My shopping training began when I was quite young. I was so young that I don’t even remember the first time that I was end a mall. Shopping was always a part of my life — Marshall Field’s, Hawthorn Mall and every store on Michigan Avenue. My life with my mom…we bonded over those marathon sessions at the mall and we celebrated our quick conquests too. I still cherish those times, especially now that she is gone.
South Street Seaport. It isn’t the home to the biggest designer or even the funkiest vintage shops; it’s a place that they send tourists. However when you’re 8 years old, you think that it’s heaven. I actually don’t remember much about that first experience, except buying a New Kids on the Block t-shirt. Surprisingly, I no longer own that shirt.
It was during a theatre trip while I was in high school. We were walking around Greenwich Village, and I walked into the coolest, hippest, funkiest boutique of my life (my 15 year old life). I picked up the cutest and sassiest merlot-colored overall mini-dress. I found cute Mary Janes to match, too. Boy, I thought that I was so hip. I wore that dress all the time for the next three winters. It made me feel cool, hip and so east coast…everything that I hoped to be in life.
Emotional, uplifting and blessed. The purpose for this recent visit was to go shopping with the amazing Holly Getty. It was a long time coming. Yes, we had to reschedule an earlier shopping day because of my play commitments, but I don’t think that I was emotionally ready for this day until today. Much like my Vision Day with Rob, today was a day that challenged me and made me ask myself if I really wanted to be the version of myself that I see in my head or not. While I always enjoy shopping and gain lots of energy from the activity, yet there were moments when I felt so overwhelmed. I began to ask myself questions like…
What would people say if I wore this outfit?
Would people judge me negatively?
Do I seem like I’m trying too hard to be someone that I am not?
Holly made me stop and really deal with these questions. She asked me repeatedly, “what’s the worst thing someone could/would say to you?” She also assured me that she would not allow me to buy anything that wasn’t me and connected to my authentic style points — witty, whimsical and peaceful. Like so many people who have come into my life over the last year, Holly asked me if I was ready to stop hiding my true self to make other people comfortable. Wow, that’s a tough question to answer. However, I think that I am. It is time that I allow myself to fully emerge from my grief, guilt, and gloom. It’s time for me to shine.