Monday, November 4, 2013

To My Fashionista Friend

I have decided to write letters to the people who have shaped me into the person I am today. In the olden days I would mail these off using the post office. In today's world I post them on my blog.

This is one to my fashionista friend, 

It was one of the first things I noticed about you. How beautiful you were, put together and a smile that was wrapped flawlessly in a deep shade of lipstick. I thought it was the lipstick that drew my eye, but I know now that it is your smile. Your perpetual smile that lights up a room. 

I was once intimidated by your clothes, your sense of style. I wondered what you thought seeing me dressed yet again in yoga pants and a fleece. My Ugg boots long out of style and my lips smeared with clear balm. I knew I didn't belong in your world. 

Except I was wrong. You don't care how I am dressed when we sit together in the coffee shop. It's not that you don't notice because you do comment when I have a cute top on or when I actually remember to put on some lip gloss. But what I am wearing, how I look doesn't change how you view me... the real me. I thought it did. But I was wrong. 

When I got over myself, when I stopped worrying that you were thinking I was a lazy slob who doesn't care enough to pull myself together, when I stopped judging you defensively, I got to know you. And you are one of the nicest people I know. Seriously. It took months and months before I ever heard you say an unkind word about anyone. And then it was only in reference to a problem you were actually trying to solve. You genuinely want the best for everyone. When I got to know you, I saw your fashionista ways differently. 

What I learned from you is that you love fashion. You enjoy looking at the newest trends and finding just the right item to add to your closet. You like to dress up. You find joy in putting the right accessories together to complete an outfit. And you do it so well. 

But knowing that you enjoy fashion freed me up to be myself. Someone who wants to be comfortable in my clothes. Someone who doesn't think about what I am wearing to school pick up because I am too busy reading a new book. Recognizing you enjoy the getting ready part of going out, helped me to understand that we are all different and that it is okay. 

Understanding my friends' various hobbies, passions, and priorities, has helped me to let go of all the shoulds of this world. I don't like scrapbooking but I have friends who do. My kids will just have to make do with photo albums, or more accurately zip drives with pictures on them because I can't remember the last time I actually ordered prints. But I love to read. I have a stack of books in our library basket and a long wish list on Amazon. I am always looking for new books to read and I like to tell people about my newest find. But I don't expect everyone to love reading or to make time for it. It's my thing. I get that. And now I get that fashion can be someone's thing without me feeling like I have to keep up. 

But here's the thing about good friendships. When you spend enough time with someone, you start to appreciate their loves as well. So when I needed new glasses, I asked you to help me find a pair that made me look like a hipster writer and not a spinster hermit. I started to notice your cute purse or boots and when I needed to buy new ones, I asked for help. And you created a whole Pinterest page for me. When I moved away, you would go shopping with me via picture texts and gave me the confidence to try some new styles and buy some cute new boots. You shared your love with me and some of it rubbed off. Not in a, I have to be dressed right to keep my friend, but in a wow my friend has amazing style so I am going to take advantage of her fashion sense. 

So to my fashionista friend, I say thank you. Thank you not only for helping me shop for cuter clothes and helping me find my own style in the process, but thank you for showing me that it is okay to love fashion or to not care about fashion. Thank you for helping me understand that we all have our things, often several things, but we don't have to be all things.

Thank you mostly for being such a good friend to me.

I miss you!


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