Golden Happiness

Opening2GOLDEN HAPPINESS

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· despair              · hopelessness
· self-loathing     · sense of longing

RxPRESCRIPTION GOLDEN HAPPINESS
OUTER:
 Gold sustainable platforms by Sydney Brown, silk jumpsuit by Chay, coyote hat available at Chay boutique.
INNER: I accept and embrace my life circumstances, whatever they may be.

warningWARNING
May create an uncontrollable urge to frolic in the sunset’s golden light.

Shannon Bindler desert

Shannon Bindler

 

Every birthday, I start the day by looking at myself in the mirror, with no makeup or fancifying. Not my every morning make-sure-there-is-nothing-awful-caked-to-my-face kind of glance, but an inquisitively deep look, the kind that seeks to see beyond new wrinkles and penetrate the places of my soul I try to hide even from myself.

JTREESMILEI’m currently obsessed with the emerging designer Chay. Her collection is filled with simple designs that can be dressed up or down and always make you feel like a million bucks – with zero fuss and practicality in spades.

My first thoughts inevitably take stock of the surface. I’m aging, and it’s visible in ways I haven’t seen up until now. Wow, that whole losing collagen thing is real… That doesn’t really bother me. I’m as concerned about my appearance as the next person, but aging has never been something I’ve feared. My entire adult life I’ve sought out beautiful older women as inspiration—wrinkles or age spots don’t really affect a person’s beauty in the way that bitterness and regret can.

Sometimes it’s age that makes something (or someone) exquisite. Joshua Tree is a perfect example of how cracks and decay create a masterpiece. Life and death, intermingling in perfect harmony.

hatbrushcolageIn addition to designing her own collection, Chay has filled her third street boutique, appropriately called Chay, with inventive gifts, home wear, and inspiration of all kinds like this coyote hat. 

I still my mind, and I notice something that somewhat startles me: happiness. Not perfection, but there it is, a sense of happiness. I’m able to recognize this state of being from the contrast I’ve experienced on past birthday mornings.

JTREEshoe2Sydney Brown is one of the most inventive shoe designers I’ve encountered. Each pair is not only a piece of art but is handmade in Los Angeles with 100% sustainable materials. Now that’s something to write home about!

My mind flashes back a decade, remembering myself, door locked to the bathroom I shared with two other women, tears involuntarily pouring down my cheeks as I came to grips with the sense of longing and hopelessness that pulsed from my reflection. I was a low-level assistant at a struggling magazine and a waitress in the evenings. I worked everyday (usually double shifts) to barely afford my shared housing situation and a leased economy Toyota Corolla. I was in a new relationship that felt hopeful, but we were so different I wasn’t sure if it would stick. The idea of having a family, a fulfilling career, stability, and lifelong friendships all seemed out of my reach. I just tried to get through each day. I drank, smoked and partied to cope with an overwhelming sense of disappointment, which would inevitably lead to bad decisions and more disappointment.

JTREEshoe1Sydney Brown’s golden platform adds undeniable glamour to an outfit while being surprisingly effortless to wear. I’ll be highlighting more from Miss Brown’s collection in future posts, so stay tuned to see other designs and more on her methods and inspirations.

All of those feelings returned, and I imagined myself now, sitting with my younger self. I lovingly told her that it’s all perspective. Things may seem tragic, but I couldn’t see back then how all the things that appeared to be desperate were actually stepping stones that would lead somewhere – maybe somewhere different than I expected, but somewhere golden nonetheless. I told myself that the assistant job would soon turn into a promotion as Lifestyle Editor, and in a decade I’d be contributing to some of my favorite publications. The man who seemed so different would become the yin to my yang, and we’d get married and start a family. The roommates I shared that bathroom with would stay friends, and we’d see each other through marriages, divorces, re-marriages, having children, losing loved ones, welcoming foster children, and so much more… It would still be messy and unpredictable, but in a decade I’d be undeniably happy.

JTREEcollageChay’s green jumpsuit is the perfect outfit to wear to dinner, the office, or a movie premiere. I love the versatility and effortless allure of this outfit.

My only resolution for the year is to remember the lesson of perspective. Things that feel awful may not be so horrible when seen through a different lens or through the filter of time. This year, I’m going to embrace and accept all of myself. I just might call upon my older self once in a while to remind me that the struggles and the celebrations are all just part of creating a golden life.

Shannon Bindler Joshua tree

Shannon Bindler

 

What does a Rx of ‘Golden Happiness’ mean to you?