~Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bust a gut

"You is kind. 
You is smart. 
You is important."
--Kathryn Stockett, The Help

Somewhere between 29 and 30, I grew pretty. I don't think my appearance changed at all, although I did drop some a few pounds last year through running. I had already stopped coloring my hair blond. I had the same simple haircut (No, stylist, I know you think layers are cute, but I don't like them). I was still me. The only thing that changed was my acceptance of me.

I stopped hating my appearance. I still don't have a love affair with the mirror, but I've accepted it. I'm comfortable enough in my body to play up the good parts and downplay the bad parts. Somewhere between 29 and 30, I found my style.

In the winter of my 30th year, I opened my closet door and frowned. Nothing in my wardrobe reflected my style. I opened drawers full of Old Navy fleeces and Abercrombie & Fitch sweaters dating back to high school—clothes I wouldn't even wear around the apartment if I were alone. They weren't me anymore. I was a girl with a closest full of clothes and nothing to wear.

I unstuffed my closet, spilling old sweaters into bags to donate. Then I hopped online and spent money I didn't have to update my wardrobe. I didn't do a piece at a time; I did it all at once until boxes on top of boxes appeared on my doorstep. I ordered by instinct: rapidly scrolling through photos and adding to cart anytime I saw something that stirred me.

It's gotten easier to listen to my gut. I know. Deep down, I know. I know ahead of time whether a decision was a smart one. To get to this point has been nothing short of an accomplishment. After S, that was the part of me left destroyed. It took a year of working with a therapist to learn to trust my gut again. It's taken many more to learn exactly what that feeling is and how to respond to it.

The result was amazing. I was thrilled with every item that arrived. Leather boots that strangers stop to compliment me on. Dresses that girls in bars fingered and asked in hushed tones where I got them. One acquaintance at a party even asked if she could go shopping with me because she admired me so much.

Listening to your gut doesn’t have to manifest in significant ways. It’s not always about life and death. It really could be as simple as which dress looks more flattering. It’s about doing what’s best for you. All it takes is a little trust. In yourself.

18 comments:

seewhatlindseyloves said...

I like this...it was a little happy boost that I needed today.

SaraJk said...

I've lost my confidence in myself to make the right decisions. I'm working and hoping to get it back soon!

Thanks for sharing :)

treacletalks.com said...

Sounds great. I should listen to my gut more....and you can help me shop anytime you want ;-)

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

Its weird, but I think around 29 to 30 is when your own personal style really emerges. It was this year I accepted wearing dresses, when I was a strict jeans and dressy slacks kind of gal.

Your 20s really are the 'growing into yourself' years.

Angela said...

I stopped trusting my intuition, even when it was spot on, because of the man who took advantage of my depression and situation, and tried to tell me that I was crazy. I stopped trusting it, even though it had tried to steer me clear of him after a certain point.

I've been trying to adjust my style, but even though I say that I want the pretty boots for Christmas, people still have the more reserved version of me in their heads, and they go for what the old me would have chosen (not wanting to attract attention). I briefly started to cry on Christmas Eve, and explained that to my mother: "We're always being rushed when I'm out with you. How are you supposed to know what I like, when you're already up the aisle as I was trying to show you something?"

This was on my mind yesterday. Love the post, and I'm glad that you reached that point. :) It was around the age of 28, that I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin, but only to a point.

propertyofj said...

I am not sure when it changed for me but I have always evolved style wise. I recently had a friend say that I always looked so put together and she compared me to another friend of hers who I think is a bit of a fashionista. Now that felt good...

Northern lass said...

I hear ya! One of my 2012 resolutions.

Ps I promise I'll hurry up and read that book!

Annie said...

I loved this.

It's weird because I feel like I used to trust my gut more. I always know what my gut is saying, but sometimes I doubt it. I need to change that.

Syd said...

Love this. I feel like this is the time I found my best personal style too. I want to know what/who you bought! (I love talking closets)

anna wachs said...

i recently found my style this year too and it's been great! i get compliments on a lot of things too and that feels pretty awesome. i also feel more confident in how i look and in my ability to make the right choices for myself. i think, as you've said, it has a lot to do with trusting your gut reaction or gut choice

J said...

Such a nice post and I can totally identify.

vspace said...

Where's the "Like" button? I need to press it many times over. :)

axolotl_smile_of_a_champion said...

Sarah - I imagine you as that smart, snappy girl in the "Big Bang Theory". Amongst all the madness that's going on in your comments, just a thought from the UK that I hope makes you smile.

crazytownusa said...

So fitting from our brief convo from today. I just need to do it. I commend you for embracing it! xo

bluemoon said...

I was due to read a Sarah post! This was a good one, too, so true. :)

Bathwater said...

I am sure your own style has made a dramatic difference in you.

Bathwater said...

When we go shopping Billy talks in terms of changing her style. Evolving from a teen to a women.

Miss Devylish said...

It always feels good to grow into your own style which means you just become more comfortable w/ who you are and/or you're becoming. I certainly did that more in my 30's and tho 40 is a bit unnerving, I feel much more comfy that this is who I am. I try to give out as many compliments as I rec'v because I covet other people's put-togetherness too. xo

 

© 2005 - 2013 He Loves Me Not
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

template by suckmylolly.com