Wow, what a year. Out of my 23 years on this earth, 2014 has been the most turbulent. It may simply be a result of getting older but I felt like I really got to know myself this year. I started my career, moved into the city, said goodbye to a lot of good friends, let go of a destructive relationship, and fell in love. The coolest part about having a blog like this is that it's all laid out for me. While embarrassing in a lot of ways, I feel blessed that I can flip through the pages and watch myself grow, whether it be in my style, my thoughts, or my personality. While this year was filled with a lot of pain and struggle, I'm looking back on it as one of my favorites yet. This is not your average "year-end" roundup. I've never been one to only talk about the pretty things in life. Life is ugly. It's gritty. It's a beautiful catharsis to look back at the mountains and realize they were only gentle rolling hills though.
This year did not start out great for me. I was freshly jobless and a very dear friendship had ended in a frustrating, arbitrary way. I'd say that my self-esteem was at an all-time low, which inspired this post about body image. I remember taking those photos and thinking to myself "GOODNESS! What a hambeast! I don't want these photos on the internet." I really almost didn't share that post. Looking at it now, I think I look pretty fantastic and it was silly of me to be so insecure. That's one of the most looked-at and commented-on posts in the entire history of this blog. In a way, knowing that I wasn't the only one to struggle with those things helped to bring me out of my depressive funk. I still had a ways to go but it was some much-needed encouragement. So to you, my lovely readers, I thank you. Towards the end of the month, I was feeling okay with the vulnerability enough to share some thoughts and advice for anyone struggling with anxiety or depression. That's my January in a nutshell.
February started out a lot like January. (If any of you have ever pursued a job in television news, what I'm about to share will certainly strike a chord or two.) I remember counting the amount of resume/reel emails that I'd sent to news directors all over the country. 172. I also remember seeing the amount of replies. Four. Two of those replies were automated. One was a stern "no" and the other was a "maybe." I remember laughing. That was the height of my discouragement. It was during an ice storm and the power was out, I kept running out to my car to charge my phone so I could continue feverishly refreshing my email. "Zero new messages" after "Zero new messages" and finally, the "ding!" of hope. It wasn't a job offer. But it was just the glimmer of hope I needed. I received an email invitation to cover Couture Fashion Week in New York. It was just what I needed to escape the frozen suburban hellscape I was banished to and to breathe in some fresh inspiration. You can read those posts here, here, and here. I'm looking at that outfit and that hair right now and I am cringing my brains out. By the end of February, I was almost back to my normal self enough to share this somewhat self-depricating anecdote which still continues to give me a hearty chuckle.
March is what I may just consider in hindsight to be a manic time. I went on some photo adventures with friends, I started discovering my sense of style, and I took an extremely spontaneous road trip to Nashville with my best friend. (Read about that here, here, and here.) I also celebrated my two-year bloggiversary. I started being more open and even brought in some social commentary on current events by tossing in my two-cents on the whole "Ban Bossy" campaign that everybody talked about for all of two minutes. I also shared my heart by talking about losing friends and unrequited love. March is when a few of my favorite outfits happened, as well! These little floral shorts, this burgundy, lace and leather ensemble, and this dreamy kimono are all still making me swoon.
April continued March's upward trend. While still amidst the frustration of not yet having a stable job in my chosen career field, I was getting better and better at finding distractions for myself. I spent a long weekend in Washington, D.C. and met some similarly-minded young journalists. I learned a lot about the profession, ate a lot of great food, and somehow ended up in the Capitol building at 4AM debating foreign policy with one of Harry Reid's staff. It was a whirlwind. I shared my struggles of being a people-pleaser (in two parts!) and started a new series called "Behind the Instagram." I ended the month by sharing my potentially divisive opinions on modesty. I guess Spring brings out all of my various opinions?
May is when things started taking an interesting turn. I finally secured a job in a newsroom-- as a Production Assistant for FOX29, a local Philadelphia-based television news station. I was obviously thrilled and of course I wrote about it and what news means to me. Newsroom life is taxing. Tensions are almost always high and it's easy to get angry or discouraged. Whenever I'm upset, I read that post and it brings me back to center. A lot of my coworkers actually made fun of me for it. They said it was very idyllic and naive. Why not though? Things are what you make of them. I'm world-weathered but still realistically optimistic. If that makes me naive, so be it. I didn't post much in May because big changes were taking place. Which brings me to my next point...
I moved in June. Moving sucks. Decorating, however, is very fun. June was a transition month for me. I was swept up in adjusting to my ever-changing work hours and city life in general. I had some great non-blog moments though, such as playing Cards Against Humanity late at night with my roommates and friends, going to Franklin Fountain (the best ice cream in the city) and coordinating my cone with my outfit, (I know this particular one is technically a blog moment but if you think that was my only ice cream cone all summer, you're sadly mistaken.) and just exploring my city. I practically grew up here but it's so different now that I'm "a big kid." I fell in love with Philadelphia in June. It was a brief period of (almost) complete harmony.
In contrast to the body image woes of January, I really started feeling good about myself over the summer and I was not afraid to rock a crop top multiple times a week. I think working and making a living for myself really kicked off the radical self-love fest of 2014. It's amazing how much your priorities shift when you're working towards a seemingly unattainable goal. Of course, with all this change, I was bound to self-sabotage to an extent. Alright, I wouldn't go that far but it did bum me out enough to write about it. I went on a little family vacation along with my lovely roommate Danielle and while the two of us were driving home on a rainy evening, she forever found a special place in my heart. (I'm a huge advocate of road trip heart-to-hearts.) I also learned in July that I have a kind of short torso. (That shirt was supposed to be a crop top.)
August is always way too hot for me but this August was alright. Despite struggling with some of the "realness" of the news industry, I was generally happy, enough so to write a list of things that make me happy-- something that I should do a lot more often. I shot one of my favorite weddings ever for a very dear friend and harnessed the power of the booty. (Two totally different things, guys.) I also started to get super experimental with lipstick colors in the best way possible. Sorry August wasn't very exciting.
Birthday month! It was another exciting one. Sort of. I tackled my first room re-design project with flying colors. I started working overnights on a regular basis and found this incredible strength inside myself that I never would have found otherwise. I was so bold as to do things like rock Louboutins around Old City and find dark humor in my life. I just realized that I meant to do a birthday post and never did. Just wasn't feeling nostalgic enough, I guess.
I shared one of my favorite natural phenomenons with a very special man: The Jersey Shore in Autumn, and no, you're not ready to meet him just yet. (Or should I say, he's not ready to meet you guys just yet.) I finally found some degree of peace with all of the changes swirling all around me and as a remedy to my sadness, I decided to be very intentional about how I spend my time. My family is the most important thing so obviously they get to see me most. (Well, not as much as my roommates and coworkers but you know.) Fall fashion is my favorite so of course some of my favorite outfits are from October. I especially loved this vintage co-ord piece, my Helmut Lang mini-splurge for a night on the town, this little blue shirtdress, and this monochromatic getup. Also... this.
I started taking the whole "Fashion Blogging" thing seriously in November. A few of my favorites were this plaid maxi dress, my collab with Commune and Memoir, and (part of!) my collab with Joules. The days got shorter, the nights got longer, and I started doing some even heavier thinking than I'd done earlier in the year. I came to the realization that yes, I'm getting older. I can either mope about it or I can pick myself up and keep striving for my lofty goals. (A little about that here.) Although November is the ideal month for me as far as weather and the perfect amount of holiday cheer goes, I cannot go a November without some sort of somber realization. I was a strange mix of euphoric and melancholy in November, which is perhaps the most dangerous kind of sadness.
Hungry for some sort of change, I was intent on December ushering in some sort of new era. What's a better way to do that than with a haircut? Yes, 11 ½ inches. Gone. It was truly freeing. I can't get too into some of the other changes but let's just say that 2015 is going to be a big year. Truly a new era. I'm excited to see what the future will hold for me, for lark&lace, and for "the guy." I don't know where I'll be a year from now-- career-wise, geographically, and even in my relationship status. I do know that I've never been more excited to see what the future holds. I was once terrified. No more. This year ended with a bang and next year is going to be even better.
I love you guys, thanks for sticking with me through the thick and thin. See you all next year!