Alice Catherine Alice Catherine

It’s been a little while since I last posted on here! A combination of factors at play but mainly just a serious case of feeling uninspired and not wanting to churn out mediocre content just for the sake of keeping up appearances. I always want my more thoughtful pieces on here to hold sort some value and feel authentic – it would show in my content if I was trying to pour from an empty cup, and to be honest, that’s exactly how I feel at this point in the pandemic. I feel as though I’ve hit a brick wall in many ways, and although I know things will start to feel brighter at some point this year, right now I can’t quite muster the energy to believe it…

I’m not totally unhappy but I’m definitely not particularly happy either (whatever that word means) – I guess I just feel stuck in a permanent state of ‘getting on with things the best I can’ and I know many others will be feeling the same way. I still laugh and joke most days, I still get up and do my job, I still do the usual chores around the flat and moan about the endless dishwasher stacking – I’m functional whilst still feeling fed up with the mundanity of it all. I think the thing I’m struggling with the most is the loss of independence and creativity – the things wrapped up in my sense of self and how I choose to move through the world.

The mundanities of everyday living during this pandemic have encouraged a numbness to settle in. It’s as though I can feel parts of my personality slipping away some days and I don’t quite know how to stop it happening. It’s like I’m aware those brighter days are coming (as they always d0) but disconnecting is a coping mechanism that works all too well when the world feels this heavy. Many of us will have locked certain parts of ourselves away in a box somewhere to avoid feeling endlessly frustrated and worthless whilst this lockdown drags on. And so, the quiet numbness settles in and we feel withdrawn and distant from our old lives, our old routines, our own unique place in the world. I feel a bit like I’m just floating through the weeks, nothing significant to report, no footprints left behind.

I recently had a wardrobe clear out and it turned into a whole day or two of trying on various pieces and deciding what to part with. What struck me the most was how detached I felt from a wardrobe with so many memories stuffed inside it – cute little evening bags containing crumpled restaurant receipts, summer vintage blouses stained with suncream, my old jeans that are almost ripping at the seams from adventures…

As I curated piles to clear out and piles to keep, I started to realise how much of my sense of self was wrapped up in the clothes I wear and just how much that sense of self had started to slip away over the past year. I feel as though I have become a human that exists in a stream of endless elasticated waists and oversized jumpers. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but it’s as though the pieces in my wardrobe had started to take on a mocking persona. The fancy blouses laughing at me from their majestic hangers. How silly I felt to be someone who owned so many blouses and so little loungewear at the start of the pandemic.

I’m aware this all very silly, but it was as though I’d flung that box open when I opened my wardrobe doors – I was greeted with the parts of my I’d tried to bury throughout this pandemic. The person who loves to travel and takes pleasure in matching their bag to their jacket. Maybe I had become a little ashamed of this person. After all, there are far more important things to be concerning ourselves with and the act of getting dressed falls bottom of the list in the current climate. I also started to have similar feelings towards my role as a blogger – how can I (a mere internet person) make any kind of valuable difference when the world is falling apart? 

This is all very self indulgent of course, but this is a place I will always try to be as open and honest possible. As I tried on various outfits just for the fun of it, I started to feel glimpses of the person I was before everything turned upside down. A person who enjoyed getting dressed to go and get coffee or run a simple errand just to make themselves feel good. A person who planned an outfit for a night out with friends at least a week in advance out of sheer excitement. A person who enjoys the little things in life – one of those things being my wardrobe and how I’m able to constantly create myself to match whatever mood I’m in.

As spring edges closer I’m definitely going to make an effort to reconnect with my old self. Not because I don’t think I’ve learnt some valuable (and hard) truths over the past year, but because those brighter days are coming, and I want to feel ready to take on the world again when they do. There’s no shame in pining for the small pleasures in life – whether it’s sitting outside a coffee shop wearing your favourite jacket or rummaging through the rails of your local vintage shop with the hum of fellow enthusiastic shoppers surrounding you. I can’t wait for those days to come back around again…

Photographs taken on film 

Coat – Le Apt, Jumper – Vintage, Scarf c/o – Cafuné, Bag – Gucci, Shoes c/o – Grenson


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  1. Jess says:

    Beautiful writing as always <3 My friends and partner and I have been discussing this so much lately, how we feel like our personalities have been eroded or dulled or leeched (obviously it feels a bit selfish because we're all well and healthy, but still)… it's a bit of a grim feeling, I have an unflattering imagine in my head of my personality as a half-used, partially fizzled-away bath bomb now haha xx

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Thank you! And I think we feel selfish because it seems like a very small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things but all suffering is valid, no matter how small. I’m definitely guilty of comparative suffering though, I convince myself I’m not allowed to deal with any negative thoughts because ‘someone always has it way worse’. Ultimately it’s not productive though, it’s healthy to talk about these things because then we are working through them rather than harbouring them. Love the bath bomb analogy haha! We will be fully fizzing bath bombs again in no time – I’m sure of it 🙂 xxx

  2. Flor says:

    I know exactly how you feel! The same happened to me with jeans, for example. I work mostly sitting on a computer, and I find it harder and harder to wear jeans inside the house when I know no one’s watching me and I could be in leggings. I look at my clothes, my shoes especially, and I feel like a totally different person. I can’t wait to go back to the… dunno, real world? Because this feels like a never ending not-so-scary nigthmare.

    Flor |

    1. alicecatherine says:

      I’ve been exactly the same! The whole ‘just get dressed on the top half’ trend has been the death of my jeans collection – I think there’s only a couple of pairs left that even fit at this point ha. And keep thinking about the terms ‘real world’ and ‘normality’ and neither of them seem right anymore do they? I think it will be a different world and we will develop a new normality (hopefully a better one) 🙂 xx

  3. Kate says:

    Dear Alice,

    I’m a long-time reader of your blog but have never left a comment. When you said you questioned your value as a blogger I had to speak up! That disconnected feeling you described is something I’ve struggled with for many years. At some point, for reasons I’m still unpacking, I packed away all my beautiful silk kimonos and vintage clothes and started to dress drab. I’d lost myself. I let myself wear pilled clothes and holey shoes. Somewhere along the line I lost my vibrant, unique identity. I wanted to blend in and not be noticed. I think dressing shabbily is a sign of self-neglect.
    Now I feel myself waking up. I’m starting to find joy in old pleasures that previously I’d been numb to. Clothing is key to self-love – tying my hair in a William Morris print scrunchie now brings a disproportionate amount of joy to my day for an object so small!
    Throughout those numb years I always followed your blog, I think because I could recognise a kindred spirit – a woman who takes pleasure in dressing well, playing a character with clothes and appreciating small moments. I always hoped to find a way back to myself and your blog has been a guiding light. You’re actually doing a very important job! Self-love is so hard for so many of us, especially women and I hope you know that you’re a worthy, wonderful woman who inspired me to become myself again.

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Oh wow, this made me blurry eyed! You are so so sweet to leave such a thoughtful message – it never ceases to amaze me how supportive strangers from across the internet can be. It’s definitely the thing that pulls me back in and keeps me motivated after tough periods where I feel like giving up. I couldn’t agree more – getting dressed can be such a meaningful thing and I’ve totally experienced self neglect over the past year. It’s funny because I didn’t even realise how much until doing this wardrobe clear out. I missed playing all those characters but we will again soon! I’m so happy to hear that this little blog could have offered some comfort when you weren’t feeling great, that’s truly all I ever hoped this space could be for someone. Thank you for being so kind xxx

  4. Smaira says:

    Thanks for sharing. I enjoy following your blog especially during the pandemic for some escapism and your style. I am a key worker with a chronic health condition and honestly I feel burnt out. Prior to the pandemic I was considering reducing my hours which would mean change of role but now I feel I definitely need to do this for my own wellbeing as I can’t pour from an empty cup. I sometimes find myself wishing I was good at maths randomly haha and was working at a stats based job which didn’t involve people. However I’m definitely a people person and know I’d soon miss it but working with people and impacting their lives is such a responsibility to bear and I have done it for nearly 7 years. Sorry for the tangent I do like content like yours it’s nice to read other people’s experiences and I’m happy people can do a job they really enjoy, we can all contribute to the world in different ways x

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Thank you for reading! And thank you for all the incredible work you do – I can’t imagine how tough being a key worker has been, especially when living with a chronic health condition during a global pandemic. You are superhuman! I really hope when the world starts to open up again that you get some well deserved respite and more opportunity to do the things that fill your cup. Always here if you need a chat, sending lots of love xx

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