The year ahead is going to entail a lot of living on the edge for me, navigating the in-betweenness of feelings that pull me in opposite directions and attempt to tear me apart.
Most clearly there’s all the fear and uncertainty that comes with building a business. Will it work? What happens if it doesn’t? But taking the risk and stomaching that uncertainty also means that I hold a lot of excitement and hope for the possibility of what Mixed could become. The excitement lives alongside, and in equal proportion to, the fear. It’s what keeps me going even when my stomach is in knots.
In the sadness and loneliness of my recent breakup, I still feel proud of myself for making an excruciatingly difficult decision. I’m grateful for the deepened relationship I’ve created with myself since leaving. In moments when I mourn my loss and think of the old life we used to share, I also try to appreciate all that I’ve gained during this time alone. It doesn’t take away the sadness, but I'm hopeful for my new beginning.
And recently I’ve been steeped in the business side of Mixed. I haven’t designed new prints lately and the creative vision of our NYFW event hasn’t come together yet. But I’m trying not to judge myself. The creative spark will flow again. Business and creativity are both things that I genuinely enjoy. And fortunately for me, fashion perfectly marries the two.
We are always, always in between. And maybe the goal isn’t even to inhabit that golden middle space, (which for me has only come in fleeting moments) but to simply remember that the other side exists. To remember that when we feel like utter imposters creating shitty art we hate, that we also have come a long way from where we started.
It’s hard to hold two seemingly contradictory experiences at once. But sometimes just naming the coexisting realities can help us understand that they’re not so separate.
It takes practice to embrace our “ands”—to remind ourselves, in the thick of despair or discomfort, that there is a simultaneous truth on the flip side. This might not make us feel any better in the moment, but that’s not necessarily the point. The point is to take in the bigger, fuller, more nuanced and colorful picture so that we can see ourselves more clearly in it. So that we refrain from labeling and limiting ourselves, and instead, create space for the expansiveness of our identities.