#RomanCapsuleWardrobe

superlatively rude

I'm not a fashion blogger (obviously) - or even, really, "fashionable" (obviously again). I like clothes and how they make me feel, though. That a ripped jean matches my sassy-pants mood, or adding a blazer takes me into #GirlBoss maven. I understand the need for a good handbag and proper leather shoes as I approach 30, and am finally settling into an aesthetic that suits me.

I've made a huge fuss to anyone who would listen about packing for my summer away with only hand luggage to my name, because my key skill keys include: accents, being really good at Sundays, and The Capsule Wardrobe. I'm not a hoarder - my belongings fit in six boxes, kept in my parents' garage - and moving around so much means I know what I need, and (more importantly) what I don't. I've been loosely chronicling my #RomanCapsuleWardrobe on Instagram (I FUCKING LOVE INSTAGRAM) but to "tie up" the end of my trip/organise the photos on my phone, I thought I'd compile everything here because even though this is a ~writing blog~ I'm so proud of my put-together ways that GODDAMN I WILL POST ABOUT THAT CUZ I MAKE THE RULES AROUND THESE PARTS. Also, folks have asked about it.

I'm always super nosey about how other people pack because honestly, the most liberating thing for me is only having the essentials. I like to be able to carry my own stuff without huffing, puffing, and getting sweaty, and after checking my bag on my Bali flight and it getting delayed by three days, I'd rather just keep my stuff close, ya dig? It makes airports a breeze, too.

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Abundance and Damage and Beauty

superlatively rude

What I’ve learned this summer is that you can tell how skilled the barista is by how slowly the half packet of sugar sinks through the foam and into the espresso. In a good cappuccino, the sugar sits on the surface of the milk as if to take in the view - like anything else Italian, in no rush at all. It glistens, melts a little in the warmth, then suddenly takes the plunge into sweet caffeinated oblivion before the denseness of the foam returns its shape, acting as if nothing untoward ever occurred.

Brioche must be held by a napkin, because you don’t want sticky fingers all over your spoon – almost the best part, were the rest of it not so important too, is when you get to scoop the dregs clinging to the side of the cup. A cup that isn’t a grande or a venti – revolting developments in the bastardised coffee industry of chain stores with green logos. That’s the thing about Italy, about Italians – well. Another thing. Le portizione. It’s cheaper to take breakfast stood at the bar over sitting at a table, because that’s all the time you need: the milk is tepid, not boiling, and five mouthfuls in and you’re done. There’s so much more in store throughout the day, take a taste – don’t overfill. The unspoken motto permeates the air, you’re worthy of every last thing that makes you feel good. Have it all. And leave room for more. 
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Loneliness//Aloneness

superlatively rude

I spent New Year’s Eve alone. I wanted to start my travelling year as I intended to spend it: sat with myself, with nowhere to hide. Visible to myself. Unafraid. Unflinching. Ready to see just who I really am. You know - when nobody is looking.

*

His eyes were on me and I knew better than to look up. In my peripheral I noted his protruding belly and yellow t-shirt and the cigarette in his hand. A cab finally pulled up across the road, and I bee-lined for it, relieved. Posso…? I said, without seeing the person still on the back seat. I have to make another stop, the driver replied, motioning to the shadow of his passenger, and I stepped back, knowing now I’d have to walk.

I picked the most brightly lit road and tried to keep my head up, confident-looking, not in a rush but definitely with somewhere to be. I’d left the guy with a yellow t-shirt still at the taxi rank, but he suddenly – somehow – came into my line of sight up ahead. I don’t know if it was coincidence or if he’d followed me, but when I got back to the empty apartment after dodging his questions about where I was going, did I need him to walk me? I cried. Nobody would know if something happened to me, I thought. I’m all alone.

*

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Unrequited, A Lesson

superlatively rude

I went to bed making notes about him on my phone and when I woke up he’d emailed, because the universe has a funny sense of humour that way. He wanted photographs of when he stayed with me, last summer. He didn’t apologise for how long it had been since we last spoke – since he broke off contact because I threw him out of my house, because I was in love with him and I couldn’t pretend any more.

After all this time, I said, you email about… photographs?

He snapped at me, but I am stronger now. I don’t bend to his will like I used to. I don’t contort myself into shapes that put him at ease. He is a lesson I have carried with me since it happened. From him I learned that I do not have to demonstrate my capacity for love by losing myself in it. By giving everything I have even if they don’t (especially if they don’t), by going ninety percent to another’s ten. From him I learned I am worthy of being met halfway, and I wouldn’t trade a single thing, not one iota of hurt or embarrassment or humiliation that happened, for that knowledge.

I’ve been worried, I said. I’m coming to Rome for the summer and I’m terrified I will bump into you and do it wrong.

Don’t worry, he said. I’m not in Rome anymore. Can I have the photos or not? It’s not a problem if I can’t. Whatever.
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The Book of Brave


Nobody knows us better than we know ourselves, and none of us is fucking up like we think we are. When people ask me what I write about, that is what I say. Oh, so like, self help? they reply. Oh HELLA no! I say. I just tell my story, so that other people might feel a bit better about sharing theirs. Because we all have a story – and we all want to know that it matters.

That’s basically what humanness is, I reckon. It’s asking, do you hear me? Do you see me? Do I count at all?

I’m in love with myself. With who I am and what I believe and how I see the world. I’m proud of myself, too – imperfect and wild and confused and messy and trying, always but always trying – and that’s because, whilst I might not know much about anything, really, I have mastered this one thing. I’ve mastered the art of being my own best mate. The amount of judgment I place on me, myself, and I, is exactly FUCK ALL. I know that the boss of me, is me. I’m in charge. I do not need permission to be who I am.

And that attitude? It’s freeing as all hell.

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