I looked in the mirror last Friday and was distressed at what looked back. My face was haggard and drawn, my hair long and stringy, my skin and eyes dull. My nails are splitting and I have been irritable and impatient. I have been stress eating things that are not even remotely considered to be organic and natural. All these things concerned me. Not because I want to be beautiful but because I want to be healthy.
There are unopened boxes all over my apartment containing clothes and beauty products that I have yet to open much less be able to think about wearing, using and creatively presenting. I have not had time to have a leisurely day with Calvin to take new photos and develop new content. Ungraded papers, curriculum grids and unanswered emails clutter my other work home. How can I offer others inspiration to be your best self when I am not taking care of and not being mine?
Don’t get me wrong I am grateful and happy about my family, my students and some of the wonderful things that have happened to me over the last year: getting to travel, meeting amazing and creative people, writing, collaborating with cultural institutions to promote understanding and tolerance. Let me not forget being asked to give a TED talk. The rest of it: not so much.
There are so many parts of this project that make me feel like a hamster running on a wheel: the constant engagement with social media, the unpredictable nature of the income, the relentless stream of emails and meetings to be “out there”, and massive amounts of images and information to consume. This endless running in circles I have determined comes from not fitting easily into a marketable category. I am not really an influencer who sells products and I am not really a model in the sense of doing traditional campaigns and advertising. Being an in-between makes it challenging to earn a reliable income. My organic, see what happens approach to this project, while successful to a point, has been such a whirlwind it has swept me away and left me without an anchor. I find I need to have one to regain control of my life.
I have been thinking and talking lately about building cities of tolerance and creativity and now I am going to add: sustainability (both in activity level and what is good for the earth). I am also going to change the order. Cities (and lives) that are Sustainable, Creative and Tolerant. I think these three prongs comprise a strong anchor for me when I need one. I can still have a be-in-the-moment and improvisational approach but I need to ask myself three questions before saying yes:
Does this activity (product/solution) promote human and natural system well-being?
Is this activity(product/solution) innovative and creative?
Is this activity (product/solution) inclusive?
I need a reset. I need to revisit where I began, now with three years of experience and knowledge of this crazy operating system called fashion, and design a sustainable life in it. So I am starting small and resetting my own body, my own home and doing it in my own city, New York. I am going to identify, learn and use new skills while doing it (like video editing and work on my sewing) as well as maximizing my iPhone’s ability to take photos of beautiful objects, spaces and people other than myself! I am going to tackle those packages but this time with my three questions in mind and perhaps some interesting ways to show them.
So stay tuned and if any of you need a reset, join me along the way.