Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rock Bottom

I'm not sure when it happened, or why, but at some point I lost my style.  First I turned 30, then I was a single mother of 4, got desk jobs,  turned 40. I lost and gained weight, life happened, and along the way clothing marketed to my age groups changed so gradually and with such subtlety that one day I woke up and noticed my jeans were creeping precariously close to my rib cage. Sneaky sneaky. 

Then I started working from home and, because there was nobody around making me pretend to care, I stopped pretending to care. Between (trying to) work and running errands and being a mother and finding time to create and/or sleep, I'm pretty sure I wore the same thing for 3 or 4 straight days. Not only that, but none of my existing clothes went with anything else except for the same 5 items, which were so worn, torn, and threadbare that they were no longer presentable in public.

I got an interview for a job I was somewhat interested in, and managed to pull together a short sleeved button down with a missing button (which I pinned from the inside) and a pair of, ahem, wide leg gray capris. <sigh> They were badly pilled on the inside legs and too tight in the waist. Shhh. It's even worse than that. I wore sandals. 

I ended up not getting the job because someone else much more qualified came along, but really, it could have easily been any single detail of my really horrible outfit. 

That was my first wake-up call. Another day, I went to meet my daughter for lunch at her school in what was essentially a large maroon (oxblood - hah!) tent. There were several more mini-epiphanies before I really took notice and made the decision to reclaim my style and rebuild my wardrobe.  

Since I'm a lifelong, hardcore, happy thrift store shopper with about 2 pennies to rub together, that's the route I'll be taking! I'm pretty lucky to live in a major metropolitan area and have access to a few large thrift stores, but I've also had just as much luck in very rural Pennsylvania. The trick is to know what's good and how to find it. As long as you know what you're doing, you can find some pretty sweet goods just about anywhere.

Another part of this project, and just as important in my humble opinion, is being kinder to myself and my body. I am in the gently rounded zone where my body naturally goes. I have my eye on my health, of course, because I love living and would like to avoid death for as long as possible. But all of that aside, I'm frankly just tired of sucking in my belly. I'm weary of hiding behind long skirts because I have big legs and chubby knees. My arms jiggle. So what? Who, in a hundred years when I am long forgotten, will give a shit about my big bones and fluff? I've had enough of waiting to be something I'm not in order to be nice to myself.  Where did I learn that crap in the first place? It's certainly nothing I would ever want for my daughters, or even my sons for that matter.

I feel pretty without Critical Beast, so Critical Beast must go.

I am taking this opportunity to remind myself of what this body has accomplished, how it made four entire humans and fed them, how it can run like the wind when I want it to, how it houses my mind and keeps me alive without my really knowing how. How it informs me of my surroundings and keeps me whole through emotional turbulence. Most of all, how it so beautifully communicates my deepest thoughts and heartfelt emotions to those I hold dear. I mean, that's fucking incredible. Really awesome, right?!  What would you pay for a tool that did that, if you weren't able? Can you even put a price on something like that? It's an amazing piece of organic machinery, and I really need to be nicer to it. And buy it pretty things. And take it on dates. Maybe even get it drunk and take advantage of it. You never know....good things could happen.


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