But this year I'd like to try something different. I've been playing with the idea of getting more specific, and talking more about the career problems I'm tackling for myself personally. I hate getting personal on blogs, but lately my reading has drifted toward memoir, either in book form or on blogs, and I find I get so much from it personally. I'd like to experiment with that kind of writing myself.
So, I hope my 2.5 readers (hi guys!) can bear with me while I try something new.
I just finished Stacy London's The Truth About Style. I love this book, and recommend it completely. I picked it up because I've been reading fashion blogs in my spare time. It's a guilty pleasure, and I was curious about what drew me to it. I've always been a What Not to Wear fan. I loved Stacy's look, but more importantly, I love her combination of toughness and caring.
London put into words what I was struggling to figure out. "Style is there for you to use, to constantly reevaluate: to see yourself differently and to feel differently. It isn't superficial and it is never just about the clothes... It represents how to gain a sense of control. With style, you can see change quickly and feel it viscerally and the belief in your own power translates into other areas of your life."
Taking control of my image is something I struggle with. I made the choice to have children, then I decided to stay home with my kids as babies, and now I've reentering the workforce part-time while my kids are still young, and people have all kinds of things to say about that. I especially struggled when I was home full-time. It truly was the most intense time of my life.
Now I contract with a firm that allows me to use Skype to work with clients, which is amazing, perfect for this stage of my life, but sometimes it's lonely too.
Recently we moved to a suburb and I've been having trouble settling in. It has been hard making friends here. I've been shut out of a clique of moms who always wear the right casual, but not too casual, sporty but not too sporty clothes. I show up at the bus stop in sweats, but not the right kind of sweats.
Ugh, I feel so high school just admitting that. But there it is. I shouldn't care, but I do.
I recently hit an after-Christmas sale and bought a green top in a jewel tone that practically glows, and when I wear it I feel like I'm a stronger version of myself. I'm kind of fascinated by that. After all, how can I ask my clients to go into the world and take risks if I'm cowering at the bus stop while the cool parents talk about how they hang out at each others' house.
I sometimes feel adrift. And while I don't recommend trying to shop your way to happiness, I do think that, since we have to get dressed anyway, for work, for home, we can use it as a way to strengthen ourselves when we aren't feeling all that courageous. Sometimes I want to feel emerald green.
Speaking of feeling adrift.... Another amazing read, about a fisherman who fell off his boat in the night and how he survived. Ironically, he was saved in part because his boots were not the kind of boots all the other fishermen wear. A fashion decision saved his life!
So there's my first experiment. Feel free to leave comments here, my 2.5 readers! I'd love to hear your thoughts, get conversations going in the new year.