Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Free to be me

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.


  1. Green Girl, however, has the most natural beauty there is in her size 0 jeans...Don't let her fool you..she has style..LOTS OF IT. And beauty too...Green Girl is BEAUTIFUL, without any makeup, jewelry, or funky hairdo. And to make her even more beautiful..she is beautiful on the inside too. She is the most caring, giving, thoughtful person I know. And I have know Green Girl for quite sometime now.

  2. We should hang out together. We might able to start a fashion trend. Jeans and Danskos-what else is there?

  3. I, for one, am still waiting for pedal pushers and leggings to come back into fashion. Then I will have arrived.

  4. Sarah, you deserve a hug - you're the type of friend we all would love to have!

    GG, We would love you in garbage bags. (And I'm sure there was a fashion trend that included them at some time!)

  5. This is a great post. I always thought I'd be more pulled together by my 37th year too, which is coming up in about 6 months.
    I pull on jeans and some sort of fleece pullover every day...

  6. Jeans..T-Shirts..And Keds Sneakers...Yea Me!

  7. So, apparently we all feel a bit clueless about makeup and fashion and we apparently all think we SHOULD be more together.

    The reality is that we're all fabulous, whether we know it or not.


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