Have you heard of Sophia Amoruso? Or maybe you've heard of Nasty Gal? What about the book #GIRLBOSS? If your answer to all of those questions is 'no' then click on those three links, have a read and get inspired!
I spend a lot of time bulldozing the internet for information that will make me better at what I'm doing. I read every article, blog, essay, link or hashtag I can find if I think it will help me move forward in the business of art, paper and the business of business. Books, magazines, videos — soliciting advice from the best of the best. Instead of listening to music I've taken to playing youtube videos of interviews and speeches given by experts in the field while I'm working away in the studio. I've recently added the Entrepreneur Daily and Entrepreneur Magazine apps to my phone. My hope being that some of it will stick even if I'm not paying full attention. Thank you free education — what's $6 on a magazine compared to the thousands spent on a single year in college?
There has been a major shift in my life and I attribute it to the mild depression I found myself lingering in last month. Remember? I've also thought of my depression as a shedding of skin or a form of emotional and mental cleansing that must happen in order for my true self to come storming out of that dark hole, tossing those fucking handcuffs behind her, hellbent on making a coffee and a plan.
Depression is not weakness, it is strength to allow ourselves to go where we are most vulnerable, to be raw and open and hopefully, to give ourselves the time we need to pick through the junk and sort out what we need and what can be fed to the dogs. And let it be known I have given those dogs enough to bloat them til they're blind for a lifetime to come. This time, for whatever reason, I came out of the dark with a ferocity and hunger that cannot and will not be stopped. I am on a tear to make shit happen and you have front row seats.
For those of you that know me well, you know that I am mostly made of love and hearts and hugs and love notes, cuddles, laughs, tears, farts and just enough self-deprecation to keep my ego in check but you also know that other side. You know that I have razor sharp edge, a will that cannot be shaken, determination to get what I want, when I want it, how I want it — if I believe in something, whether it is for my own personal gain, for the belief in something I deem significant, or for the love of another, I will stop at nothing to make sure it goes my way, not to feed my ego but because I actually believe in it so wholeheartedly that I cannot seperate it from myself — it becomes a part of me. My motivation for this lies only in my big, bleeding heart and that I cannot stand injustice in any form.
I spent too much of my life trying to find balance between these two sides of the same coin (me) and sadly, I think I spent too much of it playing to the softer side. The part of me that didn't quite believe that she was good enough or smart enough or creative enough or pretty enough. Well fuck not being enough of anything because I am enough of everything. When I was a kid prancing around the basement in my yellow, plastic Cinderella high heels I knew I was the shit and fuck if I'm gonna waste another second thinking anything less of myself. I love my gooey, melty heart but I also love my sparkly, fearless self. I can be both. I am both.
Reading #GIRLBOSS was such a joy. It was a testament to my inner freak (thank you Sophia Amoruso calling it like it is) and to a world of possibility for those of us who are willing to fight for it. I related to her story for the most part but not entirely, of course, we are different GIRLBOSSES. In the book, there is a photo of her high school report card and I felt the world shift sideways, just a little. I laughed and wondered what my report card said: "Maybe if she showed up to more than three classes a month she wouldn't be failing' or 'Melissa is not allowed to come and go as she pleases, it is disruptive and rude.' It was not flattering or anything to be proud of. But it was most certainly the truth.
Here is a little piece of Melissa trivia for you: I have no high school diploma. Most of my life I was an honour student, top of my class without even trying. Then high school happened and I got bored and broken hearted. Would I advocate for a young person to leave high school? Fuck no. But what's done is done and it's been way too long to feel bad about being a child who didn't quite fit into the system, so I've decided to make my own.
For now, I'm chipping away at what I've built so far. It's small but it is mighty because behind it all is a girl who has had to fight her way through a life that never felt quite right. Now, she's making it right for her.
Here are some pretty flowers.