Summertime Sadness

This summer I got sad.
I've been sad before; unfortunately it is really just a part of life. I think especially as you get older, the awareness of all the things that are worth being sad over can weigh you down. Maybe you thought growing up just meant no set bed time and Passion Flakies for breakfast (and lunch! and dinner!) but sometimes a lot of being grown up is hurting for the world, friends and family and also sadly, being hurt by the world, family and friends. 
But this summer I was sad for no real reason. 
I'm feeling much better now but the best way I can describe it is that on ok days I could paste a smile on my face to cover the fact that I literally felt empty from top to bottom, and on bad days it felt like I was not worthy of this life or that there was nothing in life worthy of being lived for. I don't know what was worse...
I know that sounds dramatic and when I write those words I cringe a little... But I. Just. Felt. So. Awful.
I told Matt, a best friend and my mom and we went to the doctor and we changed some things in my life to get things back on track. At first it was a relief to go through a day without feeling the deep sadness and over time, two good days in a row was reason to be thankful. Last week for the first time in three months I felt like myself again. I had been getting better for a while before that but for the first time in a while I finally felt like Jentine. Something went wrong (because yes, in addition to feeling like crap, this summer has been... um, very trying?) and I actually felt like I could handle it instead of wanting to disappear. 
I'm pretty sure it all started by just being burnt out. It's like Biggie Smalls said 'mo' money, mo' problems' except with a bigger shop, it's less money and mo' problems... Having the bigger shop is great in many ways but it is a beast behind the scenes trying to keep it filled with clean, wearable, fresh vintage constantly. The bills are higher, the stress is higher and honestly, sometimes it's not fun. And even though I've been honest about the struggle from the beginning, it is exhausting that so many people think you are living the dream when really you are just tired and broke and pissed. 
But tired and pissed off are feelings every person and/or entrepreneur feels; it was the anxiety that just crushed me. Suddenly I could not handle anything. I would stay up all night kicking my feet over issues that were either non issues, small issues or not even issues that were applicable to my life. I just wanted to hide in a hole and be alone for a year. I think if Breakfast Television had asked me to be on their show to promote my shop, I would have declined because the thought of doing anything public made me feel sick...
This is the part of the post where I start to sound like your grandmother but I also think a huge issue for me was feeling over-exposed. I remember when I started blogging people would just leave comments on your post and that was how communication was done in the blog world. And then one day I became a big girl and added a blog email address and that felt like such a big deal. 5 years later we're pretty much exposing every part of our lives and people are making good money off it so the temptation to share, share, share just becomes bigger and bigger. I counted the ways to get a hold of me this summer and it's a shocking thing to see it listed out in front of you. I have a personal email, a blog email, a shop email, a personal FB, a blog FB page, a shop FB page, a blog twitter, a shop twitter, a blog/personal Instagram, a shop Instagram, a shop flash sale Instagram, an etsy account where you can message me, my blog comment section and of course, I'm in the shop. And this is without adding those new fangled things like Periscope and Snapchat... I'm not super active on all those accounts but what I am active on, I give them my heart. I mean, even my stupid Etsy descriptions, if you are bored and need reading material, they are so Yen. So by the time I've updated my blog, posted on my Instagrams, written something stupid on Twitter, added a few things to Etsy and made conversation in the shop, I am just tired and done with sharing. I think social media has also given us a chance to get a glimpse into everyone else's life, which is a wonderful thing in many ways but this summer I just felt dizzy over all the voices and opinions that were clogging up my social media. And I want to be careful when I talk about this because if it had not been for my blog and for my social media I would never had had the chance to open a shop and I am the only one who controls the content I put out, but at one point I just felt so exhausted by it all. The old adage 'it's not you, it's me' rings true. It was all just too much and in my burn out, I just could not handle it at all. Currently all my Facebook and Twitter accounts sit inactive and ignored (well, I kept the Facebook messenger app for you alone Maria). It feels pretty good to be out of the loop;) I stalled on personal Insta all summer too because I just wanted to feel better without putting up some internet front and honestly, that felt good too. I'm still solidly superficial so I still want to share some outfits on Instagram but it's a good feeling to know I'm ok not sharing.
And so here we are. It's still a hard year and time in our lives in many ways but thankfully feeling much, much better. Drinking less caffeine. Going to bed on time. Having a much more strict weekly schedule. Saying 'no' a lot. Thanking God for His presence in my life. Grateful to Matt who was a superstar when I felt awful because it has not been an easy summer when your wife just wants to cry and do nothing every day. And yes, lastly, blogging a lot less.
The irony of course is me saying that I want to draw back from sharing my life so much and then I go and write one of my most personal posts yet. I mostly just want to say thank you. For reading all those years, for caring, for encouraging... I'm not saying I'm done blogging because I still feel like there are some serious posts in my heart and if I feel like I want to share them, it is nice to have a space but I do think my days as an outfit blogger are done. I'll still be sharing some outfits and little life snippets on my Instagram but right now I just need to focus on my faith, family, friends and fashion business. I know for some people blogs have become hostile places or a chore but I have always felt safe in this space and I have always enjoyed writing and posing in fun/chic/ridiculous outfits with wistful side glances. So, thank you, really, for caring...
Lastly... It's super awkward to write about feeling awful. Even now as I write about it, it feels so distant, like I am writing about someone else who had a rough summer. And I would love to just get past it and move on. But I think it's important to share about this kind of stuff. I never, ever thought I would ever, ever feel so low; especially for no 'real' reason. Sure, I have a small business that can sometimes be a thorn in my side but even Jay Z has 99 problems and I probably only have 67 and honestly, I have a very good life. In many ways I would even say that I 'have it all'. And yet, this summer, I felt like having it all was not enough of a reason to exist. And it took a while to get my feet back under me, but that very first tiny step to getting my life back was talking to Matt about how I felt...

If you ever feel like you lost yourself or can't find the joy anymore, please, talk to someone. People are listening...



Dress? Vintage (from my own shop, oops) Shoes? Aldo (old) Clutch? Vintage Pics? ADarlingandADear

I think not posting in three weeks is called Slacker Blogging. I prefer to call it Blogging When You Feel Like It because after you've been blogging for many years the idea that you can just blog when you want to is quite novel and freeing.
To be honest, I've had some busy and stressful weeks and my writing really suffers when I'm stressed. Not like I'm writing high brow literature here but I like to write something a little more compelling than 'this is my new dress'.

Anyways, this is my new dress.

Yeah, I went there...

I stole the dress from the shop for a wedding we had a few weekends ago. I'm surprised it even made it into the shop; sequins, long sleeves... it's kinda my thing. No one bought it in two months it was hanging up and so, predictably, I just took it home with me where it belonged all along.
This 70's dress was originally a maxi dress but I thought hemming it to just below the knee would add some elegance. Because sometimes I need that little bit of elegance to hide the hot mess I am (I feel like I am?) inside...


Sunny Day Shopping

Dress? h&m (here) Bag? Longchamp (thrifted, look up the Roseau bag on Ebay if you are looking for one) 
Shoes? Coach Belt? Thrifted

Last weekend I met up with a friend in Toronto for a girlzzzz night out (I hate that expression, ha... and yet I use it) and on the following day, after my friend left, I was planning on walking around the city alone and entertaining myself in Toronto just like I used to do in University. Honestly, it was the most glorious day, the sun was shining, I'm pretty sure some birds were chirping and I don't think I could see a single grumpy person. I wandered into H&M convinced that I was just killing time and 17 minutes later I walked out with this dress which I had bought full price. 
That's when I decided to head straight to the station to catch a bus home. I just bought a dress from the mall for full price; I was clearly in too good of a mood to waste time in Toronto. Back home I spent the rest of the day relaxing in our back yard... safely away from any retail spaces that could take advantage of my good mood:)


Pink Slips

Purse? Longchamp (thrifted*, some on Ebay here) Pants? Vintage Wrap top? American Apparel (here)
 Pumps? Zara Jacket? Old Navy (so old but I can never seem to donate it...)

I wore this out with Julie and she told me I looked like a 'boss lady' and like 'someone who is going to fire people'. I assume people who fire people work in human resources and I'm not sure crop tops are part of the HR dress code but it doesn't matter anyway because no one was fired in the making of this post. 
What did go down is that Julie and I went out for tacos and margaritas and this is what I wore. It's important one looks professional when eating 4 tacos in under 6 minutes. Keeping things classy...

*seriously, I thrifted this for $20 I think? Perfect condition. And it's so lovely I feel like I am too much of a slob for this kind of quality...