Have you ever had someone that you looked up to, aspired to be like or just plain admired, either from afar anonymously or up close and personal?
I used to be a party girl. I was known for my bleached blonde spiky hair and crazy energy. I used to dance around the clubs and be referred to as The Energizer Bunny. My friends and I were heavily involved in the downtown club scene. We were out every night from Tuesday until Sunday. At 23 years old, we worked hard but played hard.
I am an only child, so there was never an older sister in the picture to look up to. I'm not a jealous person, as I feel that emotion is something negative and nasty. If you're jealous, it means you want to take something away from someone that you don't have. I'm guilty of being envious, but in a healthy way that pushes me competitively to be the best I can be.
One night, we were waiting in line to get into the popular nightclub "Hotel" when I spotted this gorgeous, cool and stylish little thing of a female! (Over the years, it should be noted that we would stop frequenting venues that required waiting in line, sucking up to the arrogant bouncers or paying the $20 cover charge, just to get in to pay for a $20 martini, which I should mention we had already paid $20 for parking and more dollars for coat check.) She was working at the door as a promoter, and everyone knew her. She had this Gucci-looking scarf wrapped around her long raven-like hair, dark nailpolish and the funkiest dangly earrings I'd ever seen. I asked my girlfriend, "Who is that?" Just then, I heard someone shout her name from the line: "Carmelinda!"
A decade later, I had a conversation with Carmelinda. She's still beautiful, still got mad style, and still wears dangly earrings. She mixes red with turquoise, just had a magical wedding and travels the world. I asked her where she gets her sense of fashion and style from and I just had to blog about her response:
"Style" and "Cool" to me is perhaps a little different than what I considered stylish and cool before... like:
Volunteering with animal welfare organizations
Wearing power outfits, that perhaps dont show so much flesh, but make people presume you fill a "big" role and you're not to be taken lightly
Style is true comfort in ones own skin, that they never seem awkward even if what they are saying is less than conventional or maybe even unusual
I love mixing BCBG with H&M... if I had the cash, my designer of choice would be Balenciaga and Balmain... edgy, sexy, strong
Saying that you are happily married and meaning it
Not tolerating bull shit and taking responsibility for your life and happiness
Life in your earlier years is mostly about fun, discovering yourself and making mistakes/creating great memories that shape you into a mature woman. I love my memories of those years however I'd like to believe that I've grown to be more than a one-dimensional being and it's funny how time and experience can change your perspective. Looks and beauty eventually fade, and in an extremely image-concious world these days, I believe this generation of females have it tough. You read those "forwarded" emails about why it's better to be a woman in her 30's or 40's and chuckle as you mentally tick off in your head the things that apply to you, and remember the years you spent trying to please other people and conform to a standard invisibly set up by your peers and surrounding society.
Then, you are thankful for where you are today; thankful for your experience and knowledge and mistakes and journies, because they have made you the person you are today, and if you're really lucky, you'll find a muse that inspires you to keep going.
Here are a few favourite images of my muse; beautiful both on the inside and out.