Image by Max Abadian
What motivates you to change?
Everything feels possible when spring comes. It’s a fresh-start season, a chance to leap forward into something new and exciting. I connect with this time of year more than any of the other date-related life revamps. In January, my resolutions are largely driven by guilt (I hereby accept that champagne and canapés are not formally recognized food groups) or unadulterated ambition (this is definitely the year I win a Grammy!); consequently, I burn through my willpower before the month ends. September – the fashion-industry New Year – is moderately motivating in a nostalgic back-to-school/acquire-more-cashmere kind of way. Spring, I think, is the best time to ride the energy of the warmer weather and brighter days and reflect on who we want to be.
Making a change requires a realistic approach. This issue is more about making an “update” than an “overhaul.” For example, something as simple as changing your hair colour can make you see yourself in an entirely new way. That’s what happened to writer Carly Lewis after she dramatically went from brunette to platinum blond. “Might the confidence and ambition I’ve held quietly inside manifest themselves in my actions, thanks to an image that suggests I embody these traits?” she ponders in “Platinum Status”. And then there’s shopping. Dressing up in a luxuriously crafted outfit can completely change the way you feel, and there are exciting transformative shifts happening in the Canadian retail market (“Fashion Nation”). On a more introspective level, we address the futility of pursuing perfection in “Perfect Enemy”. Can you learn how to live with something that is just “good enough”? (If that concept makes you cringe, know that I am with you. Could I ever truly settle for an MTV Video Music Award? Only time will tell.)
We all strive to evolve, but doing things differently is hard. Some of the best advice I’ve ever been given is that true change doesn’t happen in an unbroken forward trajectory; it follows more of a jagged, wavy line. We make progress and then drop back or plateau for a while before moving forward again. But we never fall back to the place we started from.
Vanessa Craft Editor-in-Chief
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.