Feb 17, 2016

Dear Self: Formation

Let's talk, shall we. 

You have some explaining to do. To me. Because you are driving me crazy with your whining and your emotions.

So let's just take a moment to chat for a bit. 

I want you to take a look at everything you are. Everything you have become. 

Take a good look.  Take a closer look. 

I mean really embrace it all.

For goodness sake.

Look at your curves. Your beautiful curves. They have so much to say. 

So why don't you let them speak?

Look at your smile. Your beautiful smile. It has the magic to turn night into day. 

So why don't you let it shine?

Look at your eyes. Your beautiful eyes. They are so daring. 

So why don't you let them see what others dare not to?

Look at your hands. Your beautiful hands. They are worthy of holding. 

So why don't you let anyone hold them?

Look at your lips. Your beautiful lips. They are like gold. 

So why don't you treat them as such?

Look at your hair. Your beautiful hair. It is simply stunning. 

So why do you call it a burden?

Look at your legs. Your beautiful legs. They are outlined like the Eiffel Tower. 

So why don't you let them be seen?

Look at your shoulders. Your beautiful shoulders. They are broad like the horizon. 

So why don't you give them the time of day?

Look at your posture. Your beautiful posture. It is as poise as a ballerina. 

So why are you afraid to walk alone?

Look at your heart. Your beautiful heart. It is oozing with love. 

So why don't you see that you are worthy of being loved?

Look at your spirit. Your beautiful spirit. It has a remarkable glow. 

So why do you doubt yourself?

Look at your strength. Your beautiful strength. It would take a village to carry the weight of your world. 

So why are you acting so weak?

Look at your accomplishments. Your beautiful accomplishments. At only 20 years old, you are juggling life remarkably.

So why do you feel inadequate?

Do you hear me? 

Girl, you better stop acting like you are useless, unworthy, not good enough, not pretty enough, not likable enough. 

Get a grip and do what Beyonce told you to do. 

Get in formation. 

Feb 15, 2016

Self-Care + Self-Love

You are worthy of love.

As I woke up this morning, I felt lifeless. It's the day after Valentine's Day and I am still without love. How sucky is that. I rolled out of bed and began to go through the same motions of life. Brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, grab a quick bite to eat and head to work. Nothing new. Except, today I forgot to read my morning affirmation. I got to the other side of my front door and realized I didn't read it and rushed back in to do so. Any other day I would have just let it slide but today I needed a pick me up and my affirmations are just that. So as I opened up my 52 card deck of affirmations, I picked up the card on the top of the deck and read it aloud. It read, "You are worthy of love". It was like that card was placed on top of the deck perfectly by Cupid himself.

For the last 7 months I believed that I was unworthy of love or being loved. That I was too much to handle or just not pretty enough. That I was too different or not different enough. That I was needy or selfish or just boring. All of these thoughts took over my self-esteem. It didn't help that my ex-boyfriend was able to move on within a few weeks of us breaking up. Meanwhile, I'm having the worst of luck on dates and having Netflix and Chill sessions by myself. Go figure.

Don't get me wrong, the last 7 months have not been all bad for me nor my self-esteem. I have had days were I felt incredibly beautiful and blessed. Some days I remember all the stupid, ignorant, selfish things he put me through and I thank God I gave him the boot. Some days I remind myself that God has a plan for me. I just have to be patient and embrace the journey. As the stars align, my day of love will come. By knowing this now I rest easy and rise gracefully. 

But today is the day after Valentine's Day and I am on my way to work a 9 hour shift by myself. How cruel is that. And it's snowing. But my affirmation said that I am worthy so lets just go with that. Right? I am worthy of love. Okay, what type of love? His love? Her love? I need more details. I overanalyze these things often which gets me into trouble. So my mind is going 100 miles per hour trying to figure this affirmation out. Finally it hits me. I am worthy of self-love. A love that is one of a kind and irreplaceable. Self-love is the root of all happiness. If I am not happy with myself then I cannot and will not find happiness in a relationship. I will always put up a wall, I will always face jealousy, I will always question his loyalty and I will always second guess my judgement.  

I am familiar with self- love because I preach about it constantly but I lack it myself. Because honestly as I look in the mirror on most days, I do not like what I see. I pay close attention to my flaws and my failures. Like, my acne or the fact that I can't go to school this semester and sometimes even my short hair. I am crucial to myself and not loving enough. So today I decide to care for myself. Care for myself as I would want someone else to care for me-- with the kindest heart and most gentle touch. I am worthy of loving myself first. I know her better than anyone else so if I can love her unconditionally, he will strive to love her as I do. 

That will be my logic for my next relationship. But for now, I am enjoying this growing relationship with her. I'm getting to know myself and getting to understand the mantra of my heartbeat and the silhouette of my soul. It's a great feeling to know that I am worthy of love. 

And the best kind of love at that. 


Feb 6, 2016

FFANY 2016

 My dreams have come true. I had the pleasure of going to FFANY in New York City this past week with The Shoe Hive. For those who are not familiar with FFANY, it is widely known as the New York Shoe Expo. Buyers and sellers are connected at this shoe expo to discover new brands and get a preview of the latest fashion trends. This is what a lot of retailers refer to as "going to market". They are able to see the collections for the following season to decide what they will purchase for their stores and boutiques. This is the side of fashion most consumers do not think about or care much about. But for me, a fashion major and a fashion lover, this side of fashion has always been of interest to me.

Elizabeth, the owner of The Shoe Hive, invited me to New York for the 2016 Fall FFANY show. We spent two long days in The Big Apple going to showrooms and running through Manhattan. I got to see first hand how the job of a fashion buyer is done. I was asked my input on what products we should purchase for the store--from the style, to the color.

As we entered into each designer's showroom, we were greeted by receptionist and served hor d'oeuvres until our representative was ready to meet with us. Many retailers are appointed a brand representative. They will assist you with pretty much anything you need such as special orders, updates on orders, shipment confirmation, etc. You build great relationships with these people. Many of them even keep in touch with you throughout the year to make sure sales are looking up.

Our brand "reps" presented the new Fall 2016 collections while giving great detail on the different styles, structures and design for the shoes. After their presentation was complete, they gave us time to chose products we liked and thought would do well for The Shoe Hive. We took photographs and got product line sheets for each brand to assist us with our buy. After meetings on top of meetings, we packed up our belongings and headed back home. All of the photographs and data will be recorded and looked at closely to place product orders for Fall 2016.

My time at FFANY was so much fun and truly unforgettable. All of our showroom visits consisted of laughter, jokes and good vibes. The highlight of the trip was seeing and meeting some of the designers. Can you believe that we had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Stuart Weitzman!

Elizabeth Todd, Stuart Weitzman, Christen Kinard, Me

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