2017: A Metamorphosis

Life, Style




Welcome to the end of another year.

As if we’ve wandered through time and space — blissfully, or maybe miserably — unaware of the past 364 days, it’s suddenly society’s time to reflect.

Our accomplishments. The difficulties we endured. Famous people we loved and lost. (Still mourning Tom Petty and Chris Cornell.) The unhealthy habits we developed… or never dropped.

Much like we drift through space, oblivious that we’re actually moving 67,000 miles per hour, it seems like society meanders through time on autopilot — incognizant of the passing days — and collectively, what they meant.

What happened? What did I do? Shit, time to assign some meaning to my life!

However, I’ve thought this many times throughout 2017: What a transformative year.

I moved to a new city, started a new job, and channeled enough courage to create this blog. But when reflecting, I can’t help but incorporate the past several years to get a better picture of personal growth.

In 2014, some traumatic experiences changed me forever, followed by a very dark period of depression in 2015. I was encouraged to seek help in 2016, and made strategic moves to get back on track. Finally, 2017 felt like hitting a stride towards a happier and more fulfilling existence.

That seems like something to celebrate. But full disclosure, I plan to quietly ring in the new year at home with Saki. (In case you didn’t know, she’s my little sidekick in the pictures!)

It’s been years since I partied into oblivion and greeted January 1st with a lack of conscious awareness. But I do spend more time than I’d like to admit outside of the present moment. And that brings me to the point I want to make about the year ahead.

I want 2018 to be more mindful. Intentional. Less escapism through apps and technology. More deliberate, and less apologetic.

At 12:01, nothing will be strikingly different, except maybe our attitudes.

Happy New Year!


Dress: Asos. (Intergalactic and extra AF! But you could wear this one anywhere.) Boots: Asos. Ring: Flea market. Dog: Shelter. #adoptdontshop

Tell Me Lies / You Can’t Disguise

Life, Style

“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”

Sound familiar? This statement usually comes on the back end of someone caught in a lie.

Before I get any further, I realize this is kind of dark territory to delve into. But during the past week, my thoughts — and even some dreams — were invaded by themes of betrayal or breaches of trust, both past and present. So, here we are.

When you think of someone telling a lie, most of us think of the person who blurts out something that simply isn’t factual. It can be about something totally serious or completely irrelevant. This is called a “lie of commission.”

But there’s another way to achieve deception, and it can be even more manipulative and hurtful. It’s called a “lie of omission.” It leaves out (omits) pertinent facts to distort someone else’s perception and understanding of the truth. It is intentional and selfish.

In case your conscience didn’t tell you already, staying silent or purposely excluding damning details isn’t honest. It’s a very strategic form of deceit.

Simply put: This. Behavior. Kills. Trust.

When utilizing this kind of lie, you hurt the person you intended to protect (besides yourself), because you were too concerned with self-preservation to deliver the truth in an honest and tactful way.

What someone doesn’t know can’t hurt them, right? But what happens when they find out?

Let’s be real, of course we’ve all lied before. This is just a friendly reminder that lying to those you love or care about — is not cool. Lies slaughter friendships and relationships.

Sometimes forever.

When devastation lies on the other side of a half-truth… Was it worth it to tell?

Top: old, similar here. Skirt: old, thrifted Limited, Goodwill. Boots: Kohl’s, also seen here.

*Post title is an unapologetic reference to this Fleetwood Mac song.

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A few things introverts want you to know

Life, Style

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Hey! Where my fellow introverts at? If you’re wondering whether or not that word applies to you, try this quick survey:

Have you ever been accused of being… Shy? Quiet? Stand-offish? Anti-social?

*raises hand*

Additionally, was your accuser someone who tends to never shut the hell up?

*omg yes*

Congratulations. This doesn’t necessarily mean you hate people, but it does probably mean you’re introverted — which is awesome! (If you didn’t relate, you should still continue reading to learn more about your “quiet” friend or co-worker.)

When looking up synonyms for the word “introvert,” you’ll find words like: Shy. Reticent. Withdrawn. You might also find some stereotypes: Egoist. Narcissist. Shrinking Violet. …WTF? As for “extrovert”: Sociable. Gregarious. Unreserved.

One explanation for this involves energy. It’s a core difference between the two groups’ preferences, according to Jung. (Without getting too academic, this is further described here.)

Extroverts, you guys GAIN energy from socializing with other people. For introverts, social interactions DRAIN energy, and we need (not want — need) alone time to recharge. This doesn’t make either group’s feelings right or wrong. It comes down to being wired differently.

To be clear, this introverts vs. extroverts conversation shouldn’t be divisive. Instead, it’s another way to better understand people. Because sometimes an introvert’s intentions are, after all, misunderstood.

So if a suspected introvert tells you they don’t feel like hanging out. Or if they decline an invitation (particularly if it’s last-minute, and especially if it involves a group of acquaintances/strangers). Don’t take it personally. We might just need some time to ourselves.

And just because we don’t go out of our way to strike up a conversation with you, it doesn’t always mean that we don’t want to talk to you, or that we hate you.

Disclaimer: but it might.

** This post generalizes behavior. It is based on items I’ve read, personal experiences, and many conversations with kindred spirits. “I’m an introvert” isn’t an excuse for being rude!


Dress: Thrifted (Goodwill, $5). Currently wish-listing this one. Shoes: Clark’s, old, similar here.

Let me explain…



Hello! This is Sides of Shadows.

Created by an introvert who doesn’t easily open up to others — or litter your social media feeds with innocuous posts about my life — this is another “side” of me that’s been kept in the metaphorical “shadows” for a very long time.

You know that “creative project” I always wished I could’ve started, about 10 years ago? (It’s totally possible you didn’t know, but you can still play along.)

Well, you’re lookin’ at it.

Sides of Shadows is a lifestyle blog that will cover fashion, travel, mental health, the macabre, and more.

It’s a creative outlet to express my personal style, interests, thoughts, and experiences.

…You might be wondering where all of this came from.

I recently turned 29, and realized the only person holding me back from doing what I want… is me. And the only real obstacle I face? That nagging, dissenting, anxious, insecure voice in my head. (You know, the one that says, it’s not even worth trying because you’ll OBVIOUSLY fail miserably and embarrass yourself? …Yeah, that one!)

To protest that super unproductive and dark aspect I’ve always battled with, I chose to make this relatively rash decision — one totally out of my comfort zone.

And it feels sorta cool.

So, for the sake of feeling somewhat unhinged (because I don’t really know what I’m doing), and kind of empowered (because fuck you, anxiety!) … welcome to my blog.

Since I work a pretty demanding job during the week, my goal is to post new, original photos and content weekly.

In the meantime, you should learn a little more about me here.

Hope to see you back!

— Sara

Dress: $9, original $100, 6pm outlet store (but digging this one) Tights: Target, old (these are $10) Shoes: Kohl’s, old (similar here)