Before I start, let me first say that I never, ever planned for the relaunch of the site taking this damn long. But this year has been, shall we say, the rollercoaster ride to end all roller coaster rides? It’s hard to write while grasping a safety harness, folks. It’s taken a bit longer than expected. But here we are, and here we go.
The past week has summed up the explosive year that has been 2016 with a powerful exclamation point. Whatever your thoughts are about the election, the deaths of brilliant creative minds (David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, more tears shed as more names are read,) and a rough year of economic and social twists and turns, suffice it to say that we have been shoved kicking and screaming to the edge of a cliff this year. We’re staring into nothingness, not looking at ourselves or each other, wondering what’s out there for us after a year that has scared us to death. In the distance, a looming, inevitable passage of time with no true sense of security.
I should point out that all of us — ALL OF US — are standing on this cliff. No one is immune to it. Like it or not, we are all there together.
This week, I watched as the divisiveness, hatred, and screaming reached a fever pitch. Riots. Finger pointing. Reports of hate crimes and discrimination. The white sheets covering the dead eyes came back from my childhood, wolves licking their chops, salivating with evil plans. Women being marginalized. People of color, LGBTQ loved ones, immigrants fearing for their safety and well-being. Where do I fit in? Where is my place in the world? Where can I go? Where is safe?
The fears those individuals wanted me to feel? I felt them for a little while. I’m woman enough to admit that.
But no more.
As the sun rose from the clouds this past Friday, and the gravitational, emotional pull that had pinned me into bed started to lift, I forced myself to finish what I started when I said I wanted to relaunch the site all those months ago. I sat on the edge of the bed, put my feet flat on the floor, and said aloud to no one in particular, “Who are you, and why are you here?”
The answer I have suspected in these months of solitude appeared to me with great clarity again, rising from the center of my core with a force great enough to propel me to my feet.
I am a force of nature. I am my own safe space. I belong to myself. Nobody owns me. I’m here to create a space for women to realize these same things, and to do something about it.
I am here, this site is here, to help you become who you were meant to be, and to adorn accordingly. It’s not about designer jeans, and screw anti-aging everything (and I mean that…God help me, do I mean that.) It’s not about looking sexy, younger, or “on trend.” I don’t care if you dress for your age, I don’t care about who you worship, where you’re from, what your skin color is, or how much money you have in the bank. I want all of us to focus on who we are and what we desire for ourselves and for our fellow women, particularly the next generation. I firmly believe so many of us have outsourced our self-approval and happiness to so many people and external factors that none of us can say who we are, what we want from this life, and produce an actual plan to go get any of it. We’ve sacrificed everything for so long, we don’t even know where to start. We’re waiting on some fairy godmother to come save us, some rich person to come pay for everything, or for some unseen force to make everything okay.
I have news for you: you are the hero you’ve been waiting for your entire life.
I know that now. It’s why I can’t lie in bed crying anymore, reading think pieces on the future of the planet and our nation, letting my worst nightmares perpetuate a vicious cycle of emotional overeating and under-eating. My body’s not having it, my brain is just over it, and there’s too much work to do.
So, I got up and took a shower. I reached out to other women who inspire me. I cleaned my house, and finished the plan I had started. In other words, I took control. We must cease looking at things chaotic, and focus on how we care for and create a better world for ourselves and those little girls who are watching us. If we create a generation of daughters who know they are here for a reason, that they’re worth something, and can express themselves freely, the world we will leave behind will be a much better place than it is now. But they’re watching us; it’s up to us to show them the way.
I repeat: the young women and girls of the world are watching us right now. We must prove women can do anything. Damn it, women live longer. Don’t you want a good life if you’re going to outlive everyone? I know I do. Let’s hustle.
Starting right now, I am not lying down. My job is to face forward, to introduce you to other women and resources that can inspire and inform all of us, leading us on the right path to get we want out of our lives. There will be some shiny, pretty fashion and beauty stuff. That’s awesome. We need it right now. But it’s also time for that shiny, pretty fashion and beauty stuff to be backed up with a glow that comes from within, one no makeup can truly create. If you know who you are, bestow yourself with the power and authority to give yourself what you need, and work your ass off until you get it, no one can best you. That is the source of real, true, feminine power. There is no hair product, no face cream, no fragrance that can beat it.
Once you meet that woman, adorn her accordingly. Screw the trends. Love yourself, and show it from the inside out. That’s the definition of true beauty. That’s where real style comes from: self-realization, self-love, and the unyielding, uncompromising pursuit of joy.
Don’t let anybody stop you. Those little girls need to see that their entire worth isn’t wrapped up in what men think of them. They need to stop watching women tear each other down, shaming each other for mistakes, repeating the oppression that’s kept all of us struggling with antiquated views of what women should be. The world is against ALL of us, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation or nationality. We cannot work against each other. It only serves to keep us distracted and depressed. Enough already. Get up. We have work to do. Even if you don’t think you’re worth it, those children are.
I’m not a mother. I know this. But I’m an honorary godmother and aunt to so many beautiful children out there, and I see them watching us. Our kids need to see us come become powerful as women, coming together and thriving, even in the face of adversity. We must show them the way. It starts right here, right now. The future is here. Tomorrow is today.
I don’t care about your political party affiliation. I want you to be realized, happy, and empowered. Because that’s how we get the world we want so badly. Airplane safety rules apply: put your own mask on first, and then help the woman next to you. We must get out of bed, shut down the steady stream of bad news, and go craft our future. Face forward, women. We deserve this. We need this.
More to come tomorrow, but for today, chin up and face forward.