Monday, July 8, 2019


bernie dexter poppy dress

Normally, I love an outfit that instantly transports me back in time. But in some cases, a dress becomes so emotionally loaded that I can't wear it without traveling right back into a certain frame of mind. For better or for worse, this is one of those dresses.

bernie dexter poppy field dress

The last time I wore this dress, I was in a special place I loved with a person I loved. The last time I wore this dress, I had a good day with that person, which was a rarer event than one might guess. The last time I wore this dress, I was 40 pounds heavier and my mind was heavy with worry all the time. Just because this dress fit me better back then doesn't mean that everything was a perfect fit. Both my body and my mind are lighter now, but my heart's still weighed down in a lot of ways.

bernie dexter chelsea dress

The last time... I guess I decided that this was the last time. The last time I would let him take advantage of my kindness and my forgiveness and my openness. The last time I would cry in front of him and because of him. The last time I might ever see him. So I made it count and called him out and gave voice to the truths I had wanted to express for so long and acknowledged the stinging realizations that came on fast and remain stuck in my mind. The last time I would stand by and let him hurt someone else like me – someone who is probably willing to overlook mistakes and who finds the joy in everything and who is too trusting and who ignores the red flags and who has a lot going for her and who doesn't deserve to be subjected to anything as ugly as alcoholism can be. I'm paying a price for my honesty and for my courage, but I wasn't about to let this be like every other time when I looked past the nastiness and saw only the sweetness. Instead, I saw him for who he chose to be... and my heart broke even more. But at least now there's something else fueling me and moving me forward, rather than having an excuse to stay stuck and fixate on what's left behind.

poppy flower necklace
vintage rockabilly pinup dress

Poppies are often used as a symbol of remembrance. I didn't plan this symbolism out when I shot these photos, but I don't think it's a coincidence that I'm finding significant meaning in what I'm wearing. Six months ago, I'd reminisce and romanticize the good things (however few and far between). Now, I'm reminded of all the bad things and of the worst versions of ourselves and I know I don't ever want to be in that position again. Poppies can also indicate sleep or death, but I feel more awake and more alive than I have in who knows how long, despite the fact that part of me is gone for good and I still find it hard to even breathe sometimes. But, appropriately enough, I guess that's what happens when you get hooked and when you finally remember what it feels like to not be under that influence anymore.

hop skip and flutter necklace
retro girl vintage bangs

These flowers are also left on graves, so it's only fitting that I'm grieving. Mourning doesn't always look like or feel like what you'd expect. It isn't linear and it doesn't involve just one emotion and it doesn't fit neatly into a nice little box – which, in all its confusion, perfectly aligns with many of the other seemingly impossible situations I've encountered over the past three years. That doesn't make it any easier to understand or make the healing happen faster. But I know what I'm capable of – and I know that I will blossom anew again, in spite of it all.

bernie dexter vintage dress
Outfit Details
Chelsea Dress in Poppy Field: Bernie Dexter
Red Poppy Necklace: c/o Hop Skip & Flutter
Boater hat: similar  ||  Sandals: Naturalizer (half off!)

poppy necklace hop skip and flutter
bernie dexter
Be good to yourselves, my friends. You're all you've got.


  1. Wow. Beautifully written Sammi. I'm a long time reader but I hardly post. This might be the 2nd or 3rd comment I've left?? At any rate...this touched my heart. It speaks to me in many ways. Maybe not so much on the subject of alcoholism, but to speak up and let out your inner monologue. Thank you for this.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment (and for your long-time support)! It means the world to me. xoxo

  2. Sammi, thanks for sharing this. I know your heartbreak has been weighing heavily on your mind. I hope you overcome this and look back on this time in your life as a great learning experience. X

    1. Thank you for your comment! I've learned a lot about myself, certainly, and will heal in time. <3


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