Ups & Downs.

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I am having a bit of a week over here. Today, I gave myself a personal day. My blog post for the day was already scheduled, and besides a call with a consulting client, I gave myself permission to just have a day to do nothing and just be still. I made eggs. I read this entire book in five hours or so. (FYI – it’s your standard chick lit read; I could predict the entire storyline and was fine with that… devoured it anyway. It was fun.) I ate some chocolate in bed. I felt… gloriously lazy, but also just really sad.

To be honest, I feel really lonely and I can’t seem to shake it. I’m pretty introverted by nature so it feels strange to complain about this, but that’s where I am right now in this particular moment. I am independent (often to a fault) and value my me-time so incredibly much. I frequently feel overwhelmed by my busy New York life and schedule to a point where I find myself paralyzed by the idea of adding one more thing to my calendar. And sometimes I’ll get so overwhelmed by people that I’ll cancel my plans or duck out of an event early in favor of having some alone time. But I got back here from Boston yesterday afternoon and just felt drained, lonely, and sad.

It’s probably a mix of a few things. The first thing has been watching so many of my friends leave the city. Jess + Hallie both moved away this week which was really sad… but in the past year or so, I’ve actually had eight good friends (including Jess + Hallie) move away. I have a lot of acquaintances + friends that I like hanging out with, but it takes me a really long time to call someone a close friend… and right now it feels like everyone is leaving, just as things were getting good.

The second thing is not going to an office anymore. At my old day job, I sat across from one best friend and next to another… there was nothing better. The friendships, the brainstorm sessions, the camaraderie + silliness that we had… I miss it so much. So much had changed though… several of my close friends at the office had moved on to other opportunities, and that small, start-up feel had gone away. It was time for me to move on, but it still wasn’t easy. But I also kind of miss the structure (definitely didn’t think I would!) Now, weekdays blur in with weekends and on some days I will find myself at home, working… without interacting with a single human, all day long.

The last thing is that the guy I’m seeing is currently doing the Transatlantic Race. He’s racing across the Atlantic Ocean in a 48 foot sailboat with 9 other men. It’s the coolest thing in the world, but also very weird + a little hard as I’m not going to see him for five weeks… and for three of those weeks he’s out on the open sea… which means (literally) zero communication. I find myself constantly wanting to text him and having to put the phone away. I also worry as ummm… that’s kind of dangerous, sailing across the Atlantic and all. It’s also weird to miss someone. I have a really difficult time letting people in, especially after going through a hard breakup. In a way I’m actually happy that I’m sad about this, if that even makes any sense?

Oof. I feel better just writing this all down, but still, sad. I’ve said it before but whenever I feel like this, the first step (I think) is to acknowledge that it’s okay to be sad. It’s fine… good, even. As human beings, we are not meant to be happy all the time. It’s also important to acknowledge that the emotion is temporary. Sadness, joy, grief, anger… they come and they go.

So I’m just taking a day today. I have a million things that I should be doing. I really should clean my apartment and blog and exercise and get work done and make something healthy to eat. But no… I just ate another helping of the ice cream/salted caramel sauce I featured earlier today. Oops. Tomorrow’s another day.

Writing about this stuff always helps, too… I don’t write a lot of these longer posts as I don’t want to bore you guys with the details of my inner monologue, but when I do, it always helps. It helps me to hear your perspective on whatever it is I’m sharing, and I like to think that my sharing is helpful in case you are feeling this way too and can know that you aren’t alone in feeling that way.

But anyways… onwards and upwards. I’m going to buy myself some flowers, run a few errands, and settle in for the night with a good movie (any recommendations?)

*Sidenote: if you’re ever feeling like treating yourself, to something really special… this salted caramel bar is insane.

Photos: Death to the Stock Photo

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Comments

  1. Maggie says 7.3.15

    I feel like posts such as this are rare gems, I am in no way bored by your inner monologue.

    • graceatwood says 7.3.15

      thank you!:)

  2. Vicky says 7.3.15

    Thanks so much for sharing! I definitely have these days too and it’s good to hear I’m not the only one! Hugs to you!!

  3. Erin says 7.3.15

    I can completely relate to this post. I’m an introvert too, and I find myself constantly battling with my need for “alone time” vs feelings of loneliness. I think a day to relax is oftentimes what does the trick – that and some indulgence. Thanks for sharing this. It’s a good reminder that everyone battles with this stuff from time to time.

  4. Rebecca {at} Preppy Panache says 7.3.15

    You can’t feel happy/positive or whatever every day so when you feel less than ideal, just go with it until you bounce back.

  5. Kim says 7.3.15

    I am in the same boat. There seems to a mass exodus from New York lately, as well as friends who are busy with growing families. While I don’t work from home, I’m my company’s sole employee on the east coast in a co-working space. I’m surrounded by people, but being an introvert means that I’ll often go whole days without talking to anyone in the office. All that to say, I can identify with how you feel. I try to be confident that hanging out more with acquaintances will develop into deeper relationships, but it’s tough for right now. We’ll get past this though. I feel better (and worse!) knowing that other people feel the same way.

    • graceatwood says 7.3.15

      Kim – Thanks for sharing. It sounds like we are in the exact same boat. My friends are either leaving, or are married with one or two kids… save for just a few. It’s hard! Thank you for taking the time to comment + share what you’re going through. It helps to hear that I’m not alone!!

  6. Jordan :) says 7.3.15

    Grace…. we’re your regular readers because we like YOU, not just the pretty clothes or DIY stuff or fun events we get to read about. I personally love when I get reminded that the girl behind the blog is a real person…. it makes it so much more rewarding to hear about your successes when we know there were struggles, too.

    It’s so hard to feel lonely, and it’s even harder when you feel that way when there’s a million people around! I also have been sad by friends moving out of LA lately – feels like everything is changing. I guess it’s just important to remember that a few years ago, some of those people weren’t even in your life, and look how close you became in such a short time! It gives me hope that more friends, and lasting friendships, are just around the corner.

    • graceatwood says 7.3.15

      You always make me smile, Jordan! That’s such a good point about looking back on what life was like a few years ago. In other news, when are you coming to New York next? We need a meet up with Elanah! xo

      • Jordan :) says 7.6.15

        We will hopefully be there in September! I would really love to see you again!

        • graceatwood says 7.6.15

          yessss!

  7. Erin Tufts says 7.3.15

    Sending love and positive vibes your way we’ve all been there. So here is me throwing support from the south!

    • graceatwood says 7.3.15

      aw, thanks Erin!! xx

  8. Amy @ Girl for Granted says 7.3.15

    Grace, I’m sorry that you’re feeling like this, but I love these kinds of posts. There is something so comforting about knowing that you’re not the only one. I’ve been going through a bit of a slump of late too, and it seems like a lot of my friends are as well. I think life changes so much, so fast, at this mid twenties to early thirties stage and it’s totally normal to have off days, weeks, or even months. Keep your chin up, girl! xx

    • Amy @ Girl for Granted says 7.3.15

      Oh and if you want a super simple, comforting and healthy meal for those days when you just can’t be bothered but know you should eat something healthy, you should try the Goop Tuna Bowl – http://goop.com/recipes/tuna-tomato-bowl/ – it’s an old stand by for me now!

      • graceatwood says 7.3.15

        This sounds amazing – and I love Gwyneth! Thank you!!

    • graceatwood says 7.3.15

      Thank you so much Amy!!! I really appreciate it. I think that’s exactly it… life just keeps on changing and there will always be off days. Thank you for commenting 🙂

  9. Rachel says 7.4.15

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling like this. Thank you so much for opening up to us and sharing! This is relatable for so many of us. There’s nothing wrong with indulging (especially on days like this) and putting a movie on. I love old classic films before bed!

  10. Susan D Crochet Addict UK says 7.4.15

    Sorry you are feeling sad but it just shows how many close connections you have . Missing your man is good. I miss my hubby if he is even away overnight. I am sure as time goes on you will feel better and get back to yourself .

    • graceatwood says 7.4.15

      That’s a good point, thanks 🙂 I woke up today feeling a lot better. Ups and downs.. :-/

  11. Sarah P. says 7.4.15

    This is why I enjoy blogs, finding out that we all share struggles. I didn’t realized that I was introverted until reading that you duck out on friends and engagements for alone time-that’s me too a “T.” Thank you for the insight 🙂 Also, I work from home and YES, days run together, you work way more than you did at an office, and it can be isolating. After almost two years, I’ve been able to better divide my home and work selves (but it’s still hard). You’ll figure it out too!

    • graceatwood says 7.4.15

      Thanks Sarah. You’re totally right, I think it’s just going to be an adjustment. I need to get more organized and better divide home and work. Hard, living in a studio… but still doable.

      I love reading about introverts and extroverts. I always thought I was an extrovert because I can be pretty outgoing. But it’s really all about how you recharge. Extroverts get their energy from being around other people, whereas introverts recharge by being alone. It’s pretty fascinating stuff.

  12. Rachael says 7.4.15

    This is such a great post! I recently moved and I have had the experience of making new friends. I am very careful who I call close friends and so as I am slower to make new friends, I sometimes find myself missing my friends from NY. Even though I talk to them daily…it can still feel lonely sometimes. Ice cream helps 🙂 <3

    • graceatwood says 7.4.15

      Thank you so much Rachael. 🙂 And yeah… ice cream always helps, right? hahahaha

  13. alyson says 7.5.15

    sorry to hear you’re going through a lot of this grace, so glad to hear you’re doing a bit better (anything vosges always helps!). I know what you mean in terms of loneliness and friendships and everything — sometimes you can be in a crowded room and feel lonely as hell if it’s not with the right people, or person. I’ve had similar bouts of loneliness mixed with other crap and while our lives might be in pretty different places right now, the feeling is the feeling. since I rarely get to exercise I actually find that’s been helpful to me since i am sitting at my desk so much. here anytime if you want to connect. xx

  14. Nichole says 7.5.15

    Oh wow, did this ever resonate. I totally understand, and I feel the same way a lot.

    Last weekend, after weeks and weeks of back-to-back engagements, I had to walk away. Rented a car, drove out of San Francisco, and spent a night camping in Big Sur alone. I needed the time alone more than anything – to get away from the city, to be away from my phone and my to-do lists, to switch up my situation and be able to see the world with fresh eyes and a quiet mind.

    Sometimes a change of scenery is the best situation, and when you go out on a solo adventure you’ll find yourself challenged in new and exciting ways. Know that you certainly aren’t alone in feeling this way – I find that regular periods of solitude are crucial for creativity, sanity, and happiness, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were the same 🙂

    Best of luck, and definitely pick up flowers and a caramel bar… sounds like a heavenly way to spend an afternoon.

    xx N

    • graceatwood says 7.5.15

      Oh my gosh, wow…

      I took two things away from this:
      1) I am really, really jealous that you could pack up and go camping at Big Sur. That sounds like an absolute dream. I went a long time ago with a boyfriend and the cliffs, the water, it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. I’ve never been anywhere like it. I love it there and can imagine it was the perfect way to escape + recharge your batteries!

      2) I’m sorry you were feeling the same. It’s good to know we aren’t alone in feeling this way!!!

      Thanks for your comment, Nichole!

  15. HMC says 7.6.15

    I really loved this post–your honesty is so refreshing.

    And this is totally random, but a dear family friend is currently doing the race on that size boat. I grew up with him and his fam in MA, he now lives in NYC–I’m wondering if this is your guy???

    • graceatwood says 7.6.15

      sent you an email… small world! 😉

  16. JT says 7.6.15

    Thank you for sharing this! I often feel that the double-edged sword of New York (especially for introverts – which I am), is the loneliness that creeps in. I too, am a go-go-go person and fiercely independent AND a people pleaser, and the last two often contradict. Also – in this city, it takes a lot of time for someone to become a real, close friend. I am so glad that you shared this, because often those around me {you?} start explaining why I {you?} SHOULDN’T be {sad, lonely, stressed} (in an effort to cheer me {you?} up). I consider myself extremely lucky – but we ALL have those days. A lot of my friends are moving, have kids, etc., and while those aren’t the right things for me, I feel like my pool of close friends I would have an impromptu drink, movie, etc. with is shrinking. I appreciate your transparency and I hope you know you’re not alone in those feelings – and you ALWAYS need to do what’s best for you. I’ve been feeling this way for awhile, and you always say things in such a clear, relatable way. Your perspective is very refreshing. I hope you had a great weekend. 🙂

    • graceatwood says 7.6.15

      thank you so much for your comment, jenn! New York is such a weird balance. It sounds like we are a lot alike. I also consider myself to be super lucky, but there are just days where you feel terrible; and like you say.. that the pool of friends that could meet up for a casual drink or vent session have diminished. it’s tough. thanks for commenting, it really helped! xx

  17. Megan says 7.6.15

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Grace. Even when it’s on a heavier topic or a harder-to-deal-with experience, I always really appreciate knowing that some of my favorite bloggers struggle with some of the very same things I do. Having worked solo for the past eight years at home, I know how isolating that can be (and was totally nodding at the idea of going a whole work day without talking to another person). Sending a virtual hug your way… xx

    • graceatwood says 7.6.15

      thanks, megan! i’m so happy you could relate to this post. hugs back!

  18. Annie Reeves says 7.6.15

    Just now reading this, and I’m relating 100%. Feeling lonely is one of those things that – even when not 100% warranted – is hard to shake. Sending up some prayers for you!!! Hope you’re feeling better today : )

    • graceatwood says 7.6.15

      thanks lady! i’m feeling a lot better; but it comes and goes… appreciate your thoughts!

  19. Kathryn says 7.6.15

    I needed this post. Thank you!

    • graceatwood says 7.6.15

      so glad that you did.. hope you are feeling better soon 🙂

  20. Michelle says 7.8.15

    I can completely relate to how you are feeling. I have been working from home for about 2 years now and have been feeling so much more depressed than I ever did before. I love the flexibility that comes with working from home, but I tend to stay at home all day on my computer which does not work for me. I didn’t even have many friends at work before, but just not seeing anyone all day really can have a negative effect on a person. I find that bringing my computer and just going to a coffee shop, book store or anywhere else really helps me feel better.

  21. Gabriela says 7.13.15

    When I first moved to NYC 8 years ago I was SO lonely. I would go days with only talking to my co workers and my Mother. I was so sad. Now that I am 32 and living in a tiny studio alone I have learned to take myself to the movies alone and even to the beach alone. I still find it hard. I tell myself that being alone a skill I should be proud of. All our paired off friends with their live in bfs and husbands/wives, may find themselves alone in life – and will look to US for tips. Chin up! You are not alone in your feelings. And you’re fabulous for creating such a rich and exciting life for yourself solo.

    • graceatwood says 7.13.15

      Thanks Gabriela! I think it is definitely a skill to be proud of. I appreciate the comment, it’s always good to know you’re not alone. xx

  22. elizabeth says 7.14.15

    All I will say is that we are so due for a nice, long lunch + heart-to-heart next time I’m in the city. Sending so much love your way, sisterfriend!