A Little Check In!

A Little Check In

Hi! I wanted to post a little check in of sorts. I cannot believe it’s been a month (plus a handful of days) since I moved to Charleston. So I thought it would be nice to catch up a little, share some things I’ve been thinking about, and hear how you are doing!

A Little Check In!

How are you right feeling now?

Life is really good right now. But also chaotic? I feel like between work + seeing friends and family here and staying in touch with friends back home and trying to get settled in my new apartment and everything else I’m just treading water. There isn’t time for much else. (I have barely read anything this month, for example.) But I’m really happy. I love my new home (though it is currently a disaster) and I have that feeling that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’ve been thinking a lot about The Midnight Library – that book really impacted me in such a positive way.

What is your city like right now?

Charleston is definitely more open than New York was when I left (though it does seem a lot of things are coming back… I read that Broadway is coming back this fall – amazing!!!!) People are going to workout classes here, movie theatres (I think, at least) are open… etc. I really miss workout classes and think I may dip my toe in the water with the local yoga studio here once I’m fully vaccinated.

How are you feeling about post-vaccine travel?

I got my second vaccine a week ago exactly and am getting extremely excited to travel again. Really excited. It doesn’t feel real. I miss adventures. To Becca’s point on the podcast yesterday trip planning does feel stressful… but also exciting? Also, another thing: I was talking to a friend about this the other day: when I do travel, I think I will keep wearing a face mask even when we don’t have to? (If that happens, I assume it will at some point?) Is that weird? I was thinking about it and I used to travel a few times a month. I was always on a plane or going somewhere, and I was also always getting sick. It’s of course a mix of staying home and mask wearing, but I haven’t really gotten sick this year – not even a cold? Masks are great!

Social stress is back?

This is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt true social/new friend stress. Like that whole, “will they like me” sort of anxiety? It’s probably a combination of my social life picking back up and the move. In New York I guess I had a certain arrogance in a way. Not in a snobby way, just not a particular eagerness to make new friends. I had my people, I didn’t need any new friends. Now I’ve actively been going on more friend dates and meeting people here. I got a pitch (for an anti-stress product) that said: “social stress is back!” It made me laugh. The pitch actually said, Who isnโ€™t losing a little sleep over the return of in-person interactions and small talk? OH BOY. I am excited for new friendships but I absolutely do not miss small talk.

Would you rather be a mirror or a candle?

My friend Jenn posted this Edith Wharton quote the other day and I liked it. โ€œThere are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.โ€ It made me think. It’s a good reminder that we don’t always have to be the center of attention or the brightest light in the room… sometimes it’s nice to just spread the light. I think if I’m being honest I prefer to be the mirror than the candle. When given the choice between talking and listening I would almost always choose listening.

photo by Clay Austin.

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Leave a Comment

26 Comments

  1. Shana:

    Really enjoyed this style of post! Social stress and overbooking weekends so quickly again is a real feeling right now ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a good weekend!

    5.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I’m so happy to hear that! You too!!!!

      5.6.21 Reply
  2. Leslie:

    Thanks for posting such a honest, thoughtful blog about your life in Charleston! So happy that you get to see your parents so often now and that you’re enjoying your new city. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a nurse and think I’ll also continue to wear a mask during the winter (flu season) and when the pollen counts are high to help with allergies.

    5.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I am glad I’m not the only one… I kinda like them??? And thank you. I love it here!

      5.6.21 Reply
  3. Jessica Camerata:

    Feeling the social anxiety too. It was kind of nice having zero expectations for a year and knowing we could use the pandemic as an excuse. I’m feeling it slowly creep in again and I’m kind of hating it. Trying to figure out how to keep the things that made me feel good in the pandemic (walks, alone time, front porch catch ups, etc) and not revolving everything around spending money and drinking again.

    xo Jessica
    an indigo day

    5.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Right?? I feel exactly the same, but also this new wave of pressure as I make new friendships here!

      5.6.21 Reply
  4. Kayla:

    I’m feeling the social anxiety, too. And just the anxiety that I no longer have as much control or flexibility over my schedule now that things are opening up more in NYC.

    I love that mirror vs. candle saying — I’ve never heard it but such a good thing to think about. I know for me it shifts at different times in my life.

    5.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I feel that! Hang in there. XOXO

      5.7.21 Reply
  5. Emma:

    This was such a nice check in, Grace, and really speaks to your cultivation of such a connected community. I’ve been feeling really out of balance lately and have never been more thankful to be seeing a therapist since December. Work is on overdrive almost every day (I work in PR), there seem to be more plans and it’s so hard to say no to people especially when this time last year there was nothing to say yes to! I feel at my emotional limit some days. But on the flip side, there is so much to look forward to: traveling this summer, more dinners out at new restaurants with my boyfriend, back to yoga, moving to a bigger apartment in the fall…I think you fully understand the mix of exciting and stressful!

    5.6.21 Reply
    • Becca:

      Social anxiety is so high for me right now! My bf and I are going to a wedding at the end of the month and I have no idea what Iโ€™m going to small talk about! We are also invited to a wedding in Cartagena in June but between the covid situation being so bad there and now crime being much higher all over the country we are still trying to weigh the risks. I read through your blog post and it looks so pretty so my wanderlust is really taking over my rational side on this one but I donโ€™t know what to do!

      5.6.21 Reply
      • grace at the stripe:

        Oh wow yeah, I wouldn’t know what to do either! Regardless I hope you get there at some point, it’s such a special place!!!

        5.7.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Yes! Exciting but stressful is the perfect way to put it!

      5.7.21 Reply
  6. Jenn Lake:

    So glad to hear things are going well overall, friend! Miss you!

    5.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Thanks Jenn! Miss you too!

      5.7.21 Reply
  7. meghan:

    Such a wonderful post! I’ve been fully vaccinated for awhile now (very lucky!), and took my first plane visit to see my best friend. It was pretty anxiety-inducing to be on a completely full plane where you have to wear your mask, UNLESS YOU’RE EATING OR DRINKING. Basically, majority of folks had their mask off for at least 30 minutes of the plane ride. I wasn’t emotionally prepared for that situation. I’m grateful to be as safe as I can be, and fingers crossed more people get vaccinated so we can all be safe in public again!

    I think I might need to add some Equilibria rapid melts to my monthly subscription for any future travel… ๐Ÿ™‚

    5.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I know, I really wish everyone would just get the damn shot!!!!!!

      5.7.21 Reply
  8. Danielle:

    I felt the same way about The Midnight Library! I finished it over a week ago and still think about it often. I have told everyone in my life about it.

    5.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I could not stop talking about it!!!

      5.7.21 Reply
  9. Heather:

    I love that Edith Wharton quote – I think it’s really important to pick the right times to be the candle, and to make sure you’re not forgetting to be a mirror the rest of the times. (Which I think you do wonderfully!)

    I have a few trips planned over the next few months (I’ve been fully vaxxed since February now) and it feels really strange. I’m really excited to go somewhere (anywhere, honestly!), but it still feels so strange after being home for so long.

    5.6.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Couldn’t agree more! And yay for trips… agree, it does feel so strange!

      5.7.21 Reply
  10. Cait:

    Love the life update! I am fully vaccinated (hooray!!!) and have been like, holy cow how do I start to revive a social life again? I feel like I have lost any skill I may have ever had in small talk. I met a neighbor yesterday and afterward was like ‘???? why can’t I remember how to do this?’ haha. Would also love a post on how you are meeting people. I know you’re supposed to put yourself out there to meet people, and I do that, but I never know how to get to the ‘ok so lets hang out!’ stage. All these years, never quite mastered it, haha!
    Have a good weekend!

    5.7.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I know, I feel like I didn’t have the greatest social skills to begin with but the pandemic really made things even worse!!! Have a great weekend!

      5.7.21 Reply
  11. Kimberly:

    We are toying with the idea of going to Walt Disney World in the fall and even just looking at booking information feels like a forbidden thrill!

    5.7.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Ah I love that! Happy for you!

      5.7.21 Reply
  12. Ann K:

    Grace, can you tell us where your sofa is from?

    5.14.21 Reply