Author Archives: Theodora Blanchfield

The Afternoon That Brought Things Full Circle for Me

corey's wave surfing

I sat down to write a more serious post…and decided instead to tell you about my weekend.

Over the past year, I’ve had a lot of fun weekends and weekends and trips that look great on Instagram. But on the inside, I was in a dark place, or a sad place, or an anxious place.

This weekend, I had a lovely weekend in the Hamptons with my friends, and I felt nearly none of that, save for a few brief moments. (On a semi-related note, I’ve been using an app lately called iMoodJournal to track my moods to look for patterns so I can do more of what makes me feel good and less of what doesn’t.)

We took the train out early Friday morning, dropped our stuff at the house and immediately headed to La Fondita for our taco fix. (True story: on an unseasonably nice day in February this year, my BFF and I rented a car to drive out to the Hamptons for the day basically so we could go here.)

We got lucky enough to have good weather on Friday (the weekend forecast didn’t look the greatest) and spent the weekend on the beach. Pretty sure I fell asleep with a smile on my face at some point? I will basically buy anything in my price range that Grace recommends on her blog or podcast, so I spent most of the afternoon totally engrossed in the book I was reading, The Thousandth Floor, a futuristic YA novel about high schoolers in 2118 living in a thousand-floor Manhattan tower.

We had dinner at Moby’s, a former group favorite. However, it’s since moved locations and is now on the marina at this terrible hotel my friends and I stayed at last year. The food was still good, and hello, so was the eye candy at the bar, but without the outdoor games, etc, it’s just not what it used to be.

After a lazy Saturday morning of lounging and reading, we went to into town in East for the afternoon, window shopping and having lunch at Citta Nuova, which did not disappoint! I’ve been going out to the Hamptons for the past five summers and hadn’t been out there yet this summer, so it finally felt like summer when we started walking down Main Street. (You know, 3/4 of the way through summer.) Though, I’m still salty Lilly closed there.

gianni lilly pulitzer romper

I also ate a whole wheel of cheese… (finish this sentence in the comments if you know what I’m talking about.) And this romper just makes me happy, so I think I need to buy it in another color!

And then it was time for my favorite part of any Hamptons weekend! “Meeting House” and then Talkhouse! Technically Meeting House is now Wolffer Kitchen, but whatevs. The food is local, seasonal and mostly pretty healthy. Which is great, because the amount of wine we drank…is not? (In all honesty, post-hospitalization, etc, I’ve drastically cut back on drinking and was proud of my consumption that night: more than usual but still a responsible amount for me, comparatively.)

We had our signature espresso martinis and headed over to Talkhouse. I’m 35, and this is the only place I will wait in line and pay a cover, but Hello Brooklyn, our favorite cover band, was playing, so…

So yeah, we had some fun. In signs of responsible adult Theodora, I was up before 8, not at all hungover and stoked for a surfing lesson! I’ve wanted to surf out there for as long as I’ve been going out there, and I finally made it happen. We took a lesson with Corey’s Wave, which I’d 150% recommend. They were great, and because there were four of us, we were able to have our group be just us, which was super fun. The thing I really liked about them over some of the other schools I’ve taken lessons from is that they give you a bit more autonomy—other schools, for example, have someone who helps you get on the board to paddle to one instructor, who then pushes you towards a third instructor, who finds the perfect wave for you, pushes you, and tells you when to stand.

(This suit is from Athleta and old, but here’s a link to similar cut—I like high neck like this for surfing so I don’t accidentally flash everyone as I’m taking my wetsuit on and off.

We just paddled over to one instructor, who taught us to look back at the waves to see which one might be good. They still picked the wave and pushed us, but it felt like we were doing much more of it autonomously than I have in the past. As such! I stood much more than I ever have, and had SO SO much fun. Also, I’m usually taking surf lessons with strangers, or one friend, tops, so it was so fun to be in a private group of just my friends. I definitely just looked over at them and smiled like an idiot a few times and probably creeped them out. As I looked at the Montauk shoreline on this beautiful sunny day surrounded by friends, I felt so incredibly lucky and alive. I realized typing this how full circle that moment was. One year, one month and four days later, I was surrounded by love and the women who had supported me through this hellacious year. My heart is overwhelmingly full of gratitude: for them, for myself and the work I’ve done, for those instructors who have no idea how powerful their lesson was for me that day, and for the insight to recognize all of this.

What’s brought things full circle for you? What’s new to you that you’re loving as much as I’m loving surfing?!

Follow That Feel Good

Skudin Surf Rockaway

Back when I went to Write Doe Bay , there was so much I unlocked within myself, words that I wrote then that I’m really learning to embrace now.

One of the exercises was to write our present-day selves a letter from ourselves in 10 years with that wisdom—what our future self wanted our current self to know.

I was reminded of this exercise this past weekend. I went out to Rockaway for a surf lesson with Luna (as part of their sponsorship with the NY Women’s Surf Film Festival). I love to say surfing is my favorite thing that I suck at. I am so, so laughably bad at it, and I don’t care. Any millisecond I do stand and ride a wave is worth every fall—and, if I fall, I still get to be in the ocean, and the ocean makes me happy.

When I posted the above photo on Instagram, I was looking for associated hashtags to use, and I found #followthatfeelgood.

In that letter, I wrote to myself: “if something feels good, run in that direction. Do more of that.” Surfing is one of those things for me. I’m trying something new, I’m outside, I’m at the beach, I’m in the ocean, I’m active—it’s so many of my favorite things.

Last night, I told one of my friends how I’d had such a good morning, and then had a massive anxiety crash for reasons I wasn’t sure of.

“OK,” she said, “what were you doing that made it good?”

I’d woken up and taken a yoga class at a new studio, then walked down to get a latte at one of my favorite coffee spots. It was a temperate day, and I took my latte and sat in Madison Square Park and enjoyed the nice day and the trees and the people watching. I came home and tidied up my apartment a bit, and finally started working. (If you saw my Instagram story yesterday, there was also a spider incident…) I felt content. Like really content.

I’m going to start recording what I was doing when I was feeling really good to look for patterns—so I can follow more of that feel good.

Surfing and my data set of yesterday morning point to being outdoors and exercising (either together, or separately), being key to that feel good for me—which totally aligns with another exercise we did at Doe Bay, writing about what we saw as our ideal creative morning.

Mine involved an early morning run and coffee, and spending time in the sunshine.

I’m going to keep following this feel good.

What do you run towards that makes you feel good?