For science, we’re going to talk about my looks. Based on recent popular opinion I seem to be doing pretty well. Grandmas, church aunties, a random 40 year old, a Trader Joe’s cashier apparently named Willy Bear and a very friendly Jamba guy agree.
Yes, we’re going to have a scientific discussion.
I know I’m thinner, not that I was ever much different. Some people haven’t seen me in a while? I’ve improved in my makeup skills and know my way around some lip liner! Just kidding, all that means is finally I’ve bought one to try it out, and sometimes I’ll just wear that with Chapstick and no lipstick. I’ve been told by my English professor cousin (“Did you take a nap in the car?”) and a five year old (“Did you even brush your hair?”) that my tresses are a mad wreck.
So what are some actual good differences?
I really dress for me now.
This is hard for me to share. As I’ve written before, I enjoy fashion. I love the art of it, the creation of it, the curation of it. All of my life, I’ve been a pretty quiet individual, both volume-wise and content-wise, and often it was because I had not much to say. There’s been a theme in my life where I’m not bad at figuring out the sweet spot of passing by with just enough positive opinion from most people I come into contact with.
I don’t like to fight, I don’t even like to disagree, and I have certainly hated any kind of malcontent in relationships that remained 90% acquaintances until I was 16. Often, I’m just confused or slow. Metaphorically, I can’t sing, but I can sing low enough so it seems I know what I’m doing, so then I think I’m great at stealth. (That’s untrue and bad.)
Over the past year, I frantically tried to please and to fit a mold I created for myself. Now whenever choosing colors, pieces, accessories to wear, I banish the following questions/doubts:
The kind of girl these people would like would/wouldn’t wear this.
People will think I’m dumb if I wear this. If I do this, I’m trying too hard.
This kind of girl would wear this. I can’t like it.
This outfit makes me look like I do A, B or C. I am not the kind of girl who cares about these things.
Whatever! I’m finally back to a good spot where I just enjoy dressing myself, and choose what I just feel comfortable in and inspired by. This isn’t a clothes thing; it’s a heart thing. Now I don’t dress with a backseat need to “orchestrate” what others will think of me. Can’t control it, can’t depend on it.
I’m creating less of a tired persona on purpose.
What the crap? I don’t know what to call this. I had this stupid thing where I thought all the deepest, most interesting people had this worn quality about them. And it echoed throughout their body language and the way they listened to others and spoke of things they were cynical about. I opted for grayer clothes and a grayer attitude, and though I still love gray clothing so very much—W H A T E V E R.
Let me repeat that this was entirely dumb. Whatever! Now I’m actually tired! Because I’m actually doing things! And guess what? This realer fatigue comes with a realer interest in other people’s stories, in their lives. I’m more concerned about the way others are excited and about the struggles they’re facing because the wearing that I’ve been through was meant to create more room in my heart for them, not more attractive ruggedness for myself. Have you seen me? I’m not ruggedly attractive or attractively rugged whatsoever. So here, I’m letting you know I’m a complete fool, and I’d love to give you a hug if you feel the same way.
If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a huge narcissist, worried sick about so many people’s opinions. And I’m hoping dearly that the biggest change is a desire to wrestle with that in the most awesome way possible.
I’m sure there was a more organized, clear way to share the state of my style/self-image evolution, but if it comes across as shoddy and silly, I’d like you to know that it genuinely is pretty shoddy and silly.
Here’s a picture of me in fabulous new heels and a NASA tee I’ve been wanting from the Target men’s section. Seriously, what tiny man was going to buy this shirt?
I wore this to dinner tonight. Wabam.