“You’re very ummmmmmm different?” she said to me laughing.
I responded confidently, “I agree!”
A woman said this to me last week while I was cruising the racks at an upscale resale shop in New York City. Even though I took it as a compliment, she didn’t mean it that way. She was eluding to the fact that being different was a negative thing. In many places on our planet it’s forbidden to express yourself, but thankfully that’s not the case here in the United States. We’re free to be whoever we are and to dress the part no matter what that looks like. In Vermont where I live, you’re even allowed to be naked in public as long as you don’t disrobe outside.
Music festivals were the first place I experienced a true freedom to be myself where I dressed the part too. Out in the judgmental streets I wandered at home, I was scared to express myself because I was afraid of what people might think of me if I did. Not only with fashion, but in general. My outside was a reflection of what was going on inside. I rarely spoke up or stood up for myself.
I hated my job.
My boyfriend at the time was physically and mentally abusive.
Some of ‘friends’ took advantage of me because I let them.
I was in a funk when I wasn’t at a show or festival.
I went over the top crazy when I was at shows and festivals.
My adulting game was so strong that I almost started to believe that person was me and that festival me was just me playing dress up. Not true! Festival me as the wildest expression of my authentic self that was seeking to emerge at places other than at the show. Up until that point, that person only showed up at music festivals.
A vicious cycle was forming. Sad at home>get excited planning for the festival>go to the festival>feel overwhelmed by it all>numb myself by drinking all the things>wake up feeling terrible>forgot what happened the night before>repeat>go home>suffer from an epic case of post show blues>repeat.
The place I was constantly planning for and looking forward to was so drastically different from my home life that I was having a really hard time handling how amazing it was. What I was doing wasn’t working and if I didn’t make a change, my journey was headed in a dangerous direction.
The changes I made started out subdued and slow. Tie-dyed bras and panties hidden under my ‘normal’ clothes were my first change. Then came the raging dance parties to recorded live shows on my i-pod in the bathroom at work. Focusing on my breath at stop lights, a tad of glitter on my face and deepening my yoga practice were next. Eventually over time, I became the sparkle unicorn lady I am today. My fashion totally reflects who I am on the inside now. And it changed my life in many profound ways.
By expressing who I was with clothes, I became me in all the things I did. In relationships, in my career and with my family. I started standing up for myself and standing FOR myself.
And that is why I’m so passionate about the way I dress even if it looks weird to most people. I’m weird! Yay. To the woman who laughed at me because I’m different. Thank you!!! Your words have shown me how far I’ve come and I’m so grateful.
Does your outside reflect your inside? Let’s talk about it. Leave a comment on the below.
The magic in me sees the magic in you,
PS Attention Songwriters! Ryan is doing a songwriting retreat at This Wonderful Place this June and there are two spaces left. Check it out and reserve your space HERE
PPS Hey hey hey wild women! Hayley Jane and I are leading a retreat this May for those looking to unleash their creative wild woman with us. There are a couple of spots still available. Check it out and reserve your spot HERE.