I’m happy to be here, I swear

You probably know this isn’t a perky blog. Well, today I’m feeling even less perky than usual. So the question is: What do I wear and how do I blog when I’m feeling so under the snuff?

We’re about to find out.

Despite feeling groggy and bleh today, here I am dressed and facing the world, or at least the dentist, with my very unperky energy.

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That is my numb-after-dentist face.

Maybe this blog should be called: What to wear when you want to be naked.

Leggings again, and because they are the semi-see-through ones, I wore little shorts underneath. Giant mint sweater with cowl neck. The light gray shoes connect the top and bottom of my outfit. Pale and pale. And once again, top-knot and no makeup.

So there it is, comfortable, low-maintenance and pregnancy approved. Oh, that’s right. I’m pregnant. I guess I haven’t told you yet. It’s a boy. Pregnancy makes this whole fashion thing much harder.

Next week: what to wear when you keep getting bigger. Spoiler alert! The answer probably has to do with leggings (but maybe I’ll surprise you again).

P.S. One of these days you will see me wearing makeup and looking a little happier to be here, but only if it’s genuine. This blog is about honesty and if I honestly don’t feel like wearing makeup or smiling, dadgummit! I won’t wear makeup or smile. (But I would look seriously freaky if I smiled in this picture. Dentist Face!)

P.P.S. Anyway, I guess that’s all for today. But seriously, even though I’m unperky, I am really enjoying being here. Maybe this blog soothes me. Maybe I’m healing from my desire to hide and things are really changing for me. Wow…this is kind of exciting. Maybe you will witness my chrysalis emergence, along with my swelling stomach.

Stay tuned…

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Feeling Sort of Beautiful Today

Well hello, fellow philosophers; so we meet again on this fine feathered day.

Since my last post I have had a bit of a journey. Perhaps I will tell you about it, or perhaps I will begin somewhere else. There is so much to say, how do I begin? I suppose first I will start with this:

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That’s me. Today. This blog is about fashion and healing (and other stuff too). When I started this blog, I thought I would be motivated to get myself all gussied up because I would be taking a picture of myself every day. Instead, I just quit blogging.

The problem is that some days I don’t want to get all gussied up. Some days makeup feels messy instead of beautiful. Some days comfort is more important than fashion. Some days wearing clothes feels like a chore. And that is just part of the package of life.

The question is: how do I embrace these days and still go into the world without feeling like a slob?

So let me dissect my outfit for you.

I am wearing a large, loose super-comfy shirt with navy leggings and gray ballet flats. I look like my outfit took some effort, while staying one step away from pajamas. I had on a navy cardigan earlier today, but now that I’m relaxing at home, I threw on my periwinkle hoodie. Both are really comfortable and go with the outfit, one just has a more casual vibe than the other.

As for the hair, the top knot is always a low-maintenance favorite. I like to keep mine a little wild while others might like a neater, smoother bun, either one is quick and easy.

With a pair of earrings and a bracelet or two, I would look a little dressier and still not have to wear makeup. And yeah, this is my makeup free face. Some days my face just wants a wet wash cloth swept over it to feel fresh and beautiful.

So this brings me to my point:

As women, it is important for us to feel beautiful. Sometimes we think we will acheive this with more makeup, or a smaller dress size, or better clothes, or having more money, or getting more men to fall in love with us, or whatever our thing may be, when in reality, feeling beautiful is simply a feeling. We can choose it or not choose it and it doesn’t matter if anyone agrees with us or not.Beauty is a feeling that has nothing to do with what we look like.

Which brings me to my second point:

But before I get to my second point, let me tell you about a little journey I took since we last met.

I knew I wanted to feel beautiful, but that proved to be more difficult than just deciding to feel beautiful.

As I tried embracing my beauty, I found my pathway blocked by a fearful little girl. She didn’t want to be seen or noticed. Feeling beautiful meant coming out of hiding, and she wanted to stay hidden. I had to face her and hold her and ask her what she was so afraid of. I could explain this process to you but it would be tedious and dull and that’s not what I’m doing on here anyway.

The Hollywood ending to this story would be that I emerged from all of this like a phoenix from the flames, glowing like the north star. But this isn’t Hollywood, nor is this the ending. This journey has uncovered layers. I have healed myself enough to come somewhat out of hiding (hence the ability to blog again) but I haven’t cleared all the layers yet. I still don’t hold that constant feeling of beauty in my heart the way I want. But I’m working toward it.

I’ll keep you updated.

Up from the Ashes

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Well hello there, magic bean buyers. There is much in my heart that needs to be translated onto the page, and I’m not sure how to go about it. So I will just take a deep breath and start.

I feel lonely. That is one thing settling into my heart. It seems like an embarrassing thing to admit, loneliness, like I can’t make friends or something (which, I have to admit, I’m not the best at). But this is a different kind of loneliness. I could call a loved one, or even maybe go sit by the pool and strike up a conversation with a stranger, but those would only be distractions, this loneliness doesn’t need conversation, or loved ones. If I distracted myself, the loneliness would simply wait until the quiet settled in again. This loneliness wants to be heard.

Now it is time to go backwards. I’m not sure if I have written on here about The Heaviness, but it wants to be talked about now.

I have been hauling around a feeling of heaviness most of my life. It has nothing to do with diet and exercise, or even heart surgery. (After my surgery eight years ago I had so much hope that the heaviness would be gone, but it wasn’t.)

The Heaviness is unaffected by environment or people or even love. It isn’t always there, but it is mostly always there to some degree or another, a weight I dragged with me throughout my day.

I blamed people or situations for The Heaviness, but eventually I learned it is inside me, pulling me down through even the most beautiful of moments.

Despite the depressing sound of all this, I always felt there was a solution. One day I would be free from The Heaviness, and I was going to find out how, by jove.

So anyway, blah blah blah, I got into emotional healing, and yoga, and meditation, and rapid eye therapy, and I have been releasing whatever comes up.

Now, as you know, I recently moved into a new place. Since moving into my new place, at first I had an enormous amount of energy, eventually that dissipated. Then I found myself collapsing every weekend. Then I got sick, and I was collapsing the second I got home every night. I would crawl around on the floor because standing made my fuzzy brain even fuzzier. This was The Heaviness at its maximum.

At work I could barely tolerate any noise or movement, so I plugged in my headphones and listened to Sia and Sarah McLachlan on repeat day after day, week after week. Sometimes I would listen to just one song for days at a time. This successfully shut out the world, so I could live in a tunnel with a tiny pin hole of light. I only had energy for me, barely.

Last weekend, because weekends are magical, I was horizontal for a 48 hour stretch. I rolled and slithered from place to place, if I moved at all.

Then something happened. I went to work today and I was not overly energized, but I wasn’t bothered by noises. I didn’t need to live in my tunnel. I felt present and aware, and completely alive in a perfectly calm way. I felt this way all day, and as I ended my day at work, I realized I could do anything I wanted. There were so many things I have put off because the heaviness prevented me from doing them, but somehow that skin of heaviness was shed.

Perhaps it is only temporary, or perhaps it is permanent. I like to assume it is permanent. I assume it is permanent because I had never felt so groggy for so long, or this alive without a nervous energy behind it. I don’t feel energized, I simply feel light and real, like a snake shedding its old skin.

Perhaps these new feelings are from embracing the grogginess without judgement. In the past, I have always fought it, and cried and wondered how I was supposed to function as a human being. This is the first time in my life I allowed myself to wallow on the floor of my apartment without judgement for weeks at a time, getting up only to go to work (where I wallowed at my desk) until The Heaviness passed. This is such a strange new feeling.

And now that the heaviness is gone, there is so much space inside me and outside of me, and in this space I have found loneliness. But this is a hopeful loneliness. It is not a heavy, grasping, desperate loneliness, it is pure and patient and waiting to be filled with light.

The trick is to allow myself to just feel it without distracting myself with TV, a sugar binge, or some other third thing. Because it is uncomfortable a part of me wants to run from it, even though it is a good kind of discomfort, it is still uncomfortable, I just have to remember that and breathe into it.

Anyway, that’s all for now. My posts will be getting longer since I can type on my laptop instead of squinting and swyping at my phone’s tiny keyboard. Whew!

The Secret Life of my Legs

The Secret Life of my Legs

I suppose the story of my Legs began when I was twelve, or something. (Who cares about facts anyway?) Until then I had never thought much about my legs, or my body. In fact, when people said the word “body” I blushed.

But when I was twelve, I was at a friend’s house and needed to borrow a pair of shorts for some reason. She pulled out a pair and I put them on, barely squeezed them on is more accurate. This shocked me. Was I fat?

All night long while wearing these shorts, I became conscious of my legs for the first time. They wouldn’t move freely like usual. And in the middle of my thighs, where the shorts ended, the hem cut into my skin if I moved too much. It felt like an alarm going off in my brain reminding me I was fat, like when you touch the metal edges in Operation.

That was the day I started feeling self-conscious about my legs, and it only got worse from there.

As the years passed on, I dieted, exercised, shaved/burned my legs into a socially acceptable form of beauty that I had swallowed, digested, and believed. The truth was all this work never really worked. I never got past the my-thighs-look-chubby phase.

Then I turned sixteen and started really really noticing boys, instead of passively noticing them. I went on my first date with a guy I liked. And…just a few months later I gained lots of weight. Yes, I did. Lots of it. Really fast.
While I do have lots to say about about this weight gain and how it ties in to sexuality, that is another post for another day. Today I am talking about my legs.

As you can imagine, gaining lots of weight as a sixteen year old meant I became even more self-conscious about my legs. I basically went into hiding. I wore giant pants. I stopped shaving. I only wore pajamas and sweatpants, because nothing else fit me. I treated my legs like they didn’t exist. This is when the varicose veins began to encroach upon my legs.

Fast forward lots of years later. I might have lost some weight, but the varicose veins were as active and visible as ever, so the fear of showing my legs in public still haunted me. I never wore shorts. Ever.

Then one day, about a month ago, a dress shows up at my work. This dress is the epitome of everything I love but forbid myself to wear. I secreted myself in the bathroom to try it in, but I wouldn’t really buy it.

Standing on my tiptoes to see more in the mirror, I knew I loved it. The pale pink color brightened my pale skin. The loose cut was comfortable and flattering, giving off a sexy, casual vibe. I felt so girly and so perfectly me.

And then there were my legs. My varicose veins were in full view, as were my knees, and even…gasp! My thighs!!! ACK!!!

I took it off and hung it up, knowing I would never have the courage to wear it in public without tights and leggings and all the other things that would hide me and the simple beauty of the dress.

That dress haunted me. I was all about authentic self expression, and that dress was me more than anything else I owned. How could I reject it?

Weeks passed as I thought about buying it. So what if my legs aren’t perfect? Who cares what people think?

And then I thought about my sexuality. No matter what they looked like, my legs felt sexy when revealed just enough. I wanted to embrace my sexuality, and I would do it by owning that dress and wearing it in public.

It wasn’t about attracting men, or getting a reaction from anyone. It was about feeling beautiful and authentic, which also means feeling sexy.

So I did. I bought the dress, and I wore it to work with nothing but a pair of large earrings and tiny shorts, so I could comfortably bend over or do cartwheels. And I felt sexy, and I felt like me!

While it could be argued that the dress is too short, or I shouldn’t be allowed to wear it with such unattractive legs, or some other third thing, the truth is, every time I wear it I am celebrating my imperfectly perfect legs and their sexiness, and I love it!

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Beauty Goes Much Deeper than Skin

Warning: this blog is about to get even more personal, and possibly offensive. Consider yourself warned.

I am passionate about beauty. I see beauty in everything. It always invigorates and thrills me. We live in a beautiful world.

I think most people are beautiful, some just prefer to hide it more than others.

Many years ago, I was absorbed in fashion magazines because there was so much beauty and art in those pages (and I could stare at people’s faces as long as I want without making them uncomfortable). But I ended up giving them up because the subliminal messages became too clear and I didn’t agree with them, ie. You must be tall, skinny, young, and rich, and buy buy buy buy, and you will still never be enough.

But even without the fashion magazines, I was still infected with the fashion bug. I wanted to represent myself in the most beautiful and authentic way possible, and that meant my style had to be authentically me.

I accomplish this on a day to day basis by checking in with my mood as I apply make up, and get dressed, so I can feel completely authentic as I move through my day. (This is why I never apply lipstick mid-afternoon, because that would freshen my face and I don’t want my make up looking fresh when I feel a nap coming on. It’s all about authenticity, people.)

So anyway, after a long time searching, I have discovered my own beauty recipe, and for that I am grateful.

Now it’s time to get meaty.

Discovering my own beauty recipe has taught me that beauty isn’t just skin deep, it is personal, and it encompasses multiple facets of our lives, for example…our sexuality.

And this is where things get scary and vulnerable (but that is also where magic happens).

I began studying weight loss and its emotional components, and as I dug deeper, trying to feel my skinny self beneath it all, I found fear blocking my path. I sat with this fear for awhile, asking what it was all about. I wanted it to go away so I could get to the skinny world beyond. Eventually, the fear told me it was protecting my sexuality.

“Sexuality is shameful,” the fear said. “It will get you in trouble. You will sit on the slippery slope and slide to the bottom. It is something to hide and fear until we are married and then only let it out in the bedroom. It is something only bad people celebrate openly.”

As I turned from my fear and looked at my sexuality, I saw a sad neglected thing. Something vulnerable and afraid of being judged. And surprisingly it was not a separate thing sitting alone, it was attached to all these other aspects of my being.

Like the rest of human kind, my sexuality is as visible as my personality. My attempts to hide and shame it throughout the years only made me feel detached from myself, inauthentic, and like I was trying to live without using my arms. My sexuality was a part of me, and I needed to embrace it.

So I have been on a campaign (a subtle, introverted campaign) to embrace my sexuality, and guide others to embracing their’s. It is time to take this subtle, introverted campaign to the streets, and by streets I mean blog.

So stay tuned for more information. Until next time…

(This campaign has only just begun.)

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Eye Believe

Back in court, just like old times. I’ve actually missed it.

How is that for a catchy opening? Since I’m not trying to be catchy any more, just trying to be honest, it just happened to be the truth. I am back in court after a few years away, and I have missed it.

In case you are new to my life, I used to drive drug addicts around for a living. I spent lots of time in court and the homeless shelter. I preferred court to the homeless shelter.

But actually, despite the stressful job, I found sitting in court all day to be quite relaxing. There is something about the extreme order of it that was comforting to me. I seriously considered going to law school. But day after day in court did become tiresome. So I’m not currently pursuing a law degree, in case you were wondering.

But what do I do when I miss sitting in court?

(In case you were wondering, I am here to support my step son who is fighting a ticket for camping in a non camping spot.)

(The officer didn’t show up so the case was dismissed. Easy as that.)

Now I’m home. And here is my face as per usual.

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It actually took a few times to get this photo, I kept winking at the camera because I had something in my eye.

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See, selfies aren’t as easy as they look.

My dream vacation

Welcome, new year! That exclamation point has way more energy than I do right now. Not that I’m sick or tired, I’m just not feeling particularly exclamatory at the moment. But that is the beauty of writing, I can create emotions that I’m not even feeling.

Speaking of not feeling, I keep thinking about blogging, then I stop myself because I think I have to be funny or interesting, or informative in order to please you invisible readers out there. But this is my blog, dangit, and if I want to write about how I dreamt I was swimming in the Hawaiian ocean at night while coast guard helicopters flew overhead shining lights on me telling me to get out of the water because it is too dark to swim, I will write it, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to visit my blog.

So after a week of making fake new years resolutions, I am now making a real one. My new years resolution is to blog even when I think I have nothing to say. And yes, I blog about fashion and healing. And yes, I post pictures of myself with every blog, and maybe one of these days I will actually post my whole outfit. But even if I’m feeling ugly and my hair is a frizz ball, like today,  I will still blog and post a picture.

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It just might not be of me.