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Rise Unafraid & A Link-Up


I’ll rise up.

High like the waves.


What gets you going in the morning?  Gives you that nudge kick in the ass to wake up, roll out of bed and start a new day?  I ask that you pause and take a moment before answering.  Take a really long moment, and make it an honest response, even if it’s a brutal one.  It has to come from your soul.  Your heart.

Rise Unafraid | Sheela WritesRise Unafraid | Sheela WritesRise Unafraid | Sheela Writes

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post was triggered in part by what Shelbee shared on the matter of vanity being her saving grace (if you haven’t had, I highly suggest you visit her blog, the woman writes passionately and truthfully, and I hold her in the highest of regard).  Another reason I’m writing what I am today is because when I wrote about earning money from the blog a little while ago, I realised that my original reason for starting one was no longer held.

Like many of my peers, my day job doesn’t quite do it for me.  It puts food on the table and allows me to savour in occasional indulgences yet leaves my soul yearning for something else.  As for fashion, I was 7 years old when I first saw an Issey Miyake creation, and it was love at first sight.  Determined to be my generation’s design prodigy, I set about learning everything to do with the sartorial world.  Before my 9th birthday, I could tell the difference between charmeuse and satin, draft patterns, and manoeuvre a sewing machine far better than I could fry an egg (I have somewhat improved my culinary skills since then, pinkie swear).

Rise Unafraid | Sheela WritesRise Unafraid | Sheela Writes

Along the journey to reaching adulthood, I participated in competitions (and won a few, nothing earth-shattering), and when I turned 18, I was offered an internship with the now defunct Koala Blue chain (owned by Olivia Newton John).  My father’s Asian views on art as a(n impossible) livelihood soon put an end to that dream.  It’s alright, his heart was in the right place.


I set aside the idea of being a fashion designer and focused on my other love, writing.

Writing has helped me survive so many things.

Rise Unafraid | Sheela WritesRise Unafraid | Sheela WritesRise Unafraid | Sheela Writes

Ongoing sexual abuse when I was a pre-teen.  Physically abusive relationships in my late teens to my early 20s.  A marriage that crumbled, a horrid torrid divorce.  The stigma of being a single parent in a conservative environment.  More times than not, I was convinced my world was falling apart and, worse, that I couldn’t come up for air.

Words were my solace.  My guardian angels.  My saving grace.

Rise Unafraid | Sheela WritesRise Unafraid | Sheela Writes

And then, the two roads met.  Writing and fashion.  That’s what puts the lilt in my step.  Pushes me to rise up every single day, like the sun.  Like waves crashing to the shore.

What about you?

What makes you rise up each morning?

Love, Sheela

p/s photos by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.


  1. styleblog15 says

    This is a really good and deep question to ask yourself. Something to really think about. All I can say, there is nothing like a job (or hobby) you love and can express yourself and really feel great about it.
    Really enjoyed your post. Fabulous look!




  2. robjodiefilogomo says

    I must admit, you always bring up the soul searching questions Sheela.
    Why do I get out of bed in the mornings….truthfully because my husband is going off to work and I want to spend the hour with him—lame but true.
    As for what really makes me feel good, is corny & sounds too Hallmarky. But I feel so good helping others (it’s really a good thing I didn’t realize this until later in my adult life—otherwise I’d probably be a nun or something). I also love organizing, shopping and watching people. But never, never has the writing part been a forte—that’s why I love reading your blog (along with the great shoes)!


  3. You write such thought-provoking blogs & I love it! You make us think about deep meaningful subjects that most avoid because they fear what they will find. My 2 reasons may not be so profound, but they are why I do jump out of bed, don’t hit the snooze button & just get going. First, I don’t want to appear lazy to the world, which is stupid, because the world isn’t watching me. Whatever tasks I have for the day which is typically a million will only take longer to do unless if I just start knocking things off the list. The most important reason is my husband. Coffee time is the most precious moment of my day. As soon as he takes his last sip, I lose him mentally & physically until late night. I’m one of those lucky people that as soon as my eyes open & i just bound of of bed. The curse is I can’t shut my brain off, so it is close to impossible to ever let myself sleep in even if I tried. Thanks again Sheela for always posing such a amazing questions!!! Diane


  4. Pingback: Capsule Wardrobe Outfit 2.9: How I Wore Black Dungarees – 5 feet of style

  5. Funny how life twists and turns to bring us to right where we are. I often think of the movie Sliding Doors. It shows how through choices our lives can be changed but inevitably we somehow manage to end up in the same place, right where we should be.

    Sometimes I don’t want to be in that place. Accepting where we are isn’t always easy. Whether it be from health, money or relationship issues. As you pointed it out it is how we push our way through life and deal with the problems that turns us into who we are.

    The opportunity to be creative during the day is probably the biggest motivating factor in my life. Creativity can take so many different paths and allows a broad spectrum of activities to fall under that umbrella.



  6. shelbeeontheedge1 says

    Sheela, what an unexpected surprise! I guess it is true that we sometimes don’t know how much we have inspired others or how much impact our words actually have (kind and unkind alike) on others. I am so honored that you found my writing inspirational and moving as I hold you and your creative talents in such high esteem! Thank you so much. I actually teared up a bit reading this post. Your honesty and rawness and willingness to lay your naked soul out there for your readers is so admirable and I respect that so much. It is funny because just last night my closest friend said to me, “If you put your vulnerabilities out there, get naked in a sense, in front of your readers, they will respond in an overwhelming way.” And that is literally what is happening with my blog. I have always aspired to be a helper…enter a helping profession in some form…I was an attorney at one point long ago, but it was not my calling. Then I dabbled in the field of teaching for a bit. And coaching. And finally began a Masters program in Mental Health Counseling. Half through my credentials, the Army moved us to a place where I couldn’t continue my degree program. We had kids and I focused on being mom. Then, like you, I found this way to merge my passions…writing, fashion, and helping people. It is all I have ever wanted to do. It is my calling. And responses like the ones I have been receiving are completely validating my decisions. Again, thank you so very much. I am grateful and overwhelmed and honored to even be considered in the same category as you! You are fabulous!



  7. Wow – lovely post, glad I stumbled across your blog via a linkup. SOmetimes we just get so caught up in the doing, we really forget to stop and think about the why. And we do things for so long we often don’t go back and think about our reasons and if they are still valid. After all we as we grow so our motivations and what’s important to us will change. A bit of mental spring cleaning is always a good way for a refereshing start!


  8. I guess what makes me get up every morning is the promise of a new day and all the potential – to teach, to help, to create, to nurture, to grow, to be in the moment.

    And I do think that we eventually end up where we are meant to be (at least in one way or another), even if we take a few (or many) detours to get there…

    I always enjoy your posts!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes


  9. happinessatmidlife says

    I do always appreciate your writing. I have a pretty positive attitude in general about life and get up maybe a little tired each day but look forward to even everyday life.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!



  10. sequinist says

    As always, a gorgeously well-written and thought provoking post. I am besotted with my three year old son, so right now HE is what makes me leap out of bed in the morning, even if he wakes at 5:30 every day (sob!). Each day is really so different for me in terms of work, travel, houseguests, so it always takes me a moment to focus and remember what lies ahead for me… and that curiosity to get cracking on whatever it is makes me want to get up and get started.

    I love that writing has been your saviour… for me walking has been my saviour. Whether I take a long fast walk in the city or in the middle of the countryside, walking keeps me sane.

    On a more superficial but equally important note, girl, your pattern mixing in the photos above is fierce as fuck. LOVE it. The sheer joy and chutzpah you put into an outfit always inspires me. xx


  11. First off those shoes are everything! Secondly, I am so inspired by this post. For me personally I get up every morning making sure I either stretch and/or blog. Just like yourself, the writing I do on my blog is incredibly recreational. Thank goodness for fashion and writing. Great post darling.

    Dakota D.
    IG: @missdsquared413


  12. You know I struggle with posting pics of my self on my blog initially. Took me a year of blogging to show my face, I felt it was too vain, and self indulgent. However once I started to post my outfits, I felt more confident and empowered. Fashion blogging has help me with my self esteem and confidence. I took use fashion to express my self. I’ve always loved fashion but growing up a chubby poor Latina girl from LA, I was never encouraged and even laughed at my dream of going to college for fashion design. I use my blog to purse my dream of being a part of the fashion world! Thanks for joining my link up as well, hope to see you next week!


  13. I am so glad you did become a writer, because I love reading everything you post. As for me, I am not sure I can pinpoint any particular driving force that gets me out of bed other than I too am a single mom and I need to provide for my son. Loved this post Sheela!

    xx, Elise


  14. stinedurfdl says

    It doesn’t seem to matter what post I drop in on, it always seems to reaffirm that perhaps you and I are long lost soul sisters. Fashion and writing have always been major passions of mine and fusing the two through the blog has been such a gift. Originally I kept things rather on the surface level, but then I realized that all of the stories people IRL had always told me I should write down could be shared via the blog. Sometimes it’s hard sharing the innermost workings of my mind and my heart, but those posts inevitably get the most reaction. Some days I don’t feel like sharing so I write amusing nonsense, but that’s okay too.


  15. No Fear of Fashion says

    Love your writing, love your stories (even though they are sometimes sad, they are well written) and your creativity.
    What makes me sing? Entertsining people, making people laugh.


  16. You have such an inspiring story. My foray into style blogging is nowhere near as deep. I wake up in the morning because it is the only time I have to drink a cup of coffee with my husband before our kids wake up and work gets in the way. I blog because it gives me a break from my job and it’s fun, but it all seems so superficial in the face of real struggles like yours. Thank you for sharing your story!


  17. Your story is so inspiring Sheela. First of all thank you for sharing it with us, and second, I am very happy for you creating this blog which combines writing and fashion, the two things you love so much! Your writing is great and I enjoy reading all your posts. I hope your life brings you only happiness, peace and all the blessings you deserve from now and on!
    Much Love,


  18. Always candid and thought provoking Sheela, your writing is beautiful and judging from all the comments your readers all appreciate as well. I’m glad you choose to rise above all the things you’ve been through and continue to push the boundaries. Those wedge heels are so fierce, just like you! Thanks for hosting the linkup!

    xo Sheree
    IG: @Poshclassymom


  19. Pingback: Little Bits of Inspiration #7 – Shelbee On the Edge

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