This time last year? I was just happy if anyone noticed the quirky, fun outfits I posted on my personal Instagram page. LOL .. i was just happy to share my obsession with textures, fabrics, and mixing / matching patterns. Any positive feedback for my unusual looks was great! Ultimately, I found a community of others online. These people took risks with their looks, what I affectionately now call fellow "fashion eccentrics," and it felt like finding home. These brave souls who effortlessly displayed their souls through their beauty and dress gave me the courage to snap more photos of myself. It was own my particular brand of self-expression ... each one, boosting my confidence.
In getting a bit more personal, I'll share that despite the impression the pictures throughout this blog might portray, I was a late bloomer ... an ugly duckling who only realized the beauty in the mirror around my 2nd year of college. Before then, I never considered anything about me remarkable or special. In middle school, I was a tall, African, awkward, dark skinned, kinky haired, and an introvert. Did I mention I was also a book nerd? LOL .. The list of my personal "uglies" at the time was a long one. I embodied all the things society (and shiny- suited 90's music videos at the time), said wasn't desirable. I was teased, ignored, and looked over during the 1st part of my freshman year in high school. Thankfully I made friends and surrounded myself with a crew of girls with strong outgoing personalities by the end of the year. They're still with me to this day, and know who they are as they read this post : ]. In all honesty, my breakthrough only came one day during my sophomore year in college. While getting ready for some long forgotten event, I happened to catch my reflection in my dorm room mirror ... and to my suprise, I loooved what I saw! I'm not sure what (if anything besides my confidence and perspective) changed, but I remember the day clearly, remarking "wow, I don't look so bad .. I actually .... kinda look cute!" .. *looks with puzzled face at my reflection* ....... it was in that moment, a future "selfie queen" was born, which the following video can attest to. LOL! I went from camera shy to that annoying person wanting to photograph and be pose for everything!
Flash forward to the present. As a lifelong creative, about three months ago, I took the plunge and entered the fashion arena. Big steps for a shy dorky awkward kid. : ]). What began as a small, cute hobby has quickly grown into something so much more. This passion project is shaping into the culmination of my life experiences, with each part of my past working as a puzzle piece to form a new and grander picture. As the picture unfolds, I am glimpsing a dream I only vaguely thought was possible. Putting my creativity ... my full self on display for the world is no easy feat. At my core, I am still that shy awkward girl, unsure if the world will "get (understand) me." There's a level of bravery that ultimately comes with putting pieces of your heart and soul out into the universe as living art .... to be seen, judged, consumed, and hopefully loved. No pressure right? Needless to say, I’m excited, but nervous as hell.
These are the beginning steps of owning my creativity and embarking on the “road less traveled.” No more hiding my true self or my talents. I'm completely owning my free-spirit. Traveling, becoming an entrepreneur, being random as hell, and living wild and free is scary. This is especially true when, at this point in my life, all around me, the expectation is to get married, "settle down," have babies, work a 9-5, and build a picket fence. Embarking out on my own, stepping completely off the traditional life path, literally feels like stumbling out into the world blind folded .. into darkness … hoping that I'm making the right choice and that this won't be looked back on as some gross misstep. Right now, I have absolutely no blueprint for what I'm doing! It's all intuition and happiness at this point ... and it feel liberating.
Only time will tell, but for now, the adventure begins! … Living the fun creative life of my choosing, rather than the life my parents, my friends, or my prior expectations held for me. No longer playing it safe, hiding, or living out of fear of the unknown. I'm living life on my terms, and jumping out the plane … hoping my parachute opens! This, is only the beginning.