White Pants

I’m not one of those people who wears white pants. That’s not a thing in my world.

White. The most unflattering color on the wheel. The guarantee I will spend part of my monthly budget at the dry cleaners. The one shade that enhances my pale, Norwegian skin in a way that makes me glow. And not in a good way.

But I watch The Women Who Wear White Pants. They don’t seem to care about the social risk. They’re sassy. They’re confident. They’re chichi. And I want to be like them.

So I did it. Last week. I wore white pants for the first time in decades. Do you know what I realized? The pants aren’t enchanted. Rather, the magic lies in everything that led up to wearing the white pants.

Because courage breeds courage.

One tiny, terrifying tread creates a kindle of confidence. A scary start builds a spark of strength. A single leap of risk reaps a roaring fire. Each step breeds a blaze of courage that cannot be extinguished.

Everyone who wears white pants has a story.

Mine meanders over the past several years. It involves whispering a desire to a trustworthy friend. Writing three books without telling anyone. A tiny writers conference. A professionally appropriate, but demoralizing critique. Working on the craft. Grinding through constructive criticism. Asking for direction, feedback, and help from those who have gone before me. A delightfully surprising critique. Deciding to reveal my dreams to my family and friends, even if I might fall on my face right in front of them. Putting myself (Lord, help me) on social media. It entails going to a huge writers conference last week, sitting comfortable in my skin while participating in classes, reading during open mic night, and pitching my book to agents and editors.

And right now, it requires waiting for responses from those same agents and editors, knowing that whatever the answers are, they don’t define who I am. They only determine my next step in the journey. Forward.

Courage breeds courage.

I’m not going to lie. It took a fabulous pair of Spanx, a friend-who-served-as-a-stain-spotter, and a significant amount of bronzer to pull off wearing my white pants. It felt awkward. I was self-conscious. My safe sweatpants called to me. But I did it.

What I want to know is what small steps of courage did The Women Who Wear White Pants take before they had the confidence to dress in the morning? Because everyone has a story.

What’s your story? What led you to today? What small whisper, declaration, or shout of courage do you need to make?

Please. Put on the white pants. Whatever they are to you. Maybe you need to whisper your dream to someone who can help. Or maybe you need to sign up for that class you’ve been wanting to take. What if you created a workspace just for you? What is the next play? Because whatever it is, that “thing” that popped into your head while reading this post, make the first move. It’s not as scary once you try. 

Your courage will breed more courage.

I am jumping up and down, cheering you on.

Love, The Newest Member of the WWWWP Club.