As I have mentioned in a couple of my previous posts, my good friend Jenny Ferry has asked yours truly to be a speaker at a series of workshops in 2009. There are several portions, including finance, career, relationships, nutrition and exercise and my portion; style/self-concept. As many of you know I left the fashion industry about 5 years ago to go back to school to get my B.S. in Kinesiology. What some people don't know is why I left the fashion industry in the first place...
Immediately after I graduated from Fashion Careers of California College, I beat out 4 other interns from my school to land a job as an assistant buyer at a chain of surf shops. I thought it was my dream job! Soon after I got the job I realized why that position had been a revolving door for so long. I worked long hours, wasn't paid enough, didn't have enough training, was over-worked and the upper management was, well, awful to say the least. I kept thinking a had to stick it out, I wasn't a quitter and so many girls would kill for that job! After a few months just about every person who had a position higher than myself had made me cry and I chalked it up to needing thicker skin and I was just learning the ropes. I assumed the vice president of the company hated me (which was the most intimidating woman I had ever met), but one day her admin assistant told me she overheard her telling the president of the company that I was the "it" girl at the company. I kept telling myself this was my stepping stone to bigger things and I needed to just stick it out for a few years.
Then things just got worse. When my boss knew I was at my limit she would tell me over and over again how wonderful I was and what would she ever do without me. As I sat there at 9 pm on a Friday night, knowing I would be there in the morning on Saturday too, I really started to think about my future. Did I want to do this forever? Was it my ambition to work in fashion and dedicate my career to it? No, and believe me when I say I mean nothing against anyone that does, it just wasn't what I felt that I was supposed to do. I was sticking it out and trying to get ahead for the wrong reasons. And thank God I realized it when I was only 25.
I know I was put here to be a leader, make a change and better myself and others. That's why I am so excited to be a part of these workshops! I'm not going to simply tell these girls how to dress, they can get a $12 subscription to a fashion magazine to do that. This is much, MUCH bigger. I am passionate that your self worth, self esteem and self-confidence are the guiding lights to build a better you! Our image and how we portray it sends a message to others of how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us. And many of us are confused about what our style really is and if it's really "us", or how society is dressing us. It's all intertwined and I can't wait to share what I have learned with others.
So, check it out if you haven't already, the Crest of Your Life Workshops, here
In my life and especially in the somewhat recent past, I have been judged. And I'm not talking the "Oh, how great for Andrea that she is doing so well" I mean the downright dirty, "She is a blah, blah, blah (insert your imagination here)" Granted, the people that said these terrible things were not people that I associate with, nor do they know me at all. And I know that those things are not true. However, when it happened and my core character was slammed, I was so angry...no angry doesn't describe it, I was so infuriated that someone that does not know me could actually form the words out loud to say such hideous and ugly things about me AND that it was below me to defend myself to these people well, you get the picture. I was pretty mad. And the worst part was that I have done it too, to others.
So, when it happened to me, boy was that a pivotal moment in my life. Who was I to judge someone else? I don't know their thoughts, their emotions, their struggles. I have not walked a single step in their shoes, nor will I ever, so how on earth can I say what is right or wrong for them?
During one of my weekends at the Coaches Training Institute I had a coaching session where I had to "sit" with these feelings. My homework was to judge others (silently). When I was given this homework assignment I was literally sick to my stomach. My hands started sweating and I told my coach this. He said, "Good. Then obviously you need to do this" That day I had to look at my friends, one by one, people that I had grown so close to and in my mind, judge them. It was awful. However, it was a great exercise because it solidified my core value of not judging others.
We're all human beings doing the best we can in this world. And we all want the same things: To love and to be loved. I would hope we all strive to be good people and to be happy. So when it's all said and done, let's try not to judge others too harshly.