i'm not sure how it happened, but one day i looked in the mirror and i realized i didn't like what i saw. it's not just the getting older, the getting heavier. those are just symptoms. it's two things really. the first was the realization that when i look in the mirror, i don't see me. the second is that i couldn't help but wonder how i let it get this way.
i have always had a very strong sense of who i am. and that strong sense of who i am has always been as clearly reflected on the outside as i feel it on the inside. but recently i have allowed myself and my life to become fractured. my identity has become compartmentalized into different roles, none of which truely reflects a complete me. there is the corporate manager. the novelist and poet. the gardener. the would-be activist. the artist. the girlfriend. the daughter. the aunt. the patient whose body sometimes struggles to find the energy it needs to get through the day. but even the truest and most valued piece all alone is only a fraction of the whole puzzle that is me.
when i dress for work, i have been dressing for the corporate environment. not to bring myself into the job, but to fit into a role. by dressing this way, i deny myself. i hide who i really am. this is not only in-authentic, it diminishes both me and my job.
when i dress to work in the garden in grubby, ill-fitting clothes, sure, i am considering the messy task at hand, but i am also de-valuing both myself and a job that i find extrememly fulfilling and deeply spiritual. i am not treating myself or the task with the reverence we both deserve.
for me, fashion is not about status. it's not about looking cute. it's not about fitting in. it's about creating an authentic external representation of the person that i am on the inside. it's about expressing who i am. and it's about treating myself and my body with the respect i deserve.
a necklace isn't just a pretty stone. it's a way to honor my own inner and outer beauty. a well-fitted sweater doesn't just look neat and put together, it shows i'm proud of who i am and the shape i take.
and that's what makes it so important for me to get up every morning and put on beautiful/fun/creative/exciting, well-made clothes that fit just right. not only does it make me feel more at home in my body and more connected to all the pieces of who i am, it reminds me to bring the whole package to everything i do. and if you don't do that, then what's the point of doing it at all?