My answer came to me at the Porter Flea Market in Nashville a few weeks ago. I’d recently purchased a squash blossom necklace on Etsy, and decided if there was ever a place to wear it, this place might be a good start. As I walked around and browsed through the vendors, I was inundated with compliments. The simple act of finding the courage to wear this necklace was making people see me in a new light. It was opening us up to one another.
So with this newfound aura of confidence, I found the strength to purchase another highly-coveted piece of the puzzle – a wide-brimmed western-style hat. I wore the heck out of it all day. And you know what? I got even more compliments. Because despite all my “fear” of looking different, looking like I was trying too hard to represent the Wild Woman inside – no one questioned why I was wearing it. No one stared at me like I was crazy. They believed me. For all they knew, this was who I’d always been. This was who I was meant to be.
What I’d failed to realize in my hesitancy of wearing that hat was that, once I faced the insecurity of making it a piece of me, I forgot it was even there until I saw my own reflection. And even then, I was simply reminded of just how right it looked in the glass door of that trendy Wedgewood-Houston brewery. Even though I was embracing some sort of “trend,” I was the only person who looked like me. In that moment, I was the most ME that I could be.
And maybe it’s these very moments that tell us something about being wild. Maybe being “wild” is just having the freedom and confidence to be ourselves.
All this to say, when we take a risk – a fashion risk, a writing risk, a business risk – we may worry it looks cultivated to others. We may worry to the point that we don’t take that risk at all. But if it speaks to something deeper inside of us, then it will be right. In fact, it will be perfect. It will say something that we don’t have to explain to strangers, because they’ll look and just know.
Whatever it is that you want to be – just be it. Because these silly little fashion pieces – like a squash blossom necklace and a big straw hat – are talismans. Talismans for me of my love and excitement about the cowboy, the pioneers, the American West, the desert, a sparse and barren land that somehow produces the strongest and most vibrant succulents. And your talismans – be it a vintage Louis Vuitton or a $5 neon t-shirt – say something just as unique about you.
So what’s the part of you that you’re afraid to let go?
What freak flag have you refused to fly for far too long? What is your wild, woman? Bow to it. Embrace it. Share it. And don’t give a damn what anyone else might think about it. Because it’s not about Them. It’s not about their follows or their likes or their comments. It’s not about whether They think it’s right or wrong or too trendy or dated or strange. It’s about what makes you feel the most like you. It’s about what makes you feel free and peaceful and wild. You just have to give it a chance.