No, not a plug for Nike, though I do favor their gear for exercise and I am legitimately feeling envious of gym-goers right now. I don’t know how there are women out there that vigorously work out throughout their pregnancies. I am literally mystified into a state of deep admiration and worship-hood for those women. [Bows down.] The first trimester, I was too tired and nauseous to even think about it. I actually lost weight the first trimester. The second trimester, a combination of anxiety about injuring the baby/getting through to the third trimester and a crazy work schedule held me back. Now, I’m just way too uncomfortable. I did try to jog a few times and it was crazy unpleasant. I also tried prenatal yoga once. That was actually rather nice, but it took a girlfriend setting it on my calendar to get me there.
So, I’m just letting it go and planning to get serious about fitness after March. You know, that’s been one of my major learnings throughout this pregnancy–sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Seriously challenging for a Type A personality like mine. But there were two breakthrough moments for me, and both centered around beautiful advice from dear girlfriends. (What would we do without them?!) The first was around 4 months into the pregnancy. I had been emailing with one of my best friends, E., and she was asking me how I felt about the pregnancy. I said all the usual things — “can’t complain, feeling so lucky, feeling so blessed, etc., etc.” which I do sincerely believe, but also feel obligated to advance because, well, I know how lucky I am in light of how complex and unpleasant other woman have it. But then I admitted that I was just anxious to get to March, and that I really could not relate to the women who have said: “Don’t you just LOVE being pregnant? It’s the BEST! I never felt better! Savor every moment!” I’ve always felt guilty and even ashamed to admit that, no, I don’t really love it. I love that I am going to bring a baby into the world and I love that things have been going well so far and I’d happily do it for 9 months longer if it brings me a healthy baby and ohmygosh I am so excited…but “loving being pregnant”?? No, I wouldn’t put it that way. It’s uncomfortable and stressful and I think it’s just the hypochondriac-type-A-person in me, but I really have felt a little alien about it all. I am so used to being disciplined with my meals and my exercise regimen and every little thing going on with me, and I’ve really had to sit back and just let things happen and (try) not to stress about it. But I feel out of control and anxious.
At any rate. My friend E responded to my email saying (and I’m copying this verbatim because it was so reassuring to me at the time — sorry, E, for the gross invasion of privacy): “You certainly don’t have to qualify it, at least around me! I know you’re grateful for a healthy pregnancy, but it doesn’t cancel out your feelings! … At the end of the day, you need to do what’s right for you. It will be a hundred times different than the next person, and that’s ok. Also, solicited (and unsolicited) advice can be great and re-assuring, but I feel like it can also be mind-numbingly overwhelming and super unhelpful. So just take care of yourself, ok? You’re doing all the right things already. Give yourself room to feel ALL OF THE THINGS. And duh, if you ever just want to vent or cry or laugh or yell, call me.”
I loved that: “Give yourself room to feel ALL OF THE THINGS.” And also, I love you, E. Just re-reading the note gives me all the feelings about having such a beautiful friend.
And then, a few months later, I was heading to book club and I hadn’t read the book for the first time in probably two consecutive years and I felt disproportionately guilty about it. Like, it’s so silly in retrospect, but there was something about not crossing it off my to do list when I already feel very disorganized and out of sorts that really hit me hard. I remember thinking, “Jen, of all times in your life, now is the time that you should be able to easily sail through books.” I mentioned how guilty I felt when I arrived, and my girlfriend K. paused, looked me in the eye, and said: “You know, I think we all need to just cut ourselves a little slack. It’s not like you have anything going on in your life right now.”
And that was the second time that I thought: “OK, Jen, if ever there was a time to just make space for yourself, to just be and live and not try to control and emote around every little thing, this is it.”
So, this has been my recurring mantra: “Make space for yourself.” The irony of this tagline right now is not lost on me, as I share an increasing portion of my body with another human being. I hope that in March I will return to a state of equilibrium but who can intuit what will be? Que sera, sera…
OK. So. This post feels appropriate coming at the dawn of a new year and, for me, on the precipice of a very new phase of my life. It’s about trying something new. A new attitude. A new style. And, in a fashion context, there are lots of new things to try on, to re-make ourselves, to test. Below, a few items that are a little out of my comfort zone, that I’m daring myself to give a whirl in 2017.
I’ll usually invest in one trendy pair of shoes per season (or every other season), but will admit it often takes me a full season to decide to adopt. It took me like two years to purchase Rockstuds, for example. And it took me until this past fall to snap up the Gucci backless mule. I mentioned in a recent post that mules are EVERYTHING right now, and I’m especially intrigued by these retro Mansur Gavriel suede mules ($495). They have a sort of 80s secretary vibe to them that intrigues. They just look fresh to me. And my sister wore a pair of shoes very similar to these and she’s always about two seasons ahead of the trend.
I saw these pearl-embellished shades ($200 — same price for the ones with pink pearls on ’em) from new-to-me line Freda Banana and drooled over them, and then decided they were too frivolous. But then…why cross them off for whimsy?! Can you imagine pairing with a simple black sheath or simple white button-down and denim for a “I’m so funky chic” look?
I know, I have a problem with Self-Portrait dresses. I can’t stop. I actually wore this one to my baby shower (thank God for a-line dresses) and am excited I can wear it post-pregnancy, too. I saw this one on sale for $381 and loved it but immediately crossed it off my list as a contender for a dress for a wedding in April because I felt it was too revealing/sexy. But…then…wait a minute, why NOT? God willing, I’ll be somewhat back in shape by then and why shouldn’t I? You only live once.
There is something fantastically gaudy and slightly off-color about these Gucci rhinestone-embellished bags. I have this feeling I’ll look back at these bags in about 5 years and think, “Holy crap, what were we thinking?” But they are so deliciously whimsical and fun right now! And Eva Chen, who truly has her finger to the pulse when it comes to THE accessory and THE must-have “it” bag of the moment, has two of them (here and here). You should probably follow her on Instagram — she’s hilarious and truly loves fashion. At any rate, I really love this Gucci pouch with the lips on it ($750). And why not!
I’ve been curious about but afraid of the low chunky stacked heel that’s been everywhere lately. Maybe I should just go for it. I think my top picks are this crystal-heeled Miu Miu ($990 — get the look for less with these in the pink color, $125!) and this loafer style from Gucci ($750 — get the look for less with these M. Gemis, $248). These ($200) also caught my eye as an easy vacation-ready way to get the look…
OK, ladies — what are your fashion dares? Or what are you trying to do new or differently in 2017, full stop?!