Gingham + Cheetah Slides

gingham top

gingham top

gingham top

cheetah slides

cheetah slides

rebecca minkoff quilted love crossbody

Photography by Ryan Sherrod

Edgar Allen Poe once said “Write drunk, edit sober”. I first heard that in ninth grade and I’ve never forgotten it. I think he was on to something. Hear me out, though. I live in neutral, but get a glass or two of wine in me, and my mouth hits fifth gear and spins out.

Have you ever been at a point in your life where it seemed that all of the stars were finally aligning, only it was happening at the worst time? Or that everything you ever wanted was starting to pan out at the exact same time that your personal dream was just starting to gain wings and learn to fly?

Six years ago, I was in a very different place. I’d left my life two years prior, with not much more than my daughter, her toys, clothes, and necessities. You’d had thought we were just downsizing, moving to the Big City.

Nope.

I posted a photo on Instagram of eating dinner out of a styrofoam container on plank wood floors, no couch, plastic utensils, and I titled it “Living the dream”. Truth was, we were living the dream. For the first time, we were on our own.

I still see the moment that I took that picture. I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s actually the only thing that I continue to go back to. ¬†Six years later, I can still feel every second of that. I tear up every time I see it, but I tear up with a smile.

I’d never felt like I had more than I did in that moment. I sat in a make shift entryway, staring at a fake fireplace, eating on the floor, an empty living room and a blow up mattress that my grandparents loaned me. Right then, right there, I didn’t care if I ever owned another couch or bed. I knew that this must be what people meant when they said, “just live a little” or “you got this”.

I’d never felt more like “I got this”, while simultaneously feeling like “Fuck, we’re gonna starve to death” than I did that day.

New things are scary. Going it alone is scary. Leaving your life for a new one is scary. Sitting in the floor of an empty home for the first time in your 28 years of life with a dependent is scary.

I’ll be honest. I have no idea where I found the strength to do that. I’m certain of most everything in my life, but I wasn’t certain of anything when I snapped that picture. But snapping that picture is the best thing that ever happened to me. I keep a copy of it under the mattress, in my glove compartment and in my makeup case. I have a screenshot of it on every phone I’ve had sense then. I scroll my feed to find it, because I think it’s my personal defining moment.

And if that’s the biggest leap of faith I ever make, I think I’m OK with that.

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