My recent favorite time-waster has been watching old seasons of What Not To Wear which airs on TLC. Initially, I was drawn to it because they did a makeover look for Mayim Bialik. I love Mayim Bialik.
Anyway, I love watching episodes from this show because they do a little life coaching while they teach women how to dress. I need style tips as much as anyone, considering I’ve never actually HAD a style, but the life coaching they do is actually really inspiring. By pointing out the message women are sending via the first impressions with clothes, they expose the lies and defense mechanisms we tend to expertly build around ourselves. It keeps us from the success we secretly long for.
This conundrum of how to dress for the future I want has gotten me thinking about more than just self-worth issues. What about timing? What about giving old dreams a makeover to make them accessible? What about having the confidence to help other people move forward in life? If I was somehow magically given the chance to do a What Not To Wear episode, and Stacy and Clinton (hosts of the show) asked me what my style says about me, I would be a little speechless for a moment.
Actually, let’s have a little fun here. What DOES my style (or lack thereof) say about me?
I think it says practical and casual because I own a lot of basic tops and jeans. I think it says lazy because a lot of my clothes have been worn so often they are getting threadbare. I think it says lost because the accessories and pops of color I own are pretty random and seldom used.
I want my style to reflect that I’m glad to be where I am and that I’m looking forward to the future. I want a look that says I consider myself to HAVE a future! I think what I would love to see is a networking future with lots of writing in it, like a popular blogger or an ambitious editor or a regular contributor to magazines. I want to be in a place where I can give speeches, be on forums, start discussions, give presentations. I have no idea what kind of timing plays into that. I can’t do it now, that’s for sure. Four young ones, gearing up for number five, and home schooling? Yeah, I’ve got different priorities right now. It’s not so much that I desire a career, it’s just that I want to make a difference for as many people as I possibly can while I’m here. I totally count raising my kids as part of that, but I don’t think it will be the only part for me. Maybe I’ll just speak at women’s retreats for churches or maybe I’ll just be a leader in my own community, but at some point I know God will call me out of this house. He has been trying to train me in the big picture mindset for so long. And He gave me the desire to help with words. Words can travel when I can’t. Words will linger when I’m gone. Words have a way of leaving impressions that I find fascinating and rewarding (and occasionally intimidating).
So getting back to pants and shoes, I want the drive to keep moving forward to be so evident in me that I can reflect it in my wardrobe. If I could get my hands on thousands of dollars, I would chuck my wardrobe right now! In the trash, gone forever, don’t look back. And I would charge out to the store, find basics that fit, match them with pops of color, figure out what I like, and be happy with quality rather than faced with the conundrum of quantity. I have so many things I COULD wear, but none of them (or nearly none) are what I WANT to wear.
In much the same way, I have so many things that I CAN do, but very few of them are things I actually WANT to do. I want fill my forever roles–wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, etc–but beyond that, I want to use what’s been given to me.
Even though the timing is totally off right now, I’m playing with the idea of at least starting a second blog that I purposely design to reach lots of people. I’ve never done that before. I’ve had a few blogs over the last decade, but never intentionally for others. It’s been catharsis for a long time. Maybe the time will come when I can do this for YOU rather than just for me. Maybe? I hope so.
And maybe by then, I’ll have figured out if you can actually wear heels with a maxi dress. :p