My apologies for the long silence.
Pants: J. Crew 'Minnie' Pant
Shoes: Sole Society 'Katherine' Suede Wedge (similar here and here - if you need a Sole Society account, click here. Non-Sole Society alternatives here and here)
Necklace: J. Crew Pearls and Petals Necklace
Life has been...busy. Full. Interesting. Kind of awesomely so. Have you ever done that thing where you're looking, seeking, searching for something (your keys, your cell phone, your glasses, your pen, your vocation, stuff like that) and you feel like you've been looking forever and getting more and more frustrated because seriously you need this thing and where the heck is it??? And someone says to you, "What's that in your hand/in your pocket/on your head/tucked behind your ear/all over your conversation+Facebook feed+desktop+brain?" And wow, there it is! And it's been there all along and geez, how did you miss that? You feel both silly and enormously relieved, because finally - finally - you can stop spinning your wheels and get on with your life, now that the missing piece has been found.
Now that you see it clearly, for what it is.
For the past few years, I've been trying to discern my life's vocation. I've been going to conferences, reading books, blogging, journaling, and just talking with friends and loved ones for what feels like a really long time, trying to figure out what it is that I was put on this world to do outside of caring for my family. Unsurprisingly, there were lots of suggestions regarding fashion. But the fact is, while I really love clothes and style and I defend to my last breath the right of smart, accomplished women to enjoy and cultivate their style and fashion as both a creative and expressive outlet without being disparaged for it - it's not what makes me who I am. So when recently, a friend of mine pointed out how passionate I was about a particular subject and asked me if I did any work around it, I suddenly had an enormous epiphany.
It wasn't so much about knowing what I was passionate about - of course I knew what that was.
It was about giving myself permission to acknowledge that this passion isn't just an area of interest. That rather, it is what I'm called to do.
The whole thing rather took my breath away.
I wrote in an earlier post a couple months ago, on the topic of daring greatly. I imagined in that post that "daring greatly" was more of a circumstantial thing - that some crisis or opportunity would arise before us, and in daring greatly, we would stand and meet its challenges, engaging whatever came at us with courage and valor.
But I didn't quite have it right. What I've realized since then, is that rising to meet conditional, situational, or circumstantial occasions does not constitute the whole truth of "daring greatly."
To truly dare greatly, we must embody our "enormous, amazing, possible" Selves all the time. Not just sometimes. Every moment, no matter how seemingly trivial should be lived with everything we have and are. There should be no on-off switch for our authentic Selves.
What this means is that we must acknowledge that we are, nearly always, called to do things that may seem crazy, impossible, or way too big.
When I say, "nearly always," I'm referring to the fact that most of us, when baldly confronting the reality of our vocations - our callings - whether they are family building, entrepreneurial, community-based, creative, artistic, spiritual, etc., will feel inadequate in some big or small way. This is how I've gone decades - decades - seeking my vocation and being blind to the fact that it's written all over my Consciousness all the time. This is also how in order to accept and embrace it, I have to give myself permission to believe I can and should do this work.
I'm still figuring this out. After all, I've spent the past 36 years of my life cultivating the habit of diminishing myself in small or big ways and unlearning those habits could actually take me longer (though I'm really hoping not!). But I am figuring this out. I'm sharing my process just in case anyone else out there might be struggling with the same issues.
And also, because the world needs more women - all women, really - to be their greatest, truest, most authentic and powerful Selves all the time. What will that take? And how close are you?