this isn’t my usual fashion post… addressing sadness + where to find help

I’ll be completely honest — I’m struggling to write my post today. This week two extremely influential figures who I respect immensely have both committed suicide… within days of each other. I feel lucky to have had the honor of meeting both.

When I was a teenager I was always dreaming of working in the fashion industry so when I had the opportunity to meet Kate Spade I told her about my passion. Her response was one of pure encouragement, she said that if she could break into the business then so could I. It had a MAJOR influence on me and I will always remember her for that. She will be missed.

Jumping forward to today and waking up to the news of Anthony Bourdain was like a punch in the stomach. My husband and I LOVE watching his show and take so much inspiration from it. His show isn’t just about food… but about appreciating and discovering other cultures. Which is why I’m so passionate about travel. It’s not just about going to a new place, but about appreciating this beautiful world and the people that it’s made up of.

It’s surreal that two extremely talented and accomplished people with seemly “successful lives” could take their own lives. It’s a powerful reminder that you never truly know what’s going on behind the scenes — whether it be a celebrity’s life or that of a close friend or family member. Loneliness and despair can affect us all. And don’t even get me started about how mental illness is handled in our society. You break a bone, you fix it, but people think if your mind is “broken” it can’t be fixed. That you’re just crazy and to be shunned. It’s simply not true and there are ways to get help. I’ve had my own struggles with anxiety and depression over the years, and maybe someday I’ll talk about it when I’m ready. I mention it because even though my life (and that of other bloggers) look like we have the perfect job/life, it can mask what’s going on beneath the surface. Mental illness is a chronic disease, and no one should be made to feel ashamed for struggling with it.

This weekend while we remember those who have lost their lives to mental illness let us also remember those who still struggle with its effects. If you find yourself or someone you know struggling, reach out for help. You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or click here any day or time.

Love you all and please take care of yourself and each other. Today let’s find the JOY in life and in the little things!