What do you want to invest in – yourself or pretty things?
On my wishlist I put one year ago: a wardrobe that supports me being me. Eventually my search for a new wardrobe brought me closer to myself. Because I learned the inevitable: I had to love myself first. With whatever I had in my closet. With whatever budget I had.

In autumn, in a phase of only little joy in my life, I rediscovered my love to play piano. It has been on my wanting-to-do-again-list for ages, probably since I quit playing the piano at the age of 18. I had been sitting around at my godchildren's home, waiting for them to come home and tried to play some of their piano pieces that were laying around. A couple days later a friend encouraged me to look up a piano teacher. And so I did and booked myself a piano lesson. It felt so wild, I felt wild. For following my needs. And forgetting everything around me for 50 minutes and just be in the here and now. Needs don't always need to make sense. Sometimes we just need to follow them. I mean the 'right, actual' needs. But what are those 'right, actual' needs actually?

I didn't have the extra money to take those piano lessons. And felt like a kid in a candy store without any pocket money. My sister asked me: What things I could cancel or sell in order to be able to go rent a piano and take that piano lessons. She reminded me that there's (mostly) always a way if you really really want something. And if there appears to be none, maybe a) it isn't the right time yet or b) it's not what you really want/ need or c) there are other ways to get it for free.

It's mid of February 2022 and I still haven't done it yet. I thought I had too much on my plate. Truth is I was not a lot at home these past months. And renting or buying a piano pretty much felt like a luxury I wouldn't need right now, so I suggested to myself to start with what I got. An advice that has been said many times but yet always feels like a big aha-moment. (Spoiler: I have done so many other things that were equally satisfying since then💗)

A look inside my brain 3 months ago:

I thought a routined life is an achieved life.

I thought I needed that new set of clothes to finally embody my new identity.

I thought everyone's life was better as mine.

I thought I'd never change. Or to put it more accurate that my circumstances would never change.

I thought I'd need a solution to finally unblock all the topics I've been carrying around with myself and would not get rid of as I revisited so many old topics these past 6 months.

I thought I needed to be loved. When I just needed to finally love myself.

This passage from Yrsa Daley-Ward's new book 'The How' resonated a lot with me in autumn and it still does:

“These hows and how-tos are everywhere we look, in every place of retail, fitness, worship, and entertainment. These hows are flexible and glossy, know how to live, and keep getting all of our money. They tell us exactly what to buy, and where to buy it. They sound like promises and they look like lifelines. We are obsessed with them because they are flawless and stylish, fitter and cleaner than us, highly curated, and frighteningly relevant. They are political. They do superior activism, think critically, have wonderful social lives, and they know how to organize. We see pictures of them on their backs in impossible, sun-filled locations. They succeed and prosper, while the rest of us are simply getting by. Just.”

Shortly after I invested in myself and booked a treatment at Cordula Studio in Hamburg. In my conversation with Cordula she said this amazing thing – we are only made of 0,000001 percent matter while the rest is energy. And yet a couple of weeks later for Christmas I wished for clothes rather than that NIR light panel (that I really wanted after using it for the first time at Cordula's) or indeed that piano and a voucher for piano lessons.

I caught myself thinking… I rather buy items because I know I'll have them for longer. A furniture piece, a jewelry piece I can hand down one day. Underneath all of that I found a question – Why do pretty skin and brand new clothes play such a big role in our lives and our happiness?

We say we don't have enough money for a wellness session. But aren't we the items we are going to have the longest in our life? And what do we do if there's actually no money to spare? We go back to simplicity. To the things that only need an investment of our time.

On my wishlist I put one year ago: a wardrobe that supports me being me. Meaning no more drama, no more 'I don't have anything to wear', no more 'I'm not good enough'. Eventually my search for a new wardrobe brought me closer to myself. Because I learned the inevitable: I had to love myself first (As cheesy as it sounds). With whatever I had in my closet. With whatever budget I had. Most important was to invest in myself, my dreams. And the rest would follow naturally.

So I…

If you're currently also undergoing a transformation and you want your outer looks to confirm this – I feel you. Fashion can be the first touch point to naturally express ourselves when words are missing and actions are blocked by limiting beliefs. Dressing like the person you want to be won't heal nor transform you. But it's a fun way to start a conversation with yourself.

My excessive wish for an entirely new wardrobe for example has stopped, I mean I still would be open to a new wardrobe but my worth doesn't depend on it any longer.

Over the years I've bought pieces that I keep wearing on repeat, and dismissed pieces that I bought for the wrong reason. That's why I decided to make my first starter kit about fashion, my first love: a rolodex with over 350 fashion brands, shops, sources of inspiration, vintage shops and repair services. With the intention to not waste too much time on searching for new things (only if you're weirdly into discovering new brands, worlds and stories as I am lol) and spend time on the important stuff in life - yourself. Just remember your needs⬇️

Journal prompts to answer before you buy something: