I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know what I’m doing is right
This has been my motto for the past several months, and although it rolls off the tongue swimmingly, life often leaves me feeling like I’m drowning in the unknown…but let’s back it up (wobble style) a few years…
My whole life I KNEW I was going to be a doctor, and all my friends assumed I would be too. When I was bored in class, I doodled the human heart with each artery and valve labeled perfectly and arrows indicating the direction of the blood flow… Yes, I have always been that cool.
…Then the Lord said LOLOL NAH. You’re gonna follow the dream that I planted in your mind years ago. Yeah, the one that you knew was attainable with my power, but you tried to ignore because you could only focus on the reasons why you were unqualified.
Then God sent me a link to the Shia Labeouf video, “JUST DO IT.”
So I switched my major!
because I was scared of the unknown, but mostly because
I was scared of what my extended family would think
if I had a major like fashion design.
WHEW. YAY. That was a close one, I thought, I almost had to follow my dreams. Then it was time for my next huurr appointment which was very strategic of da Lord because Tammy, my hair stylist, role model, and friend, is very wise.
I don’t remember exactly what she said, but it was something along the lines that the art of cosmetology is not the standard of a highly-celebrated career choice, but it’s what she loved and was gifted in, so it’s what she was supposed to do.
…and she does her job exceptionally well because she’s passionate and changes the lives of the people she serves.
(Quick intermission: The reader should note that during this period of life I was extremely depressed and could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. Tammy’s work changed the way I speak to myself and helped me discover my individuality)
The truth that Tammy spoke so fervently to me was reverberating in my mind, soul, and lifestyle. I was letting myself explore the artistic world, but I was still too insecure to fully invest in the unknown. I kept trying to find loopholes in God’s system as to not let go of a future with a “solidified” and “respected” profession…
…Maybe fashion design could be on the side like Michael Scott and improv acting?
But let’s be real, I wish there were more Michael Scarn movies.
The summer before my sophomore year at Hope College consisted of a lot of healing rooted in my exploration of faith and creativity.
I learned gratitude.
I sought honesty in response to vulnerability.
I focused on details of an experience that ignited joy.
I accepted love and my self-hate began to disintegrate.
I started to believe that life was worth living.
The Lord revealed these truths to me as I
All this growing simply from picking out an outfit each morning?? I guess the realm of “wearable art” known as the fashion world isn’t just a meaningless beauty pageant after all.
So I did what any sane person would do and had Tammy dye my hair teal! This was one of the best decisions of my life (although my grandma would NOT concur).
It was a symbol of my new habit. I was choosing to be kind to myself and to stop caring what h8rs thought no mo (A hater being anyone who lives to tear people down because they think criticizing others is synonymous with self-confidence).
You can’t have teal hair and not be a skosh daring, so I gave my future to the Lord. Every morning I would take a moment to breathe and open my palms up to heaven. It was a reminder of the burden I was releasing by giving every moment, thought, word, and expression of the unfolding day to Him.
Doors opened and He introduced me to some INCREDIBLE and IRREPLACEABLE mentors.
I changed my major to fashion design with their support and wisdom, but that was just the beginning (cue “Start of Something New” from High School Musical).
My second semester of Sophomore year, I walked (crawled?) into my first art class since 7th grade. Everyone was setting up easels and drawing boards, sharpening their charcoal pencils with x-acto knives, and I was practicing my favorite breathing techniques, hoping the beads of sweat rolling down my face looked like melted snowflakes.
Call me Memaw and Papa Loughead because WOWWWW, I must’ve been craving KFC…my first few sketches looked like fried chicken. When I thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, our professor instructed us to turn our easels in and begin critiquing each other’s work.
I wanted to kneel at the feet of our model and say, “Thank you for being so vulnerable and confident with your body. Please know that you don’t look like this delicious piece of fried chicken I drew,” and then curl up on the cold floor and cry.
It was difficult to continue to show up. I felt like a naïve wannabee who assumed she was “artsy” simply because she had blue hair.
People could have been thinking these things or worse, but I’ll never know,
So I vowed to stop assuming.
I spent HOURS drawing and erasing and restarting.
I vowed to be confident in the few gifts I did have and
be extremely vulnerable as to receive honest advice.
Critiques can’t be taken as a hit to your personal worth if you want your art to develop
…and especially if you want your heart to develop.
Things I know:
I’m not the best artist
I’m still healing
I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING
Things I also know:
I’m surrounded by knowledgeable and supportive people
I’m learning, growing, and showing up
I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING IS RIGHT…why?
Fashion Design will always be a reminder of how the Lord saved me from the dark days of depression and self-hate by bringing confidence and individuality through the choice of a fresh outfit/expression each morning.
It is my duty to share this story with the world and create clothing that ignites natural confidence.