{Concrete Jungle}

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i had a moment the other day...

When I dusted off my copy of Kelly Cutrone's If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. First of all, if you haven't read it, and you're in the fashion industry—hell, if you haven't read it and you're a woman—what are you waiting for? But I digress... Back to my moment. 

I opened up the crisp cover to find its 4-year-old pages have yellowed just a bit. But there, on the first page, Kelly's message, which she scrawled in about 5 seconds (there were plenty of eager folks waiting in line behind me) is still clear. 

Wearing: Gap Jacket (sold out), Express Skirt (here), Zara Booties (sold out) & Necklace, Forever 21 Sweater, Cole Haan Bag (old)

Wearing: Gap Jacket (sold out), Express Skirt (here), Zara Booties (sold out) & Necklace, Forever 21 Sweater, Cole Haan Bag (old)

In those 5 seconds, she managed to ask me several questions: my name, what brought me to New York (was it that obvious I was so not "New York?"), and what I wanted to do, like, in life—what my plan was. And, there I was. A sweaty mess in the middle of Bryant Park on a humid summer afternoon in 2010, taking in every word of wit and wisdom—every bit of it so real, so raw. An almost-college-grad, I was having a major not-even-quarter-life crisis. I had moved, er, escaped my reality, which I left behind in Florida to live in the Big Apple. I would transfer and finish college there, at least that was the plan. My dreams couldn't wait.

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But it was in those 5 seconds that I realized, I didn't really know what I wanted to do, what my purpose was for moving to New York. I knew what my parents wanted me to do, who they wanted me to be, what others wanted for me, but I didn't know what I wanted. Not until that moment. 

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Sometimes it takes someone else—not you, mom and dad—challenging you and asking you these critical questions for you to see things clearly, to listen to that little voice inside your head. Sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration. 

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Needless to say, soon after that, I moved back to Florida where I got my sh*t together and finished school a year later. And, yes, you guessed it, I moved to New York to really pursue my dreams. I figured out all the answers to Kelly's questions. But, most importantly, I now know what I want to do.  

And in case you were wondering, here's what Kelly wrote in my book: 

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outfit photos by Miriam Morales

Rose Chevalier