That feeling of knowing you did the right thing but wondering if you made a terrible mistake.

Boy George / I Don't Love You

Annie Lamott

Bird by Bird / Chapter four:
I think that something similar happens with our psychic muscles. They cramp around our wounds—the pain from our childhood, the losses and disappointments of adulthood, the humiliations suffered in both—to keep us from getting hurt in the same place again, to keep foreign substances out. So those wounds never have a chance to heal. Perfectionism is one way our muscles cramp. In some cases  we don't even know that the wounds and the cramping are there, but both limit us. They keep us moving and writing in tight, worried ways. They keep us standing back or backing away from life, keep us from experiencing life in a naked and immediate way. 

“We don’t know what we want, but we know it when we see it.”


Louise Wilson was everything, is still everything.
Laziness could make her irate. “I’ve seen Louise drop-kick a mannequin across the studio when she was frustrated with a student’s work,” said Richard Nicoll, “And there are a plenty more stories like that.” Once, a student was expelled from her office at such velocity that his scarf was slammed in the door. The professor continued her work late into the evening and was surprised to see a figure huddled on the floor outside. He had been too afraid to knock and ask for his scarf back five hours earlier.
It kills me not to be in London right now.

The Goldfinch / Donna Tartt

Hardcover, page 761:
Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted—? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight towards a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster? Is Kitsey right? If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement, the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or—like Boris—is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?

Louise Wilson


Louise Wilson, OBE, head of the MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins, died in her sleep last night. At CSM I was so lucky to have spent any time with her at all, since I was on the journalism course. But I had the opportunity to sit in countless crits with Louise and even though my direct interactions with her were more limited than those of womenswear and menswear students, she has always been the greatest and most important looming figure and influence in my career. She taught every one of us what it means to be ruthless, uncompromising, visionary, relentless. Louise was brutal, but she was always right. She's gone now, and the world will be poorer for it.

From the Archives, Still Excellent.


Hidden Flame / John Dryden (1631-1700)


Mother's Day


Untruisms

For the most part, I'm a rational person. I believe in good sense, empirical evidence, logic, lessons from history, cause-and-effect. But I'm also a person person—human. And, depending on how things are going in my life at any given moment, I can spend huge swathes of the day intentionally seeking out and filling my mind with emotional justifications and anecdotal whatever-you-want-to-call-its as well as telling myself stories, lines, untruisms. Most of the time I'm looking to make myself feel better. Sometimes, when I'm really wallowing, I'll find ways to make myself feel worse. All of the time, I'm just looking for signs I'm not alone. Because, well, feelings. Feelings are hard.

Like: since last summer, I've started dating again, in a sort-of regular and determined-ish way. I've never really been the kind of girl who dreamed about her wedding day or ever made elaborate plans for a house with a garden and 2.5 kids—so in my early 30s, I took a step back and recused myself from the game. It was fine, I felt okay about it. There's something about deliberately making the decision to turn that part of yourself off that feels subversive and liberating, especially when so many people around you are scrambling for the one and/or posting wedding-then-baby photos in your Facebook feed. Objectively, I think I was glad to not be part of the breeder herd. And, conveniently, my career was also in flux, so it was easy to channel my energies elsewhere. But somewhere between 35 and 36, I got bored. And maybe it has something to do with female biology, but I was craving some kind of social change—a need I couldn't quite verbalize and a void I couldn't seem to fill with frenetic travel, exotic vacations, new business venture plans, or packing my calendar with platonic parties. Maybe I needed a life change. So I started dating. Again.

Choupetteism


"One of the key sites for love-induced analgesia is the nucleus accumbens, a key reward addiction centre for opioids, cocaine and other drugs of abuse. The region tells the brain that you really need to keep doing this."

Nancy Sinatra / Bang Bang

"Observe Everything. Always think for yourself. Never let other people make important decisions for you." — from Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn