Congratulations on your wonderful and exciting career in Fashion and fashion merchandising.
And I am SO so sorry that your family is so superficial. But just like in the fairy tale, the ugly duckling was literally driven hatefully and cruelly from his original barnyard before he was eventually deeply loved and appreciated as a swan. Ironically, the fairy tale doesn’t say what happened to his original barnyard – just that the Swan lived happily ever after being admired and beloved by his new home.
All you can do is accept your family as the coarse backward hicks they are. There is no changing them. And that’s ok. Yes. It’s OK. You are different – or whatever derogatory term they wish to use. That’s ok, too.
Thing is, you, dear one, through talent and hard work and determination are on your way to being a powerhouse in the fashion industry. Learn. Listen. Watch and learn some more. Find a good mentor – like your boss, for example. Make friends o f the industry movers and shakers (and believe me, the real powerhouses behind the fashion industry aren’t always the Top Models). Make connections. Above all, learn, learn, learn.
And as odd as it seems, relish your coarse and unrefined family. They have taught you to be strong; to be compassionate; to be forgiving.
And remember, part of what makes you highly successful at your young age is that you have learned the art of listening. Yes! Your quiet, gentle nature is an incredible asset. Better yet, beneath that gentle and quiet person – is a pillar of strength – the strength it takes to make it in a tough industry like Fashion.
Oh honey, one of the sad facts of life is that sometimes our families let us down. Sometimes they just can’t see what is directly in front of them. Sometimes they won’t believe what is right in front of them.
A great philosopher, teacher – and in my faith, savior – taught us that we must love those who are unlovable. He didn’t mention that sometimes it’s our own families who are the unlovable ones. So, love your family.
But don’t let them get you down. When someone says ugly things to you – forgive them. They truly know not what they do. It’s out of ignorance mostly – you just smile knowingly and gently and forgivingly. Don’t let them sway you from your goals – just be the sphinx and let them think what they will.
And when you’re president and managing director of your own brand of clothing, flitting from Paris to London to Bangkok, to Sidney – take a niece or nephew with you and let them see how way-cool his “Auntie” really is.
Keep your chin up honey. I’m your Mother’s age – and I, for one, am doggoned proud of you!