What are you afraid of? Maybe the first thing that comes to mind is something tangible, like spiders or heights or sickness. But I have a feeling that for most of us, our deepest fears are a bit more subtle, and require some soul-searching to uncover. Uncertainty, disappointment, criticism, loneliness, and emotional exposure (among others): these are the fears that hitch a ride in our emotional space, hiding just under the surface but effectively robbing us of our day-to-day joy. The best way to take away their power? Finding the courage to be vulnerable — being brave enough to show the world our authentic, imperfect selves, and know that we’re enough.
For August’s editorial theme, the team and I chose Bravery. Just writing the word makes me feel empowered and energized, since it’s the times in my life when I’ve had to dig deep and be brave that have made me feel most alive. As a young girl, I was pretty hesitant and frequently afraid to try new things. But turns out, bravery is like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. When I was fifteen, my family moved and I transferred from a tiny school in the country to the biggest high school in Missouri, and with that came countless experiences that required all the bravery I could summon. Walking into a lunch room where I didn’t know a soul, trying out for a high school dance team where the other girls were far more experienced than me – I was surprised to learn that each time I showed myself I had what it took, I had more courage to go for the next scary hurdle. After all- (I realized), what’s the worst that could happen?
This month, we’re going to inspire you to be more daring in your home decor, plan a camping trip (even if you’re more of a “hotel girl”), and set aside fears of hosting to invite your friends over for a last-minute party — even if you didn’t have time to “get your house ready.” More importantly, we’re going to feature some people we admire who have set aside the impulse to appear perfect, and have been brave enough to peel away their protective walls and step into the unknown space of authenticity where they could be really seen.
As we finish this summer with a bang, let’s vow to show up and put our authentic selves out there. Dance freely. Be goofy. Speak up and take a stand for what’s right, even when it feels like we’re standing alone. Discover joy, and be brave.
Exciting August announcement: we’re launching a monthly music series! My dear friend and talented DJ Jamie Pabst is going to be guest editing the new Camille Styles playlists. Subscribe to our channel for the coolest new music curated by mood and activity. And play our new favorite August jams below, or download them here!
collage art by jenn rose smith