Memoirs in Mexico
BY: AJAI GUYOT
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel said this. I’d heard this phrase plenty of times, but I’d never really understood it until recently.
Being an entrepreneur, I found myself constantly focused on how society looked at me, and feeling like I needed to live up to its standards, because pleasing others and looking the way they wanted me to, was the best thing for my business right?
I’d say to myself, “I can’t post pictures of me enjoying myself on a beach, that’d be too sexual. I can’t wear pink, people won’t take me serious. I’m not allowed to cry, that would make me look weak, and joking around, makes me look stupid.”
At times, I even found it difficult to ask my husband for help, because to me, being vulnerable wasn't a good look either. But somewhere in the Cenotes waters, I made a vow to myself that I was over it, and that I simply did not give AF anymore.
I’ve always been afraid to open my eyes under water. I was afraid to open them and see nothing and no one. I guess I was afraid of being alone in the middle of nowhere, so I’ve always avoided it. But this time, in the Cenotes, I decided that it didn't matter if someone was around or not, because I was going to be okay regardless. I relate this fear to having the thoughts of constantly trying to live up to the expectations of others, and feeling like I would be exiled if I didn't.
Quite frankly, that shit is exhausting, and causes loads of anxiety. I had decided that once I took a leap into the cave water, I was going to truly open my eyes, and be the Ajai that I know and love. At that moment, I wanted to live in my authentic self, and so I did. I jumped into the water, let myself sink to the bottom, and I opened my eyes. It was dark, but just light enough for me to see little fishes swimming towards me. They brushed against my arms and legs as they passed me by, and I began to float up. When I reached the surface, I realized how unbothered the fish seemed during and after their interaction with me. They weren’t concerned with me at all…
This is where the epiphany came. I realized in that moment, people (and fishies) are concerned with themselves, their own well-being. I’m more than likely not at the center of anyone’s concern (and if I am, I guess that’s their problem). It was then I had decided I was going to wear myself on my sleeve. No more photo-shopping and filtering myself (figuratively speaking… I will still be using my presets and editing my pictures).
After I left the Cenotes, I headed back to my hotel room and went to work! I chose the colors I really liked for my brand: pinks, pearls, mauves, all the “feminine” colors. I doubled back and selected the logo that was originally to be used - but was hid away because I thought men might not want to work with me if I chose it. I approached photographing content in a way that was more reflective of me, and let me tell you, it was amazing, eye-opening even! I even created a custom Ajai Guyot Design preset - I call it “The Awakening.”
I’ve re-branded my business completely, and I am absolutely in love with the actual me (not new, I’ve been here the whole time).
All that said, I felt the need to share this message with you all: Be yourself, because there’s only one you, (literally) and no one can be you better than you can. In fact, when you start being the real you, real beauty is born. Even when it comes to your brand. Expressing your brand and yourself authentically, is what sets you aside from everyone else. People and Brands that stay true to themselves are the ones that thrive and bring uniqueness to the table.
So whenever you are ready for your brand to start living in its truth, I’m here to help. You can connect with me here. It would be my pleasure to work with you and your brand, help you through discovery, and tell your authentic, one-of-a-kind story.