Although we’ve had an insane amount of snow (like 2+ ft.), the preparations for spring are well underway around the farm. I’ve gotten all my supplies in; the front room of our house looks like a college mail room and the basement looks like a scene out of Silence of the Lambs with the eerie flickering glow from the light fixtures under which my plant babies are growing.
Honestly, I don’t know what hell I was thinking when I planned March. I’m away 19 of 31 days.
John clearly is wondering what I was thinking too, since he’s now been delegated with farm chores. Did I mention one of my personal goals was not to over-schedule myself. To give myself breathing room. My “breathing room” is now the inside of a rental car - and man, that smells like sh!t.
So where am I this month?
Currently, I’m in North Carolina attending the School of Styling. Honestly, I remember exactly when I signed up. It was late at night and I was scrolling through Instagram feeling like everything that everyone else was doing was presented so much more professionally/ beautifully/ intentionally than my hap-hazard (although honest) reflection of my (haphazard) life. It was one of those late-night, “you should just put down the phone moments”.
I saw a post for the School of Styling and thought, that’s what I need! I need some style. I got out the credit card and well…here I am months later.
So day one of this workshop I walk in and I have to say, I felt super out of place at first. The ladies who were flowing in the door know how to work a curling iron and know the difference between all the little brushes in that come in a make-up kit. Basically, they looked like they already had style! I did my best to look like I was meant to be there but honestly, if I’m not wearing a tee-shirt with holes and my hands grubby, I’m just not in my groove. Dirty! That’s my jam. Is that bad? I bathe though, I swear I do. Sometimes. It depends on how tired I am.
Anyway, dressing up has always been a struggle for me. I feel like I’m a fraud or fake or trying to be someone I’m not. I’m working on the idea that I can integrate multiple parts of my life into one being. That just because I’m not a dress-up kind of gal doesn’t mean that when I do it, I’m not “the real me” or that I’m pretending to be something I’m not. Like I said, I’m working on that.
This whole thing kind of brought me back to when I was little and we were living in this giant house in New York State (not kidding – it was like 12,000 sq. feet) and I brought home this form for the free and reduced lunch program at my school. My dad told me that we actually qualified for the program because our family business had made no money that year and we were deeply in debt… but that he wasn’t going sign me up because it “wouldn’t be the right thing to do.”
This was super confusing to me. I was about six years old and I couldn’t understand what this all meant. We lived in a huge house, so other people told me that we were “rich” (I didn’t know what that meant either. "Rich" was like Richie Rich but we didn’t have a helicopter, or a chauffeur and I went to the local public school and wore hand-me-down clothes). And here was my dad telling me that despite what everyone else said, apparently our family was broke (and I knew that was bad) and that we shouldn’t tell anyone about our lack of money (so now I’m thinking, gee things must be really bad because when and adult tells you to keep a secret that’s like the worst kind of bad).
I think it was difficult for my parents to know what messages to send us kids about money because they both grew up with very little, financially speaking (as in my mom’s clothes were made from feed sacks and my dad lived in a one room apartment with his parents and brother that had a bathtub in the room/bathroom/ kitchen – remember it’s just one room - and they had to burn wooden crates in the stove to heat it or cook, which is like totally friggen out there since he lived in Brooklyn and my mom was the one living like Little House on the Prairie).
Anyway, the point is that I’m still trying to figure out how to feel comfortable being “fancy” when I need to be and maybe allow myself to enjoy getting dressed up when I want to be. Same goes on social media. I’m realizing that for me, honesty is more important to me that perfectly curated (also takes less effort...). But I'm also a little freaked-out about the potential judgment when you put up what’s real vs made-up life. Know what I mean?
If you’re on social media, what draws you to follow someone? I’m curious!
Ps. I’m posting this a couple days after I wrote it and I’m having a great time with some fab ladies. I do really love the South. People are just so dang nice. Seriously.