The idea for this post hit me in one of the oddest places I’ve ever had a writing idea.
A place I am hardly ever to be found in, and one where only a very few of the many people who have known me have ever seen me.
It came – honestly! – in the dressing room of a clothes store.
It might help to know that I am not – not even remotely – a fashionista. I’ve pretty much, with the exception of teenage angst, always thought that if people didn’t like the way I look, they could choose another direction for their eyes to face.
Lately, I’ve amended that. I figure, these days, that the coolest thing I can ever be wearing is usually right here on display for anyone to see. It’s my smile, and, if people can’t appreciate that – well, I will smile a little more sadly, and hope that someday they can.
Finding me in a dressing room is hard, but, tonight, I needed to be there. You see, I am so uninterested in the state of my wardrobe that very little of what I own (mostly others’ castoffs, some from thrift stores, but almost nothing even a little new, anymore) fit me properly. Nearly nothing I owned was totally free of stains or holes.
It wasn’t intentional, but it was getting very, very hard not to look like a slob.
So something needed to be done, and that something was a trip to the clothes store.
I went fortified with a generous budget mutually approved by both adult family members. I went with an idea of what I was looking for (PANTS, especially jeans, because I tend to do things like garden, camp, and throw firewood around) and something looser, for t’ai chi and workouts. Underthings, because what I had was - yes, I’ll admit it- years past its prime, and quickly approaching utter uselessness. Something that would appeal to Jim, who donated personal funds to that particular mission…..he really appreciates having a no-muss no-fuss wife who spends barely more time than he does at the mirror, but he also loves for me to decorate myself a little, from time to time, and he likes the saucier me that emerges, when I do.
If all that worked out within the budget, maybe a pretty top or two, because I do like pretty things, so long as they don’t get in my way or require lots of care or a degree to get into and out of.
I picked the right store – Lane Bryant – which specializes in clothing for the - well, voluptuosly ample – woman. Not matronly clothes; pretty ones. That come in sizes and styles made for bodies like mine, and not only for slender women inches shorter than I am.
And I did myself the greatest favor of all – I took the absolute best clothes shopping companion I have ever had, someone who has known me since I was a little bitty girl with crazy-long nearly platinum blonde hair, pudgy cheeks, and so coltishly thin I was desperate to gain weight and, later, curves. The one person who not only knows my color palette – blue, blue, and, oh, yes, blue! – but so many things about who I am and what suits and doesn’t, that she often finds me things I never would have noticed, were I alone.
And we went after writing, after white chocolate mochas shared at the Coffee Beanery, and after my t’ai chi class. – So I was refreshed, fulfilled by my writing, and pleasantly aware of some of the really nifty things this big mama’s body of mine is capable of doing (for one thing, if someone puts me into a position where I need to throw a punch effectively – well, I can do that now. =)).
It has been so long since I last purchased clothes that I really didn’t know what size would fit me. Not wanting the humiliation of struggling and squeezing myself into clothes that might fit, or might not, in an effort to wear a smaller size, I instead chose things that looked like they might fit, noting the sizes only for making new selections, if need be.
There was a brief moment of ickiness when I peeled to to the fundamentals to change. Fluorescent lighting and being so close to a mirror are not normal elements of my days, and seeing myself in that light, in that moment, was a little less than delightful.
But, as I began to try on the things I had chosen, something happened. Things fit me. Not tightly, so that I would end up doing what I have often done before – rationalizing the purchase of an item because “If I lose ten or twenty pounds, this will fit great!”, and then not wearing it because, all of a sudden movement and eating were too tied to that garment, and the money I had spent.
No, these things fit me in an easy, flattering, comfortable way. They looked good, on the body I have now, not some future or past body I might be aspiring to. They suited me – my shape, my size, my nature……me, right this moment.
Only one thing didn’t fit – and that one was too large for me.
And, standing there, at long last wearing clothes that fit and flattered and inspired, I suddenly found myself saying,”I am owning this.”
And I am. On many levels, and in many ways.
To begin with, this update will be a little different, as I suspect most of my Wednesday check-ins will be, from this point forward.
Rather than a comprehensive list with each goal and what I did to move toward them (or designating them as attained), I am only going to touch upon the goals I worked on, and sketch out the nature of that work.
When I finish that, there’ll be a bit more discussion about “Owning It“, and how that phrase and philosophy sums up the journey I am currently on.
So, now, onto the abbreviated tallying up of progress on multiple fronts:
Round of Words 80 Goals Progress – Round 1, 2012:
2011-2012 Second Quarter Reports – March 1, 2012
- I have edited and reformatted Annalise’s report into a bulleted list.
- Still left: adding links, final proofing, and sending.
I will complete the rough draft of my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, Chameleon’s Dish.
- I am 3966 words into “Bounded by a Nutshell“, Chapter 18. I seem to have slowed down to really work through what might be the pivotal scene in providing the key to finding Tisira. I’m willing to play around and explore various aspects of the story, until I feel I have enough….
- I continue to use the Writer Page as a personal tool, but have begun interacting more naturally than I had been.
- The page’s fans now number 26. I invited some, and others have found my through the widening array of places I am posting, these days.
- I posted here, with this entry to the Origins Blogfest .
- That, too, has brought new followers here. I plan on welcoming you all a bit more formally, soon, but for now- thank you all for being here, reading when you can, and commenting when you are moved to. It means so much! =)
- I added a page here, as well, Unfettered Favorites. It will house my favorite posts from The Unfettered Life, my unschooling/life blog.
- I edited several posts at The Unfettered Life, up to and including the post, “Six Years Later “.
- I have ideas for two other pages here, and a new post is in my drafts folder at The Unfettered Life, to be unveiled a little later this week.
- Ideas are still simmering for several other new blogposts.
I will input one of my writing notebooks into Penzu, and clip all materials I would like to pursue further.
- I am now up to page 29 of the December 1999 Writing Practice Notebook, and have found more nuggets of goodness in those pages.
So, that’s what I’ve accomplished, goals -wise. Now, back to the concept of “Owning It”, and how that translates to writing – and to my life beyond writing, too.
Something is happening, in my writing life. Something I’ve dreamed about for most of my life; something that, if I had listened to and heeded several naysaying people, would not have happened.
I am offering up my writing as a gift to a more diverse audience….I’m signing up for challenges, bloghops and fests, and collaborative efforts.
And no one is laughing at me, or pointing their fingers, or ridiculing my words.
When I said that to my dear friend, Eden Mabee, she looked at me in that strange way that just makes me love her more, and asked,”Why would anyone do that?”
But, as I explained, it already had been done. As a child, when I sang, my mother would complain that I “couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.” When I made a mistake, I “had no common sense”. When I spent hours with my notebooks, but avowed that I did not, by any means wish to be a journalist, tied to objectivity, my father told me that this was a “pipe dream” .
My reaching for my dreams has, in some sense, always seemed to offend certain members of my family of origin, and often aroused efforts to “put me in my place” – small and quiet, unobtrusive, making them feel better about themselves, even when that meant sacrificing my own emotional well-being.
But that is not who I am. I am a wild thing. I can be loud and boisterous, or cross. I can talk for hours without stop (had I any interest in politics, I could filibuster with the best of them!). I can be thoughtful or restless. Life sometimes confuses me, delights me, or overwhelms me. I am sensitive and easily hurt, and quicker to cause others pain, sometimes, than I would like to be.
I would rather look for good than for bad, which is why I strive not to dwell on the sorrows of my life as tragedies, but instead as huge openings where new learning and awareness can pour in.
I love to laugh, and I don’t mind wandering around lost for a while – in the physical world, or in the depths of my own mind – because being lost always turns up things I wouldn’t have seen, on my planned route.
I love to love, and I love many, many things passionately and faithfully.
I’m a little crazy – well, not that exactly. It’s just that my perspective tends to be a few degrees to the left of typical.
I’m not little or plain, inside, even when my clothes are battered. I am rich and full, prowling like a hunting cat, burning like a comet, fertile as loamy compost. I am deep, and sometimes conceal hidden dangers, like the lovely and deadly Morning Glory and Grand Prismatic Springs pools I so loved peering into, imagining myself sinking deeper, and deeper, longing for that, although I knew the water was hot enough to kill me – slowly and tortuously (I read Death in Yellowstone the first year we were there; some things you do not forget.).
If you believe in astrology, it might reveal a bit about my nature if I tell you that I am a Leo, Leo rising. All fire; no ice.
I’m not very tame, and I am beginning, now, to own that about myself,too, to stop pretending that I am just those labels I appear to be from the outside, and nothing more.
And no one is asking me to pretend , anymore.
Which is fine with me, because I have no intention, anymore, from pretending that way, ever again.
Big things are happening, and I am opening to them. And, if I’m not quite ready, I am closer than I have ever been. =)
Here’s the handy-dandy ROW80 Blog Hop linky!