Can you sense it yet: the slow unfurling of life all around? It feels good, doesn’t it? Satisfying in the way only something you have truly waited for feels. By now, I expect many of you will have met with family members, perhaps for the first time in months. It will feel the same as it always did: gentle, easy, warm. And yet it will somehow also feel different.
You’ve probably got a hair appointment on the horizon. And a pedicure too, no doubt; maybe even something a little more procedural. Perhaps it is your way of trying to insert yourself back into a life you once knew.
But what if the point of all this upending change (upending being a polite way to describe the past year) is to offer us a bend in the paths we’ve all, until now, unquestioningly taken? What if 2020 was the metaphoric breakup with our previous lives that we needed to get clarity on what we really want?
Over the past few months, I have witnessed numerous people – friends, friends of friends, former colleagues – break free from lives they once lived. There are the high flyers who have thrown glittering careers to the wind in search of something simpler and more sustainable. There are the individuals who have packed in age-old relationships, which, upon closer examination, appeared bound together by nothing more than a joint bank account and a shared past. There are those who have made smaller adjustments, too: city-dwellers who have jumped to the country, pet-phobics who have become dog lovers; stress bunnies who’ve transformed into meditative monks. What have they done that the rest of us have not? They have questioned what they want the new normal to feel like.
It feels very similar to something someone once told me: question your direction of travel every few years, for we are seldom the same person for our entire lives. That’s scary, of course, for in confronting where you have been, you may find you have made some rogue turns along the way. The good news about acknowledging this is: it’s never too late to change your course.
For you, however, adjusting your direction of travel may not involve any big deviations, but rather smaller, almost-imperceptible alterations. A new haircut; a new way of dressing; a new outlook, perhaps. If this is you, then you’re in the right place, for the May 2021 issue of ELLE is all about small changes.
After picking up a copy of the magazine, head to our refreshed beauty section (from p113), where you’ll find new ways to rethink, well everything, from the French manicure to creating a bondage bun. (Far less complicated than it sounds, I promise.) Our fashion pages, meanwhile, show you exactly how to wear the trickier trends of the seasons – from outsized jackets and dresses to genius new ways to upgrade your lockdown ‘classics’.
But mainly this issue of ELLE is dedicated to you for toughing it out, for sticking with us for the ride and for knowing that the biggest gift that change can give us is the opportunity to renew.
ELLE UK's May 2021 issue is on newsstands from April 8, 2021.
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