Musings + Essays

These Are the Days That Must Happen to You.

By: Jen Shoop

“Listen! I will be honest with you,
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you…”

“…Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detain’d!

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?”

-Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road”


A rallying cry for those heading into the new, the unknown, the out-of-the-routine, the scary:

These are the days that must happen to you.

Allons! The road is before us!



+”I am not living an alternity, or a rehearsal, or a dressing room. I am living, to quote HRH Mary Oliver, “my one wild and precious life.” Onward, again!

+What you’re shopping for.

+I am so into shirt-dresses this season. This one is around $100 and an absolute favorite. (Would also work for work — more back to work outfit ideas here.)

+J. Crew has some great shirtdresses on sale at the moment – I bought this gingham and may go back (finally, been eyeing this for months) for this Liberty floral.

+Recently had a reader ask for chic moving announcements with a custom sketch of the new home on the front. How a propos! I am working with my girl Erin to design my own, but you can find some great Etsy vendors to work with on projects like this — see South Paw and Co and Ground Up Home. Both have a lot of positive reviews. If you aren’t into a custom rendering of your house, I like the simplicity of this numbers-driven style!

+While we’re on Etsy, I found two vendors with good reviews that sell makeup bags with patches that are reminiscent of Stoney Clover for like 1/10th the price here and here.

+“If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.”

+Another reader recently asked where to find a chic straw hat. My answer: “I bought a Sarah Bray sunhat this year that I am obsessed with.  You can swap out the ribbon colors and even buy extra ones in different patterns.  So, so chic.  For something a bit sportier, people have been going crazy for Janessa Leone’s styles!  Very chic.  Pam Munson has a few styles that are more in the retro/Palm Beach prep vibe.”

+A great “desk sweater.”  Also love this whimsical sweater with the cherry buttons. So fun.

+This folding baby tub is genius for travel/small NYC apartments.

+Swimsuit goals. Love the belt buckle detail. At the other end of the price spectrum but equally chic: this $24 green swimsuit.

+This $5 mascara has a major cult following.

+I mentioned awhile ago that I basically only buy super high-end shampoo/conditioner or the drugstore variety (specifically, Pantene Pro V — the best), and that I find a lot of the mid-price-range hair products not worth it. My sister insists that Olaplex No. 4 and No. 5 are the exception to this rule, and I’ve been convinced. Going to try to see if they buck the trend.

+Lessons in baking.

+Cute lil mini. Green is so unexpected!

+In case you’re having trouble adjusting to WFH with your kids home from school for the summer…you might find some luck creating a conscious “buffer” in your day.

+You all have been loving this Anthro dress! Such a great pattern and style.

+What are you secretly good at?

+This Lug Von Siga I’ve been eyeing for awhile was just discounted…

+”Do small things with great love.

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13 thoughts on “These Are the Days That Must Happen to You.

  1. What a gorgeous poem … so apropos on the cusp of your move! Thinking of you this week and sending “smooth sailing” vibes your way.


  2. We had a relatively e read this poem at our wedding and I love it so much. I had a calligrapher write out part and then framed it as a daily reminder of its message. That line – “will you come travel with me?” And so many more. It is both truthful about hardship and encouraging.

    1. We also had it as a reading at our wedding! I love the idea of having a calligrapher write out an excerpt and framing it – you may have just given me an anniversary gift idea.

      1. Erin – I love this idea, too. I’ve had song lyrics/poems calligraphied and framed for siblings in the past. You can find reasonable prices on Etsy!


    2. This was a reading at our wedding as well! I think it’s such a wonderful sentiment. I was delighted to see it here today, and how lovely that you have a daily reminder!

      1. Wow, love that several of you used this poem at your weddings — I can see it totally resonating with that moment, too!!

    3. So true, Emily, the way you described it: “truthful and encouraging about hardship.” Yes!


  3. I had my daughter draw (“draw”) our new house for our moving announcements. Perhaps not as elegant an option as you’re looking for, but I thought it made it more personal. It turned out super-cute!

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