Is it possible to have tons of friends and family around you, yet still feel lonely?
I think one of the most common human experiences is that of feeling lonely. Everyone feels lonely at one point or another. You could be a huge big-time celebrity, at the top of your game, with a million fans, a huge entourage, and people waiting on you hand and foot, and still feel lonely. You can have a husband, a gaggle of kids, and a dog, and still feel lonely. You can be single with multiple groups of friends, supportive family, and still feel alone.
How can all these people feel lonely when they're surrounded by people who love them?
Hey you fabulous person, you!
Yeah, I'm a little bubbly today. It was a sunny day in Seattle (until the rain and clouds rolled in), and I had a fun lunch with good friends and colleagues to see one of my dear friends off on a new adventure in life!
I'm a super sentimental person (yeah, I know this has nothing to do with shoes so far...trust me, you'll see the connection soon), so when the end of an era comes along, I get all teary-eyed knowing that things will never be the same. Over the years, I've realized that relationships come and go.
But some people - like the friends I had lunch with today - you know you want to keep in your life in some way, shape, or form. It may not look or feel the same as it did when you first met, but you just know that they will always have a place in your life and in your heart...like a good pair shoes.
<Cue awkward transition to talking about shoes.>
I sit here in the room at my parents' house that my mom has designated "the Julie" room." Pictures from my childhood adorn the walls and the dressers. My Kindergarten photo, my high school graduation photo, my college sorority photo.
What strikes me about these pictures is that at each stage in life, there were different things that were important to me. When I was in Kindergarten, it was about coloring, playing, and not peeing in my pants. When I was in high school, it was about first dates, graduating, and not feeling awkward in my own skin. When I was in college, it was about partying with friends, figuring what to do with the rest of my life, and still not feeling awkward in my own skin.
And I'd say that at each of those moments, that's how I defined myself - student, daughter, friend trying to not feel awkward in my own skin. But when I sat down to put together this blog, the cursor stared at me as I attempted to write the "About Me" section.
Who the heck am I?
As I got ready for the day the other morning, I found myself running around from one end of the condo to the other - feeding my post-multiple-teeth-extraction-surgery geriatric pug his special softened breakfast, throwing bagels in the toaster for the kiddos making sure to toast them for just the right amount of time (heaven forbid they're too burnt or not burnt enough), inserting deli meat between two slices of dry bread and shoving them into lunchboxes with fruit (to meet the obligatory mom-approved healthy requirement) and Oreo cookies (to meet the "Tommy's mom puts dessert in HIS lunchbox" requirement).
Meanwhile, I'm strategizing in my head what time we need to leave so we're not late for school, and thereby what time I need to start yelling at the kids to get their shoes on. As you can imagine, this did not leave much time to think about what to wear for work. So I quickly checked the weather - rain and 50. Yuck. I mindlessly threw on a pair of jeans, a sweater, and a pair of over-the-knee boots.
"When, oh when will I be able to wear all my cute Spring clothes?" I lamented in my head as my 6-year-old stared at his tongue in the mirror rather than brushing his teeth like I asked him to. Not today apparently.
So, since I can't wear them yet, I'll do the next best thing...share them with you! So we can all get excited for the floral print, pastels, pumps, and off-the-shoulder tops! Here's a roundup of some of my favorites I've stocked up on so far:
Remember back in the day, we used to flip through magazines to see what the new trends are? We used to look at pictures of models on those pages and think, "Gosh, she's so perfect. Why can't I be perfect like that?" We blamed the media and fashion magazines for teaching us at a young age what beauty is, what we should compare ourselves to.
I don't think it's a shocking revelation to say that social media plays that role for us now. And it's so much more powerful because it comes under the guise of being real. "This is just someone's IG account. She must have just woken up on a perfectly well made bed in a cute bralette and impeccable make up on." Riiiiight.
The thing is, we know it's not real. Our logical brains remind us that it's edited, it's staged. It's not real. But the more time we spend looking at it, the more we subconsciously begin to believe that it is what we should live up to, and the "Why am I not as [insert adjective here] as her?"
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