— Iris Apfel
Sometimes I wish I had been born a more self-assured, confident person, or at least learned to fake it earlier on in my life. It’s taken me 52 years to eek out more and more confidence, but I wish it hadn’t been so dang hard or taken me so long to get the little bit that I now have.
When I was 18 or 19, I bought a pair of red Converse high tops (I find it funny that my 16-year-old niece has a pristine pair of white Converse low top shoes. Apparently they are “in” these days). I really wanted those red shoes, and once I had them I rarely wore them. Why? Because they were bright and “loud” and not at all what other girls wore.
I wanted those shoes, but I didn’t want to stand out.
The first pair of eye glasses I picked out at age 8 were light blue. My mother and the eye doctor tried to talk me out of them, but I persisted. Then, I didn’t want to wear them because they were too “different” – I ended up with a brown pair instead.
One more: the first time I went to New York, we were in a second-hand shop and there was this coat….it kinda looked like upholstery fabric, but it was floral and fabulous. The inner Daring-Artist-in-Waiting Julie really wanted it, but the other For-Gods-Sake-Don’t-Stand-Out Julie won.
I still think about that coat and the decision not to buy it, but these days I wouldn’t hesitate to make that purchase.
To Blog or Not to Blog
Part of the decision to start writing this blog was to stop hiding. My fashion choices (or lack of) notwithstanding, I have come to believe that it’s important to put yourself out there, to be “seen” in some way, to share what you do: our stories, our creative endeavors, our voices. Whatever it is that brings you joy, that thing you get lost in when you bring it into being, share it. Let yourself, even if it’s just through your work, be seen.
For a shy, introverted person, this has not been an easy task. But who am I kidding, I do very little to promote this blog (still hiding?), and I have an embarrassingly low number of people who actually read this stuff, BUT … it really is quite interesting, every time I think of stopping, not writing any longer, I hear from one person (who is not an immediate family member) who enjoys or has gotten some benefit from reading what I write. And one person at a time counts.
I still have a long way to go in the “be seen” arena, but as always, small steps Sparky. I’m going to work on channeling my inner Iris, I know she’s in there.