Freaky Friday

It’s noontime and I already feel ready to go back to bed. I’ve got a case of freaky Fridays: that last day of work and stress before some time off on the weekend, and yet…

I tried straightening my hair this morning. And, if you’ve ever seen a photo of my hair, you know it’s kind of a crazy, wavy mess. It has a mind of its own. I don’t know why I thought today was a good day to tame it. I failed, not badly, but enough. Then I got so angry that I threw my hairbrush on the bathroom floor hard enough to break it.

(In the irony that it my life, a little girl told me she really liked my hair as I walked into the grocery story this morning. I wish she had been with me a hour earlier when I was sitting on the edge of the tub, crying from frustration.)

B and I also danced around a reoccurring hard conversation this morning. While private, I will say that it’s difficult to always feel like the bad guy.

And when I (finally) came into work, my close colleague all but said that I wasn’t around this morning when she really, really needed support and she felt let down — which was also exactly when I was home crying about my hair and dwelling on couple stuff.

I find myself on the brink of tearing up this week.

“It’s hard being a human.” I heard that come up from an actor once, when talking about their role as the police officer in William Eno’s Middletown. (It’s a beautiful, modern take on Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.)  It’s easy as an outsider to make a judgement on someone when you see them in a less-than-glorious moment in their life; you may not understand, though, that that’s simply someone’s really bad day. We all have them, those freaky Fridays. You hate being in the midst of them, but forget, when you’re in the clear, that the wave has hit someone else instead.

The last time I wore this dress, I felt light and happy.

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Today, I pulled it off a pile of clothes in the bedroom. It passed the sniff-test. I think that’s as good I’ll get today while waiting for the dark cloud to pass.

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Hot Hot Hot!

The heat wave we’ve been experiencing in New England over the past week has finally broken! It was a steamy few days during which I was trying to don the lightest clothing I owned and taking frequent cool showers. (On Monday, I decided it was necessary to wear a bathing suit while lounging on the couch in my library. B came home from work to find me asleep and sprawled with A Member of the Wedding resting on my bare belly. The joys of living with someone: you get to see all the nitty-gritty!)

Now that it’s a bit cooler — and that I am tanner than normal — I decided to pull out this new Donna Morgan dress. I originally saw it on the Stitch Fix blog back in the spring and wanted it badly. I loved the shape of it, as well as the unique pattern of the fabric. Plus, the color is gorgeous! But, in Stitch Fix fashion, I didn’t have a Fix lined up in time and, while I get pieces I love in the end, I rarely get those that I see and am desperate to own.

In a late night online browsing session in the spring, I stumbled across this piece on Modcloth. The price was too high (I think $129?) so I put the idea to rest. When I was on more recently, I searched in again and saw that it was on final sale for $64! And they had my size! I scooped it up in a heartbeat!

As mentioned earlier, I love the vibrancy of the color (“hot pepper” according to the tag) and the patterned fabric. The fit is just right too. This time around, I paired the dress with my go-to TOMS ikat flats. I have an after hours work event to host, plus an arts festival in the city after that to attend, so I knew running around necessitated comfort.

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Dress: Donna Morgan via Modcloth

Belt: H&M

Shoes: TOMS

I’ve been trying lately to really balance work stuff with fun stuff. I’m often guilty of cutting myself from my own life and dedicating inordinate amounts of time to whatever I do. It may make me a “valuable employee” to my bosses, but it leads to burn out pretty quickly. (Definitely a lesson I’m trying to impart upon my work intern or any younger readers here!)

When I found out that my little city was hosting a week-long arts festival, I knew I had to participate, even if it meant a lot of late nights. There’s something about taking that break to breathe, recoup, and connect with people on an emotional or intellectual level that sounds instantly appealing. Don’t get me wrong — I love talking history or theatre non-stop, but sometimes, I just want to sit back and be someone else’s guest.

Salt Water

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” Isak Dinesen

If any quote encompasses the past three weeks, it’s been this.

Work was tough, especially last week. I won’t lie: there were a few days that I came home, plopped on the couch and cried. I was tired and frustrated and scared. While I really enjoy what I do, it’s difficult to work long hours and feel like that’s not enough. Or to find out that a marathon week was made incredibly longer because someone failed to plan accordingly. Or to realize that, despite best efforts to stay calm and collected and professional, someone can disrupt that zen-like calm with an angry outburst.

In the midst of this craziness, on one of the worst days, B convinced me to just escape with him for an evening and get to the sea. We visited a local, hallmark seafood restaurant to eat chowder and fish and chips. The restaurant was on the water, with huge open windows, so I had a cooling ocean breeze to clear my head of bad thoughts. After dinner, in the dark, we walked along the shore and simply breathed the salty air. We found a jetty and, disregarding my normal qualms about hopping along the rocks, I forced myself out toward the end and relished the adrenaline rush it brought.

Ok, two out of three, not bad. But where’s the sweat? I started running again! During a recent trip to the gym, I hopped on the treadmill and started to run. It felt horrible and wonderful all at once: I was hot and gross within minutes, but exhilarated at the thought of running miles again. Of being a “runner” again. I’ve promised myself at least one 5K this fall, so I have a goal to build up to within a manageable timeframe. I even bought a new pair of running tights and tank as encouragement!

During the last few weeks, I’ve asked B to take photos only a couple of times. This is one of my favorite outfits recently. I love the pop of coral against the polka dots. And, yes, I’m one of few ladies in the world who can easily match their blouse, shoes, AND lipstick without trying.

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Blouse: Modcloth

Skirt: TJMaxx.com

Shoes: LOFT

Shorts (for the chub-rub!): Under Armor via Good Will

Lipstick: Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Venezia

Independence

The big question from everyone lately — colleagues, volunteers at work, visitors to the museum — is “how are you planning on spending your Fourth of July long weekend?” Well, my week included 14 hour workday Thursday, a mad dash of museum goers Friday (my site was the only open place for people to go in the city apparently), and then a stressful drive to see fireworks for twenty minutes last night. For some rest and recuperation after all that, I made the decision to spend the day at home reading Chimamanda Ngowzi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. (Which I’m enjoying as much as I did Americanah.)

As first, I really thought that was a lame idea. Ugh, you’re forgoing cookouts and drinking beer and fireworks with friends to stay at home reading about the Nigerian civil war?! And then it hit me that there are so many people in the world — especially women — who are denied the right to own their own homes or to have educations or even decide how they’ll spend their days and I’m so ridiculously lucky to be able to do and have all of those things. This country may not be perfect, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all of the opportunities and liberties that it has afforded me as a citizen.

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Dress: Brixon Ivy James Laser Cut Dress via Stitch Fix

Cardigan: LOFT

Shoes: TOMS

Necklace: Modcloth

Watch: Fossil