Thursday, August 19, 2010

Perspective

As I was watching the Rachel Zoe Project the other night (yay for DVR!), I was reminded of a conversation that Roomie Deux et moi had at the beach last Sunday. First, let me tell you about Roomie Deux. She's from Louisiana comme moi and moved to NYC after getting her MBA to work in fashion. She's brunette, pretty and has the perfect little bod in which she rocks all of her fabulous little outfits. Needless to say, I was un peu intimidated (and yes, tres jelly) by her when I moved in. Luckily, she's amazingly sweet, down to earth, and a genuinely good person.

As we were laying on the beach, I asked her what she did on Saturday. Apparently, she woke up on Saturday morning to go volunteer and serve at a food kitchen for the elderly. It was her first time volunteering but she had wanted to do so for awhile. While she was there, she met a woman who told her that she volunteers 2-3 times a week. When Roomie asked her why she wasn't a "leader" within the group, the woman responded with, "Oh yes... they're always telling me to do that. But to be a leader, you have to organize and sends lots of email, and well, I don't have a computer at home." As in, she can't afford to have a computer at home. Roomie told me that at that moment, she felt really, really bad about being too lazy to volunteer until now. This sweet woman, who was older and worked a full-time job as well, makes time to volunteer 2-3 times a week for those less fortunate than her. And she can't afford a computer. Roomie said, "It just really put things into perspective." And I responded with, "It's really important to do that in this city."

The thing about New York City is... it IS fabulous. But it's also full of sadness that becomes all too easy to ignore when you're in your own bubble of SATC bliss. Working at the corporate office of one of the top department stores in the country, Roomie Deux often loses perspective. Multiple-thousand dollar pairs of shoes, bags, and outfits become the norm, and you forget what reality really looks like. This is one of my greatest fears about working in fashion... it's too easy to get caught up in that world and forget that, at the end of the day, it's just shoes, bags, and clothes. I love fashion... I've loved fashion for a very long time. I read fashion blogs religiously, subscribe to every major fashion publication, and revel in the idea that I live in NYC - home to multiple designer sample sales per week (often occurring in my very neighborhood). But fashion? Is not that important. And it's incredibly important to put things into perspective, especially for moi, especially when it comes to fashion.

Watching Rachel and Brad prepare for the Fashion for Relief Haiti fashion show, freak out over the lack of shoes and the imminent doom of what will happen is x model does not show up, I was reminded of perspective. And then walks in a dashing young male model, who had just escaped Haiti and experienced the earthquake firsthand. And there goes Rachel, running into the next room, wiping away tears. In a small way, I know how she feels. It's easy to get wrapped up in the ease and comfort of your own world and to ignore the reality that is the world. I do it all the time. I've thrown myself many pity parties over the last few weeks, and as I complained about my "life as a poor girl" here in NYC the other night, my friends gently reminded/teased me saying, "Yes, your poor life, Carolyn. You and your pink room and your DVR. Poor you!" They are right. I am privileged, incredibly privileged and have been been fortunate enough to be that way for my entire life. And while things, particularly money, are tighter now, I still have a pretty rich life. I need to remember that.

Also? I need to volunteer.

5 comments:

Carolyn said...

You can always volunteer for Dress for Success!! Put your fashion skills to work along with your charm and manners and help the ladies less fortunate suit up for interviews...with your law background I am sure there are simple questions that you will be able to answer..I have dressed clients as well as been on the committee for the Gala Event- hello Fashion Show!! We need to meet up soon!! xoxo

Megan said...

Great post. We all need to remember this.

Steph said...

newyorkcares.org. Do it!

um also, my word verification word today is "bidets" hahahhaha.

Monster Girl said...

This was an amazing post and really reinforced things for me. Thank you. :)

fresh365 said...

You always write such great posts! I couldn't agree more, and sometimes it is nice to have someone (you!) put things back into perspective for me. I have had "volunteer" on my to-do list for sometime. What am I waiting for?