“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.”
― Tim Burton
When I first told my grandmother about my dream of running a successful lifestyle blog, she was hesitant. She knows and can relate to my passion for words, but makeup? Fashion? My Grandmother could not help but to question my love for them, by voicing the views of so many by simply stating “Why do we need them?”. She proceeded to argue that they can be viewed as aspects of conformity, perhaps hiding our true selves in the process. I found myself adamantly telling her, it depends.
Allow me to further set the scene.
I went to 3 colleges, and collected 3 degrees throughout that journey. Each of those degrees were originally not for me wholly, but instead to prove to others that I was determined; 1 for my associates at a small community college, 1 for my undergraduate at a sprawling Ivy League & the last my masters in business from a local college. I didn’t pause and ask myself what I was trying to accomplish, but with my degrees in my hand, I realized I had created a shield for myself.
Each of those experiences changed me, as things that come in 3’s so often do. In each experience, I had found mentors in my professors that would lead us into “it depends” categories. My writing professor at a community college taught classes on counter-cultures & banned books, my research lab professor at my undergrad level demanded we question our realities by looking at our own confirmation biases and my business professors loved to present cases with different ways of solving the same problem. Each place taught me the importance of research, of learning, and the power of words.
Upon my completion of my formal education (because one is truly never done learning) I was hit with the cold reality of the real world. People didn’t want to question their realities with me. No one wanted to read a book and wonder if the author picked that word because of how it flowed in the sentence or because of the multiple meanings underneath. Who would want to listen to a case study where I had memorized the results? Who cared? I resorted into channeling my creativity into lists of things I could start, be it a business, a book, a marketing venture, but I would shrug and not allow myself to become attached. My real job would come along soon.
Except those real jobs? They weren’t me. I cried to myself on the drive in. I wasn’t always kind to my co-workers. I was encouraged to be petty and catty to get ahead. Others would hear about my education and assume I was a snob, so I felt more alienated from people when I so desperately need to feel like I was not alone on my journey. My mindset was to sacrifice the 10 hours of my day so as to move forward. But those days turned to years, and my writing remained confined to productive to-do lists, or things to turn into money. I had to always be working or thinking about work.
My experience at my most recent place of employment drew me to my senses. I was forced to ask myself what I was doing. Why was I confining my work space to this cubby? Why do my ideas need to be approved by other people before I proceed with them? Why was I smiling at people who were abusive to my sense of identity? It was time to use the shield I had cultivated for myself, and to put myself out there in a different way; I will take a leap of faith with my passions for marketing, writing, makeup, fashion & history. It was time to call my Grandma.
Makeup & fashion are art forms. They too, have movements, whether they are political in nature or question our stance on rights of marginalized societies. Casual adornments on ones self projects an image into the world. It shapes an evolution of society, it bends with the trends, it rebels in uniformity— it’s what you choose. Do you enter a room with bright green lips to talk about a cause? Or is green your favorite color? Or are you attempting to look like an alien? Either way, it takes conversation and connecting with others to understand a style.
In my writing, in my thoughts, in my career from this day forth- I aim to continue to question my reality. Whether through trends, or ideas, to experiment with or learning something new, I strive to better myself, my words and my art form.
Welcome to my journey.
Dedicated to my Grandma- My constant cheerleader who questions reality with me, listens to my words without judgment & taught me the joy of reading.