Is it chicken that comes before the egg? Or is it the other way around?
I have been thinking just this very thing (well, not framed this exact way perhaps) in the last week or so. New York Fashion Week is a pretty big deal, if we are going to be honest. It was one thing to turn up with my jewellery doing all the talking, but an entirely different thing to be putting ME out there onto the world stage.
You see, I can hide behind the jewellery to a large extent. I get to curate what goes out there, who sees what, just how the images look, and I get to perfect the final products before they rest in customers hands.
But when it's ME? When it's MY face and MY presence that is on show, that kind of brought up a whole raft of emotions that I needed to address. You see, my mantra of Believe In The Beauty is about celebrating those parts of ourselves that are not perfect. The bits that we feel let us down, or that are aspects of ourselves (often our physical appearance) that we don't want others to see. We judge them to be less than perfect, inappropriate, ugly or just plain bad. Notice, I say WE are the ones doing the judging - not others.
Now this is not to say others haven't judged us in the past. Not at all. But turns out we are our harshest critics. I know this from experience over years and years. And this week all that got laid bare on a red carpet, on a rooftop in New York, with cameras and media watching.
Gulp! Breathe, just breathe.
All my life I have fought with my body image. Too short, too fat, feet too small, hair too wild, boobs too big, thighs too powerful... Oh, it has been VERY easy to be critical. But you know what? When I look back at myself, say back to my 20's, I was thin, fit, gorgeous...this is how my nearly 50 year old self sees the 25yr old me. The thing is I was desperately unhappy. At the point where I was looking my "best" physically, I still thought I was too short, too fat, too much of lots of bad things.
Oh, if I only knew then what I know now!
Now I realise that how I look is much less important than how I feel, who I am choosing to be, what kind of person I am turning up in the world as. And on that Red Carpet, all those things were there in front of me. What was I going to choose to present to the world? Was I really going to stand there, afraid that everyone would see me as too short, wild, fat, booby, double chinny? Or was I going to just embrace ME, and step out and just have some fun with it all? What the hell? I mean, what if this opportunity never ever comes my way again? Do I want to be forever wishing that I had let go and enjoyed the experience? Or was I going to stay small - and ironically keep seeing myself as short, fat, wild and woolley?
Let Go, Flow and Be Free
I think that my 25yr old self would be amazed that I put this version of me out to the world. But I also think she would be pretty damned excited about what was ahead of her - I think she might have chosen then to enjoy more of the journey...
But that's what evolution is all about, isn't it?!!