Being Scared

Esprit, that was the brand of the first piece of clothing that I ever purchased myself. It was a black shirt with quarter length sleeves and white piping around the neck. I can remember going to Dillard’s with my mom and handing $24 over to the cashier. This was my hard earned money from weeks of delivering the Western Hills Press and a couple nights of babysitting.

I wore this shirt to picture day in fourth grade which was a huge deal given the fact that I wore a uniform every other day during the school year. Picture day was a chance to show your style and if you didn’t pick something good, your style credibility was destroyed for the year. You’d have to wait 365 days to redeem yourself. I’d like to think I nailed it that year.

That Esprit shirt was a little like the gateway drug for me.

I love clothes. I enjoy getting dressed in the morning and rarely if ever do I look at the weather when picking out an outfit, it’s all about how I’m feeling.

I’ll admit there are days when I’m actually a little scared to walk out the door because I’m not completely confident in the look I’ve put together. There are also days when I think my look is super cool, but then someone hits me with a large dose of reality and I realize the kelly green linen pants, blush pink sweater, metallic gold gym-shoes and faux fur coat, maybe isn’t the look corporate America was hoping to see. On those days, you just have to own it. You tried something and it didn’t work, but tomorrow you’ll be back at that clothes rack trying to work in yet another risky piece of clothing.

Seventeen years later the risk factor that I’m working with is a little greater than what the Esprit shirt provided, the most recent piece being black velvet overalls. The look is something between mom’s dropping me off at a play date and I’ll be in the barn milking a cow, then off to brunch in the city.

I was for sure scared to wear my overalls for the first time but when I put them on, man did I feel good.

I thought about the number of times that being scared has kept me from feeling my best or being my best. The number of times I’ve not contributed to a conversation because I was scared the table would judge me or the times I opted out of an activity because I was afraid of failing.

Being scared is what success hides behind. You’re not going to have a cheerleader by your side every second of life. It’s up to you to be that cheerleader. You have to be the one to tell yourself to do the scary thing, all the scary things. Go after your dream job, wear the ridiculous outfit, talk to the cute guy, do the challenging workout. Get in your head and be the positive voice.

So be scared. If you fail, tomorrow is a new day. And hot diggity damn who knew that velvet overalls could make you feel so powerful?


In the final episode of Sex and the City Carrie is in Paris with that pitiful Aleksandr Petrovsky, her Russian artist boyfriend at the time. While in Paris she loses her infamous nameplate necklace. In a scene where she’s coming to the realization that Petrovsky is not her guy and she’s grappling to find her identity, she reaches into her vintage Dior purse to discover a hole in the silk lining. Out of that hole she pulls her beloved script necklace and in that moment she races into the arms of Big and back to New York life with her girls, a life she embraces and a life spent with those she loves.

Now back to reality.

I too have a beloved script necklace, though mine reads Lil Flip. Elegant is exactly the word I use to describe this piece of jewelry. I was gifted this necklace back in college and no matter the outfit or occasion, this necklace was worn everyday. For me, every piece of jewelry that I wear must have meaning.  Lil Flip encapsulated a time when I began to explore my vulnerability and during that time I began to claim my identity. As life morphed over the past several years, as it does naturally, the everyday jewelry transitioned to new pieces with different stories. Lil Flip was hung in the jewelry box for a few years and in some sense, was forgotten.

I was doing a lot of searching this past year. Two months ago if you had asked me what I was searching for exactly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you.

Imagine sitting in a snowstorm at the bottom of a giant hill in a car without four-wheel drive. You shift to the lowest gear to trudge up the hill but every time you push the gas pedal it’s a little too hard and because you don’t exactly know what you’re doing, you just spin out. The only thing on your mind is getting to the top of the hill and because of that, everything else in your life freezes. That’s a lot like this past year. I know where I ultimately want to be in life but getting there isn’t exactly straightforward. The next step in my life isn’t defined because once you pass a certain point no one is standing there telling you what to do; it’s all up to me.

Over the holidays the ordinary Saturday morning tidy session turned into an all day purge event. While digging though my jewelry box I pulled out Lil Flip, shined her up real nice, and clasped her around my neck.

I was instantly reminded of the moments in my life when I was wearing this necklace and I wanted to feel that again. I want that optimistic spirit back and I want to enjoy each day and be proud of the life I’m living. I’m tired of waiting for that moment in life when sparks supposedly fly and everything is just perfect. Instead, I’m going to create those sparks myself.

I’ve come back to The Loft Talk because this is a place that challenged my vulnerability, made me accountable, and kept me thinking. I don’t know what this space will morph into but I do know that I feel alive and that one day I’ll figure it out but until then I’m going to embrace all of the days in between. Here we go.