To the women who tell you when you have lipstick on your teeth, the ladies that never leave your wine glass empty, the old gals brimming with dirty stories and inspiring advice, the young ones with popsicle mouths and earnest grins, the chicks in between, wandering through it all, grounded by splinters of innocence and aspirations of wisdom: Happy International Women’s Day.
Lately I’ve noticed how much I let external things affect my happiness. A new city makes me bubble with joy, attention from that cute dude makes my heart flip, an indulgent meal makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
It’s not a bad attribute, in general, to find joy in these experiences. What’s the alternative? A calloused heart that’s never excited? The problem is, sometimes the good fortune well dries up. What happens when your phone is silent, bank account drained, and you stepped on a cockroach on fifth ave? What happens when your pleasurable experiences are suddenly defunct and you’d still like to remain a happy person?
Do you shift your focus to another vessel, another spot of your life that could define your happiness? Or do you draw inward, like a belly button during pilates?
We both know the answer: your happiness should come from your insides. You know how they tell you your hair will be long and beautiful if you eat all the foods you hate and stop swimming in vodka? Same idea. It’s an inside out sort of thing.
What you feel should emanate from your core, rather than seep in through your pores. You should smile because your insides are full of rainbow sprinkles, not because someone complimented you on your new shoes. You should smile because you’re alive and bright and with-it and you usually smell good, not because you’re rolling in cash and affection.
This is hard to do. As a sensitive soul it’s a challenge to keep my happiness sucked in and tucked away, instead of letting it flap around like a scarf in the wind, dependent on outside gusts.
Culturally we also tend to measure happiness by external measurements: do you like your job, are you in love, do you like where you live, is there food on the table, couture on your back? You know, the whole appreciate whatcha got schtick. We don’t usually ask each other, “are you happy just for the sake of being happy? are you happy just because you are what you are and you like yourself, stripped of everything else?”
I don’t care about the people who are happy and have everything. They can go ride unicorns together into the golden sunset. I think I need to meet some people who are happy, despite having nothing but themselves. Those people are the reality check. So, should I google Mother Teresa quotes or find the friendliest looking homeless person on my block to chat with?
Since it’s Thanksgiving (weekend), here’s what I’m thankful for this year:
1. Ryan Gosling
2. The versatility of the Jack in the Box menu
3. Pinot Noir
4. Moments of clarity
5. Non-threatening bums that remind me of Santa Claus
7. Trendy guys that look like Jesus (sexy Jesus…)
8. Men, sometimes…
9. Chivalry, always…
12. Home cooked meals, not cooked by moi
13. Scalp massages
14. My friends, for loving me against their better judgment
15. My family, for loving me because they’re obligated (and also for their own entertainment)
16. My mom, for her loud cackle of a laugh
17. My dad, for never knowing how much clothes should cost
18. My dog, when he smells good
19. My brothers, when they’re asleep
20. The extra cheese on the wrapper of an In N Out burger
21. Football games, for the tailgates
22. Restaurants with extraordinary bread baskets
23. Cities with bars that stay open past 2
24. Tree lined, curvy roads
25. The smell of coffee
26. The comfort of memories
27. The novelty of the future
28. Unplanned adventures
29. Unexpected friendships
30. Unapologetically (which apparently is not a word) immature inside jokes
31. Dirty jokes
32. Dirty martinis
35. People that prefer to be interested instead of interesting
36. Men with accents
37. Adorable old ladies
38. F Scott Fitzgerald
39. Woody Allen
40. People that listen
41. My health
42. KOST 103.5, for playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving
43. My job
44. Kraft Mac N Cheese
47. Palm Springs, for its frivolity
48. The Eagles
49. Babies that don’t cry on airplanes
50. People that don’t recline their chairs on airplanes
51. All of my best friends, for being my sisters
55. Hand sanitizer
56. Street style photographers
57. That 23-year-old sense of endless opportunities, people to meet, and places to go
58. Witnessing women in their 90’s with that same sense of youthful excitement
59. Comfortable heels
60. Real kindness
61. Candid people
63. Express check out lines
64. Art; fashion; design (and their overlapping nature)
So, Happy Thanksgiving:
Welcome to the Lady Freak, the sparkly new home to my sartorial obsessions, embarrassingly honest musings and artistic inspirations. If I could virtually bombard you with champagne and carbohydrates I’d do so as a thank you for stopping by. I had a blog before (here) and if you ever happened to read that puppy I’d like to say thank you for the support and friendship. While I loved my previous blog I have to admit that I started it on a woozy, summer night because I had a lot of opinions, obsessions and very few responsibilities. I knew absolutely nothing about the blogging world when I first started, except that I was constantly inspired by glistening good ideas and stylish ladies that made me consider going to sartorial places I’d never gone before.
Over the course of my first year of blogging (which was also my first year in the “real world”), quite a bit changed. So in the process of this “growing up” ordeal I decided to grow my blog into something new. I’ve been lingering in the no-blog zone for a couple of months now because quite frankly, I started to feel like every blog I read was very much the same. There are only so many times a girl can read a post on Kate Spade’s new fall campaign before she wants to start inhaling her hairspray.
So in a truly dramatic fashion I decided to take a couple of months to find “my voice” (which consequently is a few voices, all with varied accents) and try and figure out what worth there was in having a blog. I pined over these life altering questions for the summer (well, mostly I brooded in the company of pinot noir and Dance Moms— look it up) before realizing the main point of blogging is an exercise of self expression. The reason I’d been turned off by some other blogs is because without an undercurrent of individuality there isn’t really a point.
So emo blog contemplations aside, here’s the bottom line: I’m hoping to offer up my unfiltered thoughts on only the most important of topics (first date etiquette; non frumpy slipcovers; loafers) in a way that makes you think or laugh, instead of a way that makes you wonder, “wait… didn’t I just read this somewhere else?”. I’ll also be talking about animal prints, dirty martinis and Marilyn Monroe an unhealthy amount so if you’re allergic to a good time, step away now.
And one final thing: this blog was created for all my fellow lady freaks out there: the girls that live colorfully and with minimal regard for the color du jour.