Sunday, December 21, 2014

To Walk Or Not To Walk?

September 23, 2014

Fear is powerful and intense and debilitating.  Fear is capable of completely consuming you to the point where you feel like you can't move or speak or breath. When I was given the opportunity to walk in VOX Magazine's runway show, I felt all of that and then some. I was completely and utterly overwhelmed by the tummy twisting, vomit inducing sensation that ensued shortly after I received the invitation.  My initial instinct was to say no.  I had never walked in a show before.  I didn't know how to walk a runway.  I didn't even know what I would be wearing.  Would they put me in insanely high heels that robbed me of my ability to walk and I would instead have to wobble awkwardly? Would I trip or stumble or, God forbid, fall? Would they laugh at me? Would the onlookers think to themselves, "What's she doing here?  She clearly doesn't know what she's doing?"  Would I disappoint the person who asked me to be a part of the show?  The person who owned and produced the magazine? Would I make a complete and utter fool of myself? So many jumbled thoughts flew through my brain and my stomach churned uncomfortably.  All I wanted was to make it all stop.   The paralyzing fear I felt made we want to run away and cry and scream for my mommy.  

And I did actually.  Perhaps not in such dramatic fashion, but I did excuse myself from my desk at work and call my mother.  I gave her a million reasons why I should decline the invitation.  That there was an event at work that day.  That I would surely be letting down my coworkers if I left early for the call time.  That I knew nothing about the magazine itself.  That I wasn't sure if my agency would buy into the idea or not.  And my patient, wonderful mother walked me through each and every one of those excuses until finally she asked me, "Amy, are you just not wanting to do this?  Are you scared to do it?"  My throat clenched and tears bubbled up and out of my eyes in seconds.  "Yes," I mumbled, "Yes I am"

Fear is a perfectly natural emotion to experience, and a useful one at that.  It's instinct, it's human nature, it's our body's way of telling us that something isn't right.  After spending a great deal of time browsing the internet (probably too much time), I came across a small passage on Psychology Today's website that really struck a cord.  

Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn't feel it, we couldn't protect ourselves from legitimate threats. 

A legitimate threat.  What legitimate threat could possibly present itself at a fashion show?  Would starved and rabid hyenas line the runway eagerly awaiting the first model to appear?  Probably not.  Would the clothes I was wearing cause me to break out into menacing hives that lit my skin on fire?  Again, probably not. In truth, there was no legitimate threat.  The danger I felt was entirely invented by my imagination.  Bitch.

In reality, this was a truly incredible opportunity.  At 5'7, I am itty bitty in the modeling world and runway was something I was quickly told would never happen.  But here it was, a chance to do just that.  Also, there was a good chance that lots of folks in the fashion industry of Salt Lake City would be there.  Therefore, this was a chance for exposure and networking.   And in truth, this was something that deep down I had always wanted to try.  I used to watch the women that graced the runways of New York and London Fashion Week, the angels that pranced along in Victoria Secret's annual televised show and think about how glamorous and powerful and beautiful they must have felt.  This was my chance to try it on for size.  

So to address my original question to walk or not to walk?  Was I going to let fear affect my decision making process?  No.  Actually, fuck no.  Sorry kids, but take note. When life presents you with an opportunity, you walk god dammit.  You walk with your head held high and your game face on.  You embrace the uncertainty along with the opportunity and put one foot in front of the other.  

Unless of course the runway is lined with ravenous hyenas...then you might wanna rethink things ;)


That's what I wrote three months ago, pre show. You'll all be happy to know that I was not in fact devoured by ravenous hyenas, nor did I spontaneously combust due to a severe rash.  None of those things happened.  I actually had a really wonderful time and met a lot of super fabulous people.  And after all was said and done I felt an immense amount of pride in knowing that I had put myself out there, overcome my fears, and allowed myself to have this really unique experience.  Here's a few pics that I was lucky enough to get my hands on.

I'll end by saying time a really great kinda scary opportunity presents itself to you, my little Audreamers, do yourself a big big favor and seize it.  Strut your stuff.  Walk that walk.  And don't let anyone, including yourself, tell you you can't.

A huge thank you again to VOX Magazine and Dani Braun for inviting me to be a part of all that magic.  Very grateful for the opportunity.

Much love, thanks for reading, and as always...

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