Stay True To Yourself
This is one of the most cliché and simple sayings I could come out with, yet at the same time one of the most meaningful. We all come across obstacles in life that make us doubt ourselves, that make us think we need to change to adapt to the situation we’re in. In few cases that change is necessary, in most we need to learn to take a step back and stay true to who we are, no matter what.
So today is my 23rd birthday. Still SO young, yet I have to admit I do not feel 23 at all. I feel matured way beyond 23 – partly because of the company I keep, partly because of my strong and determined mind-set, and partly because when you graduate college and choose to support yourself in NYC, you’re forced to grow the f up. Fast. And speaking of NYC..
I first moved to NYC a few years ago to go to a small private fashion school in midtown Manhattan. On the first day of classes I’m sitting in the WiFi lounge having lunch when this girl comes and sits across from me in the empty seat at my table. I’m thinking “OK cool, I’m down to make new friends”. She immediately says, “OMG I love your watch!” So I say “thanks! It was only like, 20…” “Nice, mine was only like 30”, she says. As I glance down at her watch and notice that it’s a Rolex I almost spit out my budget assed PB&J that I’d made earlier that morning at her. 30.effing.thousand?! Aw hell, I have landed on the wrong damn planet. I didn’t even have the balls to correct her that I meant 20 DOLLARS, not thousands. I just kept quiet and listened to her talk about her daddy’s money. (I know it was her daddy’s money because she made me very aware of the fact) In that moment, I was so disheartened, like I was lesser of a person because I couldn’t talk about money or “things” the way that she could. I had just moved to the Big Apple to BE something, and here on my first day I’m already feeling like shit. Like the first day of high school all over again.
As the week went on, I encountered many more of these types of girls. And the more conversations I found myself in, the more I realized I wasn’t even listening to them anymore. “GOSH, you’re boring. Will you please just STOP?! I don’t give a flying f*ck about how many Maserati’s your dad has unless you’re offering me a ride in it this weekend” is what I was thinking. By the end of the week I started to feel bad for these girls. Sure, everything has been handed to you your whole life, but that shit doesn’t build character. I didn’t grow up deprived, and I didn’t grow up rich. I wouldn’t change a damn thing about how I grew up. But I did witness struggle (as most kids do), and I WAS prepared to have to work hard and have thick skin in order to get anything I want in this life. My mother raised me to be a tough bitch. One of my favorite things to say is “girl power”, and yes it sounds corny as hell but I swear when I say it I suddenly feel the superhero in me come out. Where’s my cape, beyotch?
Anyway, this was the quintessential girl at my school. They wore Jeffrey Campbell’s to class and loved to hear themselves talk. Now of course not ALL of the girls were like this (case in point, me) and trust me, I found those girls and we stuck together. Some of them will be my friends until the day I die. If you asked any one of those friends how I dressed to go to class, they will probably tell you I looked like a slob. Because that’s just me, I’m kind of an asshole like that. These girls wanna get decked out for class? Well, I do not, because I don’t have to. I have nothing to prove. I realized I have so many friends because I am pretty down to earth and personable, not because my dad has millions and it would look cool to be seen out with me. This is just one of a thousand instances where I have learned to rein in the insecurities and STAY TRUE TO MYSELF.
Recently I’ve encountered a lot of a lot of encouragement and kind words regarding this blog (thank you guys, you are awesome!). I’ve also encountered a select few that after hearing that I currently have zero interest in seeking a 9-5 and wish to create a brand and a business, aren’t too quick to hide their doubts. They’ll absentmindedly say “Oh, well..hmm, I guess you’ll never know if you don’t try”. Of course these are the people that I think about before bed, the comments that really get under my skin. But then I think “No Ava, don’t think about them!” And then if I do think about them, I use it as fuel. I am a tough-minded chick and I wouldn’t create my own path if there was even a shred of doubt in my bones that I would succeed. I am a Scorpio after all, there’s no knocking me down.
Think of a situation you’re in that makes you feel less about yourself and mentally kick it to the curb. ME and YOU, we’re awesome dude.
23 is gonna be a good one.