Being a woman today

When Pamela, Jess and I decided to start E&N—we were looking for an outlet—a place to open our private conversations to an expanded circle. We felt like we were missing a space to share things like how the right snack that can turn a day around, or the strangeness of watching yourself age, or the magic of a highlighter or the challenges of getting motivated to work out. There are plenty of beauty/lifestyle blogs, YouTubers, magazines that cover these subjects, but something unsatisfying about only getting the perspective from someone living in Los Angeles spending $3,000 on the perfect winter coat for California temperatures or a 24 year-old Londoner ‘s thoughts  an anti-aging cream.

Now let’s be clear—we want those stories, too. We are not immune to the fantasy of Carrie Bradshaw or Anna Wintour or Teni Penosian or Hello October. But we just wanted to have an opportunity to talk to others who live in places that get legit freezing for five months out of year and understand the panic of seeing lines on your face and knowing they are here to stay.

And we like talking to other women. We’ve been told we have some male friends who check out our blog—and that’s awesome!—but we really write it for each other. We want to hear what you have found that works and look for solutions for those things that keep nagging at us. We feel one of the greatest successes in our lives is our relationships with our friends. Few things are as energizing as sharing a project with a girlfriend who wants to see it succeed even more than you do, or as affirming as an enthusiastic snap back when you’re feeling yourself on the outfit, or as comforting as the magical hug from someone who knows pain like you do and will reopen their own hurt to take on yours.

Pamela, Jess and I have a lot of things in common. We are all self-employed. There is a constant, low level anxiety you feel when you know that your income is based solely on your skill and hustle. Our source of motivation is a continual risk/reward situation.

We have all crossed over to the dreaded 40s—and not only lived to tell—but found it much easier than we expected and way less terrifying than our transition to our 30s. We’ve learned a little bit. Care a little less. Love a little more. Seen too much. Know what we don’t know. And lean hard on people who won’t let us fall. And there’s power in those experiences and strength in that trust.

None of us have children. Pamela is a stepmom and knows the love and challenges that come with it. But none of us have had children on our own. We don’t want to minimize this point—it can be an obstacle in maintaining friendships—and not necessarily in ways you might think. We know we have more time to commit to researching the perfect concealer, money to spend on a pair of cool kicks and haven’t ceded control of the radio to the humans in the backseat. And we love our role as a trusted resource on all things trivial—just as much as we love seeing our mom friends killing it every day raising the coolest kids on the planet—as well as their evolution as they transition from who we knew before to the person we know today. And we love both versions.

And as similar as we are—we also love surrounding ourselves with people who aren’t exactly like us. We are friends with people who get lost in some of our references—because they’ve never seen the Cosby Show, were adults who knew better than to pay attention to Was Not Was, grew up in places that didn’t contend with oppressive winters or have beauty and hair care issues that are different than our own. Getting different perspectives and ideas are what the blog is all about.

In the end—we wanted to write this blog for our friends. Ladies trying our best to get it done.  All of it. Work, family, friendship, health—often in that order—and still attempting to let our style shine. Maybe through a new eye shadow look, or by cutting bangs, or giving a jumpsuit a try, or a wearing a pretty bralette only we will see. Because we do it for ourselves. Because we want to.  And we want people in our lives who understand that being a woman is about balancing the everything and the nothing. And sometimes it’s the nothings that give us the most joy and the everythings that we have to take a break from.

So yeah—as three women who support other women—we feel all the emotions today. We wanted to see a woman become President. We wanted that validation and to feel like we really CAN do anything. And watching Hillary lose last night felt very much like a referendum on women. And we lost. But was it? Is today different than yesterday? It certainly feels harder being a woman this morning than it did yesterday. Rationally—we know that even if she won—the things that came out in the election weren’t going away. Just like the country isn’t less racist because we elected our first POC as POTUS. But it hurts. It’s confusing. Women voted for Trump and surely, they can’t be against women, in general. Perhaps it really was just THIS woman they didn’t get or didn’t agree with or didn’t like. But it’s hard to look at it that way. At least today.

It felt like our time. A collective chance to celebrate women. But it didn’t happen. So how do we move forward? Well, doing what we’ve always done— getting back up after experiencing pain, taking time to heal and reflect, finding our network that encourages us when we need it, maintaining our hustle because we have no option not to, listening to people who aren’t exactly like us, learning from each other and giving hugs—lots and lots of hugs. And also wearing our bold lipstick—or not—because WE chose to be the women we want to be. And today, we chose to be proud women who are feeling it all, and are doing it together.

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