Walking the Runway or Runaway Emotions?

If we’re friends on Instagram, you might have seen that I’ve walked in two fashion shows recently.

(If we’re not, why aren’t we? Say hi here! And to catch you up, I’ve walked on two runways recently).

Which on Instagram might look glamorous, but there’s a back story here that makes it much more comical than it’s likely to appear on the surface.

You see, I’ve been told I could be a model much of my life.

Which when you’re a kid who desperately wants to be recognized but has no idea how to make it happen, being told that particular phrase can feel infuriating.

(I have so many other problems with people telling me that and how it felt to me, but explaining all those here would detract from this email—sort of like this sentence already has).

Then when you finally go to an audition as a ten-year-old and think, “Oh my gosh, maybe I’ll finally get my chance,” only to have your parents think the required classes might be a scam, you might give up all hope and feel even more frustrated when someone tells you you can be a model.

So fast forward twenty years later, when your incredibly supportive and completely biased boyfriend tells you to go to the casting call for Denver Fashion Week, you might have a bunch of unresolved emotional shit come up.

And that unresolved emotional shit might start adding some turmoil to your relationships.

Especially when your boyfriend auditions with you and gets called by a talent scout that was at the auditions and you don’t.

And then you cry and have a breakdown and say things that feel unsupportive of him even though you’re also super excited for him. You’re confused by the dual emotions, and so is he.

And then you both go to callbacks, and you’re convinced he’s going to get chosen, and you won’t.

But somehow, you hear a voice that releases the pressure, and you embrace surrender by saying, “If I can be of service to someone’s creative vision, please use me,” and let go of any attachment to selection and your sense of worth.

And in true tragic comedy fashion that the Universe loves to dabble in, that’s the exact moment when someone asks you if you’ll walk for them.

But then you get chosen, and your boyfriend doesn’t, and he doesn’t have all the past baggage, so he’s much more gracious about this than you imagine you would have been had the opposite happened. So you also judge yourself for that.

And then, after the show, you get called by the agency and realize all of this was clearly the Universe getting you to heal something. You laugh but also sort of want to give the Universe the middle finger (even though that’s probably not recommended since it has your best interest at heart). After all, it did afford you the opportunity when you were willing to commit to healing the wound.

So this is the more complete back story of how I ended up walking in two fashion shows this month.

I have an incredibly supportive partner and relationship where we commit to healing and vulnerability, allowing ourselves to pursue paths while encouraging each other.

It was a messy process of emotion that culminated in a moment that can tend to look glamorous according to society’s standards.

In reality, it was a lesson in patience and presence and self-worth and not giving up as much as it was about taking up space and looking fierce on the runway despite my stomach feeling like it was going to drop out my butt.

So here’s to making it mentionable and sharing the behind-the-scenes moments.

Because while I posted backstage pictures, the true behind-the-scenes moments involved much more emotion. I find that it’s those emotions so many of us avoid sharing because constructing a picture-perfect image can feel safer at times.

But experiencing our emotions is a birthright.

We get to have them.

In fact, allowing ourselves to feel them usually helps us release the power they hold over us much quicker than pretending they don’t exist.

When we get honest with ourselves and let ourselves see what’s really happening in our emotional worlds, it becomes much easier to be honest with others and also embrace their inner worlds with compassion.

And that is the greatest gift we can give anyone.

Speaking of Make it Mentionable, have you caught the latest episode yet?

Geoff joins me to talk about navigating conflict in relationships. If you’re curious about how we navigate conflict and tools you can use too, or if you just want to hear what we fight about most, you can tune in here.

With so much love,


P.S. I’m not planning on becoming a model full-time. I love helping people create amazing relationships and communicate effectively, but I do love walking the runway for fun when opportunities arise. Not all creativity has to be a revenue stream. If you want to see pics, head over to Insta and check my highlights.

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Alyssa Kulesa

Alyssa Kulesa

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