Welcome! If you’re here, I’m guessing you’re close friends and family or an insta friend who I’ve shared my new venture with! If you promise to read through this post, a semi-serious one to give you some background, I promise to never refer to myself as ‘Shella’ again. Now that we’ve got that settled, I’ve been tossing around the idea of starting a blog for years (legit, years) but was never able to figure out my niche. Yes, I love clothes. And shopping. And beauty products. And home decor. So much so that I actually worked in the fashion industry for pennies for several years of my life. But what girl doesn’t? I wanted to write about and share things that I was passionate about but I also wanted a purpose. Now to get real.
I won’t go into too much detail about my medical history but I do feel that it’s important to give you a brief overview for reference. In October of 2014, I came down with a bad virus that triggered a slew of underlying health issues. I had no idea that a severe ‘head cold’ would change the rest of my life but it did. Just. My. Luck. For the past 10 months, my life has consisted of hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, testing, medication side effects, searching for answers, and most prominently, feeling extremely ill. Day after day I would wake up and just pray that I’d have the strength and stamina to make it through the day so I could go to sleep again. Due to the severity of my symptoms, I had to stay with my parents in New York for 5 months and really wasn’t able to leave the house. I felt like death and that is no exaggeration. I tried to remain positive but you can imagine how feeling so sick and having little quality of life can take a toll on a person’s confidence. I had little energy to do anything let alone
shower daily get dressed up. However, through the frequent tears and self-pity, a beautiful thing started happening. I was mentally becoming stronger every day and even though I didn’t have any control over my physical body, I was as determined as ever to get my life back.
With the tremendous help of my husband and family, a new doctor and a few new medications, I was able to head back home to D.C. at the end of April. It was only when I got back home that it really hit me how drastically my life had changed seemingly overnight. Where did this big chunk of time go? It was like a bad dream I was desperately trying to wake up from.
A big problem with any long-term sickness is that without your knowledge or permission, you slowly become your illness. Your days revolve around what you can and cannot do, it consumes most of your waking thoughts, and if you’re lucky, you can escape from it all while you sleep (I know, don’t all sign up at once). I made the conscious choice that I was not going to become my illness. I decided right then and there that I was going to get back to “normal” as best I could. (Medical rant OVER. You made it!)
A big passion of mine as I’ve gotten older and had my own spaces to decorate is interior design. Luckily, being housebound has awarded me plenty of time not only to rearrange my parents house on the reg but also re-do my entire apartment six times since I’ve been back home…zero exaggeration. I’m pretty certain several stores know my husband on a first-name basis and how he takes his coffee being he’s spent more time fetching things for me from Bed Bath & Beyond and Homegoods than he’d care to admit. (Eddie, you’re a saint and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.)
I have also truly enjoyed getting dressed up since I was a little girl. It may seem superficial to some, but having my nails painted, wearing makeup and having nice clothes are things that are important to me and help make me who I am. There’s no better confidence booster than having your outfit on point and if it’s a good hair day– watch out, World! All of these things fell by the wayside when I became sick and if you’ve seen me in person for the last 10 months, you can vouch for my unkempt-ness. Sorry! Don’t get me wrong, looking like a hot mess was a conscious decision I made in regards to how I wanted to spend my energy, or spoons, as us-sickies like to say (brief description on that, here).
Brushing Blow-drying my hair, getting a manicure, putting on makeup and visually piecing together an outfit were not at the top of my list of energy-consuming tasks. However, I realized that the longer these former-routine actions were no longer part of my day, the Michele I knew and the confidence that came along with them went out the window as well. I decided that I would no longer pick up Pedialyte pops in pajama pants (say that 5 times fast) and that I was going to start looking, and ultimately feeling, like myself again. So low and behold, if you’re still with me, the idea for Classic & Gray was born.
This blog will be a positive space to document my journey (insert peace sign emoji). If I can encourage one person to do something they love that makes them feel good about themself, I’ll call this new venture a huge success. I pledge to you and most importantly to myself that I will get back to the old me. I don’t know if my health will ever return to the state that it was in before I fell ill, but I do know that we only get one chance at this life and I’m not going to spend mine unmotivated, feeling sorry for myself, and looking like it. I hope that Classic & Gray will not only serve as an outlet for me, but also a source of inspiration for you. Healthy or not, we all deserve to look and feel our best and as I always say, ‘life is short; do what makes you happy.’ Time to start taking my own medicine (no pun intended). Thanks for reading!