The Leather Skirt

Taking a break from the serious tone of my last two posts, I’m going to tell you a little story of how a leather skirt changed everything for me.

When I found out that Kasey was getting married and wanted our girl gang to join her in Nashville for her bachelorette weekend, I could only think of two things…

1. I’m going to look like a gremlin in comparison to these girls…
(No, seriously. They’re all 10’s. And the bride? 12/10 on her worst day.)

2. Whatever, I’m getting drunk

So, naturally, I went into full panic mode and, bought like 7 entirely new outfits for the trip. THREE. MONTHS. PRIOR.

I got a bunch of random things. Neon green snakeskin booties, a BCBG leather jacket, a lace bodysuit, several dresses, and a leather skirt. You know ~ the necessities ~ for any girls trip.

So here I am in March of this year, standing in front of my mirror trying on all of these awesome things that I bought. To my surprise, I loved almost all of the things that I purchased even after I put them on, which never happens when I shop online. Everything but the leather skirt.

To be fair, I’m not really sure what I was thinking. I’m 5’9″ and I weight about 180lbs. I’m not exactly “leather skirt” material. And I don’t mean like good quality leather, I mean like the latex-y, skin-tight, shiny (p)leather.

“You must have taken an extra dose of pain medicine when you thought that skirt would look good on you” – Me to myself when I tried to zip it up, considering I bought it from a hospital bed post-op.

I just threw it back in the package that it came in, and tossed it under my bed because “returning one item was pointless” but honestly, I hoped one day it would fit me.

Fast forward a few months to May. It still didn’t fit. Whatever. I still lucked out on most of my outfits and I wasn’t going to let something like that ruin my mood for this trip. And it didn’t.

#RublesLastWorldTour was a success.

The fun came to an end, and the next few months were pretty troubling for me. I had been struggling with mental health issues for a while prior to this point, but mid-to-late June 2019 is when they really came to a head.

I was really confused. All of my friends are beautiful, successful, married, having kids, settling down, and the list goes on.
And then there’s me, barely making it day-to-day, feeling less than in comparison to everyone around me.

To make this long story as short as possible.. The “problems” all started in October of 2018. I left a toxic relationship. Tried to replace that relationship with equally toxic ones, drinking, and avoiding reality. I’ll let you guess how that all turned out.

Then around December 2018 I got really sick, and never really recovered. I had strep throat 3 times, mono, and the flu. My doctor decided that it was time that I get my tonsils taken out at the age of 25. We scheduled my surgery for March 2019. I still kind-of curse my parents for not doing it sooner. The most miserable experience of my life. I had so many complications and felt really alone in my recovery, aside from the few friends and family who came to visit and made sure I was still (half) alive. If y’all are reading this, thank you. I love you.

Oh and my favorite wrench in the story, I was only one class away from graduating from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and they shut their doors for bankruptcy forcing me to either a) transfer and prolong graduation, or b) quit. I transferred, if you were wondering. I graduate in less than 2 months which sucks in comparison, but at least I can say I finished.

In the midst of all of this, I met a new boy. Typical beginning stages, lovey-dovey stuff. Things were great for a while, and then they weren’t. I’ll spare the details. Besides, I can’t just blame him. Towards the end of our relationship, I started struggling really bad with issues that I never really noticed before. Anxiety, panic, depression. You name it. I decided to seek help. We ended our relationship, and once again, I was alone and confused.

I decided that it was best that I seek help. My first therapist was kind-of helpful, but she kept blaming a lot of my problems on men, and me being co-dependent. I agreed with some of it, but as a pretty self-aware female, I knew my problems were way deeper than that. When I finally went to see a professional and got a psych evaluation, the diagnosis brought me to my knees. Bipolar. I thought to myself, there is no way that I can be mentally ill at all, let alone bipolar.

I had a super awesome upbringing. My parents were loving, they’re still married, and I never went without. I was spoiled. I was out of the country before the age of 6. I’ve seen more of this world than most people would even dream. I am so blessed, and a lot of people would kill to live the life that I do. I felt guilty for being so miserable and for being mentally ill. How could this happen to me?

It’s been a long road from now until then, and I’m still working to figure out what will work best for me, but I’m still here. Fighting the good fight. I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with a leather skirt, right?

One day I was feeling completely distraught. Didn’t leave my bed, let alone leave my house. I just felt like I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t focus on work, I couldn’t focus on school, I couldn’t focus on maintaining friendships. I couldn’t focus on anything other than the racing of my own heart.

I dropped to my knees beside my bed and just hugged my dog and cried. I was so thankful that he was around for times like these. Truly my saving grace. When I put my hand down to push myself up, I felt it. The leather skirt I threw under my bed months ago.

I stared at it. I hated this skirt in that moment. I thought about just throwing it in the trash, but something inside of me said to just try it on. I put this skirt on and not only did it fit, but it looked GOOD on me. I was shocked. I immediately started smiling and my tears seemed to dry. I stared at myself in the mirror for a minute, and everything else seemed to disappear.

The failed relationships, the health issues, my diagnosis, my sadness. Everything. In that moment I knew that fashion was so much more to me than just a degree, or a hobby. It all made sense. This is why I decided to write this blog. This is why I decided to enter the industry. I want everyone to have moments like this, and I want to be a part of it.

Clothing and fashion isn’t going to be the answer to every problem in your life. Trust me, I know that first hand. But I truthfully believe that when you look good, you feel good.

You see, it wasn’t about the skirt at that moment. It was about everything that happened leading up to me trying on the skirt again. Now anytime I wear the skirt, it’s a reminder of everything I made it through. I feel strong. I feel free. Sure, I have my moments where I still struggle. Life isn’t somehow perfect now that a leather skirt fits me, but every day I’m getting better.

This isn’t a typical solution that most people will recommend to you when you’re feeling down on yourself, or lost, or whatever negative feelings you may bear. But seriously, the next time you’re feeling bad about anything. Put on something that you feel empowered in. It could be a pair of sweatpants. It could be a blazer. Hell, it could be nothing at all. Then just spend a minute with yourself and think of everything that you’ve overcame up until that very moment. Be free.

And most importantly, never give up on yourself.

Xo,
The Leather Skirt

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