Who invited Timidity to the party?

Timidity is defined as lacking in self-assurance; courage; bravery; easily alarmed.

     Every writer has a distinct voice.  It is nothing short of a miraculous journey in finding that unique voice.  And if a writer desires the profession, he/she must learn and recognize it.  It has taken me a thousand light years, first to accept the call of writer and more years to physically “do the work.”  Life is beautiful in such a way that when we’ve crossed a finish line victoriously only to look up and see another starting line.  I must ask for forgiveness from those that have always supported and encouraged me and to those who’ve decided to take this ride along with me.  You see, I’ve found my voice.  My writing voice.  I accept it probably isn’t the standard-journalistic-school-taught voice.  But it is me, divinely ME.  The ability to weave a  picture sequence in a reader’s mind through words only is what I am capable of, can do almost effortlessly.  Yep, that’s me.  But I realize I am yet using said writer’s voice in a timid manner.  Imagine holding a megaphone up to my mouthpiece ready to grab the attention of a crowded noisy room but only being able to whisper the words. Or running away from the boogey man on a treadmill.  Accomplishing the task, but in such a meager way, my soul senses the inaccuracy.  Not that I seek attention.  My search is for authenticity and I  am learning to care less and less about approval.  And at the seat of authenticity is BRAVERY (refer back to the definition above), the ability to be present, heard, and self approved.  There is no middle scope between the giants of FEAR and AUTHENTICITY, no gray area.  And though I am beginning to feel like I’m conquering the fear of allowing my voice to be heard, somewhere along the way I’ve invited TIMIDITY to the party.

              Self: What shall I write today? Shall I free hand? Work on a few short stories? Self goes about busing herself to write.  Self is elated. 

TIMIDITY: You may write, in fact, I am almost sure you will however you will do it quietly, not ruffle any feathers and pay attention to the critics!

Self then finds herself in a corner with pen and pad in reach but aimlessly staring at nothing.  NOTHING. INACTION. EMPTY PAPER.  UNTOUCHED PEN. PROCRASTATION. ANOTHER DAY.

 Forgive me, Provocateurs, for allowing timidity to seep through my fingers and paralyze my thoughts.  Forgive me for all of the days I allowed timidity to rob me of expressive musings and funny antidotes.  Short stories.  Fashion exposes.  NOVELS. Forgive me for not remembering I am always a student. You have my deepest, most sincerest apologies.

Today I take back my courage and foresight and press toward the mark.  Today I jerk the welcome mat right from under stupid TIMIDITY and close the door in its face. Screw timidity.  I am here, loud and present with my distinctive voice.

 

Xo

 

P.S. Happy Birthday Grandma! Mrs. Irene Fontenot Arvie, we miss you!

The Age of Microwave Fashion?

I recently read an interesting article on the web from the Boston Consulting Group and Business of Fashion. It focused on the plight of fashion houses recruiting viable talent to develop current brands. Nearly 70 percent of luxury brands find it difficult to place creative directors, many citing inadequate talent pipelines. One of the biggest challenges facing luxury and fashion companies today is finding, developing, and retaining great creative and business, as stated by Jean-Marc Bellaiche and Sarah Willersdorf, a partner and principal at BCG.

All across the board, in design and product development, technology and general management in fashion are gaping holes needed to be filled by talent.  But the greater problem beneath this current one faced by larger retail companies and fashion houses alike isn’t easily visible to the naked eye. Companies are searching for artists that have the ability to become, stepping into a role and growing.  The key word in the article is develop. Because of the lightening speed at which we absorb, post, infiltrate the internet today, many of these people lying the talent pool have no desire to be students, i.e., get developed.  Because the internet makes everyone a star…plumps up a faux resume, produces incredible geniuses…and at the tip of a finger one can quickly and unanimously become larger than life. We are inundated with rockstar status IG profiles where living a fashionable lifestyle is envied and admired leading to the notion that being famous is more important than developing (being a student).  No longer are there eager students, hungry for knowledge, humble in approach, those that understand the process of starting from the bottom to learn the business of fashion as a way of life.  No, no.  Studying has been replaced by delusions of grandeur, with the aim of cult like celebrity followers as the ultimate goal.  These faux “fashionistas” (btw I loathe that word) are armed with Google, a MAC illustrator (because no real sketching required nowadays) and the latest Vogue magazine for fast imitation inspiration.  To each his own.  But what happens when the famously internet stars began to outnumber school education or ones who’ve taken the time to develop, i.e. paid their dues?  What type of predicament will the business of fashion be left in?  A quiet but massive chaotic storm is brewing in the fashion community.  The gaping hole between the creative side and business of fashion exists, and not acknowledging it will not make it disappear.  And until both sides in the fashion community can put aside egos and learn to work together co-existing, the future of fashion is at risk.

 

You can read the full article here: The Race for Talent and Luxury in Fashion.  Share your thoughts with me!

Inside of a Box

Conformity:

An act of conforming; to behave in a way that is accepted by most people; to do what other people do

Color inside of the lines.  Jump on the bandwagon.  Go by the book.  Play the game.  Obey the rules. Follow the crowd.  Toe the line.  Roll with the punches. Run with the pack.  Don’t make waves.  Don’t rock the boat.

We learn to conform at a young age.  We are taught to silence our unpopular thoughts and beliefs and adapt to the pack.  We are taught not to seek new ways of doing life.  What arises from learning to live in such a tiny oxygen deprived box is a shell of a person.  A walking zombie.  Someone who has learned to just go through the motions.  Live life on everyone else’s terms and expectations. Wave the white flag, surrender.

That was me.  Years and years of wearing a mask, hiding my true self, fearful of consequences, criticism and opinions.  Downplaying my passions, dreams, aspirations…afraid of disappointing “them” (can anyone tell me who these people are?)..withering away on the inside.  I had learned to restrict myself, restrain myself in hopes of pleasing the invisible judgmental group of people that resided in my head who-always-got-it-right (how I hated those people!).  I had learned to dismiss the few compliments and encouraging words I received about my creative skills when I allowed a small peek inside of my private world.  A pre-recorded repetitious record of negative thoughts would play in my subconscious anytime I felt a jolt of freedom, or joy, or smidgen of happiness.

Change, real-life-shifting-courage-needed-change, cannot occur without a catalyst.  Catalysts precipitate change and can be disguised in an array of costumes…a job loss, death of a loved one or pet, the end of a relationship, financial difficulty… which may lead you to do quite a bit of soul searching and look for some significance, some meaning in your life.  You will question everything…God (or whatever higher power you believe in) and everyone.  You will, at times, question your own sanity and rational thinking.  And all that you are made of will want to quit. Give up…die…remain a zombie because well, it’s just easier.  The thing is you can’t quit because change is occurring.  You have to keep going, keep fighting, and keep pushing.  You owe this to yourself, your authentic self.  Understand you are slowly being released from your prison.  It just doesn’t feel like it because you are in the process of change.  Yes, it is a process.  But it is manageable and purposeful.  And necessary.  Teach yourself to remove the periods placed in your life and instead insert commas.  A period signifies the finality of a thing while a comma suggests there is more to expect because it will get better.  Vow to continue living and allow yourself the room and self compassion to experience the fullness of change.

What makes me so qualified to speak on this? Because I, like you, was once a rider on the transition rollercoaster (I still am).  And like the Phoenix that rises from burnt ashes, I have been revived.  The fire didn’t consume me…it was never meant to…its purpose was to give birth to the powerfully free creature that is me.  Your Phoenix experience awaits you, what will you do with it?