As I sit here at my computer on a rainy January morning with completely unseasonal warm temperatures outside for Connecticut this time of year, I am feeling a sense of calm and ease. I have jazz music playing to fill the quiet of my house while my son is at school and daughter is painting. I always need music playing in my house. it does something to me that I can not describe. I find it extremely important for my children as well to listen, embrace, and understand all different styles of music. There is so much culture that goes into music and I love to have that energy around at all times. When I was young I always found it so uncomfortable when I was in a car with someone, say a friends parent and they had the radio shut off. I never understood how someone could drive in complete silence. It is so not me. As an adult I understand now that some people require silence to think about ideas, their day, goals, what to make for diner, and so on. I however am the opposite. That is one of the little facts about my lifestyle and you will grow to learn more about the Parisian way that works for me. Some people may question why I have chosen to embrace a completely different culture that I am not even close to being a part of, I am not French, I have never even been to France though I dream of one day living there. I am not a poser and I am not pretending to be something I am not, what I have done is unbecome everything that I am not.
The year of 2017 was a huge huge growing experience for me. In today's world of online social media I had this fear within me of having to "keep up with the Jones" type of attitude, but for who? What was I gaining from this, no one honestly ever gains from this type of mindset. I felt pressures from all types of social media platforms within myself to have to keep up with. I thought to myself well if she is doing this type of business venture than I have to try that too, or she is successful and wearing that style of clothing than I have to as well, or she is this type of artist maybe I am that one too. Notice I repeated the word "she" and never "he". These were all the ridiculous high school level thoughts and yearning to be a part of the "popular girls" mindset. I am 35 years old, I have not been in High School for quite some time now so why was I thinking this way still? Who cares right, who cares! For some reason though I did. I got lost in this competitive industry of beauty that I love, However only competitive in my own head and honestly with myself. Now I have learned through all of this that in business you never fail, you only learn. That my friends is exactly what I did, boy did I learn a lot. In this tornado of thoughts in my head I found the person that was really me. I backtracked all the way back to almost 15 years ago. Before the age of social media and when we still had dial up AOL. Who was that girl? That girl was strong, independent, knew who she was and wanted to be. what happened to her? Well she lost herself somewhere along the way. She however is no longer lost.
I remembered I bought a book back in 2005 called "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano, I was in my early 20's maybe 22 or 23 and I was working for Sephora at the time (also a French company) and my parents had just returned from a marvelous trip to Paris. France was all around me. I had heard about this book from watching Oprah one afternoon and immediately went to Barnes and Noble to purchase it. I was completely drawn to this book and everything that it captured. It is not a diet book although it does have many great recipes within it. It is a lifestyle book about the Parisian way. How they live, how they embrace life, embrace taste in food and wine, how they take time to enjoy moments, and how they work to live not live to work. Also on an episode of Oprah, George Clooney was the guest and she asked him why he has chosen to live in Italy. now Italian I am so some may wonder why I have not embraced an Italian lifestyle instead? The truth is they are very very similar lifestyles, almost identical. I have not chosen one over the other, I just really really love Paris and beauty it holds in heart more than any other city in the world. George Clooney had said that the Italians work to live, where here in America we live to work. This is so so very true in every way. I experienced this lifestyle first hand with a family trip to Italy in 2000 after graduating High School. I had gained some weight throughout my senior year, it didn't really bother me though, I wasn't uncomfortable in my own skin which is good. On our trip we ate and ate and ate amazing food and pastas, we walked, did tours, and so many great cultural things. What amazed me though when we returned from our 2 week trip, and after eating so much food, I had actually lost the 15 pounds that I had gained, it had nothing to do with the walking because I still went to the gym and walked at home. It was the lifestyle. So George Clooney was onto something and his statement has always stayed with me.
So now here I am, after a year spent lost, confused, unsure even ready to walk away from an industry that I had belonged to my entire life. Who was I really? I definitely learned who I was not. I thought back again to my early 20's, to that confident girl, who dressed chic, wore blazers, heels, wore scarves, had beautiful purses, styled hair always, never and I mean never left the house without makeup on or sweatpants, who had a collection of perfume bottles, different types of skin care items, lotions, body washes, never had chipped nail polish or mismatched fingernails and toes, lived a life a elegance, who admired Coco Chanel and her history, who drank wine, and purchased a lifestyle book on French women. none of this is superficial though some may view it that way. It is merely taking pride in who you are and how you introduce yourself to the world on a daily basis. That girl is still me and I am still her! It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I started researching the Parisian lifestyle, their ways, their beliefs, and I found fascinating women such as Tonya Leigh.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. So my journey of trying new things had come to end, and without that journey I have never become the person again who I really am. I mean my business is call Elegant Beauty Studios and I needed to embrace that life of elegance again. I looked at my closet of complete disappointment. I went through each item and had to decide do I keep this or do I donate it? Most of which I donated, some I kept. holding onto these items meant holding onto to something that was no longer here. Piece by piece I am now adding to my closet, changing my business strategy and what Elegant Beauty Studios is as a bridal business. I am blessed to have had this journey because what I do know 100% about myself is that I am not afraid to try, because if you do not try new things than you will always wonder what if and I personally could not live that way. What is the worst that will happen? It doesn't work out? Oh well, at least you/I tried.
So this is my story, this is me. I am open and truthful because not everything is the perfect Facebook/Instagram status that we project into the social media world. I have come a long way, learned a lot about living and living truthfully. I suffer from anxiety and through this recent shift in lifestyle my anxiety is getting better. I believe it is because I am living in the present and embracing moments now, not worry about things in the future or in the past because there is nothing that can be done about either one of those. So cheers to the Parisian Lifestyle and living in the moments!