Creating a New Vision of 2020 with Resilience & Confidence
My puffy dress sparkled with blue glitter; the fabric rustled and talked when you walked. That dress made me feel beautiful.
I was 12 years old, standing inside a church in Haltom City. My family squeezed together for our annual church directory photo. We moved a little to the left and then a little to the right. The weary photographer shot us a discerning look.
“Can you move a little more to the middle? You, the chubby one.”
My brother and sister snickered.
I died inside.
The glitter fell off my dress and off my life that day. Permanently.
I was fat?
For women, confidence can be hard to come by. We’re told from a very young age that we have to be a certain size in order to be pretty enough (read “good enough”). I believed this culturally generated myth for a very long time. That is, I did until I wised up and decided I wanted to stop wasting time loathing my “imperfections” and start embracing being alive.
I’ve never felt the desire to really live more acutely than in 2020.
Of all the challenges this year has brought, it’s also ushered in a new level of gratitude, understanding, and confidence.
If I can make it through this, I can make it through anything.
“Resilience is understanding that grief, sadness, and anger are natural and normal after tragedy, adversity, and loss,” according to the Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County’s new Recognize & Rise website. It says that “we all have the ability to heal and move forward and help others heal as well.” This year, we’ve all experienced some level of trauma and many of us are still stuck in the trenches.
Bottom line: Building resilience is hard work.
As we start creating a new view for 2020 — maybe slowly re-entering the world or going back into the office — let’s put our best face forward. For me, that starts with feeling good on the inside, but what I’m wearing on the outside can accentuate that inner rock star. Enter: fall fashion.
In the spirit of embracing life and “just going for it,” I (gasp) modeled some fabulous fall fashion pieces from the fine folks at Shop Birdie. I take zero credit for the excellent outfit combinations and delightful pairings – that was all shop co-owner, Brittany Voxland. She told me that trending this fall are sweaters and skorts, coated denim, dresses with sneakers, over the knee boots, prints with fur, all in shades of rust, black, and olive. The shop, located off Camp Bowie, has price points and pieces for all ages, plus some really cool jewelry and purses perfect for a girls’ night out.
My sister has always been so good at doing her hair. She used to spend hours styling her coif in the bathroom mirror when we were in high school. I did a ponytail. She did perfection.
At Tribe Salon, I found a magician named Nakoya Jones. She sprayed on some Kevin Murphy “Doo.Over” and created loose curls from my hot mess of tangles and – wow! – I’ve got my forever Facebook profile picture. I’ll be buying that product along with Kevin Murphy’s “Powder Puff,” which is an instant powder volumizer you sprinkle ever so lightly into your roots for POOF, instant volume.
Next, I slid over to Carrie Malec’s chair for a lesson in the art of makeup, which has always been one of my favorite subjects. But Carrie put any novice knowledge I had to shame. She contoured my face to highlight its best features and picked brown shades for my eyes and NYC Lingerie lipstick in “Exotic.” What a color! She said makeup is like building a house, starting, of course, with a great foundation and ending with the lightest touch of air brush liquid makeup.
That latest “accessory” to hit the fall fashion stage this year are, of course, masks. Always airing on the side of safety, I sported a purple one (Go Frogs!) designed by Fort Worth artist Alana Kay Latiolais. My daughter loves it so much I’m gifting it to her. I like it, too, and it makes wearing masks a little bit more fun.
As much fun as being a model is, I realized that no matter what I’m wearing or what I look like, at the end of the day I look toward the relationships I’ve made this past year to keep me feeling confident, strong, and supported.
If this year has taught me anything, it’s that relationships matter most.
Let’s create a new view of 2020. One that’s bold, confident, and rich in shades of rust, black, and olive grounded in community and the relationships that keep us going when life lets us down.
For more than a decade, Sarah Angle has worked as a Texas-based writer. She began her career as a daily newspaper reporter and photographer, and now splits her time between journalism and marketing communications. In 2014, she won first place from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia for her feature story “From the Land of the Lost.” The following year, she earned a fellowship from the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization and became a board member for the Society of Professional Journalists, Fort Worth chapter. Currently, she teaches in the School of Strategic Communication at TCU. Sarah lives in Fort Worth with her darling daughter and a house full of books and mid-century modern décor.