Appreciating Me As Me - Not Letting Today Pass

Author: Weiting Bollu | February 2022 with September 2022 Update

For those who know me, I am very big on self-love. I believe that we can't love someone else if we don't, first, learn to love ourselves. It's easier said than done so I very often watch, read, reread, and write about topics of self-love.

Today, I came across a TEDx WhiteRock video "Change Your Closet, Change Your Life | Gillian Dunn | TEDxWhiteRock".

I spent 15 minutes intently watching Gillian convey her message. Gillian is a hospital Emergency Room (ER) Nurse.

The core messaging behind her talk are:

  • We buy things to fill up our closet for 'someday' or whatever excuse that comes up.

  • Have you ever thought about the priceless moment of TIME?

      • Best expressed by example: When we arrive in the ER, we don't show up in our nicest clothes or the most expensive watches. One moment can change your life where you may never get to drive that fancy car or wear those fancy stiletto shoes.

  • Life is what we make it. Make sure we enjoy it.

  • It's not YOLO - You Only Live Once. It's not about breaking the bank to buy something you don't have. It's about using what we already have.

  • The gift of life is TODAY. Stop waiting for that 'someday'.

After the video, I felt really inspired.

I sat back to reflect on what I had in my life that I save to use later because it's "too expensive", "too flashy", "too nice", "too big" to use right now. Then, dawned on me that I have dresses that have been sitting in my closet, shoes sitting in their original box, and jewelry I barely wear.

I'm not the only one and others I know are in the same position - whether we want to admit it or not. I want to do something about it.

What now?

In July 2022, I will be hosting a ladies gathering just like Gillian did. I will be inviting a group of ladies to come over to our home for a gathering to appreciate ourselves.

Theme: Appreciating Me As Me - Not Letting Today Pass

Premise:

  • For every lady to show up feeling beautiful, confident, and awesome.

  • Whether they are going to be in post-partum recovery like me, or thinking about going up for a promotion, or starting a new business, or going through personal mental health battles - I want us to celebrate it. It's going to be a toast to ourselves, and to each other.

  • There is no better day than today.

The guidelines are:

  1. Pick an outfit that you deem "there has not been an occasion to wear this (again)." This can be shoes, hat, jewelry, makeup, or otherwise.

  2. Bring an item that you deem "it's a little too nice for myself and I'm waiting for a special occasion to share this." This can be drinks, snacks, candles, perfume, cutlery, glasses, or otherwise.

  3. Bring something that no longer brings us the joy we once felt when we purchased it. Other ladies can take a look to see if we can make use of your treasure in our closet. We will also donate to a local charity if there are leftover gems.

  4. Bring items you already own and have barely used. It must not be newly bought.

And, the party happened!

Mid-August 2022, a few of my awesome lady friends came over for this event. When I say ladies showed up, they really showed up!

Us ladies chose to wear a tiara, high heels, jewellery, prom dress, PRIDE parade dress, maternity dress, and everything else that made us look fabulous. Every single lady took 'prom-like' photos by the staircase strutting their beautiful selves.

We also cooked delicious meals, which we ended up devouring. It was so good that some of our loved ones crashed the party to eat some too.

One of the ladies caught me off guard when she suggested we showcase what we brought to share with others. "WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I HAD NOT EVEN THOUGHT OF THAT!" I said.

From there, ladies started bringing boxes and boxes of things into the room. We're talking clothing, home-made greeting cards, toiletry, books, art supplies - much of it were brand new. Unopened, unused, or barely worn. It was such a delight watching all of us going "shopping" for these amazing goodies. We each took a bag (or three) of our newest treasures home - free.

It made me realize that a lot of the stuff I own might not bring me joy anymore but it brings other people SO MUCH JOY. That if I don't share these, they'd be hiding in the closet or sitting on the shelf somewhere collecting dust.

The best part about the entire gathering is the fact that these ladies opened up to share inspiring stories. From choosing to adopt a little one when they themselves were a teenager; to dealing with trauma; to experiencing camping in the woods alone for 2 weeks; to working multiple jobs to support extended family; to losing old friends but making new ones; to moving to Canada on a single suitcase; to life after the Miss World competition.

These stories must go on!!!

The power of gathering great minds together is our ability to lift each other up. The opportunity to make more friends who have the same values as us is honestly priceless. The chance to hear from my friends makes me so darn proud of where they are in their life. These are the happy moments that money can't buy. That's what makes these gatherings so special to me.

Well, this party is definitely happening again in the near future.