Lifetouch loves me. Though I never display them, I always purchase my children’s school pictures. Every year since that very first order form came home with my daughter Greta in Kindergarten, I’ve chosen a package and written a check. Like the other parents, I then waited two months for the photos to come home, cut them out and shared them with grandparents.
My three children are all in high school this year. I continue to add to their school photo collection. The yearly envelopes are tucked away in the basement. Every so often, we pull them out and line up the photos of each child chronologically.
I’m always moved to tears when we do this simple activity. I’m overwhelmed by the fleeting nature of childhood and by how much they’ve changed since that first school photo.
However, what I find most amazing is how much my high school kids resemble their Kindergarten selves. When looking backwards, it’s so obvious who they were destined to become.
The age progression laid out on my dining room table tells me that these teenagers have been emerging since before they were five years old.
The essence of who they are today was there in Kindergarten and it is perfectly visible in hindsight. It’s profound to experience the reversal of time in this way.
By looking back from the present we can see that who we are currently has always been inside of us…
All of this is to say…
I’ve been reading Vogue magazine for decades. I was introduced to this fashion bible in the beginning of high school.
I don’t remember much about my first Vogue magazine, but I remember being in awe. I loved the weight of it in my hands. I loved the way it looked and smelled. I was intrigued by the idea of using clothing and accessories to alter our mood and appearance. It felt important and adult.
In college, I studied Fashion Merchandising. Vogue became required reading. I devoured every issue...my absolute favorite was a copy of French Vogue purchased on my first trip to Paris.
I collaged my walls and doors with images cut from the ever-growing Vogue tower that stood proudly in my room.
At that time, when I imagined my dream job, it was editor of French Vogue.
I didn’t push myself very hard in the direction of that dream job. Instead, I made a series of choices that led me away from my love of fashion and style. Due to several different factors, I began to view the world of fashion as silly and unnecessary. Frivolous and not important.
I ignored the essence of who I am.
How does this connect to my pile of Lifetouch photos?
When I look at my children’s current school photos...I now see the souls of my teenagers in their Kindergarten faces. I see that they have become exactly who they were meant to be at this stage.
Decades ago, as I flipped through the pages of that very first Vogue magazine, I knew that fashion and style were a fundamental part of who I am.
At the core, I'm still the same as my own Kindergarten photo. Though I haven’t asked her, I’m quite certain that my mother can see in my childhood photos the woman I am today.
I no longer want to be the editor of Vogue Paris. I am thankful I chose a different path.
I am exactly where I belong.
In the past decade I’ve begun to listen to my heart again. I’ve returned to the world of fashion, but this time on my terms.
We all need to get dressed daily. I’ve realized that by helping women feel beautiful, authentic and empowered through their wardrobes, I am able to share my real passion for style in a valuable way.
My hope is that my children stay true to who they are and follow the path that feeds their souls.
I’m excited about continuing on my own journey and holding tight to what really matters to me.
I’m going to start with some me time and this month’s yet unopened issue of Vogue.
What about you hasn't changed since you were a child?
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Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,