2021 Themesletter: INTUITION

Shortly after my last relationship ended now more than 2 years ago, I clearly recall walking Sam and Penny up the hill in my Austin neighborhood, noticing the quiet around me, and following the tunnel of my own thoughts as deeply as I could go. Two things became clear to me in that moment: I hadn't allowed myself to study the insides of my own heart in a very long time, and what it felt like deep inside was totally empty. Woah, right?

Well it's not as dark as it sounds, because at that time, emptiness was a total relief. I had been filtering my own true thoughts and feelings through this other person for years, and barely knew the difference between his feelings and my own. I decided to enjoy the emptiness for a while (went to therapy, of course) and threw myself into my business where I knew I could safely trust my instincts, and felt more focused and empowered than ever. Fast forward to March, when the emptiness that once felt full of potential turned on me, and became this teatherless void of doom.

I came to realize that what I feared more than emptiness was "doing nothing" because "doing something" is always how I have coped with mental discomfort. Spring of 2020 was like an emotional detox where I had to quit the habit of running away from myself. And run I still did, of course, all the way to Taos, and it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I began to connect the dots for myself, and see that what I was running away from is actually the thing that makes me me: the inside of my brain. And instead of trying to distract or shame myself from my thoughts, I found that I could begin to play with them, and hone my intuition so I never end up sacrificing my unique brain again.

And guess what? This brutally difficult work will benefit YOU because I am discovering that there are really fun ways to explore yourself, hone your intuition, and connect in a more honest way with the world around you, all through STYLE which to me seems way more fun than sitting at home scrolling through the same 4 apps on repeat or staring at your lampshade, doing nothing.

Examining "reality"

I was an only child who spent large swaths of time alone growing up in rural Maine. The way I used to feel on a weekend as a kid (often snowed in with nowhere to go) was like this toxic combo of fierce FOMO mixed with an apathy so intense that I felt powerless against the inevitable descent into self-pity. My brain got faster the farther away from my childhood bedroom I got, so that by the time I was an adult & had a few hours of unstructured time when most "normal people" should be out having fun, I would become anxious worrying the dark apathy would return. It wasn't until a few weeks ago, when I fell so hard on my butt while snowboarding that I literally heard music playing out of nowhere and couldn't walk for a week, that I was able to finally separate that old feeling from the reality of being alone.

The most incredible discovery I made during my time of butt elevation on the couch was that "doing nothing" is actually "doing something" if you allow yourself to relax into your own thoughts for once in your dang life. I think I may have had some kind of kundalini awakening because it was as if I was able to see myself from a different vantage point, a much clearer one, as if the fog of self-deprecation had lifted and I no longer felt the need to employ reflexive thought-policing upon myself. Instead I started to follow the thoughts, without judgement, to their origin, and realized all of my anxiety and fear was based upon some unexamined notion I created 35 years ago.

Welp, the realization that I had wasted so much of my life trying to avoid a feeling I had when I was 6 was fairly humbling. It became a fun game to start abolishing all of my beliefs, one by one, and I still giggle realizing that all of this hard work looked exactly as if I was DOING NOTHING when really I was doing EVERYTHING.

I know it seems like this has zero to do with style but bear with me....

Tracing your style origins

My attraction to style was born from this foundation of alone-ness. I was creative and spent a ton of time drawing, crafting, making stuff, and was always fascinated by clothing and costume and customizing my own wardrobe. Trying on different identities entertained me, and I'm pretty sure LaurelTV's first incarnation happened around the time my dad got a camcorder in 1988. I never really connected my creative spirit with being alone, but it's clear that the kind of energy I put into creative pursuits shifted as I become more focused on "doing something" which we all understand at this point is really just NOT BEING ALONE.

As a stylist, my creativity was channelled into helping you discover your own style, and I worked hard to protect you from having to go through that process alone. I used my intuition constantly: in the closet I used my intuition to get to know your energy and vibe, in the dressing room it took me about .03 seconds to tell if you like that top you just tried on, and creating surprising outfits is almost always 100% intuitive. In working with more of you virtually, though, I have come to see that my intuition can only take us so far, that I need to ask a LOT more questions to get the answers I used to learn in 5 minutes with you inside your home, and that what I'm really teaching you is to trust your style guts.

And this year, 2021, is the year of Intuition as I learn new ways to get in touch with the real me (who surprisingly doesn't seem all that boring anymore) so that I can support you in your own intuitive journey. Since being alone is so fun to me now, I'm learning how to read Tarot cards, channel spirit guides, make video reels on IG, create LaurelTV episodes, and paint. Each time I learn something new, it's obvious to me how it can easily translate into style expression. I know a lot of you might be stuck in your own self-inflicted mental prisons when it comes to thoughts about your identity, how to use your precious resources, and what caring about style even means. Sometimes it takes a new tool to jiggle your brain into a new mode of thinking, and I am excited to share the things I'm learning and apply them to my work with you.

So, now that I have gone deep into the depths of my own scary psyche and survived to enthusiastically support YOUR intuitive style journey, I am pumped to be working with new clients to dig deep, face (even speak aloud) the fear, and express the realest parts of you via your wardrobe. We can't predict what will happen in the world, but we will always have our own inner selves to engage us, and what better way is there to reconnect once this pandemic era passes than as our most intuitively inspired selves?