We’ve decided to share this post again for two reasons: because denim is a huge trend this spring (then again, when isn’t denim in?).
And second, because of a recent tweet from Sandra, a beautiful soul and reader of the site. She shared that after a hard day, HerAfter is where she goes to recharge. We couldn’t be more touched by her kind words, but also inspired by her commitment to positively fuel herself when she needs it. As we’ll talk about in this article, it’s important to intentionally fill your life with inspiration. And it’s important to have a place to go when your day goes wrong, or your spirit slumps. Like Sandra, I hope HerAfter can be that place for you too…

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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. When we lose sight of our original message and purpose, it’s important to have something, someone, or somewhere to go to that will help reconnect us with our center.
In this respect, we’re not only in charge of the quality of life, we’re in charge of the collection of our life experience 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 a lot about all the ways and places there are to find inspiration in our everyday lives. 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 (thought decidedly not advisable), it was because I had simply been too scared to wear heels. But when little freedoms such as this suddenly took on a profound new importance, the power of choice was clear. If I could find the courage to look how I wanted, I could find the courage to say what I mean. With the courage to say what I mean comes the courage to ask for what I want. And with that courage comes the ability to get the life I dream of, unique to me, personal to my ambitions, beliefs, and desires.

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 what you believe, to take ownership of something that doesn’t fit popular opinion of ‘beautiful’ or ‘accepted.’

It requires bravery to be open about your individual perspective in the world, because 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:

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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. 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. It’s about as me as the freckles on my cheeks. It has become a uniform, a tool in my life like the pen in my hand, something that allows me to embody the courage required to make my difference. It’s part of my collection. Like Sandra, it’s what I wear on days I’m not so sure how to be the best version of myself.

You are the curator of your life. You are solely in charge of making the best decisions for yourself, from what you wear to what you create.

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. It might not be a jumpsuit, it might be in a form of expression you’ve yet to open up to. In moments big and small, there is opportunity for presence, for enlightenment, for gratitude of the chance to express your truth.

In a book, in the closet, in a photograph, in an artistic endeavor, find your inspiration. Embrace it, cherish it, and do your best to keep it up, keep seeking it, adding more of it to your collection, your daily experience. You won’t always feel brave enough to be unabashedly yourself, but the easier you make it on yourself, the more effective you’ll be. When you lose sight of what your believe in, have a place to go to recharge.

A well curated life, one that speaks to your soul in every way, is a fulfilled life.

And if you’re looking for tips on how to build bravery (because it’s a muscle that needs strengthening, not an inherent trait!) than head over to this article.

 

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