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Swimming in the deep end with Olivia Palermo

OP_1Olivia Palermo is a fashion Goddess to me. I’m her in my head. A legend in my own mind. And yet in reality I am lightyears from her unapologetic take on style. Lightyears. I don’t follow trends, unless I can hide that I’m doing it. I also don’t take big risks…just small calculated risks. If “everyone” is wearing something, I’m the last to embrace it, but boldy original I am not. I’d love to tell you that it’s because of my unique sense of style, but it’s equally my “you can’t make me” attitude showing up. I like being different and brag about being a Fruit Loop in a world of Cheerios yet I secretly want to be accepted so the result is a weak attempt at unique. Certainly not boring and predictable, but not too weird. Because weird demands being completely vulnerable.

I don’t want my nose pierced nor any other non-ear part of my body, but I wanted my cartilage pierced forever. Is that tacky? Too young for me? Not what a mommy should do? Last month I finally took the leap. I actually did two. Okay so it was two little earrings but it felt so freeing. Empowering. How did a couple of silver studs in my upper ear, hidden by my crazy mane unless it’s an updo kinda day, evoke a new sense of power and freedom? Because I did what I had before been afraid to do. I followed ME, and no one else. I also secretly want a few tattoos. And let me be clear…not wanting a full sleeve or several tatoos isn’t my fear talking. I just don’t love that look. But a few strategically placed drawings on my skin? Oh yes. Come to momma. So why am I writing about it instead of just doing it? Because I always seem to follow my gut just far enough, and then let my head get in the way. Do I need to wait until I’m 80 to dress for me and operate without rules or “Is this too much?” going on in my head? I sure hope not.

I’m as close as I’ve ever been, really. I went blonde. Not risky, but certainly a slightly bold move for a deep brunette who had never been highlighted. It was like swimming in the kiddie pool while my toddler pals were playing on the splash pad. But what I really wanted, was to ditch the water wings and jump into the deep end. What I day dreamed about while splashing in the chest high waters of fashion risk, was to do a cannon ball off the high dive! Oh if only I could be that bold. A few months later I did at least approach the deep end. I tried a peek-a-boo splash of pink in my hair. That tiny hint of cotton candy color that likely didn’t even get noticed, freed my soul. Just a bit. I felt pretty bold until I saw my sister-in-law at a fundraiser. Good lord I felt like a teenager who got caught smoking. I actually blamed it on my kids! No joke. I said, “What pink? Oh that pink? The kids wanted me to do it. Crazy kids.” The pink went away. It was as if I walked up the steps of the experience I coveted, stepped onto the board, heard my Mom yell “Jill what are you doing??” and then before jumping, I climbed back down. Back to the kiddie pool.

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I know that when we dim our light it shouts “Play small, ladies! Play very, very small.” And yet I keep doing it. I justify it by coloring outside the lines some of the time. It’s coming, though. I can feel it. Just like diving into this blog. The new contract for my life is Powerful, Joyful and Free. And there’s no room in a contract like that, for hiding a hint of pink or a couple of extra earrings.

A contract like that is begging for a tattoo. Or three.

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