Most of my teens and twenties were spent trying to change who I am, trying to to fit in with others, and not let the real me shine on through. I thought about this a lot on my recent trip to Paris.
The first time I went to Paris I was sixteen, and I visited with my parents. I had absolutely no idea who Melanie was, and I felt awkward and uncomfortable the entire time because the women I saw were so poised, elegant and chic. I wanted to be more like that. So off I went with this idea in my head that the next time I visited Paris, I must try harder to look like this, I must be more elegant and chic – otherwise it just screeeeeeams tourist!
There was one huge, monumental problem with this plan – I am not elegant or poised.
Whilst I love looking at fashion [I actually studied fashion design at school] and can admire other women who look incredibly effortless. I am never going to be that woman.
To quote one of the most fashion forward women…
I will never be the woman with the perfect hair who can wear white and not spill on it. Carrie Bradshaw
Thirteen years on and I am okay with this! I am quite happy rocking around in my bright yoga pants, slogan tee, nikes and messy bun on top of my head. Comfortable is more important than elegant to me, and being authentic is more important than trying to be someone else and sucking at it! I still admire the elegance and the fashion, I admire the women walking around Paris in 6 inch stiletto heels for what is – incredible – but I no longer wish I could do the same. I no longer need to change Melanie.
So why am I telling you this?
I wanted to share this with you because whilst many women lose the shackles of ‘fitting in’ just as many don’t. There are many women who don’t know who they are, and honestly spending your entire life trying to be someone else is exhausting and the world wants to know who you are. Maybe you don’t know what you have to offer, but you can spend time trying to figure it out.
There is only one of you, and no one else can fill that spot…no matter how hard they try.