She entered her house in a rush. Throwing off her bag on the computer chair, she undid her DKNY watch gifted by her father on her 20th birthday and threw it on the floor. She pulled off her bright red stilettos and tossed them underneath the bed. Taking off her clothes she stepped into the washroom and stood right below the shower.
‘Your work is good but you see, there are much better designers out there.’
‘Ms. Shapira , I think you will be better off coming up with your own unique designs.’
‘Why don’t you take some time to improve your portfolio and come back to us again, maybe in around six months?’
There was rejection everywhere. Some were sweet and soft, others crisp and rude. She knew this couldn’t be happening. She had confidence that her designs were perfect! After all she had gotten her degree from the most renowned art school so how can her designs not be right. Those brands, organizations, boutiques who had rejected her work, compared her to designers who didn’t even match her education level. They ought to be insane for even considering them better than her.
The water was hot, just the right temperature for her to relax. As each droplet of water journeyed from her head to her toes, she felt a boost of relaxation. She poured down a huge clot of her favorite SHE shower gel on her hand and lathered it over her body.
“Mmmm, soft, smooth and beautiful!” She said to herself and inhaled the sweet scent of her shower gel.
When done with the shower she wrapped herself in a towel and went over to her wardrobe in her room to pick an evening outfit. After a complete fifteen minutes of shuffle she picked a red t-shirt and khaki shorts. Once dressed, she combed her wet hair and tied it into a tight pony tail and applied a light pink gloss. She picked up the watch which she had earlier thrown on the floor and wore it around her left wrist. She cluttered through her drawer and took out a pair of studs with a single red stone. Bending to reach for the Converse shoes from underneath the bed, she wore them and tied the laces with perfection just the way her mother had taught her when she was ten.
She quickly picked up her wallet and jogged towards the door. There on the left side of the door was a huge size mirror so that she could have a complete look of herself before she left the house. Blowing a kiss towards the mirror she uttered, “You are looking beautiful, as always.”
The Crackpot coffee shop was just a five minute walk from her apartment and it was always a good opportunity for her to shed a few calories which she used to gain during her cheat diets. She knew she had a figure which every woman died to have and every man longed for, so there wasn’t much worrying needed to join the gym. Her diet plans were enough to let her have a smart and sexy figure.
When she reached the coffee shop, her parents were already seated on one of the tables near the window. She energetically walked towards their table and gave them both a kiss on their cheeks.
“Mom! Dad! Gosh I had been missing you so much lately. I am so glad you are here for the weekend.”
“My God! Susan what have you done to yourself? Don’t tell me you are once again on one of those silly crash diets which does no good but ruins your body.” Mrs. Shapira looked at her with disappointment. “What all has happened to my chubby little girl?”
“Relax mom! First of all, no I am not on a crash diet, but I am rather following a six months’ diet plan. Secondly, dieting is not at all stupid. Look at your daughter, she looks more beautiful now. And thirdly, your chubby little girl is now smart and grown up. So feel proud about that.”
“No, baby…” Before Mrs. Shapira could finish Mr. Shapira held her hand so as to signal her to stop. Susan settled herself on the chair opposite to her parents and beamed at her father.
After a long pause, her father finally spoke, “So should we place an order? I can already hear my stomach grumbling for food.”
“Sure!” Susan and Mrs. Shapira said in chorus. Mr. Shapira called the waiter and they ordered their favorite Mac and Cheese, and baked potato skins and three cups of cappuccino.
After finishing with her degree in fashion designing Susan had moved to California because she awed to live in a big city and enjoy its luxuries. While her parents stayed back in Philadelphia. Since their other two daughters, Monica and Andrea were already settled with their husbands and children, they were at ease but they couldn’t stop worrying about Susan.
Being the youngest in her family, Susan had always been one who went the other way round. She would do things at her own pace, do them as she liked and had her own rules to follow. Her childhood, teenage life were all taken care of, but when she reached her early 20s, she decided to move away and become independent. Now that wasn’t a really big deal. The big deal was that no one was able to tell her that there were some things which she really needed to change in life. She had sent her portfolio to various brands and companies, but to her dismay they had all asked her to come up with something which is more original. She wasn’t ready to work again on her portfolio and believed that she has got enough designs to convince that she is talented.
As the threesome waited for the food, they talked about all that was happening in each of their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Shapira had joined a club named as the Wholesome which consisted of a very few members but was still quite intriguing. Each day a different activity was arranged for the participants which comprised of chess, reading, story sharing session and so many more that they were having the most fun filled time of their lives.
The weekend passed too quickly and it was already time for Mr. and Mrs. Shapira to leave. While they were loading their luggage in the car Susan finally spoke what had been bothering her for months,
“Dad, I really wish to become a renowned fashion designer. You and mom did so well at your boutique without any professional education, how come I still can’t do even a little of it despite having a degree?”
Mr. and Mrs. Shapira both stopped with what they were doing. They were startled to hear her daughter become so serious and open up to them like this in so many years. Mrs. Shapira hugged Susan and held her hand tightly.
Taking this as an opportunity to finally talk to her daughter, Mr. Shapira quickly began to speak before Mrs. Shapira could say anything, “Dear, we never succeeded overnight; it took us several years to become the most stylish outfit selling boutique in our own town. With you it has just been a year so remain patient. Plus, times have changed.”
“But dad, my degree, it is from a university which the world recognizes so how come I always end up with a rejection every time I apply for a job. I feel so devastated!”
“Listen to me Susan!” Whenever Susan was called by her name she knew now that she has no choice but to listen. She looked up to her mom who was now very serious and firm about what she had to say.
“Like every mother and daughter you and I have had similarities as well as differences. You and I are very talented and intelligent when it comes to coming up with dress designs and we are so good with what color, pattern and style will go together. But do you know the biggest difference between us?”
“That you had the fact that I diet while I love to diet?” Susan looked at her mother with puzzled eyes.
Mrs. Shapira broke into laughter. “No, no, my sweet heart. That is just a difference of thought. I meant the difference in our characteristics. Susan, I have always been a woman with lots of patience while you as my daughter is very impulsive and want to do everything right then and there.”
“So is that so bad that I am not getting a job?”
“Dear, that depends.” Mr. Shapira had his arms wrapped around his daughter. “It’s like when you have to get some work done and you are up for it without any procrastination, it is a very good thing and we love that about you. But you see, so many rejections, and everyone asked you to work more on your designs but you don’t wish to put in any more efforts because you are in a hurry to get a job.”
“Job is your need and we know that very well.” Mrs. Shapira continued, “But where your passion, where is that girl who used to spend each day filling up her sketchpad with new dress designs just because she loved designing. You have been trying so hard to get a job that you have forgotten the true essence of your passion. I hope you can understand what we are trying to tell you.”
“Yes, mom and dad you are right. I should focus more on my passion rather than focusing on the reward.” Susan hugged her parents and kissed them on their cheeks.
“Ma’am, you may go inside now,” the receptionist said with an assuring smile to Susan who was sitting in a waiting room of city’s most renowned company.
As she walked into the interview she had more confidence in her work now. After patiently listening to her mom and dad, Susan had worked for six continuous months, working, improving and coming up with new designs.
“Ms. Susan, your designs are fantastic. They are truly unique.”
“Thank you, ma’am.”
After several questions Susan was asked to wait for a week until all the applicants were interviewed. Susan walked out with a bright smile. Today it didn’t matter to her if she will be receiving an acceptance letter or not, but what really mattered was that she was appreciated and that her designs were her own piece now. She knew now that she needs to accept her faults and short comings so that she keeps improving as that is a requirement in the path to success.