Facing My Fears at the Chico’s NYC Meet Up

I am a midlife fashion and lifestyle blogger. I share photographs of myself online and on social media. I have shared photographs of myself styling corsets. And just this week, I shared pictures of myself in my underwear. In a magazine. I write about sensitive and taboo topics such as mental illness, pre-menopause, sex, and pornography. I occasionally and strategically use words like fuck and vagina when I am going full force for shock value.

*This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 

I have been called brave. I have been told that I have guts. It has been said that I do things that others would never have the nerve to to do.  All of this may lead you to believe that I am fearless. I go straight out to the edge…in almost everything I do. But please don’t mistake that for fearlessness. Because there is fear. And plenty of it. Fear of judgment. Fear of ridicule. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of chastisement. Fear that people will think that I am just downright nuts. Fear that I will fall right off that edge that I stand upon.

But if there is one thing that I have learned in my 43 years, it is never to let fear hold me back. Because it did hold me back. For many years. And I missed a multitude of opportunities because of it. Then one day I realized that the very best way to conquer my fears was to face them head on. Yes, facing one’s fears takes a certain bit of courage. But courage or not, the body’s physiological responses to fear remain the same. So as I am going head to head with the greatest of my fears, you better believe that my breath is short, my heart is racing, my voice is shaking, and my armpits are sweating (probably my vagina, too). But here is the trick…I just push right on through it…maybe looking like a fool along the way.  Thankfully and much to my benefit, I have been blessed with a wonderful sense of humor and an ease in letting things roll off my back. So if I crash and burn (and I have more than once), at least I have no problem laughing at myself. I pick myself up, brush myself off, learn from my mistakes (usually), and move the fuck on.

My newest face off against a major fear is about to go down at the upcoming Chico’s Forever Fierce: Midlife Revolution Meet Up in New York City on October 7. I was asked to be one of the five models showcasing my Chico’s style at this event. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity and I am so very excited to be a part of this amazingly important revolution to change the perception of midlife women in fashion.

However, when Eugenia messaged me asking if I would be a model, my first response was fear. Unadulterated, monumental, and intense fear. My first thought was this: “No way. I can’t do that. All eyes will be on me. What if I fall? What if I sweat right through my clothing? What if I make a complete and total ass of myself?”

And then I switched gears. Immediately. Before I effectively and brutally defeated myself. I took a deep breath and responded to Eugenia, “Oh wow! Yeah. I think! That makes me nervous! But I guess the best way to conquer our fears is to face them!” And now here I am, in a whirlwind of choosing outfits from Chico’s and coloring my gray roots in preparation for the event (which is only 12 days away). All the while praying to God that I don’t make a complete and total ass of myself!  

Right here, I have to send an enormous thank you to Jackie and her team at the Chico’s in Fayetteville, New York, for all of their fabulous styling assistance! They offered me world class service that went above and beyond my expectations. I simply could not have pulled it off without them!

So if you want to be a part of this amazing initiative of fierce women or if you just want to stand by and see if I fall flat on my face, you can find all the details for attending this event here.

The photos I am sharing in this post are me totally and fearlessly within my comfort zone. Slouchy boyfriend jeans, flat sandals, and a comfy kimono, chilling unseen in the safety of my backyard, taking my own photos with a Bluetooth remote and my iPhone. Not posing for anyone or in front of anyone. Not all that worried about the lighting or the quality. Just my simple outfit photos because it’s what I love to do.

*By the way, the outfit in this post is not from Chico’s. It is comprised of old pieces that have been in my closet for quite some time.

Here in my little blog space, I have shown you all my best, my worst, and everything in between. I have shared my secrets, my struggles, my thoughts, and the lessons I have learned in the hopes that you, too, can find your way to the most wonderful things that lie just on the other side of your comfort zone…simply by facing your fears.

I hope to see some of you in New York City!

By the way, I will be joining these four fabulous women modeling our Chico’s style:

Cherie of Style Nudge
Dawn of Plumage 59
Michele of Seechele_styles
Tracey of Chic Classy Spicy

Keeping it on the edge…as I always do,


Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.

Follow shelbeeontheedge@gmail.com:

I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

38 Responses

  1. You are going to be amazing!!!! I can’t wait to see pictures,if it were closer I’d be there in a heartbeat. Fashion shows featuring real women are my jam, I am super happy for you. Success is absolutely one step out of your comfort zone but I have a feeling you are going to OWN that stage.

    • Kellyann, thank you so much for these super encouraging words! Lord knows I need all the positive energy I can muster for this one! I really appreciate all the support. It would have been fabulous if you could have been there! I hope you have a wonderful week.


  2. Great post Shelbee! It reminds me that we have nothing to fear but fear its self! Who said that? You named your blog perfectly! You are edgy and I love it! It’s always a pleasure to read your posts! Great look today! I love your fashion sense!
    Happy Monday!

    • Thanks so much, Cheryl! I cannot even say how much appreciate all of your support and kind words! And upon further investigation, FDR was the one who said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”


  3. You are going to have the best time ever, Shelbee!! If I wasn’t in Seattle that weekend, I’d be right there cheering you on!!

  4. I wish I could be there in person. Please know that I am there in spirit. You are going to rock it!

  5. Best wishes Shelbee! you will do great 😉 i would love to be there too, but can’t make it . I understand about facing your fears! I mentioned it on a blog post recently, and also did something I wasn’t comfortable doing- a video! i was asked by sixty and me and it was a fear I faced, but was glad i did it. The time will go by before you know it, and you will be proud of yourself. Enjoy, have fun!
    jess xx

    • Jess, thank you so much for your support and words of encouragement! I watched your Sixty & Me video and it was fabulous! You were great! I will keep you posted on the outcome of me vs. my fears! Ha. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.


  6. Great effort on overcoming your fears – I enjoyed your thoughts on that subject.

  7. Love this whole look Shelbee 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Creative Monday, hope to see you again soon.

  8. What a great post! You are not alone sister–I have been feeling nervous about the modeling too. My strategy has been suppression for now–haha! Thanks for opening up about this.

    • Dawn, thank you for opening up to me about your nerves, too! Now I really know I am not alone as I shake my way down the “runway”! And not the good kind of shake! Ha! I look forward to meeting you!


  9. You will be wonderful! And I’m so jealous! You get to meet Eugenia. She is so wonderful! Have a wonderful time and make lots of new friends. Hugs! Nins

    • Nina, thank you so much! I am super excited to meet all the wonderful women who will be attending this event! Eugenia has been so amazing in coordinating all of this. She totally rocks! Stay tuned for lots of photos!


  10. Can’t wait to meet you too Shelbee. This is going to be an amazing afternoon!

  11. OMG Michelle, congrats and I am sure you’re gonna nail it.

  12. It’s pity that I can’t see this event in person (‘m living on the other side of the world). Not because I think you are going to fall on your face or something.o) I think, it will be amazing to see women to encourage and support other women. Good luck and I’m looking forward to see some pictures from this.


    • Anna, thank you so much for the encouraging words! This is going to be such a fun event, I wish all of my fabulous blogger friends could attend! And even if I do fall on my face, I think everyone there will just offer a hand to pick me up…because like you said, it is a group of women coming together to support each other. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful day!


  13. Tracey Crockett

    Girlfriend, YOU ARE GOING TO ROCK THE SHOW! I’ve never done this either but like you I’m going to face the fear and ROCK ON! I’m so proud of you for sharing this with everyone. People think that we have our ish together or that we’re not like them. We are SO LIKE THEM and that’s why we do what we do so that they will have the courge to do what scares the crap out of them.

    Can’t wait to hug you and share the Chico’s runway with you!

    Let’s do this sister!

    • Tracey, you totally just made me cry with this comment! Thank you so, so much for this validation and encouragement! I am so excited to meet you and hug you back and rock the runway with you!


  14. What a great commentary, Shelbee! I can’t wait to meet you 🙂 in NYC. Remember that it will be FRIENDS like me, who are taking the plunge in this blogging world with you, watching you model! XO, Angie from http://www.yourtrueselfblog.com

  15. OMG you are so inspiring. I love surrounding myself with women that I classify as confident, strong, fearless but I too have learned we all have our own insecurities.Beat of luck.

  16. Michelle,
    One word, Wow! I agree with the many comments, you and your blog, very inspiring. The Chico’s NYC MeetUp is the perfect venue to show yourself that you’ve already overcome your fears. I’m looking forward to meeting you and having some fun.

    • Eugenia, thank you so very much for this lovely comment and for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful experience with Chico’s! I am so excited to meet you and all of the amazing and empowering women who are a part of this revolution!


  17. Congrats! What an awesome opportunity! I’m glad you didn’t let fear get in the way!
    Jeans and a Teacup

  18. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. You look stunning in this look!

  19. I had the same fear as you when asked to model. I went with door greeter instead. I’m not has brave as you.

    • But you were great modeling your Chico’s style, Kim! And you looked fabulous! We were rocking it, for sure. It was a fabulous day and it was so great to meet you in real life. Definite lunch dates are in the future when I come back to the PA/NJ area!


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