Taking Myself Shopping

Warning: contains the word “breast.” Twice, now.

I’m taking this course, you see. And as part of the course, to tap into the parts of ourselves which were trying to be expressed, we were to spend some time with our future selves. Try dressing as her, ask her for some advice on a challenging situation, visualizations, lovely work. (The course is called Playing Big, taught by Tara Sophia Mohr. It’s rocking my world, probably in a good way, but the judgments will be left to the future. Suffice it to say that I feel vain even admitting that I signed up for such a course, but OK. I admit it. I don’t feel that I’m living up to my potential, and I hired somebody to give me a big-ol’ kick in the butt. Because the world could go up in flames while I’m sitting around worrying about whether people are going to like me, and dammit, I’m not willing to sit by and watch that happen.) Oh. Aside, parentheses… when does that ever happen around here?

Right. Future self. Tara suggested that we spend a day dressed as our future self, seeing how she might carry herself differently, what it would feel like. And I rummaged around in my wardrobe, thinking, “Nobody with confidence would wear these things!” Beige, navy, beige, navy, red, red, red (those were my meek protests, but tend towards the baggy to make up for the red.) At least it all goes together. Sort of. In a bland, nondescript, OLD kind of way. And not funky-old, I’m tired of your opinions, red-hat kind of way, but in an old, “oh, sorry dear, am I in your way” kind of way. I thought I needed some new shirts, and I went to my standard store, and I thought, “No, wait. It’s the same wrong costume.” So I went back to my old friend, the thrift store, and I wandered the aisles and aisles of used clothes, putting back the beige ones. I pondered the fact that much of my dressing strategy is to encourage people to look past me. It’s like being the brown duck, only on purpose. I am SO tired of being a brown duck.

I brought home a couple of items, but my inner critic is screaming, “No! You’re too old. Your legs are too fat! You can’t wear THAT in public. What will people think?!?” Then my outer (sensible) self responds, “They’ll think, ‘Ooooh! Nice skirt! Where did you get that?’ ” (It really is a very nice skirt. And a perfectly reasonable length. You will note it is not a shirt. I have breast issues.)

Now, here’s the thing about clothing: I know that what time I spend thinking about fashion tends towards the scoffing end of things, but it’s not the outward-expression-of-self component that I object to. It’s the constant moving target. Colours? Oh, orange and brown are SO out. (Actually, I think that orange and brown were always a bad idea, even though each of them separately are perfectly fine.) Vibrant! Jewel tones! Wait, no, pastels! Frills, ruffles, ruching, lacing, skinny jeans, flared legs… Just keep running, running, running… you’ll never catch up! Urgh! Pleah. Here’s my new strategy: Wear the clothes that make me look in the mirror and say, “Hey! That looks like me, only more so.”

So, friends of mine with better fashion sense and access to urban thrift stores… who wants to help me out of my brown duck plumage?

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