i lived with four of my closest friends my last year at pepperdine. we shared this amazing condo off pch, minutes away from the pacific ocean. it was the one and only time, i’d imagine, i’ll ever be able to boast a malibu zip code.
living with four other females is certainly an adventure. on the plus side, you have four closets full of anthropologie goodies at your disposal, on the downside, you might not always have an empty washer/dryer when you’re ready to do laundry. but overall, the experience was one of the highlights of my college career, mostly for the fact that living with someone allows you to get a whole new perspective on their life. for instance, i learned that when it came to school work and the associated stress of meeting deadlines, writing papers, and completing college credits– as well as the added commitments of being a member of a sorority (we belonged to two sororities between the five of us) — we all processed things very differently. i remember when one girl was procrastinating before finishing her history assignment, she’d bake. it didn’t matter what per se, all i knew was when i walked through the door and smelled chocolate cake wafting through the condo, i knew she had a paper to write. another roommate took a different approach to delay the inevitable. instead of baking, she cleaned. which was great if the two girls’ assignments coincided with each other (kitchen gets messy, then kitchen gets cleaned!).
as for me?
if it wasn’t nailed down to something, it might be swept up in hurricane shawna. and to this day, whenever my life feels stressful or filled with situations beyond my direct control, i shake off those overwhelming feelings by simplifying my life the best i can –more often than not that equates to physically removing the unwanted clutter from my home/office/closet/life.
my latest purge was just two weeks ago. i came home from teaching my studio barre classes like a woman on a mission and in a matter of minutes, i had combed through my entire wardrobe removing items that i knew i could live without. the sentiment i kept reminding myself as i held up a dress i had barely worn in the last year was, “does this make me excited to wear it and/or could someone else enjoy it more than me?” needless to say, i was carrying around a lot of extra baggage, literally. i ended up filling four trash bags of various shoes, apparel, hats, and accessories. things i had held onto for “just in case” moments, for their sentimental value, or regrettably, for their (small) size.
when i had finished and the tornado’s fury had lost its steam, i sat down in silence. S was over, he had played witness to the twenty-minute endeavor, observing quietly from his spot on the couch. as i took a sigh and stared down at my dinner plate, ready to take my first bites after a long day, he asked me those three little words. “are you okay?”
“yeah,” i said as i brushed off his concern. i’m just doing a little spring cleaning. but in fall. it’s a thing, right?
see, the thing about dating someone for 15 months (woo hoo!) is that they know exactly when you’re lying. even easier when it’s me and i can’t act to save my life (there goes my dreams of an oscar). as he opened his mouth to ask me again, this time hoping i’d be honest with him, i burst into tears.
apparently i was not okay.
in between sobs, i squeaked out jarbled nonsense -about how i was feeling stressed, and confused, and scared, and out of control of my own life. i wasn’t sure where it was all stemming from, only that it was the slow and steady build up of a few different things over time.
the fact that i was tired and hungry probably only escalated those facts.
but when i had calmed down, and eaten more than three bites of my roasted broccoli and tempeh, i could look at the situation with a bit more logic than emotion.
the fact is: i’m itching for something new. a new venture to call my own. a new dream to chase. while yes, this season is incredibly full with two jobs, a relationship, friendships, family, contributing for darling and of course, keeping up with this little plot of internet real estate, i’ve realized that most days i’m running on autopilot. so when i watch my friends and acquaintances set out to conquer a new endeavor, i feel a little embarrassed that maybe i’m not brave enough to do the same. at times i feel crippled by my own fear of failing. and that fear is enough to keep me sidelined in the game of my own life, when i’m supposed to be my own version of aaron rodgers.
though i haven’t yet read it (which is in and of itself a tragedy), i started thinking about the title of mindy kaling’s new book, why not me? i had to change my way of seeing things. instead of believing “that could never be me” i had to adopt the mantra “why NOT me?”
in removing all of the unwanted items from my life, i was able to have a clearer vision of what it is i’d ultimately like to do/be. i want to be a fashion blogger. i want to be the girls i admire daily — the kendis, the julias, the lees (my newest blogger crush). it’s something i’ve said i wanted to do for a long time, never fully committing out of fear or laziness or intimidation. but the truth is, nothing ventured nothing gained.
so what does that mean for you? in a nutshell — that you’re going to see a heck of a lot more of my mug around these parts (you’re welcome?). i will of course continue to share personal tidbits, recaps of recent travels, and the occasional DIY, but ultimately at this juncture, shawna leeann is going to be centered around my love for personal style and fashion.
who knew a closet purge could bring such clarity?
to help boost my efforts, i have created a facebook page purely for my blogposts (do me a favor and give it a like?). additionally, i’ve decided to absolve my @stylebyshawnaleeann account into my personal account @shawnaleeann, so if you follow the former, be sure to find me at the latter! finally, i’m going to be more diligent about pinning my daily outfits, so be sure to follow me on pinterest so you can repin all of your favorite shawna ensembles.
from the bottom of my heart, i want to thank you. for those of you who have been there since my humble beginnings, to my newest subscribers, i am grateful for each and every one of you. thank you for supporting me in this next season and stay tuned for some exciting new features.
love y’all, mean it.