Our lives have changed dramatically during this pandemic. Most of us spent a lot more time at home than we are used to. Now that we can see the light at the end of the proverbial quarantine tunnel, it’s time to get ready to be back to normal. Finding your aesthetic can help you prepare to rejoin the world.

How do you want to show up for your return to society?

During this time at home, I made sure to never wear my pajamas during the day. I always changed into clothes. They were comfortable clothes, usually sweats or yoga pants. And when I would have to leave the house to go food shopping, I would put on my “dress sweats.” Not a pretty picture, is it?

I’m determined that my life will no longer be drab. I know we still have several months before things start to get back to normal, but I am preparing now.

There is an old saying, “Dress for the job you want.” I like to say, “Dress for the life you want.”

I can sit at home in sweats and no makeup, or I can show up for my life feeling and looking like the woman I want to be.

How Do We Do That?

Each year I choose three essence words that describe how I want my life to look and feel. They can be action words, descriptive words, or even proper nouns.

If you want your words to be grace, elegance, and Audrey Hepburn, go for it. Or maybe you want wealth, health, and RBG. Or boss, disciplined, and faith. Only you can decide what words work for you.

Choose words that create an aesthetic for who you want to be. Aesthetics are your ideas about beauty, style, and taste, and the ways you choose to express those ideas through your appearance, your behavior, and your emotions.

Let Your Aesthetics Guide Your Actions.

It’s not easy to put yourself out there as an individual. It’s so much easier to go through life unnoticed. When you put yourself out there, you get judged. You open yourself up to criticism.

But the alternative is that you hide your light from the world, and you start to judge and criticize yourself because you’re not happy.

Living the sweet life, living la dolce vita, is about bravery.

Sometimes we have to go through phases in life deciding who we want to be. I went through my corporate phase, my artistic phase, my bohemian phase. But I realized they are just not me. They may have been for a brief moment in time, until I changed. But I had to go through those experiences to find that out.

You never know what you can do or who you can be until you try. Experiment. You’ll try, you’ll fail, you’ll try something else, until you collect enough data to figure out who you are and who you want to be.

I get it, it’s scary. And it takes work. It takes time. But the results are so worth it.

I’ve been through many phases, careers, and styles, and lived in many different places. Who knows if my current iteration is the one that will stick?

But I have to keep trying until I find me.

My Essence Words.

That’s what these essence words mean to me. That’s why I change them up every year. I refine them. I try new ones. This year I chose three words that have meaning for me at this moment in time.

They describe the aesthetic I am trying to create in my life.

My 2021 Essence Words are:


I got them from three eye shadow palettes I purchased recently from ColourPop, as you can see in the picture below. Inspiration can come from anywhere. I love the dark romantic feel of the packaging on these cosmetics.

I was trying to describe how I wanted to feel and how I wanted to style myself and my surroundings. These words jumped off the packaging and into my mind. And they won’t leave until I explore what they mean to me.

Your Homework.

Here is your takeaway from this article. Find three words that conjure up aspirational images in your mind. Who do you want to be? The answers don’t have to be anything like who you are right now. Or maybe you’re almost there, and you just need a little tweaking.

You have the freedom to create a life for yourself and an aesthetic that illustrates that for you.

Write your words down. Put them somewhere that you’ll see them often. Perhaps write them on a Post-It note and put it in your purse or your bathroom cabinet, or get creative and make a personalized phone screen.

Make your choices based on these words. The next time you shop for home decor, keep your words in mind. The next time you are looking for clothes or jewelry, translate your words into these objects. The next time you are deciding what to make for dinner, think of your words.

I want my life to look a certain way. I want it to be ornate and have a sense of grandeur. I want the same for my surroundings and the things I put on my body.

Of course, I don’t want to walk around looking like a decorated Christmas tree, but I can add touches to my style. Baroque chandelier earrings. A velvet top. An ornate hair clip. Satin throw pillows. A white faux fur rug next to my bed.

These little touches create an atmosphere for me that reflects my essence words and creates my aesthetic. They help me feel like the person I want to be. The more you practice being that future self, the more she comes into focus, and you will eventually become her.

What three essence words will you choose for 2021? How will you go about finding your aesthetic?

Colourpop eye shadow palettes