For nearly a year, I flew every single week for work, often to San Francisco. I barely remember that Jennifer — solitary, onto herself. How did I muscle the energy for such transience, such distance from my new husband? I was a new transplant to Chicago, a new leader in a new job in a new organization in a new field, and I recall a frequent, vertiginous sensation of anonymity. I was just out there, being relied upon to show up at certain places at certain times, booking my own transit, checking in and out of hotels, a roving and untethered dot zipping across the skyline from time to time. Who was that Jennifer? How many hours did I piddle away in airports and in taxi lines, and what was I thinking about? Work, to be sure. I was determined to prove myself, feeling as if the entire world was gambling against me — a young and ambitious girl credentialed in the wrong field. And I have always been dutiful. I recall one time during that dense span of travel aiming to save my organization a bit of money by staying at an inexpensive hotel in The Mission area of San Francisco (this was, to be clear, six years ago, and I understand that things have changed). When I arrived, the door to the room did not lock and I witnessed active drug use in the lobby. I sat for a few minutes on the sponge-like bed and decided the CEO of my organization would not mind if I upgraded, and I left, promptly, and cabbed straight to the closest chain hotel — a Marriott — and checked myself in there instead. This suggests to me that even though I was still battling imposter syndrome, I had the get-up-and-go to advocate for myself without bothering to ask for permission. But beyond the work and the occasional urgent accommodations issue, what was on my heart? My mind? I can’t recall. Who was that girl?
Do you think you have metamorphosed between selves? Or do you see yourself as one continuous evolution of the same person? At first blush, I can’t tell. It is hard to remember the permutation of “me” that existed six years ago. Motherhood, entrepreneurship triumphs and travails, and age stand between us. When I think back to the Jen sitting in her hotel room, working on her laptop late into the night, FaceTiming her husband, reading in little draughts while waiting at the airport bar, often wearing slightly flashy clothes and concerned with streamlining her packing so as to make the trip as seamless as possible, I think: she’s not so different from me after all. I have always been the same girl at core: conscientious, determined, polite, curious, ambitious. And so I imagine instead a continuous line drawing me from the Bethesda, MD house my parents brought me home to in June of 1984 to the Bethesda, MD home in which I now live with my own children, and I see a girl treading the rope with the same quiet determination and ambition she always had.
+This bag has been in my cart all summer but haven’t yet had an occasion for it…does my anniversary next month count?
+Cute floral rashguard for a little under $20 — love the blue paisley print!
+I did end up ordering the Olaplex conditioner my sister kept raving about. Going to try that first and if impressed, add the no. 4 shampoo. If you’re already a die-hard fan, there’s a great value bundle available at Nordy’s.
+Love this bone inlay mirror. Eyeing for above my daughter’s dresser at the moment! The green is so unexpected and chic!
+La Coqueta further discounted their incredible sale selection. This brand is my favorite for special occasionwear — the quality and attention to detail are insane. I adore some of their more sophisticated patterns/neutrals, like this windowpane plaid in gray for a fall moment for a baby girl, these mary janes, this gray knit set, and this camel one. So elegant!
+V chic track shorts. Love the contrast stripe!
+Do you use a body oil? Intrigued by this new and reasonably-priced one from Summer Fridays to apply to shoulders/decolletage/legs to showcase summer sunkissed skin.
+Tuesday treat: treat yourself to some nice sleepwear.
+My husband is now ordering pantry staples in BULK. I am eyeing these for storing rice, grains, etc. We use this brand for their pasta-keepers already and have been impressed. (We buy really good dried bronze-cut pasta from Eataly and a few other great Italian specialty stores, and you can totally taste the difference. So then we want to store it properly once the packages are opened. Also, we eat pasta at least once a week.)
+My personalized cosmetic case from White Elephant Designs arrived and I’m obsessed. The big size is larger than Cuyana’s larger size and I love that you can buy them separately rather than in a bundle! LOVE.
+Oo this gingham mini — on sale!
+I use my Prada card case constantly. Almost never carry my full-size wallet anymore! So easy to transfer from small bag to larger bag. I also love this cherry red mini wallet from Prada — so cheerful in your fall tote! Reminds me of a glossy red mani.
+I didn’t mention these Natori bras in my Nordstrom sale roundup because I feel like I’ve talked your ear off about them, but for those that haven’t been around long enough to hear: these are my absolute favorite underwire bra.
+Are some childhood ages categorically difficult? The comments on this post were interesting.
+Have ordered so many of these bins. They’re great for pantry but also bathroom/linen/utility/closets. Great catch-all for EVERYTHING. I just used one to stow mini’s hair bows in her closet, too!
+In this heat, a personal fan is occasionally necessary. I think my mom needs one for her golf bag!