What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up? Part Five of Five

Over the years, I have spoken to and personally worked with thousands of women. Taking clothing to a higher purpose as well as hearing their stories has been a mission and joy to me. Now as I sit and reflect on the past, I also look forward to future adventures that await my journey.

As I have mentioned before, I do believe that sometimes we lead our lives and sometimes our lives lead us. Some years ago, I met a woman that suggested that I take my message to the world of tween girls. This was very thought-provoking as many of my clients have shared that their self-esteem issues started in childhood and that they had shared my first book, I DON'T HAVE A THING TO WEAR, The Psychology of Your Closet, with their daughters. I suggested this idea to my friend Pamela McKuen who is an award-winning writer and fashion expert. This did propose a challenge as I have sons and she has no children. We had a New York agent that believed in us and was just waiting for the manuscript. We went off to find the voices of these young girls.

After many focus groups with girls from the poorer sections of Chicago, where I lived at the time, we ventured off to visit and listen to girls from the wealthier areas of the city. We asked both groups to define beautiful. We wanted them to share stories of being bullied. We listened and we learned!

Our book, Expressionista, How to Express Your True Self Through (and Despite) Fashion, was born. Simon and Schuster loved the book and now I have two books to hold in my hands. The title resonated with us. Fashionistas follow trends. Our girls learn their unique blend of personal styles and are true o themselves. They become Expressionistas. They self-express. They then respect themselves and understand other styles and respect others too. They cannot be made to emulate others. They do not take bullying personally.

So now where does the road take me? I still love working personally with clients. I still adore public speaking and sharing self-esteem dressing. The little seven-year-old inside me that raised her hand to volunteer for everything and search for new adventures still lives.

As we live our lives we seldom take the time to stop and look at them. Please take this exercise. Stop the world and busy brain for a few minutes. Sit and quietly reflect on the past roads and how learning can affect future paths. Relive the joys and learn from the challenges. I do believe that we can have and accomplish anything we have ever desired. We just need to take those leaps into life's satisfactions and joy.

Where do I go from here? Where do you go from here? The journey continues and new dreams await!

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

It Ain't Over: Paula Shuman