I’ll be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve written a post (WordPress says it’s been four months) that I initially forgot how to start a new draft. But here we are. Another Christmas on the horizon, another year coming to a close. And another outfit post where I liberally insert my recent introspections to try to make sense of it all.
That sentence would seem to suggest some sort of tragic puzzle that needs to be pieced together and I can promise that’s not it. The first semester of my public Health master’s program was an exhausting and enthralling experience that demanded a lot of time, energy, and growth. And despite all the “should I drop out of grad school” song and dance I regularly subjected my loved ones to, it was far from catastrophic. Mistakes were made and lots of lessons were learned, inside and outside the classroom.
As a writer, I am just a compulsively reflective person, cursed with the gift of making sense of only the past- and only a slight tendency to the melodramatic. After so long of only writing article reviews and policy analyses, I type these words with some measure of self-conscious hesitancy… but I type them nonetheless because maybe it’ll help me key down from the semester. Also because I can’t spend every night of winter break eating white fudge Oreos and binge-watching The Family or I’ll go bananas.
This Christmas will be the ten year anniversary of my holiday spent in rehab, which I already discussed in last year’s Christmas post. It’s both humbling and overwhelming to think of all the experiences I’ve had in the ten years since then, most of which would have been inconceivable to my 17-year-old self. Even more humbling was rereading my post from last Christmas and thinking about the two-steps-forward-one-step-back sort of progress that’s taken place since then. When the new year grows a little closer, I’ll write a decisive retrospective of 2016, much like I did for 2015. No lie, it’s a little bizarre to think that I’ve been blogging with enough time and dedication to have (accidentally) started some yearly WHSH traditions.
Not to spoil anything but one of my biggest areas of both growth and struggle in 2016 has been- big surprise- relationships. Even after some of my less than graceful break-ups, I’m just now truly realizing how terrible I can be at talking about my feelings when I’m upset. Put me in front of a room full of strangers and I can talk all day about some of the worst parts of my using days with unequaled ease. But god forbid I feel a marginal amount of insecurity in reaction to something completely innocent my boyfriend said. The silver lining of this is that he is worth every second of discomfort that growth requires. I admit I’m getting a bit mushy because he’s currently on a much deserved vacation and (selfishly) I miss him something awful. Can’t wait to see you at Christmas, PB.
Speaking of 2016’s struggles, my wardrobe magically transformed from a minimalist capsule to a dumpster fire of emotional purchases. It’s almost kind of impressive how much I’ve amassed in such a short amount of time but mostly just a bit sad/alarming. Oreo eating and The Family watching aside, I did manage to sort out two trash bags worth of clothes (!!!) I need to get rid of. Yikes, Leah. Just plain yikes, though it did make for a little cathartic little closet clean-out. Added bonus: finding all the amazing pieces hiding in my closet that had been forgotten in favor of leggings and Ugg boots while rushing out the door to an 8AM class. Both of these holiday outfits are a firm reminder to me that a big wardrobe is not needed to look good and feel comfortable in my skin.
I have several more posts planned for the span of winter break but I also have some (read: all) of my gift wrapping left to do tonight. Future posts will be a bit more lighthearted and hopefully a little more articulate as I get back in the groove of free time, much less writing outside of academia. Just like riding a bike, yeah? On a lighter and more festive note, here are my favorite 5 Christmas songs for your enjoyment, as well as a rundown of both outfits:
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland
- Sleigh Ride – Fun.
- All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
- Yule Shoot Your Eye Out – Fall Out Boy
- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *NSYNC
As always, if you have any questions, whether they are outfit-related or not, please write me in the comments below or contact me on my various social media outlets. Also, if you have anything you’d like to see in a future video or post, just let me know. I love hearing from y’all!
Be kind. Live authentically. Practice gratitude. Hustle daily. Work hard. Stay humble.
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