After booking my flight to Paris, I was consumed with one thought:
“I need a dress. Like… a FABULOUS dress.”
I’ve never been to Paris before and goddamn it, I was going to do it RIGHT.
First, I went to RentTheRunway.com and ordered several gowns to try on. They were stunning and beautifully made, but none of them fit me properly. I sent them back. I tried Revolve.com. Same deal. Nothing fit. Total bust.
With my trip rapidly approaching, it was time to take extreme action. I emailed my friend Katelyn Watson and asked:
“Could you create a custom gown for me?”
I described the vision that I had in my head. I wanted red. Flowing. Floor length. Total red carpet elegance and diva-esque drama. Grace Kelly meets Beyoncé meets Mariah Carey meets Michelle Obama at the Inauguration Ball.
Oh, and, we have about 3 days.
Miraculously, Katelyn said: “Yes.”
Project Red Dress involved overnighting material and doing 5 fittings in 72 hours. My bedroom was a flurry of fabric, pins, and measurement tape. My husband thought I’d gone completely insane.
“Isn’t this a little, um, over the top?” he asked during the 4th or 5th dress fitting.
“Yup,” I replied, with a tone that said “… and that’s a problem because??”
Katelyn worked her magic and finished the dress just in time. It wound up being a work of art worthy of the front cover of Vogue or a permanent museum display at the Louvre.
After arriving in Paris, I put on the dress, hopped into a taxi, and did a photo shoot by the Eiffel Tower. When I saw the photos, I cried.
I cried because the Red Dress was so much more than a pretty piece of custom clothing. It was the physical representation of so many years of dreaming, craving, planning, patience, and hard work.
Twelve years ago, I was a woman who hated her job, who continually made excuses and never traveled overseas (despite desperately wanting to), who was thirty-five pounds overweight, and who never thought she could afford, wear, or feel confident in a red dress like… THAT.
I worked hard to reshape my mind, body, career and income—to create my fantasy life. It didn’t just “happen.” Just like creating the Red Dress, creating my dream life took energy, creativity, self-belief, vision, support from my sisters, and a dash of craziness.
The Red Dress represents the woman that I’ve fought to become.
A woman who says “Hell yes!” to life instead of “Maybe later.”
A woman who creates memories instead of collecting regrets.
A woman who knows that her fantasies, dreams, and cravings are worth honoring, because that’s kinda the entire point of life.
Why did I wear that completely over the top dress?
Because I wanted to.
PS. Of course, I gotta ask… what about you? What’s your version of the Red Dress? What do you want to do, be, have, taste, or experience before the end of this year… or before the end of your life?
Do you want to write a cookbook, learn to speak Italian, run a 5K, chop off your hair, go back to school, completely transform your career, or double your monthly income?
If you want to, then you should.
“Because I want to” is a complete explanation. No additional justification required.
Do you want to help other women do the same? Sign up for BARE Coach Training.