between us is so powerful, and it is so important for it to be recognized, heard, and celebrated. So next time you feel anger or a little blue when one of us “makes it” somewhere you wish you were, remember all she’s been through to get there, know she’s deserving, and commend her. After all, she’s your ally in the world domination effort that’s already well underway…

Adam Selman for Le Specs glasses, Forever 21 bodysuit, Christopher Raeburn backpack, Adidas track pants, and Gucci dad sneakers.