Jan 16, 2013

A very long post: 

Last night my friend Jaclyn asked me to speak to her young women's group on "finding who you are & being okay with your own personal style" I had a great time meeting these girls and their other leaders. It was my first time speaking to a group in depth about my life growing up, feeling insecure, and other personal issues.

Then when I went to bed last night I couldn't sleep... my mind was flooded with all these things I forgot to talk about and wish I would have remembered...and then basically went back and relived my some childhood memories, finally falling asleep around 5am...

Some pictures of me when I was little ... feeling often like an ugly duckling and many times awkward, comparing myself to the other cute girls around me at church & school ....not being okay with who I was and knowing my self worth. I think this is a normal thing to feel when you're young but too bad you don't know that when you're young huh... :/


I'm a little older now in these photos and had pretty much grown into my personality [which I believe has maintained consistency to this day] extrovert, loyal friend, loves to make people laugh... but still not feeling totally okay with myself... i.e. looks and how people perceive me.

When I entered high school that's when I really started to figure out my personal style, it took a long time...but it's when I officially started paying attention to what I liked and didn't like. Again, this is normal for most teens I think. Through most of my childhood and teen years I had pretty long hair...and never thought anything of it except that it was a constant issue of how to maintain
that wild thick mane of mine... wearing it in a bun or ponytail was always my go to....


Well, it wasn't until the end of my junior year of high school that I realized how much impact hair can make on the people around you and in yourself.... I was in beauty school through a program my high school had set up...and one day I decided that I wanted to chop all my hair off. With out asking my parents for permission [I was 17 and thought that my hair was mine for some reason] I chopped it all off at the beauty school that day... the haircut wasn't the best, but I loved it. It felt like a weight [literally] had been lifted off my shoulders, and I felt like a new girl inside... 1/2 of the people around me in my life at the time, did not have the same feelings and because of their own insecurities started to treat me differently.... meaning, they weren't as nice. :( Had I known the repercussions that would have followed after cutting my hair, I may not have gone through with it...but my personality by then was very independent and one that didn't care what other's thought...yet, I still struggled inside with my own inner/outer beauty. What a weird dichotomy.  

A couple months later we had moved to Alpine Utah [what I like to call Mormon Hollywood] as planned and that was when I really started to have fun with my hair. Bleaching it, coloring my bangs different colors.... nothing unusual now, probably still is in Alpine, or at least looked down on still...but again, it was interesting to see people's reactions. I never have been the type of person to do "crazy" things to get a reaction, but i'm sure I came across that way. So for the next couple years I had my short hair...and honestly most of the time, it was a haircut that I could never really get comfortable in because I myself wasn't comfortable in my own skin. 


Two years later I move to New York, a couple weeks shy of turning 19 and it was a year later that I started growing my hair out again. The 9 years I spent in New York were some really good ones. Good for the reason that I truly found out who I was inside and out. This is what our twenties are all about, right?  And then I enter Parsons School of Design, and in enters my self worth again. Feeling more confident but definitely insecure, not knowing whether or not i'm as good of an artist/designer as I thought I was. One thing that I knew for sure though was that I was never going to be a high fashion designer [I admire so much those who are!] I knew early on that the styles I was attracted to had some sort of folk art/heirloom quality. I have always loved anything Native American just because of their craftsmanship and the way they utilized simple patterns...anyways, i'm at Parsons seeing everyone around design these gorgeous amazing pieces...and then compared to my stuff... it felt dowdy? :/ I questioned inside CONSTANTLY whether or not I should give up what really speaks to me, and do what my classmates are doing...or just stick to what I know truly makes me happy. Well I stuck to what I loved and then came Senior Year and my thesis presentation. My collection was based off the book "The Ox Cart Man" illustrated by Barbara Cooney you can see the collection HERE I was so nervous to present my teen collection, because I  was not presenting my with class in front of the childrens wear panel but in front of the evening wear panel due to me being out of town the week before. So when I say evening wear, I mean these dresses you guys were stunning! Just beautiful, and then there's little old me and my children's book collection talking about my wool ice skating skirt and hand knit dress... I was feeling INSANELY nervous. My name gets called and it's my turn to step in front of the panel  [and  about 500 other people in the audience]and talk about my collection. Each student had 9 min. to talk and you could go on if the panel liked you....well most of the panel really seemed to like me and my collection, because I was there longer than 9 min. I do remember this one older gentleman though just starring me up and down and never saying a word, he was so intimidating and still to this day I sometimes wonder what he was thinking.  

But I remember one specific question that was asked from Mickey Boardman [editor of Paper Magazine pictured below] and this was his question: "I adore your collection, but how do you fit in here among people who are doing high fashion?" said in his hilarious feminine twang. :) Isn't he so cute!?! I wish I was related to him! :-[)


I don't remember my response [luckily though I do have my whole presentation on video] but I know it made the whole audience laugh. After everyone in that group had presented the panel then votes for who their favorite was which then gets put into the voting for the opportunity to show your collection at the gala dinner. I didn't show at the gala and I knew I wouldn't anyways, that would have been fun...but was never a goal of min. However, after the presentations were over, Mickey Boardman and another lady [I wish for the life of me I could remember her name] who was a contributor to Vogue magazine rushed up to me afterwards to give me a hug me and tell me how much they loved me, my presentation and my collection. This little experience has been one that has definitely shaped my life going forward. One of things they both said to me was that they were excited to see where I go with Roxy Marj and hopefully that I will continue designing and staying true to myself! :) I'm sure they have forgotten all about me and those impressionable words they said, but I have never forgotten about them. 



It's little moments like that that we have to cling on to for dear life and TRUST the people who see our value and self worth even if we don't at the moment. I left Parsons and New York City feeling good about myself and what was to come. However, moving here to Utah brought on a whole new idea of self worth which i've talked about here on my blog before....

But back to my hair... I basically came full circle with deciding 6 months after getting married [almost 2 years ago!] that I wanted to cut my long hair off. I went shoulder length this time to be "safe"....but then 4 months later I decided to take it short again. :) This time I truly loved it, and what made me love it even more was how much Jesse loved it. I gotta a lot of interesting reactions - ones that were all too similar back to when I was 17 ...However, this time... I knew and still know my inner beauty. I feel confident with myself now that if even I was to get into some freak accident and my face burned off that I would still be myself and love who I was... Our self worth is constantly challenged every day when we have media in our faces 24/7 telling us what is beautiful. It's really hard to focus on the inside when everything around you is focusing on the outside. I've learned through my experiences though that if you can take care of the inside first...then your outside just seems to naturally take of itself...and soon...you will start to feel whole. :] 



Lastly, I made this little print for the girls last night to take home - it's a picture of me when I was 18...wearing a wig and paper glasses obviously... I remember laughing so hard after seeing this photo... it's a good reminder to have fun in life, and be comfortable in your own skin. :) 


a little video that makes me pretty emotional inside


*p.s. I apologize if some or all of this didn't make any sense. I've never claimed to be a good writer [I have obvious syntax problems] but I am a document-or of my life, and this is the best I can do when describing my thoughts and telling stories. :]


13 comments:

Jane said...

i loved reading this and i bet the YW just ate up every word you said to them. that little handout is the BEST too. Growing up is so fun, huh. Well at least fun to look back on and remember awkward times and confusing times and some mistakes. and no kid can avoid the process, but it's so important for YW to see leaders that are "real" people. I know I looked up to my YW leaders and definitely to my sisters to show me what I am striving for. It's important for everyone to remember, but especially the young people, that change is constant. Our entire lives we will continue to alter things about us, our styles and tastes, and ideas will grow. So enjoy it! embrace it!

Jaclyn said...

i will forever be grateful for you and what you said madame. you nailed it! thanks again for getting so personal and intimate with us. such a good night!

Egan Metcalf said...

This is so great, Roxy! I would have LOVED meeting you as a yw!! I was so awkward and to see a beautiful, confident and successful women like you would have really given me the hope I needed. I love your hair btw! I was always a bowl of nerves and I just cant imagine presenting to a big crowd like that when I was in school!!

Abby said...

This resonated with me (even 20-somethings can benefit from this reminder). I've been fighting for more authenticity in my life for the past few years. I recently had a longtime friend tell me she "missed the old Abby". That was pretty hurtful, as I feel more myself now than I did when I met her 8 years ago. I felt rejected and sad. But for the first time, I didn't feel bad about the person I was, I just felt hurt that my friend didn't care for who I'd become. I still look forward to the possibilities and friendships that come along with being comfortable with myself. Thanks for writing about this. You gave such a gift to those girls!

Abby said...

P.S. Do you mind if I print out that photo and put it up in my office? :)

rachael said...

this was such a good post...i emailed you lady!

Jessica Marie said...

Wow! This is so inspiring and love the message behind it! I'm sure younger girls look up to you in such a big way! I absolutely love your hair!!! I am so opposite, as most of my younger years, my hair was always short and I never thought I could pull off long hair since it is so thick and wavy. Now I'm learning to love it! :)

Alice Osborne said...

I wept as I read this...so tender and so honest. WOW!

ROXY MARJ said...

Man, I wish my blog was the kind where I could comment on each person's comment...I need to figure that one out.

Everyone's comments, I couldn't agree more!

.................................

Jane, I too looked up to a couple YW leaders, I was lucky to have a few who seemed to really love all of us girls unconditionally...knowing that someone really cares about you even if you aren't the prettiest, or the smartest, funniest...or are just super shy really sets a blueprint almost for your life huh. :)

Jaclyn, anytime! And if you ever want to bring your girls over to my house and do a craft night or something...hit me up! :-[) You've got some awesome girls there!!

Egan, you're so sweet. Thank you for your comment. :) Luckily we did practice runs almost every week our Senior year to get prepared.... this helped a ton, but it's so different when it is the day of. :/


Abby, i'm so glad that my post resonated with you..and that you were able to glean something from it. I'm sorry for your friend that doesn't see changing for the better a good thing...what I gather from this small bit of info is that she herself is probably struggling with who she is inside and not knowing how to handle that...when you see others changing for the better...and you [in general] are staying stagnant, it's hard to be happy for others. I've been in your shoes before and really the only thing you can do [in my opinion] is to still be kind to her, but continue on your path of finding yourself...and sometimes you have to say goodbye to people in order to do this. It's a hard and sometimes sad thing...but I promise you, you will love yourself even more. Side note: I make it a point to only surround myself with people who are positive and uplifting...and who are honest with me and want the best...as I try to be that same kind of person for my friends... and another thing... to help figure out who you are and what you like, going to the library for a good couple hours will help in this dept. Get a lot of history/art/biography/nature etc. type books and go through them marking all the pages of things/people/items that speak to you...then make copies of these pages and look at them constantly..and start dressing & decorating according to what YOU like not what is currently trendy... I suggest using the library and books rather than magazines and/or pinterest because this method will be more true to you and there aren't any outside influences...make sense? :] And YES, you can totally print that picture out for yourself! Thanks for asking... I will actually have it in my shop for sale, and would totally love to send one to you for free if you would like. Just email me your address: roxymarjdesign@gmail.com

Rachael- thank you!, I will respond back to your email today. :)


Jessica, thanks for your sweet comment. :) I look up to our young women as much as they look up to me if not more probably! How funny about your hair. AH...HAIR! Well, you pull off long hair very beautifully! :) xo

Mom, thanks... :] hope you didn't cry too long. :/

Laura Lee said...

I LOVED this. What an amazing experience. Isn't it crazy how such small things can be what you cling on for the rest of your life? What if those people decided they didn't have time to say that to you or they figured you didn't need to hear it because you were "doing just fine"

That is what motivates me to never ignore a prompting to say something nice to someone. You never know how much it will mean to them, even if you think they are confident enough and don't need the boost, it maybe be exactly what they need.

You are amazing :)

Jill said...

I loved reading about your story, I would have loved to see you present at Parsons.

Erin said...

Roxy, you just make me want to move to New York! Those girls were lucky to hear you. And I love your hair. And I saw your New Year's card at Nancy's and it's the best one I've seen all year!

ROXY MARJ said...

Laura! I LOVE your comment! Seriously, you hit it on the nail! There have been times when I have ignored a prompting to say something because of thinking "oh...they hear this all the time" but you are exactly right...it may be what they need...and why should we [I] be the one to decide whether or not someone needs the compliment or not? Anyways, you're a good example and I will remember what you said. :) xo

Jill, thank you. :) You would looove watching the presentations. Really, it gives you goosebumps... especially because I remember seeing a couple different people present and you knew instantly that they were gonna be big...those were some really special moments. :)

Erin, you're so funny! If Megan and I make a trip to New York together again you should definitely come with us! You would love it. And our New Years card...it was all Harley's idea! :-[) Now tell Megan that my dog's are barkin! She'll know what I mean! :-[) xo

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