If you haven’t met Claire before I’m going to take a minute to drastically improve your life. Claire is the type of girl who can chill with the guys and have a beer but never makes you feel prissy or stuck up for not wanting to wear your heels out in the rain. Claire listens patiently even when you retell the same stories, she sympathizes as you whine and never ever makes you feel as if your concerns are trivial or dramatic. Claire casually posts inspirational facebook statuses like “Don’t worry if you’re making waves by being yourself, the moon does it all the time” & “The most important thing is to keep the important thing important“&”The greatest gift you can give someone is the space to be his or herself without the threat of you leaving” just because. Whenever you go to the Vashon island Thriftway, Claire is bound to run into at least a handful of people she knows and treats all of them as if they are her best friends. Claire repurposes clothing she finds at thrift stores, cutting off straps, long strips of fabric and tying it all together with the perfect shade of lipstick. Claire spent a quarter working on a flower farm on Maui. Claire is clumsy, she’ll fall down the stairs if given the opportunity, but she always gets back up and doesn’t whine and cry about it. Claire always laughs at the right parts when you tell stories that are supposed to be funny, she reads your blog, she likes your instagram photos, she retweets your tweets…in short she does all the things a friend is supposed to do. Claire channels witches and grunge and vampires when she gets dressed. She’s a nanny who cares for toddlers and infants all day and wants to be a social worker. Claire will snapchat you one hundred times in a row if need be to assure that a stupid boy doesn’t end up on your snapchat BFF list (because obviously that would just be embarrassing).
We can learn a lot from people like Claire. After spending time with her I am inspired to be less judgmental, most people aren’t so bad after all right?! I feel compelled to listen a little more, and talk a little less. I urge myself to maybe just try hanging out with the boys before I decide that I don’t like it (and then reaffirming that I don’t). Most importantly Claire has demonstrated to me that broken things, dirty things, ugly things can be made beautiful again. When I walk into a thrift store I don’t look for pieces I can improve, it’s not in my nature. I walk in looking for the perfect fully complete dress and if I don’t find it, I leave feeling disappointed.
I sometimes wonder if I transfer my same thrift store approach to life. Do I walk into each new situation hoping it will be perfect from the start instead of recognizing that it will take some cutting and stitching and maybe even a few sequins before it really “fits me“? The same can be said about people! I often joke that I don’t have a lot of friends because I don’t like a lot of people, and it’s true…I really don’t like a lot of people. Yet, as much as I am okay with investing my time solely into a handful of individuals I’ve deemed “worth it” (Claire being one of them obviously) I can still see the flaws in this logic. Should I be spending more time investing in people and helping them “beautify” themselves rather than simply gravitating towards those who I subconsciously call “already good enough“?
In the end people just aren’t vintage rock tees turned slouchy crop tops, and new life experiences just aren’t mom jeans turned chic high waisted shorts. However there are instances when it is helpful to keep this thrift store mentality in mind. With my big upcoming move I am continuously reminding myself that even if I feel uncomfortable or lonely or scared at first it is my job to use these bad feelings as motivation to create something I love, rather than wallowing in my own social isolation. Claire doesn’t know she told me those things yesterday while tromping through the woods on her pretty little island, but she did.
P.S. THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH A FABULOUS MODEL CLAIRE! I would link Claire’s fashion blog here because she is so cool and creative when it comes to clothes but she doesn’t have one because she’s selfish and doesn’t want to share her fabulous beauty with the world (her one flaw).