Lighten Up

It’s just fashion.

By Heidi Elnora

“Lighten up, it’s just fashion” were the famous words spoken by designer/judge Michael Kors during my stint as a contestant on season 2 of Project Runway. At the time I thought, how could you say that? It’s not just fashion, it’s my life. I eat, sleep, breathe and dream fashion. It’s all I have. It gives me a purpose, an identity.  Seven years later, fashion is still a huge part of my life, but my world does not revolve around it. For me, fashion has become a means to be creative while providing for my family.

For those of you who live outside of the fashion industry, stay there. You’re in a safe place. You wouldn’t believe it but it is super competitive. I guess it’s like any other job, but for some reason fashion has a cut-throat side to it. One day you’re in and the next day you’re out. It couldn’t be truer. There is always someone younger, faster and more connected that could take your place. You must always stay on your game or you could lose it all. You must stay ahead of the trends and be in the know of what’s fresh and now. You can’t look to others to be the industry leader; you’ve got to take the reins, but is it really worth all the time and energy spent?

In my humble opinion, some people (including myself until recently) take their jobs way too seriously. Lighten up. It’s a J.O.B. It is not intended to become your identity.  It’s not worth destroying your personal relationships. Don’t get me wrong; it is important to be passionate about what you spend most of your days doing. It is a wonderful feeling to feel accomplished and proud of your hard work. Just for a moment, sit back and think about what you are investing a majority of your time doing.  Does your job consume your life? What are you working so hard for? What do you want to be remembered for — the numbers you made or the people you had to climb over to make it to the top?  I personally don’t want to be remembered or known for selling a million wedding gowns but instead for making a difference in my community, inspiring others to believe in themselves and for being the best mom and wife I can be.

How to change? For the past few months, I have been working on lightening up on my workload. I have started by turning my phone off at night. It’s like a miracle has occurred. You should try this. It’s wonderful.  It’s like you’re on a mini-vacation from your brain. Also, I no longer check both of my email accounts every 2.5 seconds. I seriously was creating some freakish addiction to my iPhone where I had to look at it, just in case an “emergency email” came through.  Not good. No email is an emergency.  Calling 911 is an emergency. The Facebook situation is also coming to a stop along with Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. I can’t keep up with all of the people and ways to communicate. I’m leaving that for the younger, faster and more connected generation. By doing all of this, I am still hustling or staying on top of my game but refocusing my priorities while lightning my load.

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