a Taylored Approach
Hello, it's me, Tay. I was wondering if after a few months you'd like to catch up. To go over the latest with TC. She's back with some thoughts this Sunday night. The last time we chatted, I was escaping to Truckee, had a surprise visit to my favorite Palm Springs and am now sitting here nearly two months later, wondering how it's August. 2018, where are you going? I still have a few things to cross off the list so if you could slow down, that would be great. And although, there's a few points to highlight, a story about a meet cute with a swan at the Palace (yes, you read correctly, it's not a pink door this time) and the reason I am obsessed with the letter H; there's admittedly a realization about my current love/hate relationship with my career, centered around a new word, "uncomfortable."
To be honest, it's been hard for me to put the last few months into words. I walked into work on a random Wednesday, with another promotion and a large challenge laid in front of me. It was the sweetest reward because I got to share it with my work wife. Not to get lovey-dovey (ironically that's her last name) but she is one of the sole reasons I show up everyday ready to dominate. Even though inside lately, I am feeling insecure; she's taken the boss reigns to remind me I can conquer anything and it was me who led the way for us to storm into success. And it's that one word, "uncomfortable", that's hard for me to swallow, when usually I exude a bossy ere. Nothing work wise typically phases me. I'm a bulldog who can tackle anything and has little anxiety when charging through those office glass doors. Until now.
What's funny is that if you told me 5 years ago, I would have been promoted nearly every year, I would have laughed in your face. I remember high school TC who needed an SAT tutor and got the same retail related math question wrong every single week. Ironically about a dress discount. Without fail, the 10% off and then the 10% markup question tricked me every time. So for those of you who thinks it's not possible to prove your younger self wrong, I'm living proof you can. I never thought my best friend would be Excel, never thought a petite, 5'2 TC would have a presence and that anyone would listen. If I were to share a secret to my success, Lesson #1; don't underestimate yourself and no one else will. Lesson #2; cute office supplies don't hurt either. An "I'm very busy" notebook says a lot without having to tell someone. Lesson #3 which I am living everyday in my new role; never be afraid to tell someone you don't know. It will take you a lot farther to admit you need help from your team than to pretend you have all the answers.
So why the newfound obsession with the letter H? Well besides it being a luxury brand, it happens to be the letter of my middle initial, Hall, which is so special to me; even more so than Crary (sorry Freddie). It's part of the reason I am so connected to the blog and my love of decor because of my grandmother. Hall happened to be her maiden name and is my mom's middle name. A mosaic H has recently taken residence on my new white coffee table with a vintage Parrot brush. Blanche at her finest. Aside from the Hall that lives inside my heart everyday, it's the theme around my work life; Hustle and Hunger. Bring in Florence and Machine and the title of this post. And in the last half a decade, my Hunger has been just that. Setting myself up in my career to then coast into the other half of life's Hunger... Love. And for that story, stay tuned.
So what's this story about my swan encounter at the Palace? It's the old bitty in TC coming to life. A few of you may have seen the gold birds that reside in my place. It's granny chic to the max and one of the best decor finds. It's not unusual that a few times a week I venture to the Palace. It's beautiful, looks different every time you see it and is majestic. I think the best date would be the Palace, a striped blanket, rose and playing cards which I have yet to experience. And thus the point of my story. I usually blast some tunes to get amped for the week ahead and find myself there. I stopped at the water and I kid you not, the swan at the other end came bolting for me. I think she knew I had gold birds in my house and if you believe in those sorts of things, I think it was my grandmother, ML. She cruised up to me, did a little pose and let me get the most amazing pics. We had a moment and soon enough, a crowd formed around us. It's those life moments where you see what you want to believe and in that swan, there it was; the H in me, the Hall, the Hunger.
And with that, on what turned out to be yet another foggy, gloomy evening in SF; I'll leave you with this. Being a person who is hard on herself and has high expectations is a double edged sword. You don't let yourself revel in your success, you focus on the moments of weakness which in the end, only make you stronger if you let them. Accept the fact that sometimes you need to take a breath and a moment to figure out your next hand.
Until next time, the next martini, the next pink house or in my case in about 3 weeks, a pink hotel.
I've been craving creativity. There's something to be said about finding a little fun in recreating a space with what you have and looking at something differently. You take a step back, give it the benefit of the doubt and usually the moment you stop thinking about it, things click. A refresh. My studio and I had that moment. So romantic, right!?
I've always loved to be surrounded by pretty things, have baubles displayed for days and using a somewhat unconventional piece in a decor moment. AKA a lion head door knocker next to my window because it can't be on my pink front door just yet. And as I look around, my studio is kind of like living in a store, so it's no surprise I've ended up working in retail. Everything has a place, a meaning (even if it's silly) but each piece plays a role in the vignettes I've created. And funny enough, I love the element of whimsy in my home even though I tend to be a bit serious and analytical outside #203. My hope is the space I've created makes you think about channeling your inner child, take a page out of a fashionable coffee table book or sling a coyote fur across your back while you stare out the window, hopefully with a glass of bubbly or four. This apartment has become the vision board for what I aspire my future home to be.
The mission. I had two in mind when I spent a gloomy Saturday staring at the studio version of a Rubik's cube. In a small space, you have to get crafty. The first; open up the bay windows. I wanted more natural light and luckily, my desk had already become an area I love to sit, write, sip a glass of wine and stare out into what every night is a different sunset. Each window sill had something against it creating barriers. I took a long running table under the furthest window, shifted it behind my couch and added a little reading area with an adorable white Acapulco chair. I slung a serape blanket from the Saguaro Palm Springs hotel on it to remind me every day I need to make a trip back.... stat. And I can't even tell you how this has changed the way light streams into my place. It makes you linger just a little longer, or so I hope. The coyote fur will always be special. It was a fab find when I first moved to San Francisco in my Nordstrom days. I think I've worn it twice outside this apartment but it's luxe, looks perfect against the desk that was a labor of lacquered love and reminds me of where I've been.
The second mission; re-merchandising my bookshelves. It's one of your first stops in my studio. I discovered a major game changer with color coding books and I've cultivated quite the collection that will someday be featured in my walk in closet. Don't worry, just geeking out over here but I love how it adds clean lines through the shelves. Pretty sure during an earthquake this will crumble but until that moment happens, I'm just sitting on my palm print couch admiring this beauty.
5 fun facts about what you can find in 5 stories of shelves.
1) The bottle of Veuve was from my 30th birthday. I was ecstatic when I found giant palm leaves at Ikea to sit with her. You can find a few sprinkled throughout my apartment.
2) The gold birds were a find from my mom, Kimmy. I vividly remember her calling me at brunch during my sister's Bachelorette weekend when she discovered them. I missed her call and by the time I reached her she left the store. But of course, immediately asked if she should head back to snag them to which I screamed a resounding, "yes!" They were destined to live with me. Birdie beauties, I heart you and my inner old lady is swooning.
3) I'm not the most experienced cook. If it's not grilled cheese, scallops or poached eggs, I'm not your girl but the stack of colorful and pretty cookbooks inspires me to try new things in the kitchen. Maybe craft something else besides a dirty martini.
4) A framed Leo's Oyster Bar menu. You guys, I'm obsessed and made a girlfriend of mine steal it.
5) The Chanel bag. It was a right time, right place kind of thing. She is vintage, special and has even met Palm Springs.
The color coded shelf needs it's own picture because includes books I gravitate toward. I'm not the best reader. I always start books and never finish them unless they are career related. Snooze. But they inspire me to be better and never settle in my job. The latest teal one I can't wait to read. I added a large stud of a necklace because these pages are royalty in my mind.
When you change your perspective, things around you can shift even if it's something as simple as what you are surrounded with everyday in your home. You can make change, be creative and escape. For me lately, that's been key. Take time. Think about things and your next move. Come back with fresh ideas. It's what I come home to everyday. It's the Taylored Approach.
6 years. 2,190 days. 3.1 million minutes. Let's just let that sink in for a second and yes, I did the math. I think back to the girl who pulled the trigger 312 weeks ago to make a leap to a city she had no idea she would like. She followed a dream and I sometimes wonder... what happened to this girl? She was timid. She was unsure. She was ready for change and had no idea how to get there. But she had one thing, believe in herself things would work out. I've figured out over the last 6 years as a Marina dweller that is the game of life. And no, I'm not scheming to get a blue peg in my pink car just yet (well, kind of) but really, I think back to the girl who had her parents packing her two bedroom Scottsdale apartment to fit into a studio and I have never taken a moment to thank that tan, blonde girl. Don't worry, I've thanked my parents. But alas, this girl didn't question life, moved to a city with no apartment and no idea of what the future would hold and amazingly, she had no worry. Instead, she was optimistic and had faith. Faith that family was the right thing to bring her back closer to home and as she drove down the Embarcadero on many past city visits, she knew someday she would find herself at the Gap Corporate offices. And guess what, that's what she did.
As I sit here and realize math has become one of my best friends at work, it's put my 6th city anniversary in perspective. If I could talk to that Scottsdale TC, I'd share a few facts with her from San Francisco TC:
1) Dirty martinis should always be a basic food group.
2) Blanche is a perfectly acceptable and necessary alter ego.
3) A studio apartment is a blank canvas and glimpse into the personality of your future home.
4) Your career is one vehicle to your trademark in the world but no matter how hard you work to climb the corporate ladder, it should never define you. Instead, it should be flamingos, sequins or a pink door.
5) If you surround with the best of the best gals, you've made friends for life.
6) As much as you try to be superwoman, everyone has a moment of weakness. It's ok to feel lost. Accept it. Get over it and move on.
7) There will never be a shortage of pink houses. If it's front of mind, you'll always fall into it.
8) The man who makes you forget you want to be a boss in the office will be the one you hang onto.
9) When you find that mental "click" as you are tourist in our city, get out that camera and capture it. Heck, use it to decorate your house.
10) It's easy to be your own worst critic. Take a moment to leave those thoughts behind and thank yourself. You are right where you need to be. Bold that one.
Ironically as I googled wedding gifts for year #6, they could not be more opposite; candy + iron. Sweet and reliable which if I looked San Francisco TC, she's turned out be. Her mind is like iron, almost too strong. It doesn't take a break, cut her any slack and always has her thinking she should strive for more. She's never done and never settles. You guessed it, the work side. Then, there's the sweet. The personal side. She's too nice and should take a page from the bold iron boss. Sure she might be cute but inside, she could cut you if she chooses too but that sweet candy side gives you the benefit of the doubt. I would be lying if I said Maddie, my Mac on Chestnut, wasn't playing Mandy Moore's Candy as I'm writing this. It felt right.
Cheers to San Francisco, Chestnut Street and the amazing journey I've cultivated in my 6 years so far. I get emotional when I scroll through photos from the last 1.8 billion seconds (thanks Rent).
Little did I know, you would give me the key to be me.