Picture this. It’s 2 o’clock on a Wednesday in Palm Beach, Florida. The weather is about as good as it gets, 75 degrees, sunny, with a refreshing breeze that blows by every now and then.
When planning this vacation, I had three primary objectives:
I’d achieved two of the three–now it was time to hit the boujee shopping strip, Worth Avenue, and see exactly what they had to offer.
Up until this point, I’d been strongly considering the idea of buying my first Chanel handbag. And if you know designer, you know this is what one might call, a *big deal*.
So here I am, standing outside of the Chanel store in all its glory. They have limited capacity so I have to wait a few minutes before I’m allowed in.
Within just a few minutes, I’m wandering around Chanel, my mask slyly covering the two pieces of tissue stuffed up my nostrils, hoping no one notices the allergy attack I’m experiencing. (Seriously. I can’t make this shit up.)
I’m so excited to be here. I can’t take in all of the pretty things fast enough–looking around, almost frantically–except not, cause duh, gotta play it ~c0ol~ in ***Chanel***.
A sales woman approaches me and with full confidence, I look her right in the eye and greet her, then enthusiastically inform her that I don’t currently own anything by Chanel and am *so* excited to find the perfect induction piece.
Uninterested, the sales woman instructs me to look around and let her know if she can grab me anything, then walks off.
…Talk about taking the wind out of a gal’s sails!
Immediately, I start to feel out of place and down right unwelcome.
*Note: I hate even admitting that, because no part of me actually subscribes to “fitting in” any environment. You know me, I’m all *yee-yee, rah-rah* for doing as you please, whenever you please, however you please. But today, I had to send myself a friendly reminder of that. *
Refusing to be defeated, I start looking around. Upon gazing at each beautiful item I pass, I also begin to notice that every other person in there is covered in designer… head. to. toe.
And I mean…that’s not a total shock, right?? Yet, for some reason, I was.
I, too, appreciate the finer things this world has to offer. I may spend some serious coin on a Gucci handbag, but you better believe that won’t stop me from talking to anyone, offering kindness, showing the world compassion, and still being a normal human being.
Don’t get me wrong, the women around me may have also been kind, midwestern-folk-at-heart, but from where I was standing, they sure didn’t seem like it.
I felt myself becoming increasingly uncomfortable. The whole place suddenly felt very…arrogant. Or, as retailers call it, “elevated“.
The shopping itself is beside the point.
This experience was a glaring reminder that we are all just people.
I have “nice” things, the people surrounding me clearly have “nice” things…but none of them felt nice. And that bothered me.
I mean shit, we all wake up and put our pants on the same way, as my mom used to say.
I have never been more repelled by Tom Ford heels…and immediately drawn to the mom and daughter lovingly shopping together. Both ooo-ing and ahh-ing over each new bag the salesperson showed them. Offering each other advice as they tried them on.
“REAL people, thank God!”, I thought to myself.
To further prove this point in my own mind, as I held these designer bags in my hands, to my surprise, they felt no different than any other some-what nice purse I’ve ever owned. (The only noticeable difference being the price tag, of course.) What they (the brand) charge you for is those famously beautiful little crossed C’s on the front–not the bag itself or how it serves you outside of those four walls.
I realized how much misinformed meaning we sometimes apply to our self-worth. Myself included.
Now, don’t get it twisted, while I was less than impressed with the service, that didn’t stop me from leaving with a cute ass pink handbag. But there’s more to this story.
Later, I had a girlfriend message me on Instagram. She said something very interesting… and painfully familiar. She said, “You know you’ve made it when you buy a Chanel bag.”
And I thought, fuck, if I haven’t had that same thought 1,000 times in my life.
Now here I am. Propped up in bed, typing this blog, staring across the room at my new Chanel handbag…
Have I “made” it?
No. I don’t think I have.
Do I feel extremely blessed to have the resources available to make such a luxurious purchase?
Do I feel somehow superior, better-off, or happier than those around me because of it?
Not in the slightest.
Now obviously, I realize my girlfriend meant no shallow intent in her comment–she was simply being a good friend, hyping me up about my exciting purchase!
Reading that sentence, though, I realized today that I too, believed owning a Chanel handbag would mean something *big* about my life. As if owning it might launch me into some greater, unknown, more powerful place where I would thrive without end!
Instead, it brought me back down to earth.
While this anecdote will not resonate with everyone–most of us do experience moments of self-doubt and feelings of being undeserving, as well as misplacing our self-worth.
I could have *easily* told myself it would be ridiculous for a twenty-something to own a Chanel anything. In fact, I did have a few internal debates on the subject.
Old me would have bargained internally and decided, “Okay, if you make $x, THEN you can splurge on this.” or “Once you’re x years old, it will finally be appropriate for you to carry such a fancy item.”
While having responsible financial restraint is one thing, discounting who you are and what you’re “allowed” to have is another.
Here are my new and improved questions:
“Can I truly afford it?” and “Do I want to bring this into my reality?”
There’s no magical formula that determines who, or at what age, or in what income bracket is ALLOWED to make any purchase/choice/action.
YOU are allowed to do whatever the fuck you want, whenever the fuck you want to, however the fuck you choose.
The world around us has created all these invisible “rules” it expects us to live by. These rules can easily turn into boxes that we unknowingly keep ourselves in.
The point here is to question everything. Internally, externally, and everything in between. Whether the doubt is coming from your own mind, or out of someone else’s mouth.
Be brave enough to step outside of the box. Make rules that fit and honor YOU.
Brain: I want a Chanel bag so damn bad. The ~epitome~ of a feminine luxury item. I’d feel so empowered and girly owning one. Giddy inside, like a little girl.
Self-Doubt: You do not deserve to own something that fancy at such a young age. What would people think??
Brain: Oh. Yeah, you’re right. I can hear it now, “Daddy’s money”, “poor little rich girl”, “there are so many important things going on in the world and that’s how she chooses to spend her money??”, “there’s no way she can afford that”, “who does she think she is?”… the list goes on.
Self-Doubt: Exactly. Best to just wait until its socially acceptable for you to make that kind of a purchase.
Now, considering the questions above:
Is being “too young” or fearing what the world might think ultimately a TRUE reason that I don’t deserve something??? HAIL TO THE NAH.
Now trust me, I get it. Isn’t it so much easier to see how twisted that kind of thinking is when it applies to someone else’s life??
You might be thinking, “Okay well it’s easy to know that when you’re talking about purchasing a silly accessory–but what about the stuff in MY life? The stuff that matters A LOT.”
Sis, it’s no different.
Whether it be a handbag, or applying for that big job, or wearing something “risky”, YOU DO NOT NEED PERMISSION FROM ANYONE.
The goal, in my opinion, is to have what you want, live the bad ass life, buy as many pretty things as your heart desires, and still have enough to save as many of the pennies as you want for future you and your children. You only get that type of life if you DECIDE you CAN HAVE IT.
The next time you find yourself doubting ANYTHING about you, your life, or your capabilities. Remember that only YOU get to determine the outcome of your life. So speak highly of yourself in your mind, be your own biggest cheerleader, and remember you are WORTHY because YOU ARE.
No permission needed. No explanation necessary.
You, and only you, are in charge of your life.
It get’s to be easy. It get’s to be fulfilling. It gets to be everything you ever dreamed of and more. Because you are enough.
As always, thanks for listening, and if you ever need someone to talk personal growth, designer handbags, or anything in between–I’m your girl.