On a recent episode of SheDoes podcast, in which Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg brilliantly and compassionately interview women working in various media roles, interviewee Kat Cizek likened being a director to being quality-control. The essential function is to make sure every little working part and element is up to snuff.
This description works as a metaphor for the rest of our lives. If we are director of our own stories, we must inspect the goods. Everything from what we put in our brains to what we put in our stomachs to what we put on our legs; it all matters.
In this respect, we’re not only in charge of the quality of life, we’re in charge of the collection as a whole. Life is not unlike individual curation. The decorations in our house, the music we listen to. We’re curating directors. We’re writing our own stories through our every little elemental choice.
On HerAfter, we often talk about the power of beauty from an internal source. We’ve talked about being bald and glowing. We’ve talked about the power of femininity through clothes. We’ve talked a lot about all the ways and places there are to find inspiration in our closets and vanities. But none of that negates the fact that sometimes even just looking like yourself takes a lot of guts.
In our old article High Heels High Hopes, I shared that high heels were one of the things I was most excited to indulge in after cancer. It wasn’t because I couldn’t wear heels to chemo, it was because before I had to question my own existence, I had been too scared to wear heels. I thought they made me too tall (over 6′). But when the simple things suddenly took on a profound new importance, high heels shot to the top of my wish list. Screw it, life’s too short to worry about being too tall.
Put that into perspective: it took chemo, of all things, to make me brave enough for heels.
It takes guts to be the most authentic version of yourself in everything from how you dress to how you speak to what you believe. It’s not easy to stand up and say you like something, to add it to your collection when it doesn’t fit popular opinion of ‘cool’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘accepted.’
It takes guts to be open about your individual perspective in the world, because you know that you’ll be the only one defending those choices. Cizek faced the same battles when she had to stand by her directorial decisions against popular opinion. Being individual is a solo mission. You’re the only you in the world. I won’t say individuality is a lonely mission, but I will say it requires cultivating a lot of strength and assurance in yourself, so that not only can you be the only you, but so you can also appreciate others as individuals too. Different but together.
That’s where this featured Denim jumpsuit comes in…
It was one of those ultimate online shopping finds. Girl finds jumpsuit. Girl loves jumpsuit. Girl takes too long to decide that it’s worth every penny. Girl cries when it’s sold out…
But alas, girl finds hope. ONE jumpsuit came back in stock in my size, and I snagged it. It fits like a 70’s dream, tight on the curves and flared in all the right ways. Like denim velvet…
I love this thing, as much as I love the dress from “How to Look Great in Everything You Own”. I feel myself. I feel empowered. I feel flippin’ fabulous in it. It’s about as me as the freckles on my cheeks. That a designer could somehow speak to my soul through a simple jumpsuit without ever having met me is what former fashion kids like me live for.
The moral is, if you’re in the market for a new sense of self pride, if you’ve been longing for the courage and inspiration to be yourself, don’t be afraid of where you might find it.
You are the curator of your life. You are solely in charge of making the best decisions for yourself. From your music to your art to your wardrobe to your diet. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.
In a book, in the closet, in a photograph, in an artistic endeavor. Find your you, embrace it, cherish it, and do your best to keep it up, keep feeding it, adding to the collection. You won’t always feel brave enough to be unabashedly yourself, but if you can do it more often than not, it’s a job well done.
A well curated life, one that speaks to your soul in every way, is a happy life.