I don’t know what I’m doing and it’s okay

If you know me in real life or follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that last week I turned 22. I posted a picture with the obligatory Taylor Swift caption about feeling “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.” 

But if I’m being honest, I’m mostly just confused and lonely. 

Don’t get me wrong. I had a great birthday that I spent with one of my closest friends at some of my favorite places, and my friends who couldn’t be there sent love from all over the world. I received so many heartfelt presents and kind words (and for someone whose love language is words of affirmation, sometimes that is truly the best gift!). 

But overall I’ve felt like I have no direction. I don’t know what I want, and I am paralyzed by fear when anyone asks me about my goals, or my plans now that I’ve graduated, or why I moved back to New York, or if I’ll move to Austraia to be with Josiah–

Honestly, just writing down all of those things freaks me out! I have no idea what I’m doing and I feel like I should. When I look through old journal entries or at pictures from when I was 16, I don’t recognize that person. She knew what she wanted, she was willing to work hard to get there, and she made a plan so it would all come together. And she had a vision for the future. If you had asked 16-year-old Hannah what 22-year-old Hannah was up to, she would’ve said that I’d be married, settled down, working as a photographer, living the NYC dream. 

I am none of those things, but I still cling to that identity that I imagined for myself so long ago, under such different circumstances. Sometimes who you thought you would be feels more real than who you actually are. 

But in the midst of this emotional turmoil, I feel so grateful to have friends who remind me that it’s okay. They don’t know what they’re doing either. Even if they are married or have their dream job or live in the perfect apartment, there are still parts of their lives that are messy and painful and lonely. And, most important, that God is the only source of actual contentment, no matter what stage of life you’re in. 

I am generally a private, guarded person, so it makes me very nervous to post these vulnerable thoughts on a blog that anyone I know (or don’t know) can read. But if it encourages even one person then it’s worth it. I don’t want anyone to look at my Instagram or blog and think I’m living some glamorous New York City dream life. I’m just working hard and doing my best, like you.

Xoxo,

– Hannah   

Life update and outfit post

I’m going to keep this short and sweet because I’m writing on my phone (RIP laptop charger). I have some exciting news: I’m moving back to New York! 

It’s been in the works for some time now, but I hate to mention things before they are finalized. I am always worried that by getting excited prematurely I’ll “jinx” myself. But everything is falling into place and I’ll be moving into my tiny new apartment this weekend in beautiful Brooklyn. 

I know several people are unaware that I ever left the city (even though I wrote a post about it back in December, ahem) so this news might be a bit anticlimactic for some of you! But I’m very excited and wanted to let you know. 

So onto the outfit: this is the result of trying to wear clothes I haven’t worn lately to see if they’ll make it into my capsule wardrobe and/or survive the paring that happens naturally when moving. I absolutely love this velvet crop top for cooler weather. I like the pattern and I love wearing velvet in the fall and winter to add some texture to whatever I’m wearing, especially since it often happens to be all black. But I’m not sure if it’s versatile enough to wear with several different skirts, dresses, and pants, which is why I’ve been testing it out. 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! And if you’re in the city and want to get coffee, please leave a comment or send me a message on Instagram! 

Sunglasses: Old Navy // Top, skirt, and choker: Forever 21 

Xoxo,

– Hannah 

2015 Recap

 
The Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France

The New Year always makes me nostalgic, and usually I try to keep my sentimental feelings off social media. But if you know me in person you know that communication is my number one core value and I love giving and receiving advice. I think that each of us has a little bit of wisdom inside of us and collectively we have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but too often we’re afraid to open up and share it.

Today I’m spending the day unpacking but mostly reflecting on everything that happened in 2015, and I feel God telling me “this is the year you faced your fears.” I’m really terrified of not having control over my life and opening myself up to criticism. So I lived in Paris where I barely understood the language and forced myself to speak kindergarten-level French. I took a class on public speaking and allowed myself to be criticized and come out better and stronger. Those two things ended up being the best experiences I had this year.


I graduated college. I was really paranoid that after all this time it wouldn’t happen. It didn’t seem real. I kept checking my grades, afraid that I had missed something and would fail a class and have to go to school for another semester and everyone would know. But my GPA was the highest this semester that it has ever been in college.

My three-year, living-in-the-same-city relationship turned into a 16-hour-time-difference, 24-hour-flight-away relationship, and I’m learning how to be together but apart, alone but not lonely.


Sparrow and Lace Photography

I’ve moved apartments and places four times. I left New York. I moved in with my best friend just an hour away from my little brother and sister, so I can watch them grow and love on them. I’m pursuing real happiness, not social media likes or the “coolness” that comes from living in the coolest city in the world. And I’m still scared. But also really, really excited for what’s next.

Xoxo,

– Hannah

You Fit Me Better Than My Favorite Sweater

2015-11-18 10.28.11

I have three final papers I should be writing now, but I’m taking a quick break to present you with something more important—my new favorite sweater.  Yes, these papers will determine whether or not I graduate and never have to take another class again after this Monday, but just look at the little clouds on this sweater.

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Instagram, you know I really love clouds, and you may have heard me complain that most cloud print clothes are made for babies.  So when I saw this cloud print sweater from Press Fashions, I got really excited.  I ordered it immediately and tracked the package obsessively online.

When I put this outfit together, I prepared myself for all the compliments I’d get on the sweater, but everyone was really crazy for the boots.  I bought them a few years ago (I think at Marshall’s) and they’re still in pretty good shape considering they were like $30.   But hey, eyes up here on the sweater!

To anyone else suffering through finals and procrastinating on papers, I wish you the best of luck!  Get lots of sleep, take a warm bath, stay hydrated, and remember there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Happy studying!

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Dress: Aeropostale // Sweater: Press Fashions // Boots: Restricted

xoxo,

– Hannah

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers

Happy October!  Everyone bust out your pumpkin spice lattes, Anne of Green Gables quotes, and red lipstick!

Really though, October is a great month, and I’m enjoying the cool, crisp weather (and I’m enjoying saying the word “crisp” to describe everything) and dressing in so many snuggly layers.  I like to dress in all black so when I go home to visit my family everyone is tricked into thinking I lost weight in Paris and I’m now très chic, when really I’ve been eating an entire bag of caramel apple lollipops for breakfast every morning this month.

 Shirt: UNIQLO // Pants: Gap // Cape: Forever 21 // Shoes: Forever 21 // Lipstick: Nars

xoxo

– Hannah

Spring 2016 Fashion Forecast

Fashion week has come and gone in New York, and now we all know what to wear this coming spring 2016 (and it’s probably nothing from future presidential candidate Kanye West’s collection).  For once it’s not florals on top of florals, and instead, for what I suspect is the first time in history, the fashion forecast and the weather forecast are the same: blue skies and puffy, white clouds.

Yes, friends, my time has finally come.  Those of you who know me or follow my Instagram know I really, really love clouds.  I love wearing clothes with cloud patterns or even just in white and blue colors that resemble the sky.  This is a trend that has yet to catch on and makes me seem a little eccentric.  But while I was in Paris this spring, I spotted a dress in a boutique that was covered in a cloud print, and I knew it was only a matter of time before New York picked up on it.

And here we are.  The Mara Hoffman Ready-To-Wear Spring 2016 collection is the stuff of my dreams.   In addition to flowy, white dresses and psychedelic rainbow patterns, the designer dressed many of her models – and even her adorable family! – in head-to-toe cloud print. I love everything about this collection and can’t wait until I can get my hands on it!

Photo Credit: Mara Hoffman

I’m not going to say I started this trend, but . . . here I am at fashion week last year in September 2014. 😉

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xoxo,

– Hannah

Back to Black 





 It’s been weird adjusting to being back in New York.  And not just to the time difference – although that did have me waking up at five in the morning for at least a week while my body got used to a different time zone.  I miss Paris even more than I thought I would.  But I’m finally starting to get used to New York again, which includes slowly transitioning back into wearing way too much black and denim.  If you’ve been keeping up with my blog or Instagram, you may have noticed that I’ve been flittering around in pastel skirts and bright sundresses, and that’s all fine and good for summer.  But I’m excited for fall, not for the pumpkin spice lattes that will now contain real, actual pumpkin, but for all of the black sweaters and velvet leggings that I’ll be able to wear once it’s cold.  Until then, I’m sticking to sheer tops to survive the New York heat.

Xoxo,

– Hannah