Itching for something different

The end of the year brings tension, excitement and expectations of something “different” about to happen. Resolutions come to mind. Will new goals penned down stick? Lately I’ve been rewatching some old anime shows and reminding myself of how much I learn from the characters. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if it’s anime, a tv show or a movie. Resonance with a character always brings to mind: What would I do in this situation? How would this character act if they were in mine?

I’ve had many fluttering thoughts about changes and wonder if I can make them or if they are worth considering at all?

  • Can I try another shopping ban this year? Is it necessary considering the “itch” I had this year when I tried to do one came undone. Is the itch over? Have I learned from it? Since I’m not remotely tempted by anything and feel the need to change my focus, would it even be beneficial to chain myself down to doing one anyway?
  • Should I try making a more structured routine to my life in general? Will this help me get my exercising and eating habits back on track? Will I fall off the wagon again like I did before because I achieved my goal previously and didn’t know where to go afterwards? Am I even capable of having a more regimented routine when I’ve been notoriously slovenly and disdainful of anything disrupting my freedom to do whatever I want – even if I’ve self-imposed my own rules? I’ve always done what I want when I wanted. I am spoiled and privileged. Perhaps I need that structure now more than ever.

I still struggle with finding the right jeans. I bought a pair of Everlane skinny jeans and returned them. It was disturbing how they fit. Perfectly at the waist, but even with the elastic in them the legs were too tight. And yet, when looking on the website one can view how those jeans fit on different body types – to a degree. The smaller sizes still stick to a specific body type. I have no doubt the larger ones do too. I bought size 27, which general equates to a US size 4 – and yet I felt like I was busting out of the legs. My legs are more muscular and did not fit the mould of skinny legs – my thighs were tight and my calves were trapped. I almost went into a panic trying to get the jeans off me since the ankles felt like vices. If I sized up then the waist would be too big. After returning the jeans I looked in the back of my closet and saw the dark blue Grana jeans I’d not worn in 6 months or so. Over the summer I told myself I would turn them into jean shorts. I’m glad I didn’t because they fit just fine. I wore them a few times this week and Z even asked if they were new. No, I’d just not worn them in a while. I’m glad I’m over the Mari Kondo phase because keeping those jeans helped me out this week.

Shopping feels tedious now. I’m not motivated at all by looking at pinterest for style inspiration or ideas. I’m not inspired by anything new now because I’ve started accepting everything I have and started wearing a sort of uniform this winter. Whenever I’ve been tempted by something, I’ve stopped and told myself – I already have x thing that’s just fine. I don’t need anything else or a replica or the newest version. Maybe I’m starting to learn how to truly appreciate what I have? Is this a temporary phase? I’ve become more preoccupied with enriching my mind and getting myself into better shape. No – “better shape” is the wrong phrase. There’s nothing wrong with my shape, but rather – I want to feel the strength I did a few years ago when the soreness of my muscles made me smile each day after a workout. Feeling the shape of muscle under my skin made me happy. Being able to do so much with so little effort due to my strength was invigorating. Shopping has been replaced with strengthening.  The caveat to all of this is I still suck at keeping a consistent routine, hence why I’m tempted to get a bit militant on myself.

Winter weather really is the best time to make one stop and consider what one has and whether or not it is enough. I’m not bothered at all by constantly wearing the same sweaters and pant combinations over and over. It’s comforting and it works. It helps that I’m so cold in the mornings I get dressed without thinking – I just need to put clothes on to keep warm. I’ve also given up taking any outfit photos because the lighting is horrible and even though I do have the studio light I wasn’t a fan of how those photos came out when I used it last year. Therefore outfit photos are on hiatus until spring!

The winter will be spent forcing myself to keep a routine, reading more in order to open up my head and attempt to undo inherited ADD due to social media and the fast pace of society in general. I’m also focusing on writing more for myself. That combined with exercise and fretting about keeping my plants alive should be more than plenty to deal with outside of work. Maybe I’ll have many more navel-gazing posts in the future.

For now, here are some photos I took from Thanksgiving break. Z had to work the Father Ted Village Turkey Trot again this year. While he worked I wandered around Balboa Park. We’d been there before, but much more was added and had changed from several years ago. Over half the Japanese Friendship Garden was closed then, so I got to see all the new sections. I have a thing for Japanese lanterns. I love them and we have one out front of our house and I want many more.

bonzai

This bonsai is roughly 45 years old. I saw the garden caretakers working on it with little clippers and tiny scissors and brushes.

bridgelantern and waterlanternsmall lanternsquat lanterntall lantern

 

Personal wardrobe

crop

Yohji Yamamoto sweater – Rachel Comey Lure Pant – Dries Van Noten shoes

This outfit was difficult. I’d had my eye on this sweater for a long time and took the plunge on it and now…. I’m not so sure. See the issue….

short

If I raised my arms up the bottom of the sweater would pop up over my chest above my bra. Yeah…. didn’t quite think this purchase through. Sometimes avant-garde fashion really is just meant to be that and not something you simply throw on and wear to the office *derp*.

That being said, I still stubbornly wore the sweater all day. However, due to the company doing the restoration work in the office, there were fans blowing at full speed and the AC cranked low to deal with the humidity from the wet carpet so I ended up wearing my company fleece vest over the sweater and that made the crop of the sweater a non-issue.

That still doesn’t count as wearing that sweater successfully for the day. I may try it again on a day when I know I won’t be working Antarctica and see how well I manage…. because apparently I’m a masochist.

Do I like the sweater? Yes! It’s soft and warm and while the functionality has a little bit of an issue, I don’t want to part with it. I don’t know if that’s due to my being stubborn in that I-bought-it-damnit-I’m-wearing-it kind of way or if it’s because I’ve embraced wearing weirdly styled clothes or “different” pieces than what even used to be my norm, let alone anyone else’s.

Leah’s article got me thinking about this a fair bit and while I’m still very late in mentioning it, I read it when she posted it and had that fist-pumping YAAASSSS moment in my head.  I think that for as cumbersome and weird as some of the items may be, they are mine and that is part of what I wear and what I do and who I am. I wear the quirky clothes.

 

Dressing Normie

Wednesdaythursday

I wouldn’t say I dress too far out there, but I do very much skew masculine and have worn many weird proportions. Today (the photo directly above), however, made me feel like a normie, aka normal office person. I grabbed one of the company pullovers from the stock room yesterday before leaving work (covering up logo in photo). It’s a large so it is a bit big, but I’m ok with that. I think a lot of it had to do with the pants as well, which are from Uniqlo. They are meant to be office pants and super basic, which is fine. I wore an office shirt today because execs from my main client were visiting our facility. My whole morning was spent hanging out with them and giving them a tour of the building with my boss. I was very conscious the whole day of feeling like an employee while wearing this outfit and half expecting to hear someone whispering “one of ussssss”. This just made me want to run home and change all the more. I know it’s ridiculous and all in my head. I thought it would be funny to share this feeling of wearing a fake skin.

The client meeting went well, which surprised me. The operations director, who is the boss of my main contact, never gave me the impression he was an easy person to deal with based on email exchanges. I was a bit nervous and prepared to hear a bit of shaming on our part for the whole slew of late orders last month. However, that didn’t happen. In fact, he praised me quite a bit and said my constant communication really helped them know we were doing our best despite the problems we encountered. As we toured the facility we showed them the assembly section and had none of their parts there because we shipped them all out yesterday. I told him a certain product they needed was in that shipment and he high-fived me very happy about the early delivery.

The clients left and my boss took us out to lunch. Afterwards, I was right back at it in a meeting regarding a new issue on a different product from the same client. I was hoping for an easy afternoon, but this was a blatant reminder of how I’ll need to up my game with my new role.

I get my admin on Monday! Finally! And while I was riding high on the thought of having someone take care of all those little admin things I was thrown a curve ball from my boss about taking on another client account, which I thought I was going to squeak by. This new one is in fact a new “old” client who came back to us and is being super nit-picky about a whole slew of things for their current orders about to be shipped out. *head*desk* It clearly never ends….

I know this whole post is just about work, but today was a bit of a Big Day so to speak. I have a hair appointment after dinner, which I’m hoping will go well. I’m trying yet another salon because I haven’t found one that really gets me yet. Also, I may have bought a custom sized shirt from Rosen and may plan on having a suit customized from them next month because I’ll be dragged to more conferences and so I may as well brace myself now for it. Also, I don’t want to go as a normie to these events. I want to go as ME.

 

4 months, 1 shoe

vince

For 4 months one shoe (right) has been on my foot and the other (left) has been in a box. Btw, the heel of the shoe above is falling off now at the very bottom layer.

I kinda knew I wanted to do a comparison post when I first bought these shoes. Ideally, I’d wear the one during boot time and then be able to wear both afterwards. That’s…. not so much something I want anymore.

I bought these shoes because of the platform on them. The shoe I wore allowed me to be evenly balanced while wearing the medical boot. I still hobbled about a bit, but at least I felt more stable being on the same walking plane.

To give an idea of just how much I relied on this shoe, here’s a breakdown of every day, including weekends:

  • Wake up, get dressed and put on shoe and boot.
  • Wear both all day at work with the exception of times I had to take off both and put on my non-slip shoes for going out on the shop floor. I tried wearing the boot once on the shop floor and terrified myself. I seriously thought I was going to fall and break both my legs.
  • Change into workout clothes on M, W, F and put back on shoe and boot to exercise in – I would take it off for doing push ups because the pointy toe end wasn’t very stable for that.
  • During evenings I’d put my feet up on the sofa or a pouf and only take off the shoe.
  • The only other time the shoe was off was during showers or at night when I’d wear a different brace to sleep in.
  • Weekends: wake up, dressed (sort of) and put on shoe and boot.
  • Again, only time I take it off when either lounging, showering or sleeping.

I lived in this shoe constantly.

Pros of this shoe:

  • It made me feel stable and more balanced.
  • It works well with the majority of my wardrobe.
  • It is easy to take on and off in a second, which is what I wanted.

Cons of this shoe:

  • The break-in period was awful. I’m not used to wearing shoes that pinch my toes together because I’d been wearing so many barefoot styled shoes beforehand. I feel as if I’ve cramped my toes together completely during these 4 months.
  • Wearing thick socks to keep my ankles warm was painful until the shoes stretched out a bit. This also goes along with the break-in period. Not good.
  • After the beginning of the second month a squeak developed in the forefoot area of the shoe and no matter what I’ve done it will not go away. The boot already sounds awful – like someone running around in a diaper due to the padding for my leg and all the velcro straps moving around. Adding a squeak to it on the other shoe has made wearing both boot and shoe highly annoying for me every. single. day. I made a joke with a coworker I’m the walking Squeaky Diaper and we laughed, but I think part of my anger and grumpiness is due to this damn squeak in the shoe.
  • It’s not great to wear in cold weather and has zero traction, just like the boot. I’m basically in ice skates during inclement weather. Big, cumbersome, annoying ice skates.
  • It’s also not warm at all, which is why I had to wear thick socks, but that just made the shoe more uncomfortable until I managed to stretch out the shoe, dealing with a lot of annoying pain in the process.
  • Expensive – I definitely got my money’s worth out of wearing the one shoe constantly, but I still feel a bit bitter about paying as much as I did for them and only wearing one out of the pair.

As I’m starting the tapering off period (FINALLY!) I don’t have much longer in this shoe and I’ve learned a few things from it.

  • I only like the look of platform shoes. I can’t wear them. I felt like I was tripping all over myself until I got used to it and it just wasn’t me. I know I’m not that tall, but I still need to be closer to the ground. I still trip over myself from time to time and it’s not the boot, it’s literally because of the shoe itself.
  • I hate break-in periods on shoes. This was a big reminder of why I’ve switched to barefoot style shoes or shoes that I know I won’t be fighting for a few months to feel “right” wearing. No one should have to deal with that when wearing shoes and it amazes me how women put up with it for the sake of fashion/style/their ego/prettiness/looking like that girl/ etc…. Hell, men do it too. ANYONE wearing shoes that are uncomfortable – just stop it! You’re not helping yourself look awesome if you’re in pain!
  • I will burn any shoe that squeaks! Ok, so that’s a rage response, but still, if any of my regular shoes squeak when I go back to wearing them, they are OUT!

In the end, I will not be wearing the other shoe even though it is brand new because I don’t want to look at this pair of shoes ever again once I’m done with this one. I don’t think Vince shoes are for me or maybe I need to look at their more casual ones that might have bigger toe boxes. But they all have a lift right? Hmm… nope. Never mind. No Vince shoes.