Slow Down

Fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera wears a Floriane Fosso jacket and Paige jeans in PraguePortrait of Winnipeg fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera wearing Anine Bing Los Angeles sunglasses and carrying a Sezane Claude bagFashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera sits at a cafe in Prague wearing a Floriane Fosso jacket and Le Chateau sandalsOutfit details on fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera, including a Sezane Claude bag, Paige jeans and Le Chateau sandalsFashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera walks down a Prague street wearing a Floriane Fosso coat and carrying a Sezane Claude bagFloriane Fosso cardigan
Aritzia tee (similar)
Paige jeans (c/o Shopbop)
Le Chateau sandals (c/o) (similar)
Sezane bag (similar)
Anine Bing sunglasses
Keltie Leanne Designs ring (c/o)
Madewell rings

I had a dream that I was back in grade seven this week. I don’t give much thought to my years in junior high – they were awkward, mostly, but otherwise a relatively inconsequential period of time in my life. In fact, I have no idea why I had it on my mind this week. But looking back, I think there are some life lessons I could probably learn from my twelve-year-old self.

When I was twelve, I was relaxed. It was the first year at school where academic achievement was fully based on test results, but that didn’t phase me – even though I was in an advanced placement program that came with forty pounds of textbooks. Tests happened weekly, sometimes daily. My marks varied wildly depending on the subject, swinging from Cs to A+s in the same class within weeks. A lot of my classmates really, really cared. I remember watching how caring impacted them; how they were in constant competition, jockeying for supremacy and, more importantly, for external validation. None of them, it seemed to me, actually got any personal satisfaction from doing well. So I took things slow and did what I wanted – finished homework best as I could manage, studied when I felt like it, and did what made me happy.

That attitude changed, as time went on. I focussed more on school – on results – with every year that passed. There was temporary satisfaction in a good report card and the rest of the time, I was so concentrated on working towards it that I hardly noticed whether or not I was happy. This focus on results continue into university. I hated being there, but I did well, and I’m still not sure if I just chose the wrong area of study or if my pursuit of a high GPA spoiled my experience. In my work life, I’m much the same. At this point, it is a habit more than anything, always wanting cross things off a to-do list, to feel that I can prove I’ve done something when my day ends.

But it seeps into everyday life, too. I equate the act of not doing anything, even for just a few minutes, with boredom. When we travel, I want to see everything, no matter how much time I have in the city I’m visiting. During our visit to Prague, where we got these shots, we woke up basically with the sun and ran from attraction to attraction, because I didn’t want to miss a thing. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy myself – I love the way we manage to do so much on our trips. But I realise that all the running means that I miss things. When I do finally slow down, like I did on the morning we took these shots, our last in the city, is when I can finally start to take it all in and make new discoveries.

I would never do grade seven over again. But I am trying to take some advice from my twelve-year-old self and just slow down. I suspect, however, it might be easier said than done…

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  1. I very much the same in a lot of senses. I really seem unable of just slowing down most of the time. I’ve found it especially difficult to do on mat leave – I know I should be just revelling in all the little moments at home with baby but I’m forever creating projects for myself and trying to cram one hundred and one things into a day. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to stop myself…

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  2. The idea of idleness is a tricky one. It’s not easy to be okay with doing nothing, and that is the real battle. While we can all have those evenings we just come home and need to collapse, accepting that we need to spend the evening curled up on the couch and allowing ourselves to enjoy that without all the nagging guilt of what we aren’t getting done piling up in our minds is the hard part. If there is one thing we need to strive for, it’s not doing it all, but knowing when we’ve done enough.

    And as for this look – my eyes always light up when I see you in a print, and I hope to see a lot more of this gorgeous cardigan!

  3. This is so interesting—I never would’ve guessed this was your travel style based on how poised and unhurried your travel photos always look.

    When we travel, we usually shortlist what we’d like to do and prioritize 1-2 things per day. That leaves plenty of down time for leisurely lunches/dinners/drinks/coffee breaks and aimless meandering and exploring.

  4. I am totally the same on vacation (and in life generally) I really have to schedule rest days and relax days not just on vacation. I want to see everything, do everything and sometimes burn out in doing that.
    You look amazing and totally un-rushed, I’m obsessed with that cardigan.

  5. Slowing down can be sooo hard… I usually wait until I’m ready to collapse and then let myself take a day or two to unwind. But even when I’m “unwinding” I tend to get caught up and busy with all kinds of things! We’ll have to discuss over our next skype wine date! đŸ˜‰ And your outfit is positively lovely!! xo

  6. Great shades. You look so different when you smile !
    I try not to think about middle school, there was too much there for me to try to handle now. I did what I could and I think i did well.

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