What I would tell my younger self…
This young girl starting out in a world of modeling. She has a lot of lessons she will learn…most not until a decade after she leaves that world behind for good.
The funny thing about me going into modeling is my joke I carried about how the world you live in as a child often tells you it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside. And then enter the world of modeling. When it’s all about the cover package. Not only there but in adulthood where you find that looks do matter. From jobs to dating to friendships. We are a shallow people. But even I admit the guilt.
What is even more funny is that as I carried such a joke, I had never once been told it as a child by my own mother.
If I could I would sit and have a long conversation with that girl about how the world will expect much less of you than you should of yourself. Much less than what your potential can reach. And not to let society and the world hold you back because they can’t think that high.
Today as we have an easier access to bullies around the world with social media, the young girls also have more access to Girl Power and being a strong girl/woman and that throwing like a girl is a good thing. Hell, now they ‘own’ the 2016 Summer Olympics. Little girls now ‘be like fuck that shit’ when told they should act like a lady or go be some ones house wife or aren’t strong enough. It took me until my thirtes to reach that ability. Though I DID do the amazing, I eventually did falter from it as well.
I would have told that girl to follow her instincts a lot more than she did. I would most of all have allowed her to know what opportunities existed. That as she cut and taped pictures of architecture to scrapbooks perhaps being an architect was a career path possibility. That as much as she was working and striving in her sport and nobody really supported her through it, the keeping on with future ideas would pay off. That those late nights spent typing away on her typewriter had a ring to it for her future. That her organizational skills and mind that immediately built solutions instead of problems would take her far, and could take her even farther in the world of business and now work for her in the world of writing.
It is just something that I think about a lot, how a very little knowledge of what one was good at could turn into a job. And what jobs were even out there besides “Nurse or teacher” as she would hear for women back then and “policeman or fireman or Astronaut” as she heard for her brother. Nobody ever recognized her skill with numbers or that trigonometry wasn’t a usual hobby for a young girl as it had been for her. I would hope that if I should have children I would not only teach them to take a test and teach them daily skills but also teach them of what opportunities even exist out in this great big world.
But, thankfully, life is not too short and I eventually learned much. Sure there are a lot of other things I may have – could have – and even now wish I had done (or not done)…but life also has it’s way of working out and I am truly happy with what I am doing and where I am going with it. There is no ‘time lost’ as what I did end up ever doing taught me a lot for every future thing to do and heck, I ended up in some pretty weird, neat, and definitely odd for me jobs along the way, also meeting many people along the way.
My potential? Eh, not so much reached maybe at all times, but interesting nonetheless. Building off what skills along the way that weirdly work well for me now. So who knows? And would I have ever listened anyway? That young girl? Well, I would have perhaps bought the pants off of my New York Agent and that amazing office building we had, too, and shown the fashion industry a thing or two because lord knows I walked in and saw the problems…and even then had many solutions for them.
But then I was much more quiet and meek so perhaps one of the biggest biggest BIGGEST things I would have told this girl right here….speak up. Voice what the hell is in your head! And just do it dammit because it will really turn into something big. You. ARE. That. Good.
But would she have listened?
Actually, to this, I think she would have.