A Vintage Year

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2014 was a vintage year for me for sure.

I had a child. She is asleep next to me, snoring gently as I type. I am not sure I can yet fully comprehend how much this has changed me and my world for the better. Let’s just say that the time before my little Kewpie doll came along doesn’t seem to be the same life.

I got to make and publish a book with Liz Tregenza. I have been in awe of her talents since first meeting her back in 2011. Let me tell you this: I have never come across such a hard worker and her brain processes the history of fashion in an academic manner that frankly elevates the subject on to a whole new platform. I don’t know know how she put up with working with someone who was either pregnant or in the throws of new parenthood.

I was nominated and short listed for a Portsmouth News Woman of the Year award and had a brilliant night with my date (my dad) and many ladies that I have a huge amount of respect for.

My website was listed in the top 50 blogs of the year by Homes and Antiques magazine.

On a personal level I recognised that there is a neutral place between happy and unhappy. A point of equilibrium, a time in which you can grow. Sometimes doing nothing is ok. I also refuse to glorify ‘being busy’. If you fill your life with distraction, how can you ever appreciate the moment?

I feel good. Tired, but good.

For me happiness took on whole new meaning. It is the feeling that derives from the fact that everything in life feels balanced and manageable. It’s a frame of mind rather than a flush of euphoria. It is the peace that comes with knowing I have done right by my daughter, that I have my priorities in order. On that note, parenthood gives you super powers. Instincts become razor sharp and are always followed not ignored. Decision making becomes supersonic and the bullshit radar is honed. This has served me well in all other areas of my life and I feel for the first ever that I can fully trust my own judgement.

It’s also the year that I wondered if I was really an introvert masquerading as an extrovert. I love the sound of, well…silence and am happiest when left uninterrupted and with my own thoughts. Despite this I have made it a resolution of 2015 to see more of the friends I left behind in London.

I 110% came to the conclusion that a quiet drink at home or to celebrate a big occasion such as a wedding or a milestone birthday is nice, but drinking for me no longer represents ‘fun’. In fact I’m not sure it ever did. I simply don’t need it and I hope I can teach my daughter that drinking to calm nerves or enhance an already perfectly good moment is not needed. I have long felt uneasy with the cultural norm that weekly, even daily drinking to cure the ails of life is just ‘what we do’. In a similar vein I am no longer afraid to tell people that I loathe going out at night and that parties are not my idea of fun.

Funnily enough it was also the year that I pretty much stopped wearing vintage clothing. I still love and collect them. I wear fairly non-descript comfy clothes often in block colours yet I still feel just as confident as when I was all dressed up, if not more. Then last week my brother was told me how much he likes my new ‘Normcore’ look (I pretended I knew what he was talking about but really had to look it up). I have to confess, reading up on it, that it pretty much sums up my attitude to getting dressed and it is deliciously liberating. Is it too late to rename it ‘Nomcore’?

I have lots to look forward to in 2015. The-shelf-of-books-by-friends will expand. First up two more Style Me Vintage books by Liz and Keeley Harris on Interiors and the 1940s respectively. Amber Butchart is releasing her magnum opus: Nautical Fashion.

Most of all I am looking forward to year with nothing planned. For the first time ever I don’t have the next six months mapped out, and for me, that is beyond exciting


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