I spent the summer before my junior year of high school in the wilderness of northern California, one of 6 kids volunteering to do trail maintenance. We lived in tents, made the same meals over and over (which consisted of food carried in to us on mules every other week), bathed in a stream after bears destroyed our sunshowers on the first day, and got grimier & grimier until I thought I was super tan, but it was just dirt. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, flying across the country to spend 6 weeks with a bunch of strangers, with only 2 shirts and a journal.
I had a vague sense at the end of that summer that I would go to college, maybe have a boyfriend someday, and make something of myself eventually. But it didn't really matter, the details, because I had this youthful sense that things would work out as they should, and that being outside, with 5 other like-minded weirdos, making up ridiculous songs to entertain them, and doing something physical each day was enough.
Waking up each morning in July, in a tent in my cousin's yard in New Mexico, following my impulsive escape from Austin almost 2 months ago now, I realize that I haven't felt so free since that summer I was 16 in the wilderness. I simplified my life to the point of only really seeing 5 other people in person, wore the same hastily-packed rotation of crop tops & bike shorts for a month, and I have zero idea what will come next for me (what with the global pandemic and exposure of racism & lack of sustainability in the fashion world). Not only this, but there's no one to dress for but myself when I only know 5 people and don't have to leave home to work anymore!
So, naturally this both completely terrifies and excites me all at once. And what to do when faced with this type of emotional tension colliding with style? Well, I'm leaning right in and using my 16 year-old self as inspiration for my ever-expanding pandemic style, of course....