In the final weeks of 2021, I took much needed time to slow down from the fast-paced days of running a start-up fashion brand and reflect upon both my own personal growth and the evolution of the Cara Benevenia branding; our ethos, social impact, and what it truly means to establish connection with all of you. I found peace, healing, empowerment, and motivation through journaling during those days, making the profound connection between the heartfelt handwritten pages and the Cara Benevenia Collections; the embodiment of a designer's diary. The concept of 'leaking my diary pages' in the form of a weekly newsletter came to mind as the most natural new approach to our exclusive email campaigns, blending seamlessly into the real, raw, and authentic presentation that defines the Cara Benevenia Brand and mission.
During the days between Christmas and New Years, days I like to refer to as 'end of year existential dread', I immersed myself in reflecting upon a year's worth of self-discovery and progress. I realized that I have been fortunate enough to witness the true beauty in incredibly slow and steady success. The result of perseverance, passion, and patience through adversity not only breeds physical achievement, but also builds a beautiful quality within. A quality I like to call Integrity.
However, there is a dark, somewhat painful component to the equation of building our character, and that is embracing the past; the mistakes, the start and end of new relationships, the diffusion of friendships, and the seemingly unending mental battle of aggressive self-doubt and apathy. Carrying the weight of such can be unbearable at times, so the world glorifies its disposal in conjunction with the celebration of the impending 'New Year'. But what the world neglects to share with us is that this very weight is the reason for a better, newer version of ourselves. The concept of perfect days, perfect relationships, and perfect habits have been engrained in our minds as being the ultimate pre-requisite in order to experience the 'new' that the New Year has to offer. In reality, becoming 'new' is a result of discovering who we are, not in spite of, but because of, our graceful bearing of the past.
So, as 2022 began to rear its head, memories of unrealistic resolutions, forced fun, and the kitschy slogan 'new year, new me' surfaced in my mind like clockwork. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I realized that I had been conditioned to believe that the older versions of myself were undeserving of safekeeping and remembrance. That in order to begin a new chapter in life, I had to not just forget, but dispose of, the old ones. The truth is, the past is one of the most integral, if not most beautiful parts of who we are. The older versions of ourselves have done nothing but completely shape who we are now, and who we are destined to become. Something worthy of safekeeping in my opinion.
With 2022 already underway, I find that I am looking forward for the very first time in my life. I have been able to completely relinquish the need to burn the mistakes, the pitfalls, and the failed relationships of the past in order to discover the new that is in store for both my personal growth and for the growth of Cara Benevenia. I will be proudly carrying the old, somewhat broken pieces of my past self safely in my heart without a feeling of heaviness. These pieces are, and will forever be, the source of the grace, motivation, and inspiration I need in order to grow and become 'new' in the New Year.
This new and exclusive chapter of Cara Benevenia, the past, present, and future pages of my diary, is the embodiment of embracing the 'new' while safekeeping the old, yes, as your designer, but more importantly, as your friend. I hope these weekly words serve as inspiration through the chaos, connection through the mundane, and motivation through the marathon that is, well, life...
So, Cheers...to safekeeping the old and discovering the new in 2022.