When I Grow Up I Want To Be Like Jackie O

April 14 — Today I decided to channel my inner Jackie O. I’ve had a fascination with her for quite some time now. Her style is flawless and she is the epitome of polished. Not the easiest thing in the world to be when you’ve had such an open and tragic life.

To be clear I’ve not followed her life story other than what is well known. I’ve never bought a book about her or watched a movie on her life. I don’t for anyone. I think it’s weird and often widely inaccurate. I’d be willing to read an autobiography on her and some others. However, I don’t ever want to be the person who becomes obsessed with the lives of others. I’d rather live my own.

What fascinates me is the way she’s carried herself. As a woman, as the First Lady, a widow, losing a child, and dealing with fame. It would be hard to imagine something the woman hasn’t gone through. I hope one day to be as graceful as she was. I honestly don’t think she would approve of this blog. Oh well.

I remember vividly how the fascination began. It was during an election year when the Clinton’s were exiting The White House. What I was watching could have been compared to a timeline. Not exactly a documentary or interview although it incorporated those elements. The narrator was going through the number of First Ladies and their contributions to The White House.

As the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy was the first to create seating arrangements with round tables instead of long rectangular ones. Her reason for doing so was to allow people to feel more comfortable and have better table conversations. This struck me for so many reasons. I absolutely loved how thoughtful it was. While it may not seem like a big deal I’m sure it was. I can’t imagine going into The White House and changing how formal dinners are done. She did.

Thinking about the last four years has exhausted me. That is what I was doing before I went to bed last night. The death of my husband, moving across country twice, taking up running, seven Tough Mudders, four half marathons, dozens of other races, starting a business, writing a book, getting my passport, planning my first international trip alone (a trip someone once told me I could never do), hosting my first virtual summit, and now working and living in 12 countries in 12 months. To think there were days I felt guilty doing nothing. Ridiculous.

Today is the last day of the summit and I feel different. My clothes don’t seem right anymore. So much has changed over the last several months. Every experience changes us. The bigger the experience means there is usually a bigger change. I’ve felt it with this summit. I could have never imagined how far it would stretch me and who I would be on the other side. Now, here I am.

I didn’t bring a lot of clothes on this trip. What I did bring no longer seems appropriate. I’ve outgrown my clothes. The only way I know to put it is they don’t provide me with an experience. What I brought was merely for function. I didn’t bring anything that I feel especially nice in. Something I’ve come to realize is part of who I am, including my brand, is about a complete experience. The clothes I’m wearing now simply won’t do.

This would be much easier if I were at home. What can I buy here, travel with, be functional, and also timeless? Time to consult with the one and only Jackie O. I’ve had her style sunglasses for years. I’ll never forget the first time someone told me I looked like Jackie O wearing them. It’s only happened a couple of times. Rightfully so. I don’t actually look like her. Can I dress more like her?

All I know is her chic cocktail and formal wear. Outfits complete with hats and gloves. It’s stunning for sure, not really practical for me. What did Jackie wear casually? Time to do a little research. I’ve found several outfits I can replicate. Will I be able to do it here in Rabat?

There are probably more clothing stores for men than women here. Not a huge shock considering the culture. Nevertheless, I find a street lined with shops and I begin. Immediately I notice the experience for me. It’s overwhelming bad and I don’t enjoy it. The store clerks are not helpful and the shops are crowded with clothes and racks. It’s like a huge menu — I don’t care for it.

In and out of shops and finding nothing is taking the joy out of the experience. Things don’t fit right. The quality is poor. Nothing seems to be going my way and for a moment I almost gave up. Then I saw a man begging for money.

He was in a wheelchair and recently had an amputation. The wound didn’t seem to be healing well as I saw puss and it smelled awful. I gave him some change. As I continued to walk the street was lined with beggars. Most with disabilities and severe physical ailments. There were women with babies and small children begging and selling packets of tissue.

I quickly ran out of change to give and bought a water to get more change. I ended having to buy three bottles of water to make it past where the begging ended. Along the way I gave the water away too. Not sure what else I could do. For a moment I thought maybe I shouldn’t be shopping. It didn’t seem to be related and there is nothing wrong with what I’m doing so I continued on.

Having passed numerous shops and I found nothing. The moment when I thought I was done I turned onto a street I had seen before. Once on the way into the workspace I saw it and tried to ask the driver what street or area it was but of course he didn’t understand me. I knew I wanted to come here. I just didn’t know where here was.

From my time in Argentina all the way back in January until now I have been drawn to more expensive areas. I didn’t understand why since I’ve never lived in one. I’ve come to realize it’s because of the service and the experience. These are two things absolutely synonymous with who I am and the way I run my business.

All of sudden I walked into a store and felt at home. The clothes were good quality and fit perfectly. Including a cobalt blue, linen, garden dress. I couldn’t wait to try it on and when I did I experienced something I never have before. Being feminine.

Most of my clothes are very fitted and structured. I’ve not often worn A-lines, florals, prints, and flowy blouses, dresses, or skirts and felt like myself. This was still a solid, but without the structured, pencil skirt fit. It’s not meant for business or to feel sexy. It’s meant to be worn by a lady. I adored it and it came with a thick string belt that also fit perfectly. I haven’t been able to wear belts in years. I love how this dress fits!

The store clerk was amazing and waited to serve me, zipping me up, adjusting straps, bringing different sizes, and simply caring for me. With her help I also bought a feminine off the shoulder boat blouse, the perfect collarless, fitted, jean jacket with functional pockets, and white pants! I haven’t worn white pants since the seventh grade. Every time I see a woman in white pants my immediate thought is how confident she is. Jackie O wore white pants and now so am I.

There were a few more stores I went into and then I saw it. It is the perfect cocktail dress. Not the little black dress. A black wrap dress with a jersey knit top and feminine flowy skirt with neutral colors. It’s timeless and I knew I had to have it. When I tried it on it was magical and the clerk said it was a show stopper on me.

Frightened to look at the tag I learned it was a Diane von Furstenburg. Easily the most expensive piece of clothing I have bought to date and without blinking I gladly handed over my card to buy it. When I did I wasn’t scared. I was proud. I’ve earned this and that dress is a classic and timeless. Every time I look at it I will remember this moment, the day I bought my first designer dress.

There was something else about the moment I won’t forget, an experience to checking out. Walking into the store and walking out, you literally walk in on a red carpet between two velvet ropes. Who wouldn’t feel special? While I’m paying I was brought an assortment of drinks to choose from and I sat down in a nice comfy chair. It’s as if they wanted me to remember this moment too. Somehow all this will be incorporated into my business.

Leaving I felt like a brand new woman. It’s partly correct. I have been this woman all along. Until now I wasn’t ready to fully commit to her. Now I am. I did. I’m ready for a nice lunch to take it all in and in this area there is a place with outdoor seating and women are here! Too bad all the outdoor seating is taken.

Walking inside to a booth there is a cat sitting in it. Have I told you how many cats are here in Morocco? They are everywhere. Seriously. I’ve never seen so many cats in my life. Here they obviously don’t care about sanitation codes and maybe the cats are sacred. I sit down in the booth next to the cat. Almost immediately a table opens up outside and quickly go to claim it.

As I sit enjoying my mint tea and salad I feel good. Not changed. The true version of me. The version I was for some reason afraid to embrace. Maybe I thought people would think I’m a fraud. Maybe I thought I was a fraud. Maybe I was holding onto a past I have long since outgrown. Whatever it was it’s gone and this is me. This is not my new life, but my true life. The one I was always meant to live.

Walking back to my apartment I realized something else, my bitchy resting face was a learned mechanism. As I walk by cafes and restaurants while men stare in the most uncomfortable of ways I’ve got on my BRF. This is how it all came about. I learned to make this face as a way of protecting myself and putting up a barrier against unwanted attention.

Here my face means nothing because they don’t even remotely care about the vibes I’m putting out. To these men women are objects. My feelings and thoughts of them are irrelevant because they see themselves as superior. There is a part of me that wants someone to speak directly to me instead of at me so I can show them what this woman is made up. No one does and I make my way home.

Even though it’s late I’m headed into the workspace to finish off the last night of the summit. This is it before the next goal of the year….my online course. Let’s see how this next product launch goes. I could do this class in my sleep. I don’t expect it to take a toll on me. We’ll see.

My end of day gratitude:

  1. My son is in the process of getting his passport so he can visit me!
  2. There was a chocolate store promoting Easter. It was nice to see something familiar.
  3. Learning more about myself.

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