The other day I shared a new blog that I'd found with a friend. I had just discovered it the day prior and added the blog to those that I follow, and that blogger then followed me in return which is super nice. I was sharing this news with my friend because it actually is kind of a big deal to me to know people enjoy what I'm doing here enough to want to come back. She took a look at the blog and said to me that she doesn't know how I can feel unique when there are all these other people who look the same. I kind of bristled a little, even though I know it wasn't meant in any malicious way. But it seemed a strange thing to have to explain this to someone who I thought knew me much better than that. I don't look the way I look to be unique, I'm not trying to be anything other than myself. I went through a long (and quite depressing) period in my early 20's when I was actually too afraid and self-conscious to be myself. I suddenly felt pressured to "grow up" and "dress my age", and as a result I ended up living day-in, day-out in jeans and t-shirts or business trousers and plain blouses. There is nothing wrong with that if that's what you're into, but for me it wasn't what I genuinely wanted to be wearing, but what I felt I was expected to wear.
It wasn't until the break up of a 7 year long relationship that I felt a massive urge to reclaim my identity and I felt brave enough to experiment and try new things with my appearance. I became comfortable with a particular style and found a way to represent myself that felt really authentically me. It is not, and never has been, about being "unique", its 100% about being ME, really truly me, the kind of me that I can be proud of instead of feeling like I'm hiding behind some fake persona.
That break up was 3 years ago now and I'm so much happier than I was during those crappy years. I think the caterpillar has morphed into a butterfly and come out of the cocoon, although sometimes I feel I'm still all sticky and wet and bedraggled, waiting for my wings to dry before I look really spectacular lol. I think learning who I am is still an ongoing process but I'm very happy with the progress I've made so far, and I feel like being able to throw on a gorgeous swing dress and leave the house feeling myself has had a great influence on me. I hope that everyone finds their "happy clothes" and feels really good about what they're wearing. Whether you dress like a peacock or more of a wallflower, I hope you're comfortable being authentically you! :)
Remember what Genie said!
PS: To my friend - I hope you aren't mad at me for using this conversation as blog fodder! <3