Terrible Twenties

Trials and tribulations of the modern twenty-something because no matter what adults say, your twenties are f*cking hard.
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Sometimes I wish I could still deal with complex emotions like an angsty teen slumped in the backseat of a car, earbuds in blaring equally angsty music with hyperbolic lyrics that speak to me and strike the perfect notes of the soundtrack for my life as I stare out of the window, squinting in the sun, not thinking about crow’s feet, but how immensely awful all the awful things are and how I wish life could be different, taking comfort in expanse of time that lay before me, knowing it will all be better one day.

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As a kid, I wanted to be cool, but I didn’t want to be a nerd. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand that all the things I thought would make me cool were, in fact, the nerdiest. Glasses, braces, inhaler, cast for broken wrist. I wanted them all and, eventually, I got what I wished for – except for the cast, which was not for lack of concerted trying.

The reason I thought they were cool was because all of these things intrinsically elicit a lot of attention. Being popular and cool meant everyone gave you attention, right? So, even though it seems counterintuitive, it makes sense why I wanted these painfully dorky items in order to feel cool.

Glasses were easy to check off the list in second grade, followed by an inhaler for my “exercise-induced” asthma – which basically confirmed my status as an indoor kid.

I had to wait until I was eight years old to get my first taste of orthodontics when my big adult teeth began to crowd each other in the small little cavern of my mouth. From my first visit to Dr. Yamada, I knew what I eventually really wanted: a fucking cool retainer! 

On the arm of every chair in the orthodontist’s office were two laminated index cards. One listed the impressive amount of flavors to choose for impressions, and the other was my holy grail: retainer color choices. I knew I still had about 6-7 years of time left before I had to make one of the biggest decisions of my life, but I thought about it every single visit.

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Over the course of my time with Dr. Yamada, I had a myriad of excruciating appliances and oral surgeries. But, there were awesome things too. I had braces TWICE, which meant that once a month I was able to choose seasonally spirited colored bands for my brackets. And although, to my disappointment and dismay, I wasn’t made to wear headgear, I was forced to wear rubber bands that connected my top and bottom jaw.

When I was about three years old, I saw a cashier in a department store (probably the late Bullocks) in the late 80’s with neon rubber bands on her braces. I knew then what cool looked like. After being given regular rubber bands, I inquired about the neon variety that I had seen ten years prior. The assistant went to the back and dug some up from the early 90’s no doubt. They were so old, they snapped constantly, but I loved them.

When the time came for my braces to be removed, the pressure was on to choose a retainer color. I had known friends who brought in tiny purple butterfly stickers for their retainer molds, people with glow in the dark, glitter, neon, and even ones that looked like a watermelon – seeds and all!

I half-joked with my friend Lauren that I should cut out a magazine photo of Tobey Maguire for my retainers because he was my ultimate celeb crush at the time. 

Sadly, D-day arrived and I was faced with one of the greatest decisions I’d ever had to make, a decision seven years in the making – half my lifetime – and I didn’t want to screw it up. I wish I could tell you that I didn’t, but the truth is I choked. I got nervous and chose something safe. I told them I wanted bright red, because it was my favorite color, and because it was a fun color that also blended into my mouth. Why I believed anyone would look inside my mouth is beyond me.

At the last second, the assistant told me they could split the retainers in half and I could choose two colors. I made a game-time decision and “yellow,” was released out of my mouth. And so, that’s how I ended up with two of the ugliest little pieces of plastic and metal. I owned MacDonalds themes retainers.

But, retainers are expensive and, unfortunately, I was pretty responsible with them. I didn’t have a dog to accidentally chew them up, and I diligently put them in their case at night. I wore them for 15 years straight, until I began dating my current boyfriend. I wanted to come off cool and sexy, and besides, they had been bothering me for some time. Into the bathroom drawer they went – in their case of course.

This is how I found myself at the dentist for a chipped tooth, with him inquiring if I had worn my retainers, because my teeth had moved. I was shocked and offended! I had worn them religiously for over a decade – two years of laziness shouldn’t be so harshly punished.

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(This is STILL in my folder at the dentist office. The hygienists always expect a 12 year old when they retrieve me from the waiting area.)

But, he was right. I knew it. Since I started making a real adult level income, I have known in the back of my mind that I really should man up and get a new pair. I made an appointment to come back in for impressions, and I realized that I was giving myself a do-over in the retainer department. “Excuse me,” I flagged down the dentist before he walked away. “Can I choose a color for my retainer?”

“I usually just order pink,” he replied. “But, I’ll look into it for you.”

One week later I returned to the dentist’s office to take my impressions, remembering how much they make you want to gag. As I wiped the saliva and strawberry flavored plaster from my mouth, my dentist returned with a large laminated chart of retainer colors.

I suddenly realized that at 29 years old, I was faced with yet another life altering decision. I would do it right this time! I flipped the options from front to back, oohing and aahing over nostalgic choices that were still available. The watermelon was still around, as was glitter and neon, but there were also new intricate designs depicting a snowy mountainside, a meadow, and a strawberry.

Should I finally get my Tobey Maguire retainer? I earnestly considered.

Ultimately, being the almost 30 year old that I am, I placed my order for the classic rainbow design. Because I have always loved anything with rainbows, and nothing, absolutely nothing has changed.

I had to wait an anxious two weeks to come back to pick them. But when I did, it was worth it. They were nothing short of beautiful. Such craftsmanship! The minute the dentist opened the familiar hard plastic half-moon shaped case to reveal my shiny new rainbow beauties, I was in love. Not to mention, the retainer artisans took the liberty of adding glitter to the yellow panels. They were just as inspired as me, it seemed.

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I walked away feeling great for so many reasons. I had made the adult decision to go out of my way to have them made. I paid for them all on my own, in full. They fit like a dream. And, I finally felt like I had rectified a real regret.

I wear them every night because it’s nice to know that I am preserving my parents’ $10k investment in my smile, because I paid for them, and because they are really fucking fun. I even recently discovered they are also glow in the dark. Can you even??

Even now, I am struck with my guttural desire, the same desire I had 15 years ago. We mature and grow so much, but we’re still so very much the same. It’s comforting to know that these versions of you still exist, ingrained in who you become. 

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But, just as I am excited to have the dream retainers I always wanted, this time it isn’t in an effort to be cool. It’s not for attention. It’s just for me. As much as I wanted to seem cool with my attention seeking glasses and neon rubber bands when I was younger, it was always for me. I realize that just being me, nerdy ol’ me, was what made me cool and I was doing it all along without trying.

I share my dumb elation on Instagram. I share them here with you. I will probably receive attention for it. It might even make me cool. But this time I don’t care either way. We all get excited about weird shit, and this is mine. It’s comforting to know that even though the 8 year old me, and the 14 year old me are still in there, I’ve grown up quite a bit.

Retainers are meant to hold things in place, but despite their best efforts, things still shift a little.

It seems as though 2005 and 2006 were lost years as far as photographic evidence for my clothes. It was a time before I had gotten myself a fancy digital camera, and light years away from a cell phone that could take viable photos. I was working off CVS disposable cameras and relying on friends with real cameras.  

It was also during the inaugural years of Facebook when Zuckerberg and Co. were just figuring out how to let users upload multiple photos into albums, let alone tag them.

However despite the literal technical difficulties, I was able to find some real gems. Here we go 2005!

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Let’s just dive into this primo going out wear. This was on a trip to London, from which I will continue to share a parade of bad outfits and a terrible haircut.

My roommate Brandy (far left) and I flew 10 hours to visit with our third roommate (pictured below), as she studied abroad in London. Naturally, we we decided to go out to a London club one night. Naturally, I wore my best black “going out top” that showed my matronly nude colored (I was very pragmatic about my intimates) bra every time I moved around too much, and much coveted, much saved up for Diesel jeans. 

Look at us. We all look the same. Being 20 is still about fitting in and staying on trend, and we were nailing that clone thing.

P.S. This hair is so awful. It was chemically straightened, and I still flat ironed it. Also. So. Many. Layers. My head looks like a chopped salad.

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This was St. Patrick’s Day on the same trip to London. I chose this green t-shirt because it was the only green item I had brought, but also because I was beginning to slowly discover my true self: painfully casual. 

The shirt is from Urban Outfitters because I LOVED their t-shirts from this era. They made these slightly heathered t-shirts that were just the right thickness in mulitple colors. Maybe you remember them from the “Everybody Loves a ____ Girl” series. Of course, I always wore them with a white tank top underneath, because I treated white undershirts like Spanx.

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There are a few things to note about this outfit. For starters, overall it’s basically “Emo Lite.” I loved those little Ralph Lauren black rimmed glasses, my first pair of nerdy cool eyewear.

Even though this was a bumming around day (see pulled back messy bun with bangs in weird early 2000’s pouf), I was wearing my dark “going out” denim, and my favorite shirt at the time. I also think we should note the black hoodie I found at a thrift store and thought was so EDGY. So much so, that I adorned it with little pins over the breast. 

If memory serves me correctly, there is a red pin that says, “You are loved” in German, given to me senior year of high school by a cool Mormon friend, and a black Darwin pin I found at my favorite high school vintage store in Long Beach. Alt to the max.

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Hello again little ugly Coach purse that didn’t match anything. Hello dark Seven jeans. I knitted that VERY long black scarf that hung down to my waist, and I couldn’t have been prouder. I had those Onisuka Tiger sneakers in TWO colors. I indulgently bought two of the same shoe for practical purposes: one black and white, the other white and camel. I had my footwear bases covered in my mind.

I also want to introduce you to my very favorite jacket from college. It was a very soft black quilted sweatshirty coat with mint green lining. It had a hood. It felt alt. It was from Anthropologie. I wore it until it could no longer be worn.

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Was I on growth hormones? My boobs were giant. Or, maybe gravity had yet to take its toll on my happy 20-year old body.

This shirt was from….you guessed it, Abercrombie. And, of course, I had to be wearing a damn wife beater tank under it, because NO shirt left the house without a companion shirt underneath. I loved layering. That day, I had a natural colored pull over hooded sweater with me, AND a cream colored puffer jacket you can see peaking out from behind me.

I actually remember feeling really good about this outfit and how I looked in it on that day trip to Brighton Beach. No duh, those BOOBS.

*Please note the Hot Topic black plastic bracelets on my wrist. So scene. What a beautiful juxtaposition with the A&F.

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Stonehenge. Wonder of the world. Blah, blah. Look at that incredible layering I have going on! This was clearly my JAM on this London trip. Nice work with the wife beater under shirt, red “Ciao Bella” graphic t-shirt from Urban Outfitters circa 2003, grey USC hoodie, AND puma sweatsuit jacket. That’s FOUR layers.

Oh, and I have been rocking head scarves for fifteen years. Don’t hate. I still have that vintage scarf and it’s super dope.

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I thought this black sweater-jacket thing with the flaccid popped collar was just the most edgy little thing I wore…especially with that wife beater underneath. Don’t go anywhere without it!!

Also, just to give context to the photo, my floor mate in my sorority house and I used to bogart the party pics photographer at events and take carefully planned sequence photos, order them to be printed, and then post them on the wall in order. So quirky and fun.

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Hi Will! That’s my college boyfriend Will and I. We both look so young and adorable. I remember making him buy that light blue sweatshirt from American Apparel because that’s when American Apparel was at its height as our generation’s GAP. Just like Gen-Xers did in the 90’s, we all rediscovered basics at an astronomical price, but were willing to pay for it because they were “ethically”made downtown. Whatever, he looked great in it!

As for me, I was wearing this sweater thing that I LOVED. Sadly there is no full length photo for me to find, so I will describe. It was a dark pea green hooded sweatshirt that went down to mid-thigh, long sleeved, and with a GIANT gaping opening to the waist. It was its own species of sweater, and I wore it generously. — of course always over that DAMN white wife beater!

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Oh dear. I had dyed my hair very dark. I was wearing a USC grey hoodie that I loved. I thought it went with everything I owned and wore it accordingly. Also I LOVED that Penguin polo shirt that I got on sale at Urban Outfitters, even though it was too small! And don’t think I don’t see you, you dumb little Coach bag.

Also, you can’t tell from the photo but…I am wearing a wife beater under that polo. You better believe it.

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There’s a lot to talk about in this photo, but I want to address the grey cardigan with the subtle floral pattern on the breast. The sweater had little puckered shoulders and lapels. It was basically a rare sweater/cardigan/blazer hybrid. I bought it at Urban Outfitters and believed it to be very grown up, possibly a good fit for internships or nice fancy dinners out, as pictured above.

*I, quite literally, only gave this sweater away this year.

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I worked for the The Daily Trojan, USC’s newspaper, as a copyeditor and…I did not have good feelings about it. They were cliquey and weird and I wasn’t into it, which I am clearly expressing in this photo. Of note in this photo is the Abercrombie branded sweatshirt, which was actually SUPER comfortable and great fitting. I mostly wore it around the house, or when I was really bumming it. I had stopped shopping at Abercrombie at this point, but was still ok wearing my old clothes.

I don’t think that lasted very long, especially when I discovered Forever 21. Until 2006….

When I go to an event with free stuff.

When I go to an event with free stuff.

Well, it’s a new day and a new study about subjective topics like moving in with your partner! The Atlantic reported a very long article called, “In Relationships, Be Deliberate.” The title should be a dead giveaway that statistics aside, this is kind of common sense. Of course you should be deliberate in your relationships. I think most people would agree that it’s pretty important to be deliberate in most aspects of your life. Who wants to deal with a wishy-washy person?

But this isolated article just deals with moving in together. It opens by reiterating that even though traditionalists say moving in together before marriage is a bad idea, progressives are making it the norm. But it’s not actually question of whether or not they should move in.

But before couples sign a lease together, they would do well to ask themselves: Did we slide into the decision to move in together or did we decide to cohabit?

That question matters in terms of the length and quality of subsequent marriage. Traditionalists tend to think cohabiting before marriage is a bad idea, and progressives are more likely to embrace it, but new research says that’s not the best way to approach the question: The important thing is how couples make the leap into a shared life.

Does anyone else find this to be the most nuanced, yet obvious study about relationships?

report released today from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia looks at the many factors that predict a high quality marriage. More than one thousand Americans, 18 to 35 years old, who were in a relationship were recruited into the study. Within five years, 418 of those individuals got married. Galena Rhoades (a co-author of this article) and Scott Stanley, both at the University of Denver, looked closely at those who married, probing into their relationship history with their spouse, their relationships with others, and the quality of their marriages.

One of the main findings was about how couples handle relationship milestones, like moving in together. Every relationship goes through milestones, or transitions, that mark how serious the relationship is getting. Going on a first date is one; a first kiss is another. Other milestones might include the “define the relationship” talk—the moment a couple says they are actually a couple—sex, engagement, marriage, and children.

In the past, these milestones tended to follow a straightforward order that began with courtship, passed the milestones of marriage, cohabitation, and sex, and ended with children. The structure and rigidity of courtship meant that couples had less freedom, but also that each milestone was ritualized with most couples following the same script. 

YES. We get it. Being straight forward and telling people what you want has died a slow little death somewhere between AIM and Instagram DMs. Courtship looks a hell of a lot different, and so do people’s life choices. Some people get married after six months, others wait 10 years, and some never sign on the dotted line. It’s all ok! We have options in our love lives because we have more options in other areas of our lives like reproduction and career – albeit not 100 percent just yet, but much better than generations before.

The freedom to choose any relationship sequence has benefits, but it may also come at a cost long-term.

Oy. Here it comes.

Couples today seem less likely to move through major relationship milestones in a deliberate, thoughtful way. Rather, the new data show that they tend to slide through those milestones. Think of the college couple whose relationship began as a random hookup, the couple who moved in together so that they could pay less rent, or the couple who chose to elope on a whim rather than have a formal wedding. These are couples who, often without realizing it, slid through relationship transitions that could have been planned out, discussed, and debated.  

The data show that couples who slid through their relationship transitions ultimately had poorer marital quality than those who made intentional decisions about major milestones. How couples make choices matters. 

This is so silly. Of course making smart, informed and deliberate decisions is the best way to go — again, with anything. But, it’s not realistic. Life is messy and complicated; most of the time it just happens and sometimes you have to jump along for the ride to see how it all plays out. Worst case is you have to pack up your emotional and material stuff.

I have lived with two partners and each time the decision was both a victim of circumstance and choice. The line is pretty fuzzy. For both living situations a circumstance forced us into a deliberate decision. So, which was it? It’s hard to say.

The first time I lived with a boyfriend, he was a touring musician, who also happened to live 1,000 miles away. If we didn’t live together, it would be impossible to stay together. So, after six months of long-distance dating, circumstance caused us to make a deliberate decision to move in together. We didn’t HAVE to. We chose to, for the sake of continuing the relationship. That ended two and a half years later. But, that relationship was never going to last whether we lived in the same apartment or not.

The second time I lived with a boyfriend is my current situation. After dating a healthy two years, his roommate decided to move out, and he was sick of his apartment. Again, circumstance presented me with another deliberate choice to make. After a lot of crying, pep talks from friends, and courage, I chose to go with the tide. I had experienced the worst case scenario and lived. You can’t move forward without actually…moving, no matter the outcome.

Of course how couples make decisions matter, both long term, short term, and within the day. A healthy relationship that turns into a healthy marriage will be founded on good communication regardless if they hopped, skipped, slid or stepped into their living situation.

I tried very hard to be a grown up today.

It’s my grandmother’s 95th birthday and, even though I have an endless amount of work to do, even though she lives a good forty minutes away, even though we can only stay for a short amount of time, and even though my dad only gave me a couple days notice, I knew I had to go.

More than that, I wanted to go. This is how I know I’m growing up.

Five years ago, I might have hymned and hawed, trying to make up some excuse to not go. I would have whined that it wasn’t fair that my cousins lived so far away, making me the default grandchildren’s’ representative because I still live in LA.

To put it mildly, I was kind of a brat. I was selfish about my time and the company I kept. My friends and social life were high priority, and going out of my way for anyone besides myself and what ever weirdo I was totally into at the time, was rare.

But, here I am, almost thirty years old with no weekend plans, finally understanding the high value of taking such a small part of my week to spend with my family. It’s not that I don’t love my family; I do. And, I love spending time with them. But, like most people my age, I don’t really have much of a nuclear family left, making my experience with family time a little more unconventional. 

But today, my family time was going to look a little more traditional. So, I wanted to make a big effort to do something special, and be as present as possible for the limited moments I have left with my grandmother, and be a support for my father, whose mother is reaching the end of her long and wonderful life. I now understand that all those years of him pushing me to go to my grandmother’s was more about being there for him than for me, or my grandmother, and that’s okay.

I woke up, did work, cleaned up the apartment, and went out to buy supplies for the cake I had agreed (and instantly regretted) to make and bring to the birthday celebrations tonight. And then, after all my grown up chores were complete. I did this:

I made the cake only a grandmother could love from their grandchild, no matter how old she is.

I looked at my genuine attempt at decorating the birthday cake, for which I bought the supplies, and made from scratch. I was relieved to be reminded that no matter how old I get, no matter how far I get in my career, no matter how close I am to marriage, no matter how many adult decisions and chores I complete in a day, I’m still an impatient child with poor motor skills who gets frustrated when she isn’t good at something.

Aging scares me. Change can be hard. But it’s nice to be reminded that little things will always stay the same.

Hurray! It took me almost three decades to reach popularity…according to a really inconsequential study conducted amongst a small group of British people.

I’LL TAKE IT.

Anyone who deigns to touch — neigh, celebrate — the leper infested untouchable of ages, 29, can come be my friend. Turning 29 was terribly uneventful and mildly depressing. It’s time to face the music, pack it up, and do a massive inventory on what the fuck just happened for the past nine years, and understand what you really have to show for it.

It’s not fun. It’s not pretty. But, at least your brain is developed enough to deal with it.

It’s a one year holding pattern, taxing the runway for 365 days, waiting for something to make sense, something important to happen, something that’s going to make 30 feel like the start of a good thing. Half of the time is spent freaking out, scrambling to doing something worthy of narrowly missing the limbo stick of a 30 Under 30 list, and the other half is consumed by waiting for your life to start. Neither is productive.

Maybe you have a savings account. Maybe you buy your first house. Maybe you get married. Maybe you find happiness in yourself. Maybe you finally get out of credit card debt. Maybe you learn how to wear lipstick. Maybe you learn the value of friends. Maybe you finally upgrade to a couch not from IKEA.

Whatever you do before 30, it will be great. It will be perfect. Feel ok about packing up your twenties and be excited for the next chapter. 

It’s confusing and weird, just like the last nine years, only for very different reasons.

BUT, none of it matters because despite how weird and neurotic 29 is, we’re still the coolest people to be around. The numbers don’t lie.

Best friend calling me out for being old balls. On Gchat…where else?

All too often I look at old photos and, aside from oohing and ahhing over how my face has morphed into its adult shape, I can’t help but look at the clothes I am wearing. Shirts, tank tops, designer jeans, and hoop earrings that meant so much to me, long forgotten, get to live in these photographic memories for me to forever find when I am cleaning out my closet.

Growing up, becoming an adult specifically, is so intensely expressed through our clothing, hair, makeup and, for me body art. Who we are is defined by how we look.  What we choose to buy, wear, and wear again and again is both how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen — usually like a grown up.

As confident adult individuals, we come to understand that it’s really what you do that defines you, not the clothes you wear.

I am about to embark on a self-indulgent/explorative/expressive journey through my wardrobe from the past decade to see what hindsight has taught me about myself both in a past moment and the present day.

From Abercrombie to Emo, let’s dive into 2004 shall we?

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This was taken in another room on the floor of my freshman dorm. I chose this photo to highlight these exquisite Seven brand jeans, which meant SO MUCH to me in the year leading up the college, and during my freshman year. Seven brand jeans were a status symbol. At $200 a pop, wearing that wave butt pocket design meant something. I had two pair at the time — both of which I saved up my own money to buy — a darker pair that I usually reserved for “going out,” and a lighter more casual pair for every day wear. The ones I am wearing in the photo were my fancy denim.

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QUAD LIFE, amirite? On the weekends, my dorm friends and I would treat the main lawn area on campus as our own personal tanning central. I was pretty in love with this Lucky Brand bathing suit and these Abercrombie shorts. 

I had worked at Abercrombie for a couple weeks in the summer before college as a nighttime clothing folder because I assumed I was not cute enough to work in broad daylight. Whatever! I used my discount to stock up on clothes that I felt were perfect for college, even a not pictured tan corduroy messenger bag that hurt my shoulder and made me wish for a backpack. I was pretty excited that even my loungewear was from Abercrombie. Again, status symbols.

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Freshman year was all about letters. From my sorority letters to my school’s acronym,  I was all about pride. I was part of organizations and I wanted everyone to know it. To be fair, everyone else was too. Being 18/19 meant we were all on the cusp of being individuals, but still stuck in that high school group mentality.

With this sweatshirt in particular, I remembering having a hard time choosing my overpriced $50 USC pullover. I knew I didn’t want the black one or the cardinal one, and the heather grey was definitely in the running but, ultimately, I went with white. I think, being a pragmatic dresser, I thought it would go with more “outfits,” which I use loosely because every day was a combo of jeans and an Abercrombie top. I had also had a favorite white pullover sweatshirt from a local surf shop (super trendy at my Orange County high school), so I figured it would serve the same purpose.

Fun with Clorox wipes. What an important and memorable moment to capture on a disposable camera. I LOVED this green top from Abercrombie. Again, snagged it with my employee discount before I got to school. I loved how it looked with denim, and it struck the right amount of casual effort for me. You can’t tell but it was sheer, and had tiny little embroidered dots that I loved. I always wore a white B.P. tank top underneath. (In fact, I wore a white tank top under most of my tops for all of college.) Also, my hair was super long so I loved putting it in braids, and I loved that god awful enamel Hawaiian flower on a rope I wore around my neck ALL THE TIME.

Not my shirt! My roommates tank top. But I was all about the boobs hanging out, and goddamn that dumbass necklace!! Please also note the straps of the mini Coach purse we all HAD to have. 

Both of the tops I was wearing in these two photos were purchased at Anthropologie, which I had just discovered and appropriated as “adult” wear. I could barely afford anything, so I only had a few pieces, mostly tops, but I thought I was SO grown up for wearing them. I remember choosing to wear them on special nights going out. 

Ok soo… I get how this looks, but this was Spring Beak in Mexico. Again, both the top and denim mini skirt, which was a 2004 staple for ANY girl, are from Abercrombie. I am showing the amount of skin only a self-unaware 18 year old can show, and I thought I looked so HOT. I was also really digging the translucent pink hoop earrings I had found at a boutique I can’t remember the name of now.

Again, more Spring Beak. I’d like to highlight the off-the-shoulder top that EVERYONE had bought from Urban Outfitters that year, more denim mini, white tank top undershirt, and Rainbow sandals. Oh man, that stupid Coach purse too! Oh no, the necklace is hanging out too! I was such a little clone. We all were. It’s OK.

Just want to point out the very tight polo shirt (Yes! Abercrombie!) and super low waisted shorts. At least I had jumped on the black rimmed glasses already, my one tiny spark of alternativeness I let show.

Toward the end of 2004, I started to find my edge. I stopped shopping at Abercombie, and started getting into vintage t-shirts. I wore two black plastic bracelets — from Hot Topic — woven together because I was just learning about Death Cab for Cutie, Garden State, and everything emo. This particular vintage shirt was worn TO DEATH. I actually still have it and wear it as pajamas occasionally.

A guy I had been dating found it in his laundry room and gave it to me thinking it was mine. It wasn’t, but I took it anyway, and wore it ALL THE TIME because it was so soft, red, and alt. It had indiscernible Russian text on it that someone in one of my lit classes translated for me as, “I love being Russian.” I always, and still do, wished the original owner hadn’t cut a dumb keyhole into the neckline.

I was definitely settling into my alt/emo phase nicely. I started buying way more black clothing. I liked simple basics like this black tank top, and shifted to predominantly shopping at Urban Outfitters, which was definitely more alt than main stream at the time. I was all about the front pouf, a hairstyle I had played around with since high school, but really committed to in late 2004 because I didn’t have a car to get bang trims. I was also really into these cheap plastic black and white hoops I mostly likely found at Hot Topic.

Again, I should point out that I was also very committed to the white tank top undershirt. 

Stay tuned for 2005!! 

Today was an important day for me, a milestone really. Having a piece of my writing featured in the LA Times was the first time I felt like a writer, like, a real writer. It was surreal to see my byline in newspaper print, and I know that I will never look at my work in the same way. I feel more serious, more grown up. 

Today is an important day for my ex boyfriend. He is getting married, or maybe he already did at the time I’m writing this. After today, he will never look at his life the same. He is more serious, and more grown up.

How serendipitous that today is so happy, memorable and meaningful for the two of us in such different ways. 

I’m where I want to be and my success today encourages me to keep going. I’m on the right track. He is where he wants to be and today brings him someone to always keep him on his chosen path.

Even though we aren’t meant to be in each other’s lives, it’s nice to think that the time we spent together still links us in small ways, hopefully the best ways. 

I’m glad today will always be special, for both of us.