Making Room for Me

In a perfect world, we would all wake up in the morning with the intention of filling our day with exactly what we wanted to do. We would be exactly who we wanted to be from the time our eyes open, until the time we closed them. We would wake up the next day and do it all over again. Wouldn’t that be, in a word, perfect? Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world. Very few of us have a perfect life and we seldom have the opportunity to be who we truly are from daybreak until day’s end. 

A few years back I found myself obsessed with this reality. My day looked a little something like this: wake up, get dressed, commute, sit down at a desk for as long as the job took, grab a bite, commute home and get ready for the next day where I would do it again. It was like clockwork. My life had become a bootleg Groundhog Day without a Bill Murray in sight to spice things up. As mundane as it had all become, my reality was that I had responsibilities; making sure food was on my table, I had a roof over my head and that my lights stayed on. You know, grown folk’s stuff. I was meeting them head on, but I was losing myself in the process. I couldn’t help but wonder how much of me was I giving to me? Where did I come into the equation? Not just me the hard working guy who’d busted his butt in school, gotten an excellent education and was gainfully employed. Which, don’t get me wrong, was something I did not take for granted. But I am more than just a suit. The person that is more than just a body at a desk typing away for the benefit of those who paid my bills. 

Often I found myself in a variation of the old sitcom trope where there’s an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. But, instead, they weren’t an angel and a devil but rather the responsible, focused Jon who reminded me to keep grinding and do what I needed to do and the real Jon who told me to leave room for the good stuff. I started examining my life, trying to find myself in the existence I’d created. Did I see myself in the empty gray suit, white shirt and blue tie I wore to work almost every day? Did I see myself in the takeout burrito I’d grab on the way home? Or maybe in the stark white walls and hand-me-down furniture that met me every night when I finally made it back home. Nope, nope, and definitely no. I didn’t see myself in any of those things. I was existing, but I wasn’t living as who I truly was. 

I finally decided to quit my job, go backpacking through Europe and become a dancer/singer/chef and part-time unicorn-wrangler. I kid! I have bills, and I like eating. I couldn’t afford to drop everything and just be; at least not full time. Instead, I decided to make room in my life for my authentic self. For me, as for a lot of us, my employer had me for as many hours a day as they needed. But I made a choice to reserve the rest of my time for authentic Jon. Authentic Jon was a curator of experiences, fashion, food, cocktails, and interior design. He was someone who made it his mission to add a little spice to his “Groundhog day.” Go figure; no Bill Murray was needed. 

Maybe one day I will be at a point where I can devote all of my time to exactly what I want to do. I hear there are people out there who are so fortunate. But until then, I’ll make it my mission to devote as much time as I can to creating an existence that screams “this was on purpose!”. I do it by obsessing over the right shade of indigo to paint my apartment and then cursing over the days and days it takes to execute it. I do it by teaching myself about fresh and delicious ingredients and cooking so that I can make meals that I can be proud of, much more so than that takeout burrito. I may have to wear a suit Monday thru Friday, but when I’m not in my suit, I am in something that tells the world exactly who I am. For me, that’s a black turtleneck, black jeans and a pair of brown boots. I do it by taking detours. I don’t just go from work to home and home to work. I’ll ask the Uber driver to take the long route home down Constitution Avenue so that I can see the African American History museum’s three-tiered crowns juxtaposed next to a shining Washington monument. Or perhaps, I’ll grab a rental car and get out of the city to the hills of Loudoun County to pick some apples and just chill. Those moments all feel authentic to me. 

In a nutshell, that pretty much describes Vurde's mission. We aren’t trying to overhaul your life so that every single moment of every day is curated within an inch of itself. That’s not our reality, and it’s probably not yours. Rather, we’re about giving you ideas, products, and tools to bring a bit of authenticity to fill up whatever percentage of your life that could use it. Whether it's in what you wear, what you eat, how you entertain, how you recharge, how you decorate your home or the detours you take to get there. We want to help you make room for you.