November 30th may SEEM like an ordinary day, but alas- tis not. It’s my mom’s birthday-and she’s turning 61! If you don’t have the pleasure of knowing Silvia, you’re missing out. She’s the first one to dance, the first one to laugh, she always looks fabulous (SERIOUSLY- the women is turning 61 and looks better than yours truly) and she is the first one to love with all of her heart. My mom was my introduction to both of my passions- fashion and spirituality. The woman has been using crystals, meditating, doing yoga and the whole nine yards since before it was socially acceptable (hello 80’s). Silvia is where I get my unyielding, burning passion for lipstick, black, (faux) leather, high heels and a KILL EM attitude- so needless to say I am glad this Sagittarius Queen was born all these years ago! My mom has taught me a lot- so I decided to share my six favorite lessons and the ultimate gold rule she taught me (get it 61??). So here you go- from Silvia Herstik to you!
1. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF LOOKING (AND FEELING) GOOD
So what seem like a no brainer actually isn’t. Ever since I was little, my mom has always looked fabulous. It doesn’t matter if she’s wearing an Express track suit or her favorite pair of AG jeans, the woman always looks perfect. I think this is also a cultural thing- my grandma is the same way. I also thing my family just drank out of the fountain of youth because my god do humans in my family age well. My mom (who was born and raised in Mexico City) has always emphasized that there’s no shame in taking care of yourself- having pride in how you present yourself is good! It’s important and worthy- if it makes you feel good, do it! No shame at all.
2. YOU CAN’T GO WRONG WITH LIPSTICK
One of my moms favorite stories to tell us (us being the twin and me) is of one of our closest friends Amanda and how she would always look at my mom, wide eyed and starstruck, while we were at temple at Friday night services. Amanda was constantly in awe of my moms perfectly pink lips and loved to play with her lipstick. Me? Not so much. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I realized the power of a perfectly red pout. Ever since then I’ve been hooked. My mom was my first introduction to the wonderful world of MAC and all their fabulous hues. I like to call lipstick my war paint, and these days my lipstick choices also inspire my mom. I like to think of it as fashion karma! She introduced me to the tube of courage and I introduce her to So Chaud and Candy Yum Yum. Mutually beneficial for sure.
3. NEVER EVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE
My mom is a 5’5 powerhouse with a thick Mexican accent. She graduated from college in three years and got her Masters degree in two. By the time she was 20 she owned her private practice and when she was 27 she came to the United States by herself- the first in her family. Silvia is the original power woman in my book, and if there’s one thing her kick butt work ethic and her fabulous nature has taught me it’s to NEVER apologize for being yourself. My mom is constantly underestimated because shes a woman and she has an accent, and you know what? She constantly proves those people wrong. My mom always dances, always sings, always loves and always gives hugs and kisses. She wears monochromatic outfits and has a really loud laugh and she’s kinda weird and you know what? That’s what makes her stellar! And she has never apologized for that.
My mom has always been a heel woman. Ever since I was younger I’ve always admired my mothers vast shoe collection. It wasn’t until I was around 13 or 14 and learned to appreciate style that I truly realized the power that a good shoe holds over mortal women. One of my favorite sounds growing up was the sound of my moms heels clicking on hardwood floor. A close second? The sounds of her acrylic nails tapping. My mother also taught me to appreciate comfort- you can look good and not want to cut off your feet. I’m definitely taking after Mama Herstik, I love my heels and tend to wear them whenever I don’t have class, Columbia doesn’t stand(!) a chance.
Actually literally, having a Mexican Jewish mother means celebrations are abundant. You got an A? CELEBRATE! Poochy (the pup!) got groomed? CELEBRATE! Extreme Home Makeover is on? Cry and then CELEBRATE! One of the most important lessons this fabulous lady has taught me is that it is a million times better to wake up with gratitude for each day and own it! Every day you’re alive and able to celebrate is reason enough. So whether you’re dancing your heart out in your car, or jamming at the club, celebrate. Never apologize for listening to the DJ of your soul!
6. ALWAYS GET A LARGE HOT SAKI WHEN YOU GO OUT TO SUSHI
A very special and IMPORTANT rule shared by my twin Alexandra. This goes back to rule number 5! ALWAYS CELEBRATE! BUT- make sure you have a designated driver if you do! This is for you dad, you’re the real MVP for letting mom get Saki! Also- my mom always sing “Nooobody knowsss the bubbless I’ve seen” when she drinks saki. It’s really cute.
And last but not least….
You have to love yourself before you love anyone else or let anyone else love you::: easily the most important thing that this human has taught me and the golden rule of life. You have to love yourself. It’s not negotiable, it’s not an option. It’s a necessity. You are worthy of the same love you give to others simply because you exist. Your soul deserves the same respect and admiration as every other soul you love. Loving yourself is a process, its a journey and it takes work, but as soon as you choose to embrace it, everything else becomes easier. You’re not fully receptive to love until you decide you deserve it (which you do!) I remember giving myself a hug in fifth grade in our old apartment building and learning to love myself (and all my weird “flaws”) because my mom had been preaching this rule to me since I was little. I can’t stress enough how much this simple sentiment has impacted to me. I can easily say I wouldn’t be who I am, shaved hair and sass and all, if it weren’t for my mother stressing to me that I MUST love myself. So here I am, passing it on to you! Love yourself! Treat yourself! Amen!
So mom, mommy, mother, madre, mami, Silvia- I love you. You are a wonderful, beautiful, vibrant soul and I am so glad you love selfies as much as I do (literally, whenever any of our family is together you can be sure you’ll here Silvia scream SELFIE!) I hope 61 is the best year yet. You are as beautiful and fabulous and young on the inside as you are on the outside! OH- that could be another lesson! A young soul keeps you young. I could write a million more things you taught me but I’ll keep it short! I love you mami!