Today I had the absolute pleasure of making one of my life long dreams a reality. I got to attend shows for New York Fashion Week. I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a little girl, playing my Barbie Fashion Designer computer game (90’s kid) all through my teenage years where I lived and breathed movies like The Devil Wears Prada (“florals…for spring…groundbreaking”, such a classic) and 13 Going On 30.
I have a few more shows to attend. I’m in New York City, feeling very Carrie Bradshaw, the weather is perfect and I’ve actually lost 5 pounds from walking so much which is not the point of this blog post but YOU GUYS CAN WE CELEBRATE?! With pasta?And some sauv?! Oh wait already did that, my bad.
So with all of these amazing things happening, my question is why am I not running through the streets, dancing and singing with my arms wide open 500 Days Of Summer style? You know?
When I was in the actual shows they were electrifying. Seeing all of the gorgeous girls with the amazing outfits in attendance and the killer collections strutting down the runway was truly inspiring and magical and just fucking cool.
But in between, while I was wandering around the West Village alone, taking coffee and wine breaks (separately…kind of) and getting dinner I was left with this bizarre feeling of emptiness. At first I wondered if it could be that I was experiencing this alone. I am someone who really enjoys spending time solo but I also get excited about spending time with friends and sharing amazing experiences with them. So was I just lonely? Was I the kind of girl who just couldn’t handle an entire day alone?
I though about this as I swirled pasta around my fork (I wasn’t joking about having already celebrated) and took a sip of my Prosecco. I looked around the beautiful outdoor restaurant at all of the couples and tables filled with friends and fun and laughter. And that just wasn’t it. I work from home. I spend a lot of time by myself and I genuinely like it. While obviously it would have been great to have a fashion loving bestie by my side it wasn’t mandatory.
I checked my phone and scrolled through Instagram. I looked at all of these beautiful pictures of my favorite bloggers traipsing through Manhattan, going from one high profile event to another. I saw their amazing outfits and their fabulous blowouts and their adorable boomerangs and I felt this pit in my stomach and THAT WAS IT. That was why I was feeling weird.
Social media envy is a real thing people. It has the power to take you out of the moment and into another person’s world and when you look up from your phone all of a sudden the world around you doesn’t seem quite as magical. Not as glamorous. You wonder why you can’t be that girl. You wonder why you can’t have those things. You wish you could live that life. It sucks. And it’s not cute.
I realized that while I was having an absolutely fabulous day filled with fabulous events I was feeling envious of the girls I follow on Instagram who were in my opinion apparently, doing way cooler things.
Before my last show of the day and after I finished my delicious celebratory pasta I took a stroll to a park near by and sat in front of this fountain. I was the only one there and I looked at the water gliding down the wall and thought “what is wrong with me?“. Why am I feeling like this? Why am I wasting these precious moments so I can just feel sad and bummed out? I thought about how when I was a little girl I wanted so badly to be a writer. I just knew that it was my thing. I thought about how I loved picking out my outfits for school and how amazing I felt when I walked down the halls in an outfit I loved. I thought about how amazing it was that I found a way to combine those two passions into one. I thought about how someday, I was going to look back at this moment and I would be so proud of myself for putting myself out there and getting my big break and making shit happen.
I thought about how someday I would write about that moment and talk about my first time at New York Fashion Week and I would want to remember feeling exhilarated. Feeling like I had done something amazing.
So I put my phone down (which is obviously no easy feat when you’re on social media 24/7 for a living) and I closed my eyes and I thought about all of the ways I was grateful for that moment. I thought about all of the reasons why what I was doing was special and important and most of all, fucking cool.
I let go of the stress and the anxiety and the constant wondering of what would come next. Of where I’d be next month. Of when I’d be doing the things that those beautiful girls in those little tiny squares were doing. I just let it go.
Sometimes you just have to give yourself a reality check. You have to be the bad cop. But then also at the same time be the good cop. You know what I mean?
So how do you stop wishing you had someone else’s life? Finding gratitude for what you do have is the first step. And if you can, try to insert some social media fasting into your day when possible. As someone who takes pictures of everything, I can say with full confidence that in the moments that I don’t document everything they prove to be just as memorable, if not more so.
Think about all of the insanely awesome things you’ve already accomplished. If you’re a weirdo like me you can even write them down. Celebrate them and try not to give into the tempting and often way too easy default of playing down your success.
Then think about all of the insanely awesome things that you will accomplish. Get excited for them. Celebrate them. Dream about them. Be about them.
Knowing how to give yourself a great pep talk is truly an essential adult skill. Because at the end of the day, the only person you have to stay with forever is yourself. Being able to shake off the Instagram envy and actually allow yourself to enjoy your life is critical. Otherwise you’ll wake up one day and not remember any of life’s most precious moments. Like sitting in a cafe, staring out the window as fellow fashionistas stroll by while enjoying an iced coffee and some sweet peace of mind.
Just wanted to get real with you all for a second. I hope that’s cool.