There is a back road that goes through the National Forest to this hidden waterfall up in the mountains surrounding my family property in Northern New Mexico. I can’t exactly explain how to get there unless I’m actually traveling on the road. It was introduced to me on my first birthday as my family would travel up there to celebrate and have continued to do so many, many years after that first celebration. The road is winding, bumpy and at some points seems impassable. In order to access the waterfall, you have to drive a truck or 4-wheel drive vehicle as it is not friendly ground. Growing up we’d all jump in the back my grandfather’s truck and hold on for dear life so we wouldn’t fall out. The drive is exhilarating and the scenery is breathtaking, truly God’s country. The valleys, hills and mountains go on forever. You will find fields of wild iris, birds singing lullabies and skies so intensely blue along the valleys. Even in July, it is not uncommon to find snow capped mountains far off in the distance. Down the road and higher up into the mountains, the terrain becomes more forest like with that fairy tale feel. Every once and a while I look out for Red Robin Hood or Hansel or Gretel. When we arrive to the spot where the waterfall is hidden, there is still a bit of a hike to get to the mountainside. Along the way, and depending on the season, you can go fielding for wild strawberries. There’s an old abandoned mine, just down the hill from the waterfall, then you know you have arrived. The waterfall is breathtaking. The water is cool and refreshing and the kids love to play at the pool’s end. Curiosity sets in for the more adventurous types, and they climb to the top to see the source of the waterfall. Although it’s been a few years since I’ve been there, the beauty and are serenity of this hidden spot are etched in my mind.
It’s early morning and I’m sitting in my Austin, TX hotel room feeling very satisfied with the past couple of days and really thinking of the roads ahead. Two days ago, I attended the graduation ceremony for my baby (he’s taller than I am, but will always be my baby). As one chapter closes, the whole world has now opened up for him. The unknown can either be scary or, when you face those fears head-on, they can be exhilarating. After the ceremony, I jumped on a plane to show at Fashion X Austin. I got in late Thursday night and showed 12 looks on Friday night. Because I haven’t quit my day job…(lol, I have absolutely no plans to do so either) and since I’ve also been commissioned on several paid gigs, graduated a senior (and all the events that come with it), and changed up the lineup for this show, I brought with me once again my handy dandy sewing machine. Those winding paths of work taking me in different directions, have only added to the excitement. I always hear Tim Gunn in the background in these moments of challenge, simply stating, “make it work.” I had three to complete before the show and check in was between noon and 3pm. I woke with a pounding headache, so I headed downstairs for some pain relief and a little food. I also received a text to check my email. Do you have anyone in your life that are those bumps in the road or obstacles in the way, and as much as you try, you have to deal with them directly instead of going around whatever issue it is? I guess I’m really lucky because I have a couple of people who are like that (insert sarcasm) and again this was one of those mornings. While the situation is unimportant, it constantly is a mind fuck to my creative ju-ju. This moment is no different than all the other high points in my life, when something comes up, but I had too much to do today, so I said my peace and barreled through that obstacle.
You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. Winston Churchill
I got back to work.
I completed the looks and was joined by my Roby and his dear friend, Val. We headed across the street, set up shop and immediately fit the models. I can tell you the experience with Fashion X Austin has been leaps and bounds ahead of LA. It was so organized. The models found us instead of tracking down whomever we could find to walk the show, and in the end, I only had to tailor two looks.
With any event, graduation, weddings, fashion shows, even Christmas, the work and anticipation seems like forever and only for a fleeting moment, but isn’t that life? We spend so much time working toward goals and trying to get ahead that we miss the journey and the beauty along the way. No way was I going to miss it. I jumped in with both eyes open. Enjoying the time with friends and grateful beyond belief for their help. I loved seeing my phone light up with well wishes. Friends as far as Africa, Canada, and Dublin (Ohio that is – LOL—had to throw that one in there to make sure you’re still following along) and friends as close as home. After the cray cray of getting the models dressed and that 47 seconds before they hit the runway, I was happy to watch the models take selfies and help fix each other to make sure their looks were tight. They made their jaunt down the runway and at the end I joined them for my bow of gratitude and came back stage and gathered everything up once again (now, I’m somewhat patiently waiting to get the official photos video).
Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can become who you were meant to be in the first place. Unknown
Afterwards, I was asked, “What do you hope comes from showing your lines at various Fashion Weeks?” The easy answer is to find the right buyer in the audience and really launch a successful career in clothing design. But I have seen the news, retail is not really hot at the moment. I have a niche market of working with upcycled and recycled garments, bespoke fashion and giving back, so if I don’t connect with a buyer from Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom, I’d love to connect directly with the woman that shops there. However, my other answer and the one truest to my heart, is because I love to create. I love the reaction my clothing and events have on people. Clothing should be an extension of you. Think of the most important events in your life or events that have shaped you, I bet you can remember what you were wearing. There is beauty in the journey and what we wear is part of that journey. Wouldn’t you want it to be unique, beautifully you and far from the crowd—the road less traveled?!?
With light and love–cheers to the next adventure!