August 23, 2011

Because sometimes we all need to hear, "Hey, it's Ok!"

Day 235 of Vintage 365


There is something profoundly important about feeling as though your actions - be they commonplace or one-off occurrences - are acceptable, both socially and within the the realm of your loved ones.

I grew up in a home that I would consider to be quite strict. There were rules upon rules atop even more rules and limitations for nearly every action. The military, I often felt, could have taken a lesson on rules and order from the "laws" laid down in my house.

{Vintage image - albeit a rather charming one - of a little

girl scolding her doll via King Kong Photo on Flickr.}


Rules and guidelines are undoubtedly important, but there's no doubt that the ridiculous, controlling rigidity I grew up with was excessive.

As a child I clearly remember wishing, on many occasions, to not feel so conscious, so afraid, so untrusting of my own actions (and we're talking ultra mundane things here - not "I just dyed my hair bright pink, wonder what my folks will say" kind of level). To this day I battle with a strong fear of confrontation as a result of my upbringing.

As such, when I read or here things in which people grant others the right to accept and be fine with the choices they make in their life (even if such posts or spoken accounts are intended to be humorous) it nearly moves me to tears and usually makes me smile, feeling more at peace with the world.

While I can't claim to be a frequent reader of Glamour Magazine (in its modern iteration, that is - sign me up for any and all vintage copies!), they run a frequently occurring post called "Hey, it's Ok!" in which the author points out a list of actions some people take and tell them that such activities/behaviours/choices/etc are ok. To get a sense of what I mean, check out this November 2008 edition of "Hey, it's Ok!".

I think most of us apply way to many rules to our lives. We deny or hide certain things that make us happy or that we partake in, for fear that we'll be judged or called out on our actions. No doubt this has been true of human beings since just about the dawn of time, but sadly even after all these years, we've only gotten a bit better at cutting ourselves some much needed slack.

To that extent, I thought it would be uplifting - and fun - to occasionally put together a "Hey, it's OK!" post that ties into our vintage loving lifestyle, but also life in general.

My hope is that it will elicit a positive reaction from you, whether that's merely a quick smile or a more profound sense that someone has granted you permission to doing (or be, or say) something something you weren't confident about.

And so without further ado, I present the first edition of Chronically Vintage's Hey, it's Ok! list. own 23 dresses and 11 skirts, but only one pair of pants (that you almost never wear!). have not watched a single new movie in two years, but know TCM's programming schedule by heart. not give the slightest care in the world when someone casts an an odd look your way for wearing vintage, from head-to-toe, in public. enjoy writing good old-fashioned letters more than emails. have a lengthy, soul cleansing, no-holds-bar cry from time-to-time (it really does make you feel better!). wear a 1930s dress, with 1970s shoes, fifties style hair and a new purse you bought last week. have fourteen different tubs of red lipstick in your make-up bag, but reach for the exact same one everyday (hello, Russian Red!). secretly enjoy it - and keeping smiling to yourself about it all day - when you get a cat-call. take someone up on their offer the next time they volunteer to do something for you. love yourself unabashedly precisely as you are right this very moment.


I don't know if I'll ever be able to truly cut myself the slack I deserve, but I'm working on it. No (at the risk of sounding cliché) sweating the small stuff (too much). I’m trying to embrace those things - and people - who make my heart glad, and let go of those who don't. I've opened up my creative side more so in the last year than ever before in my life, and have gotten better at not letting other people's opinions of me impact me so deeply.

It is my sincere hope that if you find yourself battling with similar feeling, actions and thoughts, you'll join me in trying to accept that you - and the things you do, way you chose to live your life, and actions you take - are Ok! Because, I'm here to tell you, chances are, they really and truly are.


  1. Wonderful post Jessica! Like you I still have issues with confrontation. I spent years having absolutely no confidence in my abilities to make the right choices or decisions due to growing up with a father who I now identify as over controlling. He used to say he was being protective, perhaps he was not aware of his control issues. To this day I agonize over making decisions and am the worlds worst procrastinator.It took me until I was almost 40 years old before I realised I was responsible for my life and COULD indeed make my own choices.I am and I DO BUT the fear and anxiety lives with me still.Hearing "It's ok" is so important and validating both when we are children and when we are adults.

  2. I am recent follower to this blog and loved this post. My husband was raised in a draconian household and still struggles with the effects of it. I, on the other hand, was not. I was that child who watched Johnny Carson with my parents when I was supposed to be sleeping and I am none the worse for wear! Thanks for some great thoughts.

  3. Your Hey it's OK list is spot on. Great post.