When I speak publicly or lead workshops one of the things I get asked about often is how I walk out the door, wearing my muchy Muchness, and don’t care what people think. The question itself is sorta a backwards compliment, but I’m not picky. I’ll take compliments in any form. 🙂
Now, I have an answer to this…. or the parts of ideas and thoughts that have pieced themselves together into an answer, and I’ve become so subconsciously aware of when people are thinking this, that I sometimes bring up the topic on my own in talks.
It basically boils down to this:
When I proactively make a choice to forget to judge others, somehow that makes me forget that they may be judging me.
It doesn’t happen automatically- there are certainly times where I stand in my closet and think “God- if I wear that, what are “they” gonna think?” but then I remind myself that just because “they” may wear beautifully tailored clothing, with perfectly coiffed hair from the salon and impeccably polished fingernails, doesn’t mean “they” are a judgmental bitch. Frankly, if I assume “they” are, than what does that make me? I’ll tell ya what…. a judgmental bitch.
I get that this is not so simple. I get that there are a lot more layers to this “who am I and how do I fit in with the world and people around me” conundrum, but frankly, I don’t have time to be doing that kind of math and emotional spelunking. Besides, I indulged those thoughts for years. I was left wearing gray and feeling invisible and like crap. But hey, at least no-one on the outside of my head was judging me, right?
So what do I do? I look around my closet, pull out something that makes me smile, is clean, weather appropriate and meets the general, broad guidelines of “appropriate” and walk out the door, reminding myself that everyone is human and sparkles make me happy. Anyone who wants to judge me behind my back just needs a little Muchness in their lives! (and PS- while you’re back there, don’t forget to kiss my muchy ass! 🙂 )
So last week I went to an incredible event- the Mom Grows A Business Conference in White Plains NY. This is me on that day.
I was a sponsor of the event, so I had a table full of Muchness Stuff, but what I didn’t expect was to be called on stage to share The Muchness Movement and my story.
But I was, and so I did.
And in that moment- that moment where I felt pretty effing awesome about being confident and experienced enough to grab a mic and hop on stage unprepared in front of 300+ entrepreneurial woman and keep my cool, I was being judged.
Probably by many, many people.
But only one decided to share it on her blog. (That I know of.)
And while I certainly could have assumed that I was being judged, assuming it and reading it in black and white are two entirely different things.
As I read her post, I got a little hot under the collar, ya know? I tried not to get all tense, or start second guessing my decision to wear something I KNEW would set me apart from the…. other women at the event.
OK- now before I go any further I want to point out a few things:
1- Despite what she wrote, I was not wearing vertical AND horizontal stripes. Just horizontal…. with a zebra striped Muchness Band. So sue me.
2- The idea of being styled by a carefree, excited-about-life two year old doesn’t really bother me that much. Better that than the personal shopper at, um…. White House Black Market. (hello….color?)
3- I didn’t have a miscarriage at 23 weeks. In-utero losses past 20 weeks are considered stillbirth. And I was 23.5 weeks. It’s a small difference but important to me.
I wear what I wear because I believe what I write, what I speak, and what I feel. I wear what I wear because once people are done judging me from afar, they may just get close enough to know why. Or I may get lucky enough to get on stage and share it with them. And sharing my Why is why I am here. Because my why seems to open people’s hearts. Because it helps people lower their own barriers, drop the walls and judgements they have built around them that stop them from… well, from doing so, so much in their own lives, with their own truths, hearts and talents.
So…. yeah. In the end, it was a pretty complimentary post- Wanna see what lesson this woman learned about her own Muchness? Go. 🙂
PS- If pre-Muchness Tova saw me now, she would totally judge me. But frankly, she was kinda a judgmental bitch.
I was wondering if you would read my post. I apologize for the errors…
I want you to know that I was about 45 minutes late on Friday. So I bypassed the lunch table sign-ups figuring I’d go back to them. I rushed into the conference room as Traci was speaking.
As I walked to my Instagram workshop, I stopped by that sign-up table. There was still room at your table, and I signed up immediately to get the chance to meet you.
Our Instagram workshop ran a little late. I went into that big room to find your table, and it was full. All the chairs had been taken. Well, except for one empty one that was being saved for someone who hadn’t arrived yet.
So I sat at an empty table. I really wish I had just dragged chair over to yours.
You are great. My daughters would love your sequins.
And one of these days, when things turn around for me financially, they will be wearing them.
Thanks again. For everything.
Hi Susie- I totally know who you are now! I was trying to place you from the pics on your blog and couldn’t, but you were sitting with my friend Paige. 🙂 I wish you had come to the table.
Thank You for writing your post- and I am so glad my 3 minutes on stage made an impact. I’ve never read a post about me from someone who saw me in real life- it was a little surreal actually and took me a second to really “hear” ya know? 🙂 This is actually a topic I’ve been wanting to tackle on my blog for a while but every time I’ve tried to put it into a post it just never feels right, so Thank You for giving me a place to start.
As I mentioned, there were many years I didn’t let myself stand out, years I squashed my individuality for fear of being judged.
The truth is getting on stage- or even just in life- looking different from the way I may be expected to look gives me more confidence. Almost as if- If I can confuse this person’s expectations at the outset, I can carve a path from there and take them to whatever muchy place they’re willing to go with me. 🙂
Oh- and sequins totally don’t have to be expensive, and they are always on sale at Century 21. lol. 🙂
Your personality is much shinier than your sequins 🙂
…I’ll have to remember that when I forget to do the laundry and all I have to wear to a gig are old sweats. 🙂
Tova- you are such a rock star! Love your muchness, but love your take on life event re! *hugs* my friend 🙂
Great blog post Tova. You go girl (in whatever you feel like wearing)!
you look great in that outfit -mixing prints is very in now 😉
Being dressed by my 10 year old is when I feel the best and muchiest!
Your confidence is something many women wish they had, myself included. Don’t ever forget all the people who you inspire – they outshine the judgy mcjudgers out there.
Good for you, Tova! It’s really hard to hear negativity and not let it effect you (for too long at least). I think you have such an awesome approach to life and to passing judgement. Beautiful!
I say rock it! I love how you mentioned that you don’t judge others…so you forget about judging yourself and you forget others may judge you. I say live by this rule as much as possible because it helps to be footloose and fancy free in life 🙂 Yes..negativity can get you down. But you handled it really well!