Hello, hello, hello! It’s been a while, yes?
Today is a very special day for me for two very important reasons. First, this is the first post in the new direction of Fashion.Style.Beauty. Second, I celebrate five years of sobriety today.
The two are inextricably intertwined, involving a lot of personal exposure and an incredible amount of honesty. In order for either to work, you have to dig deeply. I took some time over the summer to finish a lot of the personal work in order to both to be more personally fulfilling. I decided to do a deep dive into who I really am, and how I want to live my life. Not just so said life looks good in pictures, but so the reality was even better. Because now that my imminent demise isn’t so imminent, I have to get quite clear about who I am and how I want to live.
I am lucky, blessed, elated, and respectful that I am here today, that I am alive. So many like me don’t make it here. I know on what hallowed ground I stand, and I am grateful for it.
I don’t think those of us who go through the process of getting sober get nearly enough credit, so let me be one who celebrates it. It’s damned hard work. You have to grit your teeth and save your own life, a life that at certain points wasn’t really worth living. The amount of effort that takes, the determination to continue the process while life is still happening every single day is no small feat. I’m celebrating that process today, but I’m also celebrating what that means for how I live my life and what I write about moving forward. As the smoke has cleared, as the tough conversations have happened (and continue to happen,) as the past has been unearthed and dragged into the shining light of the truth, I’m more certain than ever of who I am and why I’m here.
Having a blog like this is about sharing who you are and connecting with others around an authentic voice. I would be lying if I said that it hasn’t been incredibly difficult to accomplish this over the past five years. If you’ve perceived a lack of continuity and community in what I’ve written, you aren’t wrong. Parts of these years weren’t ready for prime time. But I’ve come to understand a universal truth at this point: my struggle is not unique to my condition. All women struggle to become who we are meant to be. The constant pressures on who we’re supposed to be, how we’re supposed to look and act, the barrage of messaging that preys upon our insecurities and offers soothing balms, foods, and other aids that are meant to assuage our fears and help us feel calm and worthy are merely demons of another form. All of us every single day try to keep the mess under wraps so others won’t see how incredibly unseemly the process of just being can be. We all have our wreckage, every has a mess, and ultimately I’ve realized that this is what we need to be talking about: I and many like me need to make our mess our message.
And that’s how I want to live my life moving forward. A creative storyteller and artist who helps everyone who is on this journey through this little thing we call life (RIP, Prince) tell the truth about what it takes to get there, but also to explore the tools we use to either fake it or make it when it comes to adorning the person we are and the lives we desire to live. No more hiding, no more editing and nitpicking for appearance’s sake. Life out here is real, and it’s more beautiful in its imperfection than any of the pressure-cooker, firehose blast of bullshit that keeps coming at all of us every single day from every direction. It’s time to celebrate how we become who we are. I intend to celebrate myself and every person like me who is interesting in talking about how you REALLY create the life you want to live. Let’s talk about the process. Let’s celebrate the mess. Let’s turn to the next woman and make that our message. Life doesn’t have Photoshop. There is no filter for what it takes to become the person you’re meant to be.
Today, I celebrate my life in all its messy, magical imperfection. I’m so happy in this photo because it’s truly coming from the inside. I even chose this photo because it’s raw, real, and absolutely me. It’s pixelated, a little smeared, and kind of messy. I was looking for some of the newer photos I’ve been shooting, but for this one bit of writing, that image is perfect. It’s real. That’s really me, and I’m really happy. I know who I am now. I know what I want. I intend to get it. I deserve to have it. I deserve to be happy. It’s about progress, not perfection.
It’s good to be back here with you. Let’s get real. Let’s talk about what it really takes to be happy. Let’s help other women realize that life isn’t shiny. I’m making my mess my message. Join me. Let’s get what we want. We deserve to be happy. We’re worth it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat some cake.