I had a great discussion last week with a new friend about motivations. How every person has one core value that motivates them in life. Power. Money. Gratitude.
For me, it’s always been likability. I was fine with not sleeping, frying my hair and compromising my personal sense of style for YEARS as long as people liked me.
I will go to the ends of the earth just to make ensure that those around me are happy, and like me (which, I know, is really stupid – if they don’t like me, why are they in my life?). And if I think someone has a reason not to like me? I will break down completely and do whatever it takes to make that person like me.
In high school, I was MUCH more of a Pollyanna character than I am today. I would never say what bothered me, I went with what everyone told me to do – all to ensure that everyone liked me. But as I got into college, I was no longer serving in officer positions and really had no one to please but myself – so I got back into the habit of saying no. And while the motivation of having people like me never went away, I still had the respect of a lot of people because of my accomplishments, and I was okay with that.
But saying no is a dangerous thing once you become the international face of a student organization. So as soon as I began my journey with the Collegiate team, I switched back into Pollyanna mode…and completely lost myself again.
It’s funny, when you think about how things can change in a year. And after a year of always saying yes, of kissing butt and taking names, of schmoozing to business people at luncheons and trying to put into layman’s terms that, yes, I am this young and yes, I have done all this stuff, and sure, I’ll come speak at your event that ends ten minutes before my first class starts, I am really, really tired.
And I will be the first person to tell you I put myself in this situation. I always have. I love having the opportunity to do the things I do, and I wouldn’t take back the positions I’ve held for the world, nor would I discourage anyone from running for them. But after years of putting others before myself, and trying to maintain an image of perfection when sometimes, all you want to do is fall apart, I’ve recently begun to think it’s about damn time I start doing things for myself for a change.
So that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
The first thing I’ve done is gone away with the extensions and given myself a hair makeover. I wanted to wait until the end of my term to completely nix the length- I started my term with them in, I wanted to finish them that way too. But now that I haven’t worn them since the end of Faire back in May, my hair feels so much healthier and it’s SO much easier to get ready in the morning.
In addition, I visited an actual salon for the first time since I went brunette in the 8th grade. So it’s been 7 years since I’ve had my hair professionally cut and colored. And guess what? I WENT BRONDE.
The second thing I did, if you can’t tell by the picture above, is go back to my roots of retro. Long ago in a far away land, I ran a blog called Sophomore Year of Style, where I wore a different outfit every day during my sophomore year of high school to see how creative I could get while channeling the women I still hold to this day as my fashion icons: Audrey Hepburn, Betty Draper and Blair Waldorf.
Okay, so the last two are TV characters, but you get the picture.
Regardless, it’s been a long time since I’ve worked at a place or been in a position image-wise where I was able to dress like that, primarily because college students just don’t wear nice clothes to class. But recently, I’ve been able to dress up more for work, and I forgot how empowering it is to wear a nice outifit and feel great in how you look. And I think, to me, that’s one of the things that makes me happy on the inside, and if I’m happy, usually the people around me are happy too.
Overall, I’m beginning to find myself again, and it’s a great feeling.
It’s been a long time since it’s been just Holly, not “Holly and…,” but for some reason, I’m starting to feel okay with that. Right now, I’ve got two great jobs that I love, working with people I adore, and friends I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Something tells me that that’s all the motivation I need.
NEW FEATURE: I’m going to try and include one song per post that I’m currently rocking out to…today’s is this new fun track featuring one of my favorites, Meghan Trainor. Warning – this video features a lot of high school style PDA. (*Giggle-snort*)