I’ve got a great book I thumb through every now and then, Life is a Verb by Patti Digh. It’s an encouraging book about living intentionally. Last night I came across a chapter about excuses. Excuses are what kept me from thinking about style for so long. I won’t be able to figure it out. Trying new looks will be embarrassing. I don’t have enough money to buy the right things. I think you get it, right?
Patti shares a story about going to a comics convention with her young daughter Emma. Towards the end of their visit, Emma finally gathered enough courage to show her portfolio to some of the artists. At one point, Emma motioned to an illustration and said, “That’s not really a good one.” To which the artist she was speaking with said, “If you don’t like something, take it out of your portfolio. You don’t want to have anything in here that you need to make excuses for. You want to be proud of everything you put in front of people.”
I join with Patti in asking myself, “What in my portfolio (house, life, brain, relationships, wardrobe) should I keep? What should I sell? What should I toss? What have I been trying desperately to hide? What do I consistently make excuses for?”
Excuses can infiltrate my life and become a habit hard to shake. And that’s one reason I’ve been so grateful for this style challenge. In this instance of my life, I’m confronting and overcoming my excuses. And I’m becoming proud of what I present to people.
The trick is not how much pain you feel but how much joy you feel. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses. -Erica Jong