Dear Hip-Hop: we’re breaking up. And it’s definitely Drake’s fault.

16/11/2015 § 1 Comment

No Drake, you can't have my number.
image via.

**Disclaimer: I’m about to liberally exercise the f-word and talk about sex, which is somewhat out of character for me on here.  If that’s not your thing, I would encourage you to skip to my next post.  No hard feelings.**

Dear Hip-Hop,

What’s good?  I admit it’s been a bit since we’ve spent quality time together, and I’m sorry about that.  There’s just so much music out there and TBH, I’ve been feeling like maybe we’ve drifted apart recently.  And that maybe (PROBABLY) this time its for good.

How did we get to this point?  This new song by Drake, honestly.  You know, “Hotline Bling?”

Yeah, I’m not sure why his phone blings instead of rings either, but that’s not my main concern here.  Neither are the old man dance moves.  First, I want to ask for a bit of clarification as to what Drake is actually upset about in the song.

You used to call me on my cell phone
Late night when you need my love
Call me on my cell phone
Late night when you need my love
And I know when that hotline bling
That can only mean one thing
I know when that hotline bling
That can only mean one thing

Ever since I left the city,
You got a reputation for yourself now
Everybody knows and I feel left out
Girl you got me down, you got me stressed out
‘Cause ever since I left the city,
you started wearing less and goin’ out more
Glasses of champagne out on the dance floor
Hangin’ with some girls I’ve never seen before

Ok, there’s a lot here I want to unpack, but first, is Drake essentially upset because a girl he used to only talk to in the middle of the night — only talk to in order to coordinate sex, mind you, (only mean “one thing”) — is now out on the prowl herself?  Okay.  Okay, great.  So, it’s totally okay for him to only talk to her for sex (in a purely transactional matter), but it’s not okay for her to go out and get in the mix on her own.  And its especially not okay for her to hang out with girls he’s unfamiliar with.  Have I got that straight?

These days, all I do is
Wonder if you bendin’ over backwards for someone else
Wonder if you’re rollin’ up a backwoods for someone else
Doing things I taught you, gettin’ nasty for someone else
You don’t need no one else
You don’t need nobody else, no
Why you never alone
Why you always touching road
Used to always stay at home, be a good girl
You was in a zone, yeah
You should just be yourself
Right now, you’re someone else

And this person she’s “become” – it’s not really herself, because if she was being herself, she would sit at home and wait for Drake to return to town and then be available only to him, right?  Wait, sorry — only available to him in the middle of the night. Because that’s what good girls do?

Ok, glad that’s clear.  My next question is, where does a barney like Drake, who looks like the guy who would offer to do your Algebra 2 homework JUST to get your phone number, exactly get off?  I’m supposed to believe he has so much swag he’s owed this girl’s sexual freedom?  Or even receive a vote on how she should live her life?  GTFOH.  For real.

Hip-hop, this is why we are breaking up.  You used to be exciting.  You used to be soulful.  You used to be angry.  Now, you’re just….Drake-ified.  And the sexist tropes you continue to trot out make it really hard to even casually listen to you.

It’s because your words have power, even if the mouthpieces are whack as hell.  Hip-hop, think of all the people listening to you on the subway, in the car, at home.  Think of a generation of men repeating over and over to themselves that a girl isn’t a good girl unless she stays home and waits to service me sexually, on my terms.  Think of a generation of women, singing along, quasi-endorsing that this is an okay way for men to think about their sexuality.  Because when you say things, either out loud or in your mind, they affect you — your thoughts, your mood, your state of well being.  It’s not a blatant indoctrination, but it just keeps creeping in and I really think it’s affecting the way that we relate to each other, as human beings.

Now, I hear your protestations, hip-hop.  Drake isn’t all that bad!  He was on Degrassi Jr High!  He had a cute Bar Mitzvah video!  And his song isn’t that sexist!  Maybe he also realizes he is really REALLY lame and maybe there was more to the relationship than we are hearing in the song!

Okay, well, as a bookend, let’s take the other hip-hop/r&b artist in the top 5 this week on the Billboard Hot 100: The Weeknd, and his song The Hills.

I only call you when it’s half past five
The only time that I’ll be by your side
I only love it when you touch me, not feel me
When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me
When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me, yeah
I only fuck you when it’s half past five
The only time I’d ever call you mine
I only love it when you touch me, not feel me
When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me
When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me, babe

I’mma let you know and keep it simple
Tryna keep it up don’t seem so simple
I just fucked two bitches ‘fore I saw you
And you gon’ have to do it at my tempo
Always tryna send me off to rehab
Drugs started feelin’ like it’s decaf
I’m just tryna live life for the moment
And all these motherfuckers want a relapse

Full confession: yes hip-hop, I love the music the Weeknd makes — THE MUSIC.  It’s dramatic and interesting and it makes me feel like I either want to punch someone in the face or rip all their clothes off.  I fully appreciate the novel quality of his art.  It really does makes me feel something.

But these lyrics?  I can’t.  I’ve seen concert footage of Abel (The Weeknd’s government name) leading hundreds of people screaming about how they will only be calling at 5:30am, and it makes me sad.  It makes me sad to think about people walking around humming the hook — which is catchy as hell, I admit — and what that might be doing to the way they feel about their relationships.  And I’m a reasonably confident, self-assured adult — can you imagine what these words are doing to younger, more malleable minds?  Are you surprised there are sexting rings in high schools?  You shouldn’t be.  You’re only supposed to touch me, not feel me.

But wait, I hear you complaining hip-hop: isn’t this what the modern age of relationships is?  Isn’t it actually so evolved of us to liberate sex from commitment and empower everyone to do whatever we want and hook up with people at all hours of the night?  Sorry, I’m really skeptical.  While it’s a modern notion to treat sex and relationships more casually, I’d argue it’s probably less evolved.  A lot of people are unhappy, unsure and lonely — even if they are having A LOT of sex.  We haven’t figured out how to feel about these arrangements — much less how to feel GOOD about them, and so we get songs from Drake about being upset some girl isn’t willing to exclusively give him…casual sex? What?

Hip-hop, I am tired of you using sex as a commodity.  A commodity that men own and women spitefully keep from them.  A commodity that men are owed and should receive whenever they decide they want it, however they want it.  A commodity that when spent by women is magically transformed into something slutty.  How are we supposed to teach our little girls to feel good about sex — when sex is the safest and most accessible it’s ever been in human history — when Future is writing bars like “I just fucked your bitch in some Gucci flip flops”? (Side note: Which is a 10-word masterpiece of materialistic, emasculating, slut-shaming misogyny, when you think about it.) (Side note to the side note: Future, do you need a hug?)  The point is, if we keep treating sex like it’s nothing, how equipped are we to handle it when it is something?

You’ve let me down, hip-hop.  You’ve grown fat and lazy and you make me feel rotten.  Where are your songs about actually connecting with someone?  About love?  About respect?  About ANYTHING remotely happy?  Why, hip-hop, have you allowed yourself to become so one-dimensional?  And where the hell did Common go?  And while the circumstances I just described aren’t entirely your fault, hip-hop, this is a boundary I can easily draw for myself.

So, it is with regret (?) that I inform you that we are breaking up, hip-hop.  It’s not me, it’s you.

Well, it’s you and Drake.

Featured: Summary Magazine

04/04/2014 § Leave a comment

Trench Coat - Summary Mag

Just a quick note to mention a piece I wrote for Summary Magazine on the history of the trench coat and a few of its big moments onscreen.  Head here to read it.

Have a lovely weekend! M. xx

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My New York-aversary

04/08/2013 § 1 Comment

I <3 NYCPhoto via Instagram.

I was about halfway through the day before I realized that today marks the sixth anniversary since I landed in New York.  Six years.  It sort of crept up on me.  More than five years, but less than ten, the time seems to have accelerated in speed since year two (or so) and while I wasn’t looking I suppose I’ve become one of those seasoned “New York people” I marveled at when I first moved here.  People who understood the subways.  People who were surprised by nothing.  People who knew all sorts of interesting people and places in the city.  People who tossed off the numbers of years they’d lived in the city with nonchalance.

Yet, I’m not sure if I’m a New Yorker.  I still feel solidly connected to California and my roots out west, even though I’ve definitely settled into a rhythm within this busy, crazy, hectic city over time.  Establishing your relationship with this city demands time; it’s too much to take in and too much to experience, to rush the process.  Through it all, I’ve changed boyfriends, roommates, friends, colleagues, and jobs — but the city remains.  I’ve lived in places like Tribeca and Crown Heights and the Upper East Side and Murray Hill and Soho and the Financial District.  There are still entire neighborhoods I’ve yet to see or experience, while there are some I know like the back of my hand.  I’ve danced at nightclubs that no longer exist.  I know exactly where my preferred door on my preferred subway car will stop at both ends of my commute.  It’s almost like you come to an agreement with New York: you eke out a tiny portion of the city, you plant some roots, and if you work hard — and have a bit of luck — you flourish.

I’ve seen plenty of people come and go.  Some who predated me and decamped, declaring they’d “had enough” of it all — which to a newbie can sound almost impossible to fathom. Others arrive so full of hope and just can’t seem to make it work.  Still others are taken away by school or jobs or marriages.  While perhaps not as transient as Washington, DC, New York definitely maintains a sense of constant churn just below the surface.  People frequently reference how long they’ve lived here or worked there.  Transplants are constantly trying to figure out if they’re short-timers or in it for the long haul, while those born and bred in the city wear it as a badge.

I’ve always trusted in the assumption that when the time comes for me to leave, I will know it, innately.  But right now, this crazy life still feels right.  I still feel that thrill when I see the Chrysler Building at dusk.  I’m still excited for that first glimpse of the skyline whenever I return from being out of town.  The city still feels open, ripe for opportunity and adventure.  While I don’t know what chapter of this story this might be, I know we haven’t quite reached the end…

Happy Anniversary, New York.  I still love you.

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 11 – Craft Your Written Signature

21/02/2013 § 2 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Charm School: Craft Your Written SignatureSophia Loren signing autographs in Italy, 1961.
Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker! Christine Mitchell is an exceptionally talented artist and the founder of the blog N’East Style, where she explores an aesthetic that is modern, yet rustic, with a deep admiration of all things New England, independent and handmade.  But aside from all the cool stuff Christine introduces me to on her blog, and her amazing talent as an artist, the main reason I asked her to participate is because she is one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  I knew whatever she chose to share would be heartfelt and charming, just like she is, and I was right.  If you are not yet familiar with Christine or N’East Style, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Christine’s tip for a charmed life.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Day 11: Craft Your Written Signature
I remember watching my mum doing bills and accounts on our dining room table. As a little girl I saw that as being the height of sophistication, almost more so than a fancy new bag or shoes. She would sit there with stacks of paperwork, a mug of piping hot Earl Grey tea, and a black ink pen handy for signing checks etc. And her signature was perfection. Loopy cursive with the ideal slant. Mature without being too feminine, it was exactly what I thought a real lady’s signature should be. I remember signing my own name over and over again on lined pads of paper as she helped me to develop my own John Hancock. It was like a coming of age ritual for me. So since I was about 12, I’ve signed my name exactly the same way. It’s a mix of traditional cursive and hurried scribble (the FedEx delivery guy actually complimented me on it the other day). We live in an age where you don’t have to use your John Hancock as much, most everything is online now. But I think perfecting a signature is a true sign of being an adult and it’s an important attribute to your identity. And to ensure that your signature doesn’t go to waste, be sure to keep good paper and an excellent pen on hand.

QC Charm School: Craft Your Written Signature

by Christine Mitchell, of N’East Style

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The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 10 – Learn How to Drive

20/02/2013 § 1 Comment

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Charm School: Learn to DriveView along US 40 in Mount Vernon Canyon, Colorado, 1942.  Image via LOC.

As a California native, today’s lesson didn’t immediately come to mind.  When you are a Los Angeles teenager, it is the countdown of all countdowns until you reach the fabled age of 15 1/2 and you are finally eligible to start down the illustrious path to getting your driver’s license.  I remember that storied day in the tenth grade when the oldest person in our grade level took off her morning classes to go to the DMV with her mother.  Her return that afternoon with that piece of paper we all wanted in our own wallets, was something like the opening scene from A Hard Day’s Night.  Okay, not really.  But almost.

Getting back to my original point, in my LA brain, it is my default assumption that all adults know how to drive, but when I landed on the East Coast, I realized that this wasn’t actually true.  I encountered plenty of people who had grown up on the efficiency of public transportation and hadn’t needed to learn how to parallel park (okay, yes, I will admit that I envied that part).  And while I currently enjoy partaking of said efficient transportation, there really is something about having the ability to jump into a car and head off into the great unknown…or to IKEA to buy a dresser, if you feel like it.  It is a ticket to adventure similar to my very first Charm School lesson, where I recommended getting your passport.  Adventures happen when you make yourself available for them.  Add a few skills to your arsenal and you never know where you might end up.

Sidenote: For those of you who already know how to drive an automatic, I’d challenge you to learn how to drive a manual transmission, which will come in handy when traveling internationally.  Or when racing cars.  Or when driving sweet old cars.  If you already know how to do that, I’m sure there’s something you don’t know how to drive.  Get out there and find it.

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 8 — Forgive Yourself

18/02/2013 § 11 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Charm School: Forgive YourselfAlbino horses fighting, 1945.
Taken by William Shrout for Life Magazine.

Today’s post and today’s lesson is a bit out of the ordinary. While February tends to be my busiest and happiest time of the year here on the blog, with Charm School and Fashion Week and etc., you may have noticed that I went dark after the 8th of February, a full ten days ago. I touched upon the fact that I was dealing with a few things in “real life” in a post I called The Bump, and I was trying my best to keep up with the already rigorous schedule I had set out for myself, but I found that I just…couldn’t. As difficult as it was, I knew that it would be for the best if I stepped away for a short time.

Today marks the first time I’ve felt ready to talk, and while we lost some ground on February, I am promising to you that I am going to finish out my Charm School lesson plan – all 28 lessons of it – even if it takes us into March (and it will). I apologize for this unforeseen delay and I want you to know that I would be honored if you decide to continue to follow along with me. With this mea culpa, I’d like to transition to today’s lesson.

There is a hard law. When an injury is done to us,
we never recover until we forgive.”

–Alan Paton

Day 8: Forgive Yourself
When I decided that I would have to take a short hiatus, I was immediately seized with feelings of guilt. No matter that I knew it was the right thing to do in the moment, for my sake and my personal well-being, I still felt like I was falling down on the “job” and that my readers might be upset that I wasn’t doing what I said I would (or at least, when I said I would do it). I felt like I was letting everyone down, and that really frustrated me, but I had to face reality. I had to be honest with myself that I couldn’t do it all. I needed to create some space in my schedule to deal with more pressing matters, and to do that I had to hit pause on the blog. Most importantly, I also needed to forgive myself for this temporary shortcoming, because without that forgiveness, I would be stuck in a place where I felt like a failure, when the whole point of this exercise was to give me the ability to move forward.

Forgiveness can be a tricky thing. When you feel you have been wronged, it is human nature to seek out a target to blame. It is difficult to deal with the concept of an indiscriminate universe, one that doesn’t bound itself by the sensible rules of fairness, and when things don’t go our way, we want to find a reason. Most times the scapegoat is someone in close proximity to the hurt or occurrence – the boss that fired you, the boyfriend who broke up with you – but sometimes, the scapegoat is yourself. You are the reason your finances are a mess, you are the reason your bed is never made, you are the reason that you don’t eat right, you are the reason you don’t have a girlfriend, you, you, YOU.

Forgiving someone else can be hard enough, but forgiving yourself? It can seem downright impossible, and it is something that I personally have struggled with for most of my life. From the fourth grade when those goddamn multiplication tables would just not stick in my brain, to how frustrated I am currently at myself for not going to the gym enough (ok, ok, at all), I regularly beat myself up about things large and small, and the “blog pause” was no exception. The thing is, when we scapegoat and hold grudges (even against ourselves), we prevent growth. We remain stuck in a whiny, anxious purgatory where all we can do is focus on past disappointments, failures and bad feelings. This is not what I want for you, or for me.  It’s about as far from charming as you can get.

Today I want you to try to focus on taking a step back and forgiving yourself for all those “shortcomings.” Try to acknowledge and accept the fact that you didn’t quite hit the benchmark, but double down on the effort to get there next time. Focus on what can be, not what was, and take positive steps. Make to-do lists, chart progress, count victories, forgive shortfalls. Letting go of the self-blame opens you up to the possibility of living your most charmed life yet; a life that understands we will stumble sometimes, a life that forgives.

Lastly, while stepping away from Charm School for a few days was a personal decision that I forgive myself for, I also hope that you will be able to forgive me for going dark without any notice. It was never my intention to leave anyone in the lurch, and I hope you will decide to stay with us for the remaining lessons. Class is officially back in session.

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 5 – The Bump

06/02/2013 § 12 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Charm School: The BumpMrs. Donn F. Eisele during her husband’s trip on the Apollo 7 mission, 1968.
Photo by Vernon Merritt, via Life.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
— Haruki Murakami

Day 5: The Bump
Most times my Charm School entries are plucked from the vintage-imbued ether that tends to swirl about my brain, but there are special times that I find inspiration in what is happening in my own life, or from conversations my friends and family.  Today’s lesson is of the latter category.  When I recently experienced a personal setback unrelated to the blog, it impacted my “production schedule” and, frankly, my motivation and pleasure for writing.  Aside from a general malaise about blogging, I also was sailing upon troubled waters.  I was upset, I was angry, I was hurt, I was worried, and the tumult of these feelings lead to a sort of paralysis — almost like a state of emotional shock.

While I felt like all I wanted to do was to sit on my couch and wring my hands, I knew that the only way to improve my current state was to affirmatively affect the present — not wallow in the past, nor worry about the future — after I took time to honor and own the emotions I was experiencing.  While a lot of this was work I had to do on myself, personally, my lovely family, friends and colleagues also played an important part, offering me support, advice and assistance in many different forms.  They listened to me.  They checked in on me.  They spent time with me.  And as they showed that they cared for me in ways large and small, it helped me to feel stronger.  I felt more and more like I didn’t want to wring my hands.  I felt like I wanted to move forward, and that I had the ability to do so.

I was especially affected by the words of someone very special to me, when we were discussing the fact that I was upset that I didn’t even feel like blogging — something I’ve always taken a lot of pleasure in doing.  He assured me that what I was feeling was okay, and possibly even a good sign, because it showed how much I cared about producing something I was proud of.  He also pointed out that my blog was a reflection of my life, and that with a full life there were bound to be bumps, so the blog was bound to have bumps too.  That I had to deal with the bump, ride over it, and — truthfully — try to be ready for the next one, and that I should not take less joy out of blogging because of the bump, because I was learning about myself.  I was growing.

So for today’s lesson, I want us all to focus on making The Bump our friend.  Whatever troubles you might be facing, big or small, if you can find a way to look at them as opportunities for growth, I can guarantee that you will feel empowered to make the affirmative steps to take yourself up off that couch and to stop wringing your hands.  We are only a victim of our circumstances if we allow ourselves to be.  Rude as it may be, The Bump is there to remind us that it is time to change our perspective.  Let’s enjoy the ride as much as we can.

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Hold Fast. Let Go.

14/11/2012 § 10 Comments

As I mentioned last week, I still have yet to return home due to damages my apartment building suffered during Hurricane Sandy.  I have been removed from my normal routine and neighborhood, but I recognize that compared to some, I have lost very little.  I am very sorry to have been an absentee parent these past few days, and I wanted to let you know that your emails checking in on me have been a particularly bright spot for me in this stretch of time.  Thank you! xo

That said, I have found these past few weeks difficult.  Personally, when I feel like I have a sense of control over things, I feel the most secure.  Having to leave my home has forced me to cede a certain amount of that control, and that has been disconcerting.  But I believe that this also speaks to a larger concept that I have struggled with throughout my life: the concept of letting go – the process of detaching myself from an outcome, a routine, a person, or a relationship that I have invested my time, my money or my heart (or even all three) into.

In the early post-Sandy days, I realized that I was hanging on to a lot of frustration at being displaced and also at not being able to do anything about it.  It bled over into other areas of my life, causing me to feel sullen and wanting to retreat – all because I felt like I had lost my sense of control over my living conditions.  That’s it!  I hadn’t really lost anything at all!  Well, maybe aside from a few trips to my local — yet overpriced — bodega.  And maybe my perspective.

So, this past week I have tried my best to keep in mind that this change is only temporary, to trust that I will be home soon, to embrace a new neighborhood and to be very thankful that I have the help of some truly lovely friends.  It isn’t every day that I get the opportunity to step outside my usual box and since I haven’t lived on the Upper East Side since 2008, I’ve spent a lot of time simply walking around the neighborhood.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting a few of my old favorite places like the Ralph Lauren mansion, Sant Ambroeus and The Frick, discovering new (to me, at least) gems like the Lexington Bar and Books and Creel & Gow, and I actually forced myself to get out and run in Central Park over the beautiful fall weekend we had.  Changing my perspective was hard work, but I’ve been feeling much, much better.

Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture, there is something very, very easy – and very dangerous – in the refusal to let go of negativity.  It’s what a good friend described to me as being “comfortably sad.”  You get comfortable with being sad or frustrated, because you aren’t quite sure what it would feel like to try to let that go and move forward.  If you’re at all like me, that can seem a bit like jumping out of a plane without being completely sure that you’ve got your parachute – and your two backup parachutes, too.  But the thing is, if we hold on to anger or sadness or regret or pain, we prevent ourselves from moving forward.  We prevent growth.

This can obviously apply to personal relationships as well, and I know I’ve definitely been guilty of this myself.  Holding on to a relationship that isn’t really working or miring yourself in the pain of a relationship that has ended, can sometimes seem like the easier path – better the devil you know.  True, it is a way to avoid dealing with any new feelings or facing the fear of the unknown, but you’re also completely foreclosing your opportunity to be truly happy.  It isn’t easy, don’t get me wrong.  It is a painful process, but it’s nothing compared to the pain of a life spent unfulfilled.  I want you to know that you are worth that risk.  I want you to try to let go.

The first step, is knowing when to say when.  I oddly found inspiration in an old nautical term, illustrated in the picture above, from a 1940 issue of Life Magazine (which you can view here).  The traditional sailor tattoo “hold fast” written across the knuckles, is a good luck charm – one of many such symbolic tattoos worn by seamen throughout the years – to ensure the bearer’s steady grip as he worked onboard.  A “fast” refers to a line (or rope) that has been secured.  However, “hold fast” – or rather, it’s Dutch origins hou’vast or houd vast – also gave rise to the nautical term “avast,” meaning to cease, or to stop.  One term, two very different meanings.

What I chose to take away from this nautical history moment, is that the same hands that can hold fast to something – or someone – are just as capable of letting go.  And while there definitely are things in life that are worth fighting for, not everything is.  What I hope you’ll realize, is that there is just as much strength in the surrender.

Hold fast.  Let go.

It’s All Transitory

15/09/2012 § 8 Comments

Transitory
tran·si·to·ry/ˈtransiˌtôrē/
Adjective
Meaning: not permanent
transitory periods of medieval greatness
Origin: late Middle English: from Old French transitoire,
from Christian Latin transitorius, from transit- ‘gone across’

Wearing: GANT shirt (similar), H&M skirt (similar idea) and belt (similar),
Cooperative tassel skimmer, Bag by San Fernando Valley Mercantile
Lips: NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dragon Girl
Photos taken by Jenna Rosebery in Madison Square Park

There’s been a snap in the weather in New York that arrived this week like an old familiar friend.  It was that moment when the endless sun-filled possibilities of summer darken — just a bit — and you realize that it’s only a matter of days before the leaves will be gone and you start to pull on clothes you’ve forgotten you have. While the California girl in me will always want it to be just a little warmer and sunnier outside, since moving to New York I’ve really come to value the transitional seasons of fall and spring — two seasons that Los Angeles distinctly lacks.

Fall is a time for introspection — it isn’t hopeful and promising in the same way that spring is.  There are no fuzzy spring chicks or pretty buds, but rather falling leaves and ripening apples that can cause your thoughts wander to the areas in your own life that have changed, will be changing, or need to be changed.  Definitely over the last few weeks of my own life, this has been this case.  With the emphasis on the spring of 2013 during fashion week, the fact that we are in for a stretch of colder weather, a few more holidays, a new year and yet another birthday of mine, came into sharp focus.  I’ve also been met with some pretty big changes in my professional and personal life that I’m currently navigating.

Taking a step back from it all, the word “transitory” repeatedly came to my mind, and how we are forever in transit, forever navigating, and while changes can range from the annoying to the downright painful, it helps to remember that constant motion forward.  Not to mention the friends, family members and colleagues who are there to help us along the way.  But most importantly, keep in mind that you are completely in charge of yourself.  While we can’t control what happens to us, we definitely can control how we react.  So don’t ever forget to drive your own bus.

With that, please join me in welcoming fall!
xoxo. M.

Words || Richard Avedon

13/08/2012 § 2 Comments

Too good to not share.
Let’s promise to not wait for our Mondays anymore.

“I believe in maniacs. I believe in type As. I believe that you’ve got to love your work so much that it is all you want to do. I believe you must betray your mistress for your work, you betray your wife for your work; I believe that she must betray you for her work. I believe that work is the one thing in the world that never betrays you, that lasts. If I were going to be a politician, if I were going to be a scientist, I would do it every day. I wouldn’t wait for Monday. I don’t believe in weekends.

If you’re headed for a life that’s only involved with making money and that you hope for satisfaction somewhere else, you’re headed for a lot of trouble. And whatever replaces vodka when you’re 45 is what you’re going to be doing.”

Richard Avedon (1923 – 2004)
Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt in New York, 1963.
Image via the Life Archives.

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