Hello All! I’ve been a little absent on my blog here lately but all for good reasons; fashion styling adventures! I’ll share some of those later on this week. For now I want to share a fun connection I made this month. I had the pleasure of meeting a young, fashion-lover named, Lillie Yurco thanks to the power of social media. Something that can be viewed as making people less present can actually have positive attributes about it as well. For instance, my experience with meeting Lillie.
Lillie’s mother, Krissy reached out to me on instagram and asked if I could talk to her daughter about a career in fashion. I was excited to speak with such a spirited young person about something so near and dear to my heart. I believe that when you’ve been given the opportunity to pursue your dreams and another person is wanting guidance that you should help in any way that you can. Someone once took me under their wing and taught me the power of networking in the fashion realm so I viewed this as my chance to pay it forward.
Lillie and I both realize how hard it can be to pursue a fashion career in a small town. I shared tips and tricks on how to make it work and to not let your geographical location keep you from doing something you yearn to do. After our little discussion through text, we later turned our social media chat into shadowing me on a fashion shoot. I loved having Lillie alongside me during my recent photo shoot for Clutch MOV. We chatted about attention to detail and the power of connecting with people in the community and networking. I loved learning a little bit more about her as well.
For instance, she has a passion for writing. I was given the opportunity to read a piece that she wrote in 2018 after visiting New York City for the first time. I was blown away with how quickly her story drew me in. I felt like I was there with her experiencing it for the first time as well (fun fact, I’ve never been to NYC)! I asked Lillie and her mom if it would be okay if I shared it here with all of you today! I hope you enjoy this piece by Lillie Yurco as much as I did. Remember that name because she’s going to do some great things with her life.
The Way the Light Reflects
As the lights came on, we rose from our seats in the massive, dark theater. I stood completely still, stunned into silence. Leaving “The Lion King,” we left behind the make-believe animals and headed back into the “Concrete Jungle.”
Walking out of the Broadway theater and spilling back onto the streets, I was amazed at how quickly we were transported into another world. I sleepily rubbed my eyes and looked around. In the darkness of the night, the sky shone with lights of every color. It was then that I fully understood why it is considered “the city that never sleeps.” The tired feeling that I had experienced only moments before was gone. My whole being buzzed with excitement. My eyes were wide with curiosity. Although I would be leaving this place in a few short hours, I wanted this feeling to last forever. I felt so small in the sea of skyscrapers, packs of people, and loads of lights, yet so significant in it all. Thinking out loud among the noise of the night, I whispered a single word.
The lights of Times Square were reflected in my eyes as I reflected on this new feeling. One that I had never felt before.
In seventh grade, I signed up to take a four day trip to New York City with my school. I was beyond excited. This trip had become a tradition at our school, and I had looked forward to it for years; it was something I had always dreamed about. I imagined myself slowly strolling the streets, window shopping in high-end boutiques, and eating fancy meals in cute, little restaurants.
After first arriving in New York City, we rushed to find someplace to eat breakfast. We were longing for some warm, filling nourishment after a night full of eating whatever snacks we could find on the bus. My small group walked into the first place we saw, as we were already running behind schedule. We stepped into a hole-in-the-wall type of breakfast diner, and I already realized this trip was not going to be the glamorous experience I was expecting. As I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich, I sat down with my best friend, Leslie, who made a disgusted face at her bowl of oatmeal.
“I feel like I’m eating wet cardboard,” she giggled.
“This tastes like plastic,” I said chewing up the first bite of egg.
We tasted each other’s order and ended up swapping our food. I ate the bland, slop-like oatmeal and she ate the rubbery egg sandwich. The meals only got worse. The next three days consisted of buckets of chicken, overpriced green-tinted pasta, pizza sopping with grease, and fish that made me sick. I had hopes that the constant walking would burn some of the calories of the food that I had been consuming.
Walking along the overwhelming streets, I tried to take it all in. My group leader casually led us into Tiffany & Co, and, as just a small thirteen-year-old girl, I stared at the outrageously priced, breathtaking pieces of jewelry. I watched as the iconic Tiffany blue bags were carried out of the store in the hands of ladies who chatted with their friends leaving behind the echoes of their clicking high heels. Leaving the store in a daze, with my eyes wide trying to take in the beautiful chaos of this, we continued down the overflowing streets. I longingly stared into the windows of designer stores with extravagant displays. Passing Valentino and Gucci, I made a silent promise to myself to come back one day and be able to shop in these designer stores, but for now I would stick to feasting my eyes on the eccentric fabrics and crazy pieces. The messy streets decorated with beautiful shops fueled my dream of wanting to work with fashion as my future career. I was snapped back into reality when I ran directly into a young man who was definitely in a hurry.
“I am so sorry!” I quickly cried out, as I bumped into this man carrying an important-looking briefcase. I felt horrible for not paying attention.
The man barely looked up as he increased his speed and walked faster past me. I was expecting a friendly exchange, but, instead, I was just ignored.
Being careful not to disturb anyone else, I glanced at the people around me. Trying hard to keep up with my group, I took in the sight that I saw. I watched as a group of joggers passed by dressed in dull, gray clothing, their eyes focused on the obstacles ahead. I saw a young couple walking aimlessly, hand in hand, with loving eyes on each other. My eyes were pulled toward a man dressed in an outrageous outfit, covered in feathers and fabrics of every color you could imagine. I continued on as I saw a young lady dressed in a pantsuit, with her chin held high, as she walked into a large corporate building. I recognized that everyone had a story, and I was just playing a small part in it. And, as we influenced each other without even noticing, everyone continued on, not minding the diversity surrounding them. I let out a relieved sigh. There was a perfect balance in the differences among us.
While this voyage was not the picture-perfect trip I was expecting, those days spent in New York instilled a passion in me. This trip gave me the desire to stop trying to discover the perfect life, but instead search for beauty in the chaos. Letting go of all expectations, I realized then that everything will work out for the better, And with that changed perspective, the sparkle of the lights in Times Square still reflects in my eyes.
I hope you enjoyed Lillie’s piece as much as I did. I personally think it would make a great illustrated book one day. I shared all of this with you to remind you to take the time to connect with people in different ways, especially the young ones. They are our future! Think back on those times you wish you had been able to meet someone that shared the same passion as yourself and was living their dream. I know I will forever remember my time with Lillie and Krissy Yurco.
Krissy, if you’re reading this thank you for sharing your sweet daughter with me for the day and taking the time to reach out to me on social media. Lillie is lucky to have a mother like you. I hope one day someone will do the same for my daughter. Wishing you all the best Miss Lillie Yurco! Don’t hold back when it comes to your dreams.
You Faithful Dreamer,