I’ve always had role models.
It probably started with Claude from The Famous Five, then it went to Björk, with a brief fixation on the ELLE model, Roberta Chirko and, in between all of that, there were the girls I saw around me at school and in high school, who I thought did everything better than me.
It was pretty superficial, of course.
I looked at how they dressed, how they did their hair, how they stood, how they did their homework. And a little later, as a teenager, I looked at their way of being cool, being rock ‘n roll, seeming like they didn’tcareboutanything, and just being themselves. I didn’t copy them, I wouldn’t have even been able to if I tried. I just got a lot of inspiration from them :)
That’s how I learned how to dress, how to carry myself, how to be less shy, and oddly enough — how to be myself.
I thought that one day this role model thing would pass.
To me, it seemed like a sign that I was lacking in personality. And that I probably lacked confidence in myself. I was very shy when I was a teenager. And plus, no one around me was really a big fan of anything in particular. So I never talked about any of that. It was kind of my own little way of doing things.
Until the day I started my blog and turned my way of finding inspiration in others into…
In the meantime, the way I looked at people changed a little bit.
I got to know myself better, I learned my limits (I’ll never be a math pro or a fitness addict, even though I’d love to be one of those girls who loves yoga and kale) and I learned what kinds of opportunities were open to me (I have a certain talent for communication and I could easily carry a conversation with a mailbox) and all those things you learn and finally accept about yourself as the years go by — the things that make up your personality.*
And you even end up loving those things.
I didn’t aspire to the impossible dream of being someone else anymore, but thanks to my blog, I was able to take my search for style much further than what I saw around me and in magazines. And that could have been a nice end to the story.
But it continues to this day.
It continues with style, of course (right now, I’m looking for inspiration for what to wear this spring**. It’s fun — I’m making mood boards on my iPad and preparing to spend way too much money at Isabel Marant) but it also happens in a more general way, like I was explaining to you a few weeks ago, with my interest in my lifestyle and the lifestyles of the people around me.
I talk to Laura a lot, my friend who splits her time between her farm Upstate and her job as a stylist in New York. Or my friends Laila and José who host parties where everyone is relaxed and feels at home. Or my friends from Saturdays who came up with a job that fits with their lifestyle and brings together their passion for surfing and fashion. Or Drew Barrymore, who I met the other day, who is so real and simple and cool that you can’t help but love her. Or Richard Branson from Virgin who is always questioning things…
The list is long.
Whether I know them personally or not, these people are all role models for me, even today.
I’m not looking to do everything they do like when I was 10 years old, and I don’t tell myself I’m going to change my way of doing things in one day, but these types of people give me the courage I need to continue to explore who I am, what I want, and all the opportunities available to me. It’s like a mosaic of different interests and influences, and when it comes down to it, all of these things make up who I am.
And I know that not all of us are like that. I think most people I know find their own inspiration within themselves. Sometimes they find inspiration in other people, of course, but their internal compass is a lot clearer than mine.
So, it’s actually really funny when people tell me I’m inspiring ;)
What about you? What category are you in? Have you always had a strong sense of who you were, or do you get your inspiration from the people around you?
*I often compare myself to a Golden Retriever, for example, because of my happy, affectionate, loyal, faithful, not at all mysterious, and terribly messy side.
** I’ll probably end up wearing the same thing I’ve worn the past 20 springs, but it’s still exciting to imagine reinventing my style. And it’s a good way to forget about the below zero weather today…
Translated by Andrea Perdue