Last night, I spent several hours cleaning out my closet. It was a full purge. Today, I’ll take several bags of clothes to Goodwill. I need this stuff gone. I can’t wait for it to be out of the house.
Walking to work a few days ago, I did what I always do when I walk to work. I people-watch. I noticed the girls I always notice. The petite, slender women with straight hair and perfect skin. Their silhouettes are clean lines thanks to professional, tailored suits and dresses. I notice them, and as usual, I think “I will never look like that.”
This week, I had an epiphany.
No, I won’t ever look like that, so why am I trying to do so?
I realized that I’d been trying to mold myself into this prim, conservative ideal for the workplace. I have been for years.
Realistically, I will never have straight hair that behaves itself. I have always joked that I have “naturally messy hair.” Over the past year, I’ve managed to ramp that up into wave, curl, volume and texture that would be the envy of most Disney princesses. Size and behavior-wise, my hair’s more Merida or Ariel than Belle or Cinderella, and I’m okay with that. But for some reason, I’ve held it in my mind that shoulder-length or chin-length straight hair is more polished and professional.
Also, I don’t have a runner’s physique. I’m not slender, lithe, or svelte. I am curvaceous, voluptuous, buxom, and strong. I am intensely feminine looking, in terms of my body shape.
Remind me again why I’ve thought straight, conservative lines and drab plain colors were a good idea?
This week, I decided to shift my target adjectives. I’ve given up on “sleek” and “classic” and even “professional.” I’m going to go for a look that has more to do with who I am. I could wear jeans and T-shirts to work every day and no one would bat an eye. They won’t be worried about me switching my adjectives to “creative”, “feminine” and “playful”.
In the closet purge last night, I kept a few solids and neutrals, but the prim sweater-sets are gone. I got rid of the stripes that I tried so hard to make preppy and cute, and I ditched the grey and the stuff that just didn’t suit me. Drab, blah, conservative… buh-bye. I kept the colors, the prints, the shapes that make me feel confident. I purged the heels that are too high for me to be comfortable in, and dug out the strappy sandals. I tried everything on. I bagged everything up.
My closet is almost frighteningly bare. I am a little worried I won’t have clothes to wear every workday this week.
But I’m getting rid of all of those “supposed to be”s and making room for the “really am”s.
This is going to be a hell of an adventure.