Life As I Know It: March 2020

Stephanie Hill featuring Life As I Know It March edition on The Style Bungalow

Stephanie Hill featuring Life As I Know It March edition on The Style Bungalow

It’s 11:11PM on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. 

My fiancé is happily asleep on the tiny full-size bed in my living room-bedroom while I stay up writing and editing photos from old shoots. For those not up to speed, we don’t live together (not yet). It’s not because we don’t want to…but because he works in downtown Miami and my office (aka, my apartment) is based in West Palm Beach (about an hour north). We’ve been doing “semi-long distance” for the past three years only seeing each other Thursdays through Mondays and occasionally longer depending on the holiday(s). Last Friday, things changed when my fiancé was asked to work from home, like many others, until everything got under control with COVID-19. So we’re both homebound in West Palm Beach together (and kissing semi-long distance goodbye for now).  

Stephanie Hill featuring Life As I Know It March edition on The Style Bungalow

Earlier in the day, while he was on a video conference call with someone they asked him if he had a pink kitchen. “What?” he said confused. “And those botanical prints behind you…who knew you had great taste?!” Catching on, he jokingly explained how he was working out of my kitchen. We shared a few laughs thinking about all the future video conference calls he has planned.

Seems weird, in the midst of everything else occupying our minds, to find joy in these small moments (but I think it’s important and am grateful for what it’s teaching me). I’ve relished making home cooked meals together — not to mention on a Wednesday, and taking routine walks waving and saying hi to friendly neighbors (from a distance of course!). We’ve gone grocery shopping a few times only to buy the essentials and have had many late-night chats about our future over a glass of wine or two. One minute we’re making jokes and the next I’m telling him how scared I feel. “I know, me too…but we’ll get through this.” 

Both our families are feeling the impacts of this virus on their careers and businesses. Our trips to Mexico for more wedding to-do’s are on hold and some of my upcoming business opportunities are paused. My good friend, who is an avid trader in the stock market, is also experiencing a great deal of stress as the market takes harsh swings up and down.  

Now Friday (today), I’m taking time to celebrate my blog’s six-year anniversary. Looking at it now, it may come as a surprise that I almost didn’t start blogging because I was too terrified at the thought of being so vulnerable and judged by others; especially since I did not have a formal background in fashion and lost my job as a professional ballerina. But I was miserable working in PR and petrified of change, yet knew that if I did not take a risk and throw myself into the troughs of discomfort, I would never improve my circumstances. 

When I think about what’s going on right now those same feelings of uncertainty and fear suddenly come rushing back. It’s times like these that can force us to view our lives through a different lens (and trust in the bigger, hopeful picture), our daily habits and utmost desires, similar to what I experienced six years ago. It’s also become a great reminder to step up, support and show compassion. I find myself cherishing this little apartment even more, staying present in our newfound time together, stopping for the spring blooms in my neighborhood and cozying up to new books I’ve ordered. In the same breath, I’m noticing the need to be extra flexible and agile with my blog during this time. I’ve run my business the same way for six years. So how do I change that now

One thing I’m realizing is that in times of significant transition, crisis or any major roadblock, comes amazing reinvention. Necessity is now my biggest motivation and if I want to grow what I’ve built over these past six years, I’ve got to get comfortable with reinventing myself once again (comfy pants and all).  

When I started my “Life As I Know It” series, also known as my “letter from the editor,” I approached it as an opportunity to share lighthearted musings, updates about my personal life and more. It’s become one of my favorites to write because of how much I have seen change from one month to the next. Sometimes I cringe at my earlier entries while others bring brief tears of joy. I never imagined sharing so many moments in my life, but when I look back and reflect (now and these past six years), I remember what the future held for me — though the process was not always easy, it encouraged me to march forward and remain hopeful. 

I was 23 when a dear friend eagerly said they couldn’t wait to have coffee with me in ten years. I still hold that memory close as I look forward into the unknown and uncharted with optimism, I believe the dust will settle and positive change will take place (as we all do our part). The past six years have taught me a lot about courage, confidence, and strength regardless of what the current situation looks like (and I choose to channel it now). For this reason, I hope to encourage you all to do the same – push through the doubts, continue to reinvent yourself, and go after your dreams, no matter what (as long as you’re inside, lol). And it’s from the bottom of my heart that I thank you all for following along. Without you, as silly as it sounds because I don’t know many of you personally, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today and for that I am eternally grateful…

Xo, Stephanie 

Dress: Mara Hoffman (c/o) Lola Dre Boutique in Jupiter, Florida 

Earrings: Lizzie Fortunato (c/o) Lola Dre Boutique in Jupiter, Florida 

Sandals: By Far, old – similar here

6 Comments

  • Oh loved this post. And desperately needed some optimism and “you’ve got this” right now. I in the middle of maybe loosing my job since the company I’m working at is close to bankruptcy due to the corona virus. But no one knows, and it is the uncertainty that’s is the worst. Not knowing if I have a job in the next few months… but also your post is giving me a feeling I’m of calm. It is indeed in these time we need to reinvent ourself. Even though I don’t want to loose my job, it will give me an “out” of the corporate HR-world that I feel so stuck in, hating it most of the time actually. So maybe this will actually help me to go chasing my dream instead of just sitting tight with a well-paid job. I love the saying of “if you’re not happy were you are, move. You’re not a tree” but it is sometime hard to follow. But at the moment I take one day at a time. Seeing what comes next. Will always be a supporter of you and the style bungalow! Sending some digital love!

    • Aw, this brings me to tears! First of all, I understand what you’re going through – it’s difficult, trust me. I remember being in a similar situation – but just know in the end it will all work out <3 Sometimes the biggest obstacles can end up being our biggest blessings. Wishing you well; please stay safe and thank you for following! xx

  • Stephanie,

    Thank you for your post and your blog. You are amazingly talented have an incredible eye, phenomenal taste and an authentic voice. I look to your blog for style inspiration and have enjoyed following your journey and the evolution of your blog. Thank you for sharing it. During this time, when connection to others is limited along with the inspiration we might typically find in more mobile daily life, I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to inspire through your platform.

    • AW! Thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment and for the sweet words of encouragement during this time. We’re working hard behind-the-scenes (from our homes of course) to continue bringing you a little joy! Please stay safe – wishing you well, xx

  • This is such a lovely post, Stephanie. I love that, despite what’s going on, you are finding some positives and joy in it – it’s so uplifting. Loving this dress as well! Happy sixth anniversary!

    • Thank you so much 🙂 Without a doubt, this chapter is a heavy one – there’s no denying it – but I truly want to inspire positivity and joy right now so this means a lot! Please stay safe and thank you again <3

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