“I wanted to be independent.”
Sitting down to conduct research on an upcoming assignment for my internship class, I came across a video that was the second in a series of fashion designers opening up their studios to The New York Times. Seeing that their second feature was on Diane von Furstenburg – I immediately swooned. Opening up your home is a very intimate thought, and to be invited into Diane von Furstenburg’s space seemed like some magical secret that I just couldn’t wait to discover. It felt like my style icon was inviting me to tea, or something of the equivalent.
(Note: for copyright reasons, I could not insert the video into my post. Please click the link below to watch the video, and read the article.)
Her office is just as you would expect. Colorful, vibrant, full of life, charming, electric. Words that I could imagine describing DvF perfectly. I admire this designer for a plethora of reasons. For her charitable works, a positive spirit, timeless beauty, artistic vision, and her wisdom to women all inspire and light a fire in me to pursue my passions in the fashion industry.
So while I was on this DvF kick (it isn’t the first), I continued to search for more content on both her and the brand. I came across another clip regarding Diane’s take on confidence. It’s filled with impactful and moving words. Take a look.
“So the more complacency you have with yourself, the better your life is. I was very lucky to discover that really early on.”
Complacency. Hm. Complacency is a terribly scary word. It’s a double-edged sword. Complacency can take a turn for the better or a turn for the worst. You get the point – it can have a double meaning. Regardless, we know DvF meant “for the better”, but I’d like to focus on another word instead that I believe she would 100% support. And that word is contentment.
As a 20-something on the verge of college graduation I am typing this piece on a style icon on my life and style blog while [ironically] sitting curled up on my couch, yoga pants on, hair all a mess, socks on feet, and a tent-sized tee to top it all off. I do not look stylish, cool, effortless, or chic. I look messy. But I savor days where I can lounge and wear a t-shirt that feels like a second layer of skin. It’s comfortable and since my current job requires a much, much different attire Monday-Thursday, I am taking advantage of being anything but the “stylish” person that my career path demands I take during the work week. I’m content, and comfortable. And what’s so cool is that lately, my whole life has felt like a big ball of contentment. I’m content with my internship, coworkers, new home, new city, new state, new friends, old friends, family, and faith that gets renewed and tested every single day. You could say I’m complacent, but more accurately so I’d like to say that I’m content.
How do you reach a plateau of contentment, though? I think, as young women the climb to contentment is an ongoing one. However, the very first step is to eliminate comparison. Eliminate jealousy, bitterness, envy. Living in a very stressful world that demands so much of us and that expects us to keep up with a certain criteria of beauty, intelligence, wit, and humor can leave you feeling drained, unequipped, and never good enough. But that’s just not true. What’s true is truth, what’s right is taking care of yourself, what’s best is eliminating comparison.
Of course we each have our own goals, our icons that we admire, and that’s all well, and necessary. But when we begin to belittle our own interests, our passions, and our own strengths because they may not be as impressive as the person’s staring back at you on your Facebook screen – we have encountered a serious problem. Comparison truly is the thief of all joy. And just as Diane said,
“You have to be true to yourself.“