I really thought I'd have it more together by my 37th year. I remember thinking when I was younger and poorer that by the time I hit my mid-life years in full stride I would be confident, sexy, and brave. When Northern Exposure's Maggie O'Connell turned 30 she gave this amazing speech that I grabbed and clutched tight to my core. In her view, 30 was a stepping stone to the even more phenomenal decade of 40. Once 40, she would have experience AND wisdom, confidence AND expertise. Forty was the age when a woman could truly come into her own. Forty was when a woman exuded style, possessed a wardrobe and a home that expressed that style--whatever that ended up being for me, classic, romantic, modern, or artistic.
I've nailed confidence and bravery, but I utterly lack style. Everywhere I look, I see women my age, older and younger who appear so pulled together. Their hair? Great. Their make up? Flawless. Their clothing? Impeccable. Their shoes? Fabulous. Their accessories? Stunning. I walk among these women feeling like a wrinkled, schlubby frump. I've got NO make up routine, I mostly wear blue jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts (in black, white and grey--I'm certainly making NO statement there). My shoes always displease me and I wear the same 3 pairs of earrings in rotation--to the point where I've donated the bulk of my jewelry box contents to the thrift shop. My appearance lacks imagination and creativity, I'm a huge disappointment to myself.
Who is to blame? Me. I'm lazy and I hate to shop. I don't like to make decisions when I've got 20 minutes to get ready in the morning so it's easy to pull on the same pair of jeans and top it with a long-sleeved t-shirt. Jersey cotton cleans up in the washing machine and doesn't require ironing, so I never consider buying a blouse or a really nice sweater. My feet are wicked wide, reducing my fashionable options on that end of my body.
Perhaps it's time to resign myself to who I am instead of who I thought I should be or would be. I'll go tape a 3 X 5 index card to my bathroom mirror with a self-affirmation printed on it. That will be much easier than a total makeover or hiring a stylist.
I deserve to feel beautiful, despite my old blue jeans, stained t-shirts and ugly European clogs. I am able to be stylish without making any effort. Letting go is loving and letting myself go is an act of love.