Musings

What Stacy & Clinton Taught Me About Life

When the hubby leaves town I do one of three things. One, I roast Brussels sprouts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Two, I live in my pajamas and don’t leave the house unless absolutely necessary. Or three, I stay up all night binge-watching episodes of “What Not to Wear”. Let’s just say on his last work trip I didn’t get much sleep. I did however acquire a plethora of style tips from the snappy dressin’, snappy talkin’ TLC duo, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. That’s a win, right?

One such style tip seemed to me an equally important life lesson. All of Stacy and Clinton’s guests on the show have to accomplish one seriously intimidating task – step really far out of their warm and cozy, safe and secure comfort zones. MAJORLY far, actually!! It was easy enough to laugh at their ridiculous fashion at first until it became painfully obvious that making a change for them was more than just a wardrobe adjustment. It was a brave act of character strength and will determination. They were forcing themselves to step beyond the reaches of what was comfortable, exposing themselves to new things and experiences that they’d never even considered before. Who among us can say that’s an easy thing to do in any arena of life? I’ve had my own fair share of fashion faux pas’ (please don’t ever ask to see photos of me ages 13-15) so I can’t judge. Instead, by the end of my Stacy-Clinton marathon, I felt compelled to apply a few of these lessons to my own life.

 

  • Lesson number one. Explore beyond the reaches of your comfort zone.

Case-in-point, my gold oxfords above. Sure everyone and their cousin has something to say when I wear them out. At first that made me slightly uncomfortable. But my snazzy shoes give me a confidence and energy boost that I wasn’t getting before. And now I’m less concerned about the reaction of others, and more in tune with what makes me happy. This is one silly, tiny example of what could be done. A more significant example might include taking that class that you’ve always wanted to but never had the nerve to actually sign up for. Or maybe it’s pitching that project at work that will mean longer hours and more accountability. Maybe your next comfort zone move will be a hair bigger than mine but small steps in that direction are a good start too.

  • Lesson number two. Expand your experience by trying new things.

This goes hand in hand with the whole “step out of your comfort zone” thing. But sometimes that “new thing” isn’t so far out of your comfort zone, it’s just something you hadn’t considered before. For instance, I had my heart set on finding a deep red oushak rug to replace our ratty zebra one. I kept looking and looking but couldn’t find anything that had the right ratio of style elements. Then I came across this bright blue Greek key rug by Jonathan Adler for JC Penney on Craigslist. It wasn’t at all what I was initially looking for and I could have easily overlooked it on my narrow quest for “just the right thing”. Good thing I checked myself and adopted an open mind at just the right moment. I snagged it for a whopping $75 and discovered a new enthusiasm for blue to boot!

 

To wrap up, it seems my excessive “What Not to Wear” viewing party turned into a really positive learning experience. Stacy and Clinton reminded me that making positive changes in life can be a really difficult thing to do. It requires guts and strength and a heaping amount of humility. But when chosen wisely, the upswing is well worth the temporary discomfort.

So, the question is, where could you step out of your comfort zone and how will you try something new this week? As with anything, practice improves and makes the next attempt that much easier!

 

If you want to jumpstart your experience by shopping gold shoes and blue rugs, here are a few favorites I found:

 

 

 

This story by Hilary Walker
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8 Comments

  • Reply Amanda Munster (@veritasphotog) April 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve had the same “What Not to Wear”-induced epiphanies! Who says too much TV is bad for you?

    • Reply Hilary April 14, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Exactly!!! At least that’s how I justify it. 😉

  • Reply Clara T. April 16, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Love that show! A huge stretch for me was buying and wearing bright, shiny red shoes for the first time last year. I’d never been one for wearing brightly colored shoes and felt completely rediculous the first time I wore them out on a date with my husband. Now I love them. 🙂

    • Reply Hilary April 22, 2014 at 7:36 am

      That’s the best! I love a pair of great red shoes too, Clara.

  • Reply Amanda April 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Did you know that Clinton Kelly pinned your article to his Pinterest account?

    • Reply Hilary April 22, 2014 at 7:29 am

      Amanda, thank you so much for telling me about Clinton’s pin. I had no idea!!

  • Reply Karen Olson April 22, 2014 at 5:24 am

    I can totally relate! Stacey and Clinton were there for me all winter. After something like 46 episodes on Netflix, I finally figured out who I want to be. Went right out and bought a moto jacket!

    • Reply Hilary April 22, 2014 at 7:27 am

      Nice! Love that, Karen.

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