Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thinking Outside The Box

These economic straining times has forced almost everyone and their mama to do the following... thinking outside the box. To some, thinking outside the box might mean settling for less, or taking a pay cut, or dealing with a recent lay off, etc. but maybe these times aren't so bad after all.

Dreams we had when we were wee bit hopefuls seem a little harder to attain, and the typical route of college and finding a high paying job soon after graduation isn't as black and white as we thought it would be.

For myself it has been very challenging to stay motivated with the career path I want to take. And it takes a lot more than just talent and skill to prosper in the fashion industry, or any industry that is. It takes a great deal of optimism and drive. It takes a lot of e-mails to strangers, it takes a lot of humility, it takes a lot of putting yourself out there day after day and dealing with rejection like it's nothing. It also takes a lot of confidence and knowing you're worth and what you can offer. Forgive me, I don't mean to write a speech about the American Dream, because with the way things are going for me...I am far from it.

I do not live in a high rise in Manhattan, and I am not the heir to a famous conglomerate. I am a 20 something college graduate who moved back home with Mom and Dad for financial security. I make a living doing a number of odd jobs and sometimes irony gets the best of; using my last 60 bucks on that super cute vintage shrug when I should be paying a parking ticket. Like many fashionistas I like to wear heels in the winter time and have tights in every color imaginable. I browse through on the daily and think of ways I can make crafty renditions of my runway favorites.

I am up to date with what's new on the racks of Opening Ceremony, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman, but the reality is...I cannot afford anything there. I used to tell myself that by the age of 25 I would enjoy the luxuries of my early 20's in my metropolitan loft, sipping on my martini, and living the good life compliments of my high paying fashion job.

My early 20's are about over and I have about 5 more years to prove to myself that the last 25 years of my life obsessing over fashion, art, and all things fabulous has not been done in vain. And sometimes I'm not sure if shows such as Sex and The City, Rachel Zoe Project, and Gossip Girl is good for inspiration or just pure propaganda. (Shrugs)

But the last couple of weeks has kept me thinking hopeful and staying faithful to my dreams. You will meet some people who can't afford to give you a chance, not because it's anything personal, but because they simply cannot afford it. However I have been fortunate enough to meet people who are what I like to call..."down for the cause" and genuinely appreciate what I do and my drive for it...and for that I'm thankful!

Stay inspired and think outside of the box is the best advice I can give myself and to others. And by thinking outside of the box I don't mean it in a Alexander McQueen kind of avant garde way. Think outside the box that bridges the gap between the glamorous image of fashion and the reality of it all. Use this time as your time to create something you've always wanted to create...whether it's altering that old vintage dress, or learning how to sketch, or writing, photography, etc. Use this time to write business plans and 10 year plans, to volunteer time into the community. Use this time to make new friends who will eventually be old friends, and friends who like what you do and can help you as much as you can help them. I don't mean this in a opportunist way of thinking, but in an optimist way of thinking.

When I say think outside the box...recognize the circumstances but don't let it defeat you.