I'm moderating my first blogging panel on Friday and I have nothing to wear.
This could be chalked up to one of my more dramatic moments, but there's a catch:
I'M MODERATING A PANEL OF POPULAR FASHION BLOGGERS.
I'm a lifestyle blogger, and a very mediocre one at that, yet I'm about to be on stage in front of 200 people with some of the most well-dressed women in the blogging world, in clothes I bought on the Target sale rack.
If you have any idea how I ended up on this panel, please let me know.
When I was approached about moderating the panel I was hesitant to agree because the most expensive item hanging in my closet is a $38 sweater I bought at Nordstrom in Seattle with a friend's discount. I thought I would look like one of those sports broadcasters whose sole purpose in announcing the game is to assist the professional athlete so they form coherent sentences. I felt I had nothing to bring to the table: no fancy clothes, no nice shoes and definitely no experience in the world of fashion blogging. In fact, the first thing that went through my head (after "I have nothing to wear") was "if they knew how messy and disorganized my closet was, they wouldn't be asking me to moderate this panel."
My closet is a disaster. It's haphazardly filled with a weird assortment of clothes, all of which I wish were at least one size smaller and cost more than $38. I wish I had more than 10 pairs of shoes and that I could wear half the high heels I bought on a whim because I thought they were cute. Every weekend I tell myself I'm going to organize my hangers, color code my sweaters and (finally) get rid of the clothes I've outgrown (literally and figuratively) but somehow end up watching horrible movies on the Hallmark Channel and letting Kyle persuade me to go out for pizza. Every morning I stare into the abyss, searching for the right pieces to "make it work", and sometimes I feel like I'm in 6th grade wearing jellies with socks all over again. Again, can someone tell me: why am I on this panel?!
Maybe though, just maybe, it's not about what I have in my closet, but what I do with it. How, from all those jumbled clothes, from the chaos of my closet, can come something unique, original and me. Maybe it's not about having the perfect outfit as I lead this discussion on Friday, but the wisdom, authenticity and confidence to make it work.
Life is kinda like that, isn't it: jumbled, chaotic, a little tight in the crotch sometimes and filled with things we wish we could change? Sometimes I feel like I stare into the abyss and wish the life I want would just appear right before my eye. Maybe, though, it's not about rushing to make life exactly what I want, but making the best of what I have. Maybe it's about creating a life out of challenges and making outfits out of clearance rack clothes and being okay with both of those things. Maybe it's about digging into the depths of my closet and my experiences and finding the perfect accessory or metaphor to bring an outfit together or be more relatable on a budget.
I may never be truly fashionable and put together, I may not stand next to those fashion bloggers on Friday and be the best dressed or the one with the most blogging experience, but I'm going to make the best with what I have, and (hopefully) knock 'em dead.
And then clean my closet. It really is a disaster.