Hello and Goodbye

P1020800_2 P1020802 P1020803_2 P1020809_2Dress: Sohomode

Belt: Sussan

Shoes: Milu

Well, hello there.

Sorry for the long dry spells between posts – these last few weeks have been challenging, to say the least.

The business of packing up the entire household has been a stressful and not entirely pleasant experience, though vaguely therapeutic it must be admitted.

When you’re in one place for any extended period of time, you don’t realise quite how much STUFF accumulates. Boxes, cake tins, empty jam jars, ill-fitting underpants and cables that don’t seem to belong to anything. The Sophisticate and I (mostly I… he’s had bigger fish to fry) have spent entire days rooting through cupboards and the backs of dusty shelves, culling our belongings down to the barest minimum.

It’s difficult if you’re the type of person who tends to get sidetracked in nostalgia. A two hour job of sorting out the bookshelves turns into a full day trip down memory lane; re-reading chapters of long forgotten books, and finding photos hidden between the pages.

These past few weeks I’m reminded of several facts about myself:

1. I have too many cake tins

and

2. I hate change

I do. I know a lot of people thrive on it, but I HATE it. I’ve been in a situation where my life ground to a halt for several years and I chafed under the constraints of it, but I never took the initiative to change it. That would mean leaving something that was safe and familiar for the great unknown…

And look, I understand that change is necessary, healthy, and usually leaves you in a better place than you were before, but if I can avoid it I usually do.

Fortunately, fate often takes the choice out of my hands and forces change upon my unwilling person. And when it does I fret and stress and have nightmares about natural disasters (usually tidal waves). And then – eventually – I pick myself up, dust myself off, and embrace my new normality. Because; 3. I’m adaptable.

The Sophisticate and I celebrated our first anniversary on Monday (Happy Anniversary, my love) and today – four days later – I kissed him goodbye at the airport and sent him off on his new adventure, a job in New York.

We’re barely “out of warranty” (as I joked to my workmates today), and we’re facing a challenging few months apart, with an unclear future ahead.

But it’s exciting, too.

I’m so proud for him. It’s testament to his talent and the amazing work he does that he’s been given such an extraordinary opportunity. And I’m awed by the way he’s embraced the challenge, and leapt head first into the unknown. It’s inspirational, and hopefully one day I will learn to do the same.

So what’s next for me over the months when he’s in New York? For starters I’ll be moving out of my swank inner-city pad, and moving into my brother’s equally swank not-quite-so-inner-city pad.

A new “wall” for Frocks and Frou Frou.

So goodbye. And hello.

64 thoughts on “Hello and Goodbye

  1. Congratulations on your anniversary! And good luck with all the change (I hate it too).

    I’m so pleased to see you wearing this dress today – you introduced me to Sohomode, and that’s what my bridesmaids will be wearing this summer! I think I’m going to get my own for the rehearsal, because I’m desperate for one of these dresses!

    • That’s so exciting, Amber! I’m so glad! My bridesmaids LOVED their dresses, I hope yours will, too!
      You should definitely get one of your own for the rehearsal. I bought this one for myself at the same time as I bought the Bridesmaids dresses for my Hen’s Day!

  2. Oh Lili! You seem so sad :( I hadn’t realized that your beloved Sophisticate will be heading to NYC. I am sure that you both will make it through this challenging time even stronger than ever. I’m looking forward to seeing the new wall though!
    Will it mean that you have an opportunity to travel to North America to visit him? That would be fun, I’m sure you will love NY!
    Big hug from a friend in Canada.

  3. Long distances relationships are the making of amazing ones (in my opinion). When I first got with my husband we were teaching in Japan. A month later, I left him on a beach in Thailand – where I headed back to Osaka and he headed back to England. For the next six months we were on opposite sides of the world but through Skype, msn messenger (remember that!?) and email, we kept out fledgling relationship going. It was HARD work but at the same time whatever we needed to say we HAD to say it – so we were honest and open from the beginning. There couldn’t be a sulky silence if one of us had annoyed the other – we had to say “you annoyed me by doing/saying x” and when we wanted to say something loving, we did. Seven – nearly eight – years down the line, our relationship is stronger for that. We know how to communicate! There is no passive agreesiveness in our relationship – but lots of heated fights that are always resolved before bed time and not a single doubt by either of us as to how the other one feels. I am solid in my belief that he loves me – as he is about me.

    The next three months will be hard – but always ultimately rewarding! I completely understand how you feel – its heartbreaking to not be able to give your loved one a kiss or hug or just know they are next to you BUT you will be able to talk – more than ever and when he comes back you’ll appreciate him that little bit more.

    And whatever happens next, you’ll know you can face it! I hope that helps somewhat! :)

    Ps LOVE that dress. :)

    • Hey Claire, I’m surprised by how many people have done it, actually! And I’m relieved how many people have found it to be an enriching experience. We’ve been video chatting and texting since he left, so it feels much more like he’s just down the road – not on the other side of the world. Though when he sends me snowy photographs, or says he can’t text me because every time he takes his gloves off his fingers get numb is kind of ruins the illusion, LOL!

  4. Oh, I understand you… I’m packing myself right now, and I’m trying not to scream. Nightmares too, tonight at 4:22 I woke up from a dream in which I was unable to rescue drowning old lady… brrr. Water is always changing, maybe I should drown my old self, let go and try anew? pfff :-)
    And I just want at least 5 years without moving, in a nice warm place, with a steady income and no worries at all… at least not *that* type of worries I have now! (I could worry about having too much money and men around, just for a change ;-))
    huge HUG!

    • Oh, that sucks M. Head up, hopefully it’ll be a painless move. I read that dreaming of water is something to do with control (i.e. you don’t have control) so maybe you just need to let go, and go with the flow (so says me: Control freak, extraordinaire)

      • yeah yeah, control freak me too :-D I love the things to be “my way”, though they are mostly not, so I should get used to being a looser in the “control department” but still :-D
        huge HUG!!!

  5. It’s hard to be without the one you love but this could bring you closer. The other commenters had good advice.and I agree with them. I like change. Last year I had to go through 30 years of stuff before we moved and I was glad to start over and have a fresh start. Sorting through and only keeping what I loved the most was a valuable experience for me. I love my apt. more that my old house. BTW you look fabulous! Love that dress!

    • Thanks Susan. It’s been really cleansing to have a really big clear out, deciding what I can and can’t live without, you realise actually how much extra “stuff” you have weighing you down!

  6. Well firstly that dress looks fabulous on you, especially with the yellow accessory pops! Second, I hate change too. Good luck over the next few months. My husband had to work in Finland for a while early on in our relationship, and it was hard both when he was away and for the first little bit when he got back (I got used to being on my own, and it was strange to have him back in the house and not on the other end of the phone!). But great experience, made us stronger, and that was almost 20 years ago. Best wishes, stay strong, you’re amazing x

    • LOL, I can imagine getting used to being on my own, actually! I’m pretty used to being self sufficient. We’re finding that technology is such a wonderful thing though – despite the time difference we’ve been chatting every day via video calls and text messages

  7. I also hate change so I can guess at some of how you’re feeling! A year ago I moved away from my home city and my group of friends and colleagues, and I still miss them and my routines and my familiarity with the city … but the change has been good for me, and for my relationship…hope your change will too, and that the 3 months fly by.

    • Thanks Catherine! I haven’t done a big location change since I moved to Melbourne ten years ago. It was scary and upsetting then too, but like you said it was good for me, and I’d never change it!

  8. Happy anniversary! And I do so love that dress- beautiful!
    Change is hard but seems essential :( and long distances are hard…but hopefully an excuse to go visit NYC!?!? Look after yourself and fill the Inbetween time with friends and family and new adventures til your sophisticate returns! Ps where is the new abode located?

    • You betcha, Shelly! The plan is to drop in to see him in April for his birthday!
      New abode’s just in the Fitzroy area, so not too far from home. I’ll be at Babka’s EVERY DAY eating their lemon tart!

  9. Aww, Happy Anniversary and all best during this time of upheaval. As a fellow change-averse person, I’ve learned it can help some to do extra, extra soothing self-care around those times. What a beautiful outfit – stunning colours, print, and fit.

  10. Happy Anniversary! I hope you get the chance to visit The Sophisticate in NY and SHOP (among other things). :-) I’m from NY and my husband is from Perth and we just celebrated our 14 year anniversary. Distance is a pain — and so is change — but you will deal and adapt. All the best to you both.

    • Hi Marianne, ah I knew you were from the US – didn’t realise it was New York! Happy anniversary to you, too!
      I’m hoping to go visit him for his birthday – Hopefully I love the city as much as he is.

    • Good advice, Jemima, The first night/weekend without him was pretty tough, but I think the hardest part is over (touch wood!) Goodbyes are awful, but we’re in pretty constant communication on skype and text messages, which is nice.

  11. Happy Anniversary to you & The Sophisticate, Lilli :)

    My relationship has also had to bear many long distance separations over the past decade. I won’t pretend it is easy but it does makes you appreciate the person you are with all the more. Whenever we were apart I would use the time to catch up with friends, take an evening class, basically arrange fun things to fill the time. Also we would always try & plan a trip for whoever was left at home to visit the other. The first few weeks will be the hardest but then the countdown to seeing each other again begins & it gets easier.

    It sounds like a wonderful opportunity for The Sophisticate & he is very lucky to have such a supportive & loving wife :)

    • Thanks Jo – I definitely have a few plans for things to keep my mind occupied while he’s gone. I think I’m going to try and do some more writing, some sewing, and just catch up with me friends a bit more :)

  12. Hey pretty lady.
    Lovely frock.
    I hear your pain re: the sophisticate.
    Hopefully you can find some creative ways of bonding while apart.
    And perhaps a good time to re- discover fabulous lilli!

    • Thanks Cilla. We’ve discovered that Facetime is a wonderful thing, and we’re both on iPhones, so we can message each other free, so I haven’t felt his absence as badly as I could have!

  13. Happy Anniversary to you both! Wow what a stressful time for you but also extremely exciting. Will you beable to join The Sophisticate at some point?
    The dress is beautiful, the colour and flowers. One of my favourites! X

  14. Hi Lili,

    1) Happy Anniversary!!! How exciting.
    2) Long distance sucks, I’m so sorry.
    3) That dress is stunning. Every time you wear one of her dresses I want to buy one.
    4) I don’t know what this means for you in the long-term, but if you end up relocating to NY as well there is a whole community of fatshionistas you could tap into for community, support and friendship.
    5) Not to mention It’d be a whole new set of places for you to shop at!

    • It is pretty exciting, isn’t it Bloomie? We aren’t really 100% clear on what happens next, but moving to the States is a definite possibility !
      ….aaaaand…. not that it’s factoring into the decision making, but if I lived in America I could shop at eShakti!

  15. My hubbly is a musician so he is out of town often. I have yet to get used to it, which I think is a good thing! I still dread his leaving and get butterflies in my tummy on his return, even after almost 12 years! (This March…I can hardly believe it.)

    One thing that is so nice to do is keep notebooks of letters to one another and swap them when you’re reunited. It helps each of you to remember those little experiences and moments that might get missed. :)

  16. Firstly, I will say good luck and congragulations to you and your hubby! When I met my husband, I was living in Caifornia and he was living in Kansas and had kids still in school and leaving them to move across the country was not an option for him. So, I packed up the only life I had ever known, married him and moved across the country to someplace that was completely different from where I had lived my whole life. But before the move and after we got married, we were apart for three months. It was difficult and strange but we made it work becuase we knew the big payoff was being together in the end.

    Good luck to you and I wish you the best!

    P.S. – that dress is everything… loooooove!

  17. My partner and I are in a similar situation at the moment. After being made redundant in 2010, and having searched all over the UK and western Europe for another suitable position (he’s a transport lawyer), he had to take a job in Hong Kong.

    So, after 21 years of being together, we had to pack up our home on one side of England and relocate to the other so that I could be nearer my family whilst he was away. We got to spend one night together in our new home before he had to fly out to Hong Kong to start his new job. It was unbelievably tough – and a huge amount of hard work – but we’re managing OK now. We get to talk on the phone and we send a lot of e-mails.

    It’s not an ideal situation for either of us – I HATE any sort of change with a vengeance – but there wasn’t really any choice left job-wise. At least I’ll get to see him in May when he’ll have two weeks leave.

    Wishing you and the Sophisticate all the best with your new circumstances and Happy 1st Anniversary, too.

  18. I started a long-distance relationship in October (we live in the US; he is on the East Coast and I am on the West Coast) and it’s tough but you’re right, technology makes it so much more bearable. I’m trying to find jobs where he is now and if all goes well we can be together next year. Sometimes I feel crazy that I’m planning such a big step when we haven’t been together that long, but the way our careers are (we’re both academic scientists), this is the one time I can make such a move. However, I am someone who loves a change ad a shakeup every so often so I’m looking forward to it!

  19. Pingback: Everything Bright and Breezy | Frocks & Frou Frou

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