23 April 2012

Style Challenge: Running in Central Park, Lion's Breath, and Spiders

I’ve been pretty mushy-touchy-feely lately. Or at least it feels that way. There’s a lot around this #healthyme thing. There’s a lot around a lifestyle change that comes, in part, from a Brand New Job (ok, 2 months old now, but whatevs). There’s a lot that comes from the waking up that happens to parents as their beans (sniff sniff) grow and change and such.

But enough of that. Spurned, honestly, by my revealing my yogic tears from the other day, and then again by by my yet-again comment to a friend about how and why I’m now not afraid to try anything, even spiders, when put on my plate, I’ve been thinking (some more). Then my nail color choice at my oh-my-goodness-I-have-15-minutes-and-peeling-nails-are-disgusting manicure just cemented the whole thought process.

I think we need to take more chances. We need to let go and run like Phoebe.

Let’s back it up and I’ll explain myself.

Yogic Tears: A lot of us work out. A lot of us get to a point where we just can’t go any more - whether in lifting the weight, running another mile, or heck, I’ll admit it, going to a spin class. Ugh. Conceptually disgusting.

Nevertheless, we all hit that wall. What I’ve found, though, is that while yoga is physical training, and I can certainly “hurt so good” on the day after, the emotional chance I’m taking with some of what’s in the class is more useful. I’m taking a chance on going deeper, breathing deeper, and letting go. It’s only when “I think I can’t” that I can’t. It’s only when I block myself that I stop.

So I’m learning to take a chance, do a lion’s breath, and see if I can actually get into up dog after chattaranga. (Translation: do a really hard thing that my body doesn’t want to do - or is it my mind?)

Lion's Breath. Best Thing Since Sliced Bread. Photo: Lazy Lizard Yoga

Spiders on My Plate: I choked on a scallop when I was little. 5, maybe? Maybe older? Not sure. But I still remember it. And from that day forward, the only seafood I would eat was frozen fish sticks and Mrs. Paul’s crabcakes. I blocked it out entirely, missing out on crab feasts, fish frys, and gorgeous dishes in foreign lands. So eventually, I willed myself to start trying it, mostly prompted by having to try it when at someone else’s table. I made slow progress, but still would rarely choose it on a menu.

Then H and I started to fancy ourselves “foodies,” earned more money, and started to go to places like Marcel’s, Zaytinya, Tosca, and Komi, where incredibly talented chefs can coax a delicious meal out of any possible thing. So why, then, would I go to sit at Johnny Monis’ table, where he’s created a phenomenal meal, and say “I don’t eat X?” Why? The first time I sat at Komi, I decided to Just Eat. I would place myself in his hands and just eat. I trusted him.

I enjoyed every single morsel, including things I Don’t Eat. Or Didn’t Eat. Like, essentially, essentially, sushi. Thanks to the 3-way crudo of scallop I happily ate there, I now can’t wait for my next sushi meal. Since then, I will try anything. I will also assume I’ll adore it and want to eat more. Even, as my friend shared a story of the spider stew he ate (while drunk, mind you) in the Phillipines, spiders on my plate.

Kaz Sushi Sea Scallop Sashimi. Photo: Epicuryan.

Color By the Bean: Here’s where we come back to style. You know, the subject of this blog? Today, after a meeting an hour away from my office, I decided to stop in the local nail place in the hopes that they’d have a spot. They did. I picked my color. I picked a deep teal with an aquatic name. Bad blogger, I don’t remember the name, except that I’m fairly certain it’s and Essie polish. But that’s not important. What’s important is that I love it. I love the depth, I love the dark, and I love how, even though it’s dark, it’s springy.
And a year ago I would not be typing this with teal fingers and neon orange toes.

Last summer, during our month-long stint down tha shore, I decided I’d go to the local nail place every week, and that I’d take The Bean. It was the beach, my nails would be on display, and, well, it’s Jersey. The first week, we walked in. “Pick your color,” they said.

I decided then and there that I’d let The Bean pick my colors. It was the beach, my nails would be on display, and, well, it’s Jersey. I even let her pick out matching nail art.

I loved it. I actually couldn’t stop looking at my nail art. I no longer have a picture of it, if I ever did, and it’s not really important. Truth be told, I would never have asked for the swirls. They’re, you know, not, um, stylish. Now, of course, they’re all over the pinterest boards, with 1000 DIY tutorials using tape and small brushes. People, I did nail art last summer.

Through The Bean’s refined color selection palette, I also ended up with yellow toes. Not a soft lemony yellow, and not this year’s neon yellow, but Just Plain Yellow. I was convinced they’d look ridiculous on my redheaded fair skinned feet.

I was wrong. The Bean was right. Yellow toes + nude peeptoes + grey trousers = love.

Point is, oh Infintessimal Readership, that we all need to harken back to Phoebe’s advice and run like a kid. We need to let go of whatever assumptions or presumptions are holding us back - whether it’s on an emotional level, an epicurean plane, or in our closet. Just do it. Now is the time - there are no rules anymore.

So take a chance. Do me a favor and pick one thing you’re convinced you could never wear, be it neon or peplum or skinny jeans or prints. Wear it. Wear it like you’re 4 and one half years old and you’ve gleefully pulled it out of your dressup bin and styled it like only a 4 and one half year old can do.

Then wear it outside.


Kate said...

I LOVE this post.

I don't know if it's because I'm so stressed out from school and work and want to have full control over ONE AREA of my life, or that my schedule's so tight that I grab all the FLEXIBILITY of color blocking and mixing patterns I can, or what, but I've been Style Challenging my butt off this year.

So far, the resounding victories have been: neon orange nails, royal blue maxi skirt, a striped tee, and orange skirt (particularly with blue and purple tops). I'm also on the hunt for a mustard yellow cardigan, which will be new for me as well.

Despite all the factors working against me (particularly stress and lack of sleep), I feel prettier and more stylish than ever.

J.Jehanne said...

I love this post so very much. You hit the nail on the head with so many comments and I am proud of you for doing this. Keep up the great work. I have you in my reader now and will be a regular!


DC Celine said...

Jen and Kate, so glad this resonated with you both! Mix away!

RosaLovesDC said...

Like I said in my tweet, challenge accepted. I am totally incorporating yellow in my outfits. Yellow is a color that I usually shy away from, not sure why. But you inspired me and I am going for it.