seeking fabulousness, or, making one’s own magic.

My “inside the revolution” series of three will be concluded as soon as I figure out how the hell the revolution is going to end. Meanwhile… I’m pursuing fabulousness.

Fabulousness is one part treating yourself, one part scaring yourself, and one part decoration. Decorating your life, yourself, or the world, with a project, love offered, or even the right handbag. It’s anything that celebrates, embellishes, and magickifies life.

Winter, BuffaloTo use movie analogies, 2009 was a Clint Eastwood western, full of stubbly chins, sweaty chaps and torn Wanted posters. It was real, it was hard, it was… Buffaloan.

Buffalo teaches you to make your own fun. Mix one 20-piece chicken wing with a half-case of beer and a hippety-hoppity station on Pandora, and you’ve got yourself a winter party in B-flo. Throw on your Uggs and wade off through the snow and ice. Bar hop. Drive out to the ‘burbs to go shopping at the shiny new big box stores. Life here is like the childhood our grandparents reminisce about, when kids didn’t have all those “newfangled gadgets,” and just entertained themselves with sticks and pebbles. Buffaloans can do a lot with sticks and pebbles.

Our family’s emotional life has had a similarly rough-hewn texture, with tearful conversations about my parents, my romantic stumblings, job drama. It has been a period of growth and discovery, but there’s very little about my life, for the past twelve, maybe fourteen months, you could call “fabulous.”

Even my hair, at its most awkward face-hugging phase while I grow it out, contributes to what you might call a period of “enh.”

Sarah Hassan When I go on Facebook, on the other hand, and see photos of my friend’s upcoming theatrical performance, or an old boss windblown and relaxed on a ski trip, or a couple smiling on a tropical beach, I feel awe. Because those things are fabulous. Wearing costumes onstage, traveling, finding gorgeous sunsets, loving a new person, painting a mural, raising a baby, carrying a pink patent leather handbag, and learning to tango, are all fabulous.

But especially travel, creativity, babies, and pink patent leather handbags.

DKNY pink hoboOne can be unfabulous in a big city, and completely sensational working as a waitress. It’s not about one’s circumstances so much as what one makes of them.

I wrote the other day about appreciating life’s imperfections, rather than expecting sudden magic. The distinction I’m making tonight is to not only accept what life gives me, but to give something back to my life. I used to think fabulousness was granted to the special, but after having a few fabulous moments myself, I know it’s something one has to create for oneself. Fate may have plunked me in Dodge City, but that doesn’t mean I have to walk around with mud on my boots, shooting strangers. And while the rough-hewn, unfabulous periods of our lives are inevitable and necessary, I’ve come too close to believing that’s all I get, or deserve… or want.

The weather is warming, snow melting. We’ll probably have one more big storm before March is over, but I didn’t even need to wear a coat today. Like so many things in my life, I’m always surprised when something horrid- like winter in Buffalo- can just end, without my needing to take out a warrant or sign a petition to ban it. It’s a pleasant thing to re-learn.

I’ve been offered a fun but low-paying job, here, that I have to either accept, or decline, in the morning. As I do so, I’ll be pondering the topic of my last blog: location, and how it affects one’s… fabulousness. I don’t think any city will ever satisfy my every desire, and I don’t think any city can be blamed for most of my personal problems. But I do think some cities are harder to flourish in than others. And if I have to go, I can’t think of any better guide than, “Where would Starina go?”

Now she was fabulous.

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