by Tara Osipoff on September 5, 2012
I wanted to tell you about the time I spent a year being twenty-five, and how I came to be twenty-six. I sat at the computer for some time, writing and erasing. How do I begin to tell you about one of the greatest years of my life? Then I remembered something I once heard. I was told that the way you spend your birthday is an indication of how your year will shape up. Well, on my twenty-fifth birthday, September 2nd of last year, I wrote this:
Today, time says I’m twenty-five. Well, if time is imaginary, and twenty-five is just a calculation of numbers, then what does that mean?
To me it means this: today, I have laughed more than I have cried, I’ve certainly loved, and sadly, I have lost. But it only taught me to love more, with more intensity and with less boundaries.
I have shed tears, some of sorrow, but some flooded with joy.
I’ve traveled far and wide, at times for friends, and other times for love, and sometimes for simply no reason at all. But not one step have I taken with regret.
I’ve met some people in my day, some strange people, some beautiful people, some short people, some tall people, some odd people, some people I’d call friends, some I wouldn’t call at all, some people I’d like to meet again, and some people I can’t imagine having never met…
I’ve made all sorts of mistakes, big massive ones and some itty bitty small ones, but not one hasn’t led me to where I am today.
In fact, I’d really like to meet 17-year-old Tara. 17-year-old Tara and 25-year-old Tara would tell her to not take life so seriously; it’ll all work itself out.
I’ve gone from wild child to gypsy without breaking a sweat.
I’ve discovered a few things: one, some of the most brilliant and amazing people are the ones with few words; and two, shut up and listen—you’ll learn a thing or two.
Today I know that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, and living in yesterday won’t bring you happiness now.
I know that happiness isn’t found in a shoebox, it isn’t found in a big box store, and you can’t find it sitting behind the wheel of a car. A very wise man once told me that happiness is never lost, it is always where you left it last; simply choose it again…
At twenty-five I know that if you live your life and you can’t look in the mirror and smile—if you can’t look at yourself and have a good laugh—then you really aren’t living at all.
I read in a book once that life is like a sandwich. You make your own reality, so if you’re sick of peanut butter and jam—if you aren’t happy with the way things are looking around you—simply make yourself something else. You create your own world; you’re the only one packing your lunch.
I went from thinking that my parents were out to get me, to calling them to come get me, to feeling that they were the only ones who really “get” me.
God, Allah, Dieu, Jumula, Gud, Universe, Mother Giai—whichever you’re going by today—at times I was sure you were cruel, at times I felt loved, other times I thought you were trying to be a comedian, and one time I thought I saw you in a grocery store. Whatever your profession, I’ve stopped trying to understand you; I think we’d both agree that life is much easier this way.
I know now that you need be careful with who you pretend to be, because you are who you pretend to be.
I found that when you do things with love and kindness as your motives, life seems to simply fall into place. You will have bad times, at times, but they’ll wake you up to all that good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.
And if I know one thing for sure, it’s to be grateful… ‘cause this too shall pass.
And if I know another thing for sure, it’s to let the little things go; the bad day at work, the petty stuff with the people you love, the angry client, the bad break up… ‘cause guess what, that too shall pass.
So what does all of this mean? Well, I sat at this computer while listening to “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger,” and I realized that I don’t. I wouldn’t change a damn thing. I don’t want to change 17-year-old Tara, or the 24-year-old Tara, for that matter. I think they shaped up to be alright.
And I’ll tell ya this much for free: I know that age is just a calculation of numbers, and the only numbers that will define me are the number of times I’ve laughed in a day; the number of times I’ve cried—for joy, for sorrow, and for the colour of the day; the number of people that hold a place in my heart; and the number of moments that shape my being. Those are the numbers I’ll keep track of. So yeah, today I may be twenty-five by the calculation of the moon and sun, but in my eyes I am an infinite number.
Today I’m nothing more than a grateful human being.
Today, I am twenty-six. I am ever evolving, ever changing, and ever accepting. 26-year-old Tara is damn proud of 25-year-old Tara. I am proud of the year I spent being twenty-five; that note you just read certainly depicted my last year. I am ever the more wise, ever the more grateful, and ever the more satisfied and content with life. Just days after writing that piece, I traveled part of this great earth with one of the most remarkable women who walk it, Katie Bear. I am so grateful to know you; you make this earth more enjoyable, and there isn’t another human I would have rather risked my life with my dear. I took chances, and sometimes I lost, but ironically I learned that even when you lose, as long as you take that shot, you always win. I learned that no one on this earth is going to make your dreams come true for you; you are the only person that can make that happen. Okay, that part I already knew—but I didn’t know that if you truly believe, with all that you have inside of you, it actually works, 100% of the time. My life seems to be one of the most remarkable of all the lives I have come across. I think it is because I somehow tricked the most unbelievable people on this planet to love me, to be my friends, to make me laugh, to share their lives with me. And for that, I spend every day paying them back with love. At twenty-five I made some of my wildest dreams come true. I think that there are few people on this earth who can say that, while knowing that the best is yet to come. I think twenty-five was a year of friendship and self-acceptance. I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin, and that is reflected in the beautiful people that surround me; it is reflected in the fairy tale life that I lead. I have never felt more comfortable to be weird, to be odd, to be completely bonkers some days. I know that “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” I know that dreaming isn’t just for when you are asleep; I now dream when I am awake, and my world depicts that. I live in a fantasy.
I am sitting here listening to “End of The Line” by The Travelling Wilbury’s. Tom Petty’s verse, “I don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive, I am just happy to be here, happy to be alive” pretty much sums up twenty-five for me. I am not ashamed of me; I am proud of who I am, because I am human, I am here, and I exist. That is all I need to feel worthy; that is all I need to deserve my every dream.
As I said a year ago today: I am just a grateful human being.
Big thanks to Scott Goodwill. He is the talented photographer I am so lucky to work with; his passion shows through his every shot, and through that lens his world begins.
Today I styled my own look, but I let my dearest friends dress themselves. Every one of them has a unique touch and a vision of their own, and I wanted that to show.
My life is so beautiful, and for that reason, I dress accordingly.
by Tara Osipoff on August 27, 2012
I am writing from the beautiful British Columbia today.
I am sitting right smack downtown in Victoria, on Vancouver Island.
Today I strolled down to the Sitka clothing store to have a cup of coffee in their lovely cafe. As I approached their quaint little shop, feeling inspired by the completely different realm of street fashion this city has to offer, I heard someone call out at me.
“Hey you, can you spare some change for a coffee?”
Before I tell you my response, I want to share with you a bit of my past. I don’t come from money; I work hard for the bit that I do have, and I have been to countries around the world where people still live in mud huts and have no running water. I am a very grateful human being for the things that I have in my existence. I believe in the law of attraction as well—share and you will be shared with. I won’t get into our flawed system and the devastating number of impoverished people in this world. Some people will argue that to give change to the people who beg for it is enabling, but I am sure of this: I have been in times of need in my short life, and I am blessed to have had a life full of help. So I give any time that I can.
My response: “Sure, I will get you a coffee. Want a bite to eat?”
Chad (later finding out his name): “No, just a coffee.”
Me: “Great, I am headed for one right now at Sitka.”
Chad: “I prefer Starbucks.”
I chuckled as I shook my head. Chad and I chatted a bit more and then I gave him a bit of change to wander down the street for a Dark Roast from Starbucks. Whether that’s where he ended up, I am unsure, but I wasn’t going to tell him he couldn’t have his coffee his way. It is what he prefers, and I didn’t feel I could argue with that.
People are funny; I often state that we are a complex breed. As Chad displayed, even when in a tight position we apparently still have our preferences. That, I guess, is a luxury that people in this day and age have. We’re picky. We know what we want—whether we are in dire need of it or not—and we are not willing to compromise.
Which brings me to my post on ball caps. I am in love with this look for fall. This style is inspired straight from the streets of Brooklyn and has been spotted in New York and L.A.; it is big city style that I think our city is ready for. I am not asking you to compromise your preferred way of wearing a ball cap; I don’t want you to change your pretty pink obsession. I just think that you would look pristine pairing the two. I don’t want you to choose no-name coffee over Starbucks. I don’t wanna change you—I’m just suggesting you try to pair a stylish hat with your existing fabulous attire. Go outside your comfort zone a bit and test this edgy look with your already unique style. Pairing a crisp, fresh hat—whether it be your fav team or a stellar brand name logo—with your favourite blazer, a plush fur jacket or a leather bomber can be a way to keep things mint. You know what you like, and I don’t want to change that; that is what I love that about you.
Reinventing your look doesn’t mean changing the base of your style components. You know what works for you; just try incorporating current trends into your wardrobe, or start your own. Always keep that unique ground on which you stand. I know that trends will come and go and you need to choose which ones are for you and which ones work with your wardrobe, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. You cannot fail if you believe in your look. Never compromise your swag, but step outside your comfort zone and stay fresh. “The only way to predict the future is to invent it.” Take forecasted trends and make them your own.
I hope I see you rockin’ out the ball cap; I think it would look dope on you.
Trends are going to come and go and come back again; some people will wear them, and some people won’t. All that matters is that you stay you, stay fresh, stay innovative, and choose what works best for you.
I want to leave you with this today: if you have ever dreamed of a look in your head, pictured an outfit that you think would be outstanding, but then resisted making it happen due to one or several reasons, I dare you to push those reasons aside and try it out. Don’t just be a dreamer; be a dream doer. The people that set trends in this world, the people who create change, the people who invent greatness—they aren’t afraid, and even when they are, they don’t allow that fear to win over. They know that to take a risk may mean to tumble, but the risk of creating something visionary is greater than the risk of failure. Failure means one thing to me: an opportunity to be better, better than you were when you failed. And there is no reason to be afraid of that.
Be great, be a risk taker, be a dreamer, be a dream doer, be a visionary—this world depends on it.
We’re waiting for you to be exceptional, ‘cause we know it’s inside of you.
Life, it is beautiful, dress accordingly… ‘cause you’re a part of it.
Photography by a visionary himself, Scott Goodwill
Models: Alex Martin, one of the most wonderful human beings to grace this earth; an innovator. And moi, as always.
Styling by me, of course
by Tara Osipoff on August 19, 2012
If my closet could talk…
I’m sure you would need a coffee to sit through the tales it would tell, and you may need to add Baileys.
It would sit you down on the hardwood floor with a record playing in the background.
There would be incense burning, and even if there wasn’t, it would seep from the clothes that it holds.
It would speak soft and graciously, laugh sweetly occasionally.
It would be educated, for it hold fabrics from all over this great earth, and for years all it has done is listen attentively to the tales of the fabric, the hands that have stitched them.
If you had time it would tell you of the colours it holds, not bragging, but gushing with excitement, from mints to plush purples and ravishing reds.
It would never be condescending; it knows wisdom is humble. It contains articles that have lived through eras of trying times and great leaders.
It knows that its contents are inspired by great books, fantasy and fiction, film and theatre, art and music; it would speak highly of all its inspiration.
You would be laughing as it told you of the days of disaster, where I would pull out item after item in search of a piece that fit my mood that day.
It would have you on the edge of your seat, telling you tales of how some of the items came to be in that closet: thrift stores, sale racks, bargaining, and beautiful boutiques.
Your nails would be chewed off when it walked you through all of the style phases I have gone through, and then came back to and then left again, while fully knowing I would return to them once more (or nine hundred times more—a phase can be repeatedly repeated).
It would shock you with the shirts it holds from rock concerts attended in all parts of this world. It may give you a heart attack if you knew who had signed some of them.
It would have you in tears while it spoke of the days where I wasn’t comfortable with myself. Those days it would tell of with a gentle tone, expressing that I was lost, and I didn’t visit the closet with the passion that it knows I have. You would weep for those tales, the tales of no self worth; but it would tell you not to worry your pretty little head, because those days are gone, and have been gone for a long, long time, and are never coming back.
It would tell you stories that you would be sure were fairytales, stories of the dresses it holds—dresses that drape the floor, dresses that kiss the tips of my shoulders down to my teeny toes. Lace and linens, crinoline and tutus, strapless and shoulder pads—dresses that Cinderella would dream of. Alexander McQueen and Dolce have graced its presence; you would feel honoured to hear it speak of the great artists it has been so grateful to hold.
My closet would never tell you its life has always been glamorous; it has seen hard times, for every collection has a beginning, and this one had one as well. There were days of growth, days where money was tight, and although there may have been days where the items it contained were few and far between, my closet was never drab. The pieces were always ones that had character; it always had character and it always had pride, even when times were tough. That, my closet would tell you, is important.
If you could have a conversation with my closet, it would tell you all of this, I am sure of it. It would be a rollercoaster of emotion, but it would always leave you wanting more. And knowing the full story couldn’t be told with just one cup of coffee, there would always be things left unsaid, items you wish you could hear more about, or dirty little secrets of stitching and alterations—but my closet would never stitch and tell.
I will tell you this much for free: if you could spend an afternoon with my closet, the one thing I am sure of is that you would leave feeling inspired, a bit quirky, and certainly with a smile on your face. It would have a pretty little tale to tell.
As I get older, and my closet sees more and more, I think I would save my chat with my closet for a day much further away, when I am old and gray and have some time on my hands—time to laugh and cry and just sit and be still with an old friend, my dear closet.
The fact is, though, my closet can’t talk. But although it can’t tell you of the dirt I’ve just dished, it is not just a hole in the wall, a rectangular shape in which people toss fabric; it holds many tales and it has an imagination. This is just a story of what it might say, if it had your attention, for just a little while. I think that above all it would tell you that it doesn’t hurt to be a dreamer—it doesn’t hurt to live a fantasy—because I do, and it does, everyday.
For this shoot I pulled all of the clothes from my very own closet. Thanks for sharing with me, old pal.
Photography by Scott Goodwill, a lovely guest photographer whom I admire and you will see featured here. His work is splendid and quite his own. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram @scottagoodwill.
Hair by Salon 306
Styling by me, of course
Remember: life is beautiful, be good to your closet, and dress accordingly.
Much love and wackiness to you all.
Now I must do what I do, read.
Chat soon my lovelies.