I spent this week feeling more and more awake and in charge of myself. Made sure to do the grocery shopping, made sure to get up and tend to my online shops and social media. Made sure to get to the one day of work I had scheduled this week and be on time. Paid bills, and laid the groundwork for whatever is on the other side of the current situation. Made sure to talk to my mommy on Fridays, the routine that I committed to back in March.
Exercise is spotty, but I’m doing it. Along with trimming my cuticles and washing the dishes. I made a rule that there is no drinking before Friday afternoon and after Sunday evening. I’m remembering how fun cooking is and enjoying creating good food and enjoying the weekly trip to the store. I’m enjoying watering my plants and decorating my apartment. I’m enjoying the way I feel when I come through the door and realize that this is all mine, my space to change as I please.
I’m enjoying remembering, even when the memories hurt or make me ashamed of my words or actions. I lived a life, I did some things. I enjoy knowing that I was there and am now here. I am living. I am breathing and seeing and hearing and tasting and smelling and touching, using everything that’s been given to me and grateful to have a self to be. There’s death all over the place and I am alive and healthy and I can finally appreciate that without inflicting fake judgements on myself.
I was on the fence about trying to design fashion masks, but recently I decided that if we really have to wear these (permanently?) for awhile, they’re a fashion item as well as a ppe.
Cloth face masks made from 100% polyester. Each mask includes two woven, elastic loops for a one-size-fits-all fit. All feature my origin artwork printed on them.
IMPORTANT! – This is NOT a surgical grade mask. It is not intended for any medical or commercial uses, whatsoever. It is a simple, cloth mask designed for everyday use to cover your nose and mouth when out in public. The mask should not be used in any medical or surgical setting.
One thing I miss about my old creative life was discovering new talent to showcase. I’ve been in the house looking through images and thinking about how much I miss working with other creatives on fashion shoots. Building ideas, pulling looks, finding models is all really exciting and fun. Obviously right now is not the time to be doing that? But a funny opportunity came up and…
I had a shoot! Kind of.
I’ve been following this awesome stylist named Chi Ilochi (@igbohippie) because I love the colorful backdrops she poses against wearing outfits that exemplify thrift store chic. I’ve been dying to work with stylists and cos time designers so I took a chance and I asked her if she would be interested in styling with some vintage pieces from my etsy shop. After looking through everything, she settled on a 40s theme representing the more formal way that black women dressed during that era. She chose a pair of vintage 90s silk pants by Valerie Stevens, so of course I sent all of this:
Because I am what’s known as extra. I felt like these pieces together would be a good jumping off point for her idea. The rabbit fur jacket from 90s label Absolue Paris has a real 40s feel, and I think this type of plaid blouse would have been popular then. The blouse and the Anne Klein woven paper bag were pieces that I bought for inventory recently and hadn’t listed yet. I was really curious to see what Chi would do with this box of vintage slayage.
Here’s what happened:
She was also kind enough to answer a few questions about her burgeoning career, how she scouts locations, and ways to stay stylish on those zoom meetings. Get into it!
I love how you bring the color and flavor of Pittsburgh into your styling. How do you find these amazing backdrops?
Thank you so very much, that truly means a lot! It’s funny you ask, a lot of my inspiration for backdrops, various locations is inspired by Brooklyn and its murals and black artists. Oftentimes I find backdrops by accident, or I see something bright and bold while out and take a mental note that I’ll shoot there. I can honestly say it’s rarely planned but it’s always destined.
I read in an interview that you felt like an outcast growing up. Now that your fashion career is taking off, do you feel that your individualistic outlook is paying off?
Absolutely! I’m a firm believer that any and everything we experience in this life is for a reason. And that reason may be to help ourselves as we grow, or help someone else from experience who may have experienced something similar. It’s safe to say that those feelings I felt during adolescence became the core of the inspiration for my style. Of course I didn’t know that at the time, but I see now that it was confirmation and there was a divine plan and purpose set in place for what I felt and experienced. I must say the thought of “my fashion career taking off” makes me very nervous but I’ll just buckle up for the ride!
Do you feel pressure to sexualize your look or to conform to the current exaggerated body proportions that we’re seeing on social media and entertainment?
Wow. Great question! Now that I think about it I’ve never felt any pressure to conform to the current exaggerated body proportions that we see today. I never let the pressure of the world take me out of my element. The world wants we black women to do that in literally every single aspect of our lives. I always have to remain true to myself above all else. If I want to serve a sexy, chic, casual, streetwear look I will, it all depends on how I feel and the kind of piece I’m styling.
Thank you! Fashion Bomb Daily nominated me for it after they highlighted me as “Bombshell of the Day”. I wasn’t expecting that at all! To be Bombshell of the Day was an honor considering the fact that it’s been a goal of mine since 2017. I figured why not go for “Bombshell of the Week”! Winning doesn’t take anything away from me or anyone else, and losing doesn’t make me less than. It was truly an honor all around I still can’t believe it!
How do you deal with quarantine stress and do you have any wfh/homeschooling styling tips to help our readers prep for those zoom sessions?
I’ve been handling it well I must say! I believe at some point humans need to be around other humans no matter how strong you are mentally. We thrive off of it. I’ve dealt with my stress and anxiety through prayer, reading, positive affirmations, walks, working out.
I recommend stylists listen to Brittany Diego’s Podcast “The Fashion School Dropout”, it’s AMAZING and very inspirational and informative. I also recommend stylists try virtual styling, virtual styling sessions, consultations, studying their field of styling, creating vision boards of what they want, who they want to work with, and how they envision themselves after this quarantine is over. It’s transformative and it works!
I’ve been up in the house devouring entertainment content for the last six weeks and decided that now is a great time to share what’s been streaming around here. When all of this started I wanted to avoid doing this type of thing because I kept thinking, ‘well, it won’t be much longer. It’s been 43 days. And it may be another two to four weeks, at least in New York. You guys out in the sunshiney states are prob already out.
This week, I’m going to drop a list of stuff that I watched that I think you may enjoy. Pitter patter… let’s get at ‘er!
Parasite Hulu was so proud that they got this Oscar winner first that I felt obliged to try and watch it. After awhile the subtitles won’t bother you, but the social inequality depicted might cause some discomfort. Also, I will never, no matter how much money I have, hire a live in servant.
A Fall From Grace (netflix) I am not a Tyler Perry fan. I have tried and tried, but I keep trying. This is the first thing that he directed that I not only sat through, but couldn’t turn off. The story just blew me away, and I loved the young defendeer trying to save her client. I was all by myself talking to the screen like, NO!!! Get him! So watch this, it’s really good. Then have a whole zoom or slack group chat.
It Comes at Night (netflix) One of those thoughtful and twisty horror movies that makes you wonder about everything.
Pooka (hulu) I have avoided thismovie for a long time because it looked silly. It was really good.I got real shivers from it. Don’t watch the sequel, because that one is nothing like this one. Or do, it’s kind of Black Mirroresque.
Dolemite is My Name (netflix) I cried at the end. I was heavily invested in these characters.
Gigi (rental) I just finished reading a book about Cecil Beaton and he talks about the experience of art directing Gigi and I had to watch it. Visually, it is lush, vibrant and delightful. It’s a weird subject these days, but it’s if you put aside the questionable ethics, it’s a great looking film.
I got into Silicon Valley (but dropped out at Season 5), Community, Archer, The Orville (used it as background noise for a few days then bailed), and caught on The Crown (netflix) with season 3. I fell in love with Letterkenny and the Cleveland Show (both Hulu).
I’m waiting for Insecure to finish it’s season before signing up for HBO. I need to binge that show, not wait week after week. That way the short episodes aren’t so painful.
An awesome docuseries was the one about how different brands came into being. Like Birdseye frozen foods and Heinz ketchup. I’m sure they took some liberties, but how wild is it that the creator of Coca Cola was a drug addict and that it originally had cocaine as an ingredient? The Food That Built America is streaming on Hulu.
Tiger King is hot garbage. That Joe Exotic needed to stop harassing Carole Baskin. That’s why he lost all his money. I said what I said.
That’s pretty much it. I did some shopping and stuff, but I also paid down my credit cards and put money in savings and my retirement account. I paid my rent and my student loan bill, even though technically I could let it slide. It’s just not the time to be irresponsible with money. Once this is over, there may have to be some belt tightening, so I’m starting now.
How are you holding up? Are you bingeing shows? What’s your favorite? It better not be Tiger King.
When all of this started back in late February/early March, I was on a diet. I had actually lost six pounds by the time quarantine and social distancing started for real. I wasn’t eating as much and always had somewhere to be or some errand to run, and sitting down to meals wasn’t a priority.
Now all I do is sit down to meals.
I’m not even going to lie and say I just eat healthy or that dieting is still going on. I try to be mindful, but some days I break down and order a burger. Last week I couldn’t take any more and ordered a pizza. I also went to McDonald’s after a post office run. I order ice cream online… a habit that could get very expensive if I don’t watch it. Today I went to the store with a grocery list, exceeded my budget, then came home and ordered snacks from Target.
It’s… I can’t even condemn myself. I am in the house on my own, my freelance jobs have been scrubbed for April and May and while I try to stay positive I have moments where eating something just makes me feel better. Even though my new nickname for myself is Fatniss Everdeen. How can I complain about getting fat when people are dropping dead outside.
Literally outside, though. I live around the corner from a hospital. I don’t even walk past it, I go in a whole other direction just in case.
I was going to do a cooking thing, like a recipe with steps and stuff, but… I’m pretty sure you guys know you’re food situation better than I do and there are cooking tutorials all over the internet. I’m just gonna leave these food pics and if they inspire you to do something, that’s cool.
I hope things are going well for you and that you’re taking care of yourself. I hope you’re having some good moments and making the best out of this whole thing. I don’t know you, but I’m rooting for you.
Going on 30 days of self quarantine and social distancing and the deliveries I get in the mail are a lifeline to a world where a stroll through the aisles of Target or The Container Store was something to take for granted. I know that I could get on the train and go right now, but…why take chances. Right? So for the past four weeks I’ve been shopping to fill in the holes and entertain myself. And support the economy and small business, too.
I was up late one night and ordered two things: a jar of this delicious smelling coppertone glow body highlighter, $25 from Agrestal Beauty and a wig from Hairbird. The highlighter was exactly what I ordered and the wig… It dosn’t look like what I ordered. I’m not gonna lie, I would not have ordered this style. But it was cheap and I had fun wearing it on my birthday. If you like living dangerously you can try ordering from them.
Herbs and Jewelry:
Staying inside seems ideal at first and then becomes a low key freakout that can blossom into a breakdown if you’re not careful. So herbal teas and cbd can be lifesavers. I ordered four sample packets from August Uncommon, and a raspberry leaf and chasteberry tisane from Herb n Sol that promotes women’s health. I made my second order from Ruby’s Happy Farm for hemp pre-rolls. I’m still stressed, but knowing that I can smoke or sip a hot cup of delicious tea makes me feel like I have control.
These delectable chocolate macaroons floated up on my insta tl and I was instantly purchasing. Michelle’s Maccs combines velvety dark,milk or light chocolate with a perfect coconut filling that has a crisp snap and crunch in every bite. You can order individual flavors, or build a cusomized dozen, $28. I devoured the entire dozen within hours, even though I promised myself that I’d try to make them last. The dark chocolate covered salted caramel maccs, $10 for four, are INSANE with red wine. This is the only chocolate snack I crave right now.
It took 20 days, but eventually I gave in to my finer instincts and ordered wine from local liquorteria D.Vino. This is my first box of wine, which I found out actually contains four bottles. I am not sure why I never invested in one of these. The funny thing about this place is that they are very close to a train station and bus stop that I was using to get to and from work. They are across the street from a supermarket and up the block from a McDonald’s (big macs are AMAZING with pinot noir, I swear to you) so every so often I would buy a bottle of wine from them before hopping on the bus home.
I found out about Jeni’s ice cream from a product roundup in Bon Apetit magazine, but it took a quarantine to remind me to try them. It was the middle of the night, I wanted ice cream and their website is a clean, well lit place for treats. You have to buy at least four pints for a delivery, which I thought was going to last for awhile. I gave away one pint, but that was before I tasted anything and I will never do that again.
I just ordered more and it is all for me. I can’t wait to see that big orange box. It’s pricey at $12 a pint, but my sanity and comfort is worth it. The salty caramel will make you cry a little. The brown butter almond brittle is worth doing extra workouts for. If you’re scared to gain weight then just go to the website and look at the pictures.
Hope you’re holding up! What’s getting you through quarantine? Do you have a standing order from a local restaurant or are you hunkered down with a cabinet stuffed with cookies or hot chocolate? Support small and local business! Don’t forget the cardio!
Not so much a party as a solitary day doing nothing but caring for myself. On my birthday. With no outside demands to be met or people to bother me. This should be a regular occurrence in my life, but in reality I sporadically remember that I have to do a mask or something, when I should be scheduling this time as a permanent standing appointment in self care. I’d be a better person if I did.
Woke up swaddled in the silky sheets that I bought from Bed, Bath and Beyond (clearance), had a shot of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice flavored with ginger and honey, then went out to do my 5 laps. I got to wear my new mask from Lee Rickie, $15. I saw these on Fashion Bomb Daily maybe two weeks ago? Had to wait for them to make more and then it came the day before my birthday. I’m guessing that masks are going to be pretty common after this quarantine, might as well get a designer one and help a small business stay afloat.
As soon as I got back from my 1 mile run (baby steps…I hate jogging), I ran a bath and started my day of beautaaaayyyy. I love sheet masks and beauty treatments in pouches. You can snatch them up in handfuls and open one up any time you need a little pampering. The theme for today was Holler and Glow, one of the reasons I miss browsing the aisles at Target. I can’t say enough about these incredibly softening purrrfect hand (and foot) masks, $3.99.
I didn’t have anywhere to be and the water was nice and hot, so I just hung out reading a huge book about Cecil Beaton and doing nothing. The Zoya nail polish in Edyta, $10, was a blogger perk. I just love this color against my skin. And I finally got my cuticles under control, which is a massive improvement.
So once I got out of the tub, I messed with all the makeup that I’ve had sitting in the bathroom since I went on multiple Sephora binges last summer. From foundation to false eyelashes, with a hit of grey contact lenses. I actually used up all my lipsticks and have been wearing lip balm lately, so I had to improvise a lip color. I used a Sephora lip pencil, $6, added a layer of Levres rose petal lip gloss from Goldenbrownskin, $5 or 2 for $6, and then finished with a light sweep of Pat McGrath LUST gloss in Bronze Temptation, $28. Topped the whole thing off with a new curly afro wig and tiara.
After all that I was too exhausted to try and dress up. Stuck with my comfy sundress and a comfy hooded Cyrus sweater that I bought at Nordstrom this winter. That sweater cost me like $50 and I’ve worn it a thousand times since I got it in December. Fashion math, it’s basically free.
Now that I was all made up, it was time for the big birthday meal, all found in the freezer. I had a frozen mushroom and asparagus risotto kit, seasoned tilapia filet, and fresh spinach that I froze a few weeks ago. I broiled the tilapia with butter on low until it was cooked through and crispy, then squeezed a lemon wedge over it. Ate it with a big glass of lemon water . Once I had eaten the last bit it was time for my present.
Yes. I waited until after dinner. It was the big excitement of the day so I wanted to savor it.
I’m just starting to rebuild my thing with my family, and I don’t have close friends or a boyfriend, so I wasn’t expecting any presents from anyone. I bought myself something pretty, wrapped it with homemade wrapping paper and ribbon and let it sit for a week until the amazing day finally arrived. I had seen ads for Metier Essentials on Instagram, and the Amour necklace, $62, really spoke to me.
I used to be very talkative and fun, but now I’m guarded and I really don’t express much emotion. I guess I’m trying to remind myself to be a little softer and more open. If you’re wondering about the wrapping, it’s just brown paper and I stamped it all over with a rubber heart stamp then put a few glitter heart stickers on it.
Even though I gave it to myself, love is love. I don’t have a clue what the future holds or if I’ll even have a life that’s loud with friendships and family. But I have a heart now. So there’s hope.
Did you celebrate a birthday this week? How did it feel? Were you sad or just happy to be alive and have a place to stay quarantined? Were you scared to try and imagine the future?
So obviously I’m not back at work. But then again, maybe you’re not either. I had some unemployment weeks left from last year that kick in with the CARES Act, and I qualify for the stimulus so it’s not perfect, but I have some cash coming in for awhile. I’m a little scared about what’s next since I’m a visual merchandiser and shopping irl might not be a thing for awhile. I’m trying not to freak out about the fact that I laboriously worked my ass off to move up to something better only to watch that shut down because a virus started in a place I never even heard of. Within a few short months, life turned upside down and inside out and I have to wear a bandanna on my face to stay safe if I go outside.
But America has been through things like this, like the flu epidemic of 1918, or that time polio tore through the population in 1916. This is the first time I had to live through something like this. At the moment the stores still have food, but you have to stand outside while they make sure that people can shop without being crowded. It felt weird, because we have so much freedom to run around, but… I have a lot of stuff that I’ve had no time to think about. Can’t say I’m too busy now, right?
When I moved into my apartment five years ago, I spread my stuff around and that was it. I found some random stuff and that was me decorating. So now that I have time, I’m realizing that I haven’t really been living here. I’ve been storing my stuff and my body here while hunting high and low for a life. I wanted to put my bedding and probably pajamas in their own space, and I saw this unfinished trunk on home depot, $173 and it just symbolized adulthood and good decisions. I’m not just putting stuff any old where, I am intentionally purchasing a piece of furniture to make my home a better place to be.
Regardless of what’s going on, it’s Spring and I wanted to update my comforter options (I got a great one years ago courtesy of Southern Tides) and get something pretty. I went through the Bed, Bath and Beyond clearance section and found this 9 piece set (including coordinating sheets) for $39.99. I also made tshirt design using my own photos thanks to a video that was floating around on twitter. You can use saran wrap, parchment paper a printed photo or drawing and a regular iron to make a custom piece. Click here to see the google page with different diy videos. I love how this turned out. I love collaging, so I’m definitely going to circle back around to this idea soon.
This is the last week I’m shopping like this. I tried to keep myself to the bare necessities, but I kept thinking of stuff I needed. Like drawer liner sheets from the Laundress, $17.99. Apparently I was up late and ordered stuff from the Container Store, then forgot that I ordered the stuff until I got the shipping notice. Now I have to wait until all of the laundry is clean so that I can plan out the drawers under my bed. A whole project. I got gold paint from Culture Hustle, &11.99, and more fabric squares from Fat Quarter. I got paint brushes when I was grocery shopping at Dollar Tree, the varnish is for my new trunk, and this was the tiny trunk that I got from Bed, Bath and Beyond but it was too small. I gotta stop shopping.
Once I get my apartment organized, then I can settle into being creative again. It’s been a looooong time. For the three years or so I’ve just been coming home and going to bed. No dreams when I sleep and I felt dead. Over the course of the last few weeks, I can feel my blood flowing again.
I will admit to some anxiety, especially because of my job situation. I saw an ad for Ruby’s Happy Farm on Fashion Bomb Daily‘s instagram page and decided to invest in some top quality cbd. These pre-rolls are from hemp plants and have barely any thc. You can get a bundle of five for $10, and they ship fairly quickly and they are legal. I feel calmer, but not paranoid or super hungry. Just calmer and able to focus on the moment, get tasks done and stay out of the fridge. Like vitamins but you smoke them.
So that’s what’s going on in my little quarantine corner. How are you coping? Are you taking care of yourself and eating sensibly? Don’t feel bad if you’re scared or angry, that makes sense. Most people don’t have corona virus. People who are out of work did nothing wrong. It’s a freak thing and we just have to deal with it. Try to make the best out of the time you have to work on stuff that you like doing.
Let’s just try to stay strong and show appreciation for those that have to work as medical staff, grocery store cashiers and security guards. Donate if you can, or make some masks if you have a sewing machine. Whatever you need to do to not feel helpless. And if you want to do nothing, do that until you can deal with everything.
As a lifelong introvert, I’m no stranger to staying in while the sun is shining and everyone else is off having fun. Ever since I was a kid, staying in was my favorite option. I was the weirdo that had to be forced outside and had no one to play with when I got there. I read book after book, fought with my brothers and thought up crazy ideas for what I would be when I grew up. None of which involved being (self) quarantined because of a global pandemic. This current time period is straight from a scifi movie.
I’ve only been in here for 8 days, so far. On April 1st I find out if anything is happening with my job, so for all intents and purposes I have nowhere to be until April 2nd. So what am I up to? Am I stir crazy? Lonely? Panting to leave? No! I’m busy. Busy af. Here’s why:
Just before I went in for the long haul, I had a long talk with my Mommy. We haven’t spoken in a few years because I remembered some things and I felt justified in withholding love and attention from her. I’m an adult and she can’t make me do anything. Enter coronavirus and I realized that whatever happened, happened. That’s all. It was just stuff that happened a long time ago and I have to let that go. The first thing I did as I was prepping for quarantine was run up and down Utica Avenue putting a box of wigs, haircare products and a big African gown for Easter. That’s how I love people, I shop for them.
This stuff is for her next box, an early Mother’s Day present. Kmart on 34th Street was closing and I started slowly looking through the place, extracting style gold for my Mommy. I didn’t get shoes, because I was trying to do a surprise and my brothers didn’t text me back when I asked for the shoe size. I figured two full outfits, plus a nice housecoat (the blue and green folded item), and I got her a long slip because her generation wore them. Florals are cheery and colorful, so I know she’ll smile when she wears these tops. The bottoms are stretchy, for her comfort. Plus a book of bible verses, because she not only believes in God, but she prays for me. I figure this will help her pick topics to focus on.
I ran all over the place looking for someone to love me, and all I needed to do was love my mom and let her love me back. It’s so peaceful.
2. My laundry:
I had laundry piled up before quarantine happened, but things have entered a critical area. No undies and no inclination to wash them myself. Also some thrifted items that I was supposed to send out so that I could post them. And my favorite socks were dirty. And my workout clothes need cleaning. And I want to have all of my sheets available. LUCKILY the laundry service is considered essential (think hospitals and nursing homes, not just for people too lazy to use the laundromat in the building like me) but now they’re only picking up at night. I got half the laundry out, with the next load ready for next week.
So now I can clean the bathroom and decide if I’m finally going to finish that storage table I made and then left unfinished.
I decided to branch out and try a new natural haircare provider and I found Fro.ology on Etsy. She had all the products I had grown to love, with improvements. I got the Hair Tea Rinse, $12, which has lavender, peppermint, and chamomile to soothe and nurture the scalp and encourage growth. The Onion and Garlic Hair Oil, $10, is an anti-microbial (kills the fungus that causes danduff) with vitamin c, infused with hibiscus, rosemary and lavender. I used this as soon as I got it because my scalp was so dry and it works wonders. I also ordered the Super Thick Deep Conditioner, $10, which contains aloe vera, rose water and rice protein. It is indeed thick, and super moisturizing. I used it this afternoon and after leaving it on for an hour (I got busy and forgot about it) I rinsed with cold water as directed, patted dry and had the curl definition promised.
And did I mention that Gianni, the business owner, included a full shower cap and tea infuser? I really appreciated that touch. The products are great, the shipping is fairly quick (about 5 days as she makes the products to order), and I’m definitely sticking with this brand for the long haul. Make sure you check out Fro.ology on instagram, too.
The night before I had to come in the house I raided Target’s beauty aisles and ordering products online because boredom is real. I have also been lagging behind on my total body selfcare. I have been running and running for 3 years, swinging from job to job before finally ending up where I wanted to be as a Visual Merchandiser. I’m getting better at merchandising, and getting bigger assignments. But I was tired from all the crappy jobs that made me feel like a cog in the wheel. I figured this quarantine isn’t just about the corona virus, it’s about me.
I barely ever have time to do my nails. I bought a tube of depilatory and it’s still sitting in the bathroom. I NEED to take care of myself to feel good about me. After 8 days, I am starting to shed the stressful, pinched feeling that I’ve been carrying and starting to forgive myself for mistakes and starting to feel good about whatever future is going to be there for me. This is the first time in three years that I can stay home and not be afraid of losing my job or not being able to pay rent. I know it was caused by something bad, I do feel for the people that are sick and dying. But it also reminds me to LIVE.
Last but not least, I’m going to the post office on April 1st, and I’d love to be able to mail out some new, used , vintage or upcycled items for you guys to flex in. I’m having a yellow tag sale on selected items and bundles. Go to http://www.depop.com/sebmarket and get 25% off on yellow tag items, and if you do a bundle of 3 or more items, you get 25% off as well as free shipping. If you’re on the app, I’m @sebmarket.
How are you dealing with self-quarantine? Are you even in the house? If not, please remember masks, hand sanitizer, handwashing and staying 6 feet away from others to help flatten the curve. I know it all seems scary, but you can only control yourself. Do the right thing, and try to help others if you can
It has been a wild week, to be sure. I think we all know what I mean. EVERYTHING is different.
And maybe that needed to happen.
So the corona virus has rolled across the world and in addition to the possibility of sickness and death, you have the choice of going broke if things don’t get back to normal. I started a Roth IRA 7 years ago and it’s only in the last few years that I could make regular contributions. I’m watching that progress melt away second by second, which is both frightening and exciting. I never had money to lose before, so I’m kind of winning. I also read a book called Depression Era Economics by Paul Krugman and it’s keeping me calm to know that if you just wait, the market will regenerate itself. If people are selling and selling, someone is sitting around waiting for the prices to drop low enough and then it will be buy, buy, buy.
If things work out ok. Which they will.
Here in New York it’s like this:
Normally, you can’t shoot a train platform without a few people messing up your photo, but not so much now. It is not as much of a problem getting a seat on the train, and nobody pushes right up next to you. Part of that is that people are biking or uber pooling, and the other part is that businesses are slowly shutting down, so there’s not as much reason to go out. I just got told that the rest of my gigs for March are cancelled since department store shopping is considered nonessential. You can get restaurant delivery or shop online, though.
One thing that fell by the wayside was my styling class at Fashion Institute of Technology. I had signed up for a visual merchandising class where I would learn to build sets and style photoshoots (yeah, I was a photographer and did branch out into styling but that was ages ago). I really wanted to brush up my skills, work on updating my portfolio, maybe style on the side, and definitely try to get more visual merchandising jobs. But corona happened.
It threw the school into a tizzy about a month in. My class was very hands on, and all about group projects and suddenly they were like, all classes are online. I thought about it and decided not to continue because worrying about my economic survival is not good for my creative process. Guess what? Can’t get a refund. You either take the online class or die. So the photo above and one lecture just cost me $600.
At least I can write it off on my taxes.
I just got a Target Red Card, so just in time I had a large amount of money for emergency food shopping. I also shopped at Jacks and Dollar Tree. I got yogurt, fresh berries and fruit and as late as Thursday night Target was still stocked up. The Key Food near my place was completely out of toilet paper, but I got a few rolls at Dollar Tree. I usually stock up, because a grownup should know when they’re almost out, but I was down to my last five rolls and I started reading about how people were stockpiling. I also have napkins and paper towels, but still.
When I finally got to settle in and self quarantine, I roasted some pork belly chunks (super cheap) and had them with rice (put the rest in the fridge for another meal) and a spoonful of black beans from the massive can I bought. I live alone, so my food will last for awhile, but I’m already telling myself not to get crazy and overeat. The first uncertain days had me binge eating, but now, since I don’t know how long this will last, I’m sticking to four meals and rationed healthy snacking. I found some empty plastic bottles that I’d been saving for no reason, so I filled those with water and they’re in the freezer.
I had a gig at Home Depot merchandising for Carhartt, and I bought myself a money plant and a new succulent baby. It’s wild, but I’ve been collecting crystals and buying candles and oils and sage, and setting intentions for the last few months so now my apartment is a nicer place to be. I have a salt lamp going and stocked upon the little bulbs that make it glow. I got the cutest little clock. It’s been months since I could just sit in here and relax, and now I have things in here that are conducive to relaxation. I can see that progress that I’ve made and it’s calming me down. I feel really grateful that I have a place to live at a time like this.
I’m also going to have time to thoroughly clean this place and really get into the feng shui method that I started with and then ran out of energy to complete. I got Feng Shui for Dummies to start with, and now I can look at creating a floor plan and budget for remedies.
And I’ve been talking to my family. I started a group chat with my brothers. We don’t talk all day, but having this conversation on my phone to look at and engage with is amazing after years of estrangement. Talking to my mom is really precious now. All it took was the threat of human extinction to make me see that.
Last but not least, the pins I designed came in and I’m a little excited! Things got backed up because of the virus, so I don’t have them listed anywhere yet and I need to stay in the house so I can’t really be worried about selling them. BUT! It’s exciting to have made something from scratch like this. I really love this image, though. I think I want to make more things out of it, including tshirts. My online stores are closed right now while I figure out what I want to do, but this image will be a big thing in the coming months.
How are you holding up? Are you remembering to wash your hands and not touch your face? Are you making sure to stay in contact with people? Have you made plans for the what ifs of the situation? Did you get some toilet paper?