This post originally appeared on our old blog Born to be a Bride.
Here we are. We don’t know why, we don’t know for how long. But we do know that we are here today. I am a firm believer in making the most of every day, in doing what you love and in being happy. I come from a long line of women of superhuman strength and class. Women who wore what they wanted to and said what they felt and married who they loved, even when it wasn’t “right” in the eyes of others. I was raised with a powerful sense of conviction, by two parents who cheered me on through every phase from the early days of tutus through tree-hugging and shower-refusal to all hip-hop, all the time, and finally — this sort-of actualized self I am today, who loves weddings and makeup, who still hugs trees and eschews bras, and who unabashedly rocks out to Trina and Lloyd Banks, day in and day out.
Recently, I found myself in a professional conversation with a person who didn’t seem to get it. Didn’t seem to get that someone could love fashion, and write about it, and care about beautiful things, but also be a passionate democrat, a champion for the homeless, a feminist with a feisty streak. I walked away from the exchange with blazing cheeks, feeling misunderstood and frustrated. I might have even shed a few pissed-off tears. I talked it over with my husband (yes, feminists talk about their feelings with their husbands, too!) and he made me see a different side.
Other people’s limited understandings of our selves cannot determine how we choose to live in the world. That is the whole simple and complicated story. We are all entitled to our convictions and our passions. Writing about weddings is a beautiful escape and something I hold very dear. I will never stop looking for the beauty in this world, observing it thoughtfully, and sharing it with others. I just won’t.
So, I won’t apologize to the haters who criticize me for leaving my role today at my current company in favor of focusing on my craft. I’ve had a wonderful four months working with interesting, funny, engaging people, many of whom I hope keep as friends. I won’t entertain the haters’ questions about whether I plan to sit around in my pajamas all day and watch television. I don’t have to tell them that I am actually one of the hardest-working people I know, and I’ll never stop working, not for a minute. I also won’t apologize for the fact that our situation allows me a benefits program through my husband’s work onto which I can transfer. I just won’t. He’s been on mine for some time now — we’re just taking turns.
I am a writer. I love what I do. I was born a writer and I’ll die a writer and I’ll spend every minute in between putting as much goodness and thoughtfulness out there as I possibly can. And I have the right to do it, and to do it in my way. I worked really hard to get to a point in my career where I can freelance and earn a decent living off of it. I hope that you, too, are encouraged to work till tears stream down your face, to push those garment racks up and down Fifth Avenue in the snow until you think you can’t take another minute. To keep your work cell on through the night and send international emails with one eye open, keeping your boss appeased.
I urge you to live off that tiny starter salary and stretch every penny — making canned soup for dinner, taking the subway instead of cabs, and savoring that one drink in the club. Make every connection you can. Be nice to every. single. person. you. meet. Laugh. Trust yourself. Work for free when you have to, to get your name out there. Do every hard thing you have to do, so that one day you can start your big life, the one that you deserve. I’ve been waiting for this day for a while. And I won’t apologize for how I got here, or the fact that I’ve arrived.
If you enjoy reading this blog, get ready — we are about to take off!