I had a revelation while watching Project Runway recently.
Project Runway is the show Heidi Klum hosts where a group of designers go through a series of design challenges– like using only party supplies or newspapers and make (mostly) outrageously beautiful and interesting garments. It’s thoroughly inspiring, and in a world where nearly every show is full of violence and other nonsense, I love that this show is totally inspirational and creative nonsense.
You should know that there was a moment in my early 20’s when I considered fashion design school. I come from a long line of clothing and shoe retailers, passionate shoppers, and even a textile designer thrown in there somewhere. So the fashion thing is kinda in my bones.
While watching Project Runway the other day though, I had this moment (when the contestants were behaving badly) that I thought, Oh thank god I didn’t go to fashion design school. Those so wouldn’t have been my people! And then, a beat later, I realized something even more true: I would be exactly who I am right now if I had gone down that path. Sure, I’d be better dressed, probably with a cuter haircut and better makeup skills. I might have an online clothing boutique instead of a list of e-courses, but fundamentally I would be the same person offering the same service to the world.
Ultimately, I can’t escape who I am.
I played the fantasy out even further. I imagined a blog, similar to this one, where I talked about creativity, fashion, working for myself, what inspires me, etc. It might be more of a fashion/design blog, but it’s spirit would still be the same. Can you picture it?
I believe that the way we are meant to serve the world, ultimately what’s underneath everything we do, is immovable. Whether I was online or not, into fashion or food, photography or swinging on a trapeze, my message would be the same. The way I live my life would be the same. The way I am moved to serve is the same regardless of the form it takes.
Is this true for you too? Is there something that you have always brought to every job you’ve ever had? Play? Compassion? Creativity? Generosity?
Even while I was working in a clothing boutique in San Francisco all those years ago, I was often playing Mondo Beyondo style games with the other women who worked there. When we were bored during a lull with no customers, I always suggested a game. I’d pull out a pad of paper and ask everyone in the store what totally outrageous and wonderful thing they’d like to have happen in their lives. Then we would write them down on tiny slips of paper and hide them underneath the cash register. Every few months or so we would pull them out and see if they came true yet.
We can’t escape who we are.
We can’t escape our essence.
Nothing is wasted because we brought ourselves along for the ride every time.
Don’t despair. There are no mistakes. No matter what path you are on, you are on your path. And every day, every moment, is an opportunity to bring your best self to it.