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September Surrender: Day Fourteen

What I’m Letting Go

I had a much different attitude when I woke up this morning. Which is weird because I had such a hard time falling asleep last night. My mind wouldn’t stop racing, which happens sometimes. But it caused a restless kind of sleep that I wasn’t sure would look pretty when I woke up. Still, there was excitement in the air as today was the first day of the carnivore diet. I actually was looking forward to cooking eight ounces of ground beef with a little bit of butter as breakfast. Turns out it was a little too much as it took me an hour to finish it while at work. But that’s beside the point as I don’t want to get ahead of myself on this new, possibly temporary, possibly longer-term lifestyle choice.

I made the conscious effort to get dressed up for work. Nothing fancy, just a dress, a blazer, and a little flick of mascara on my eyelashes. It wasn’t much, but I thought that by making an effort to look nice for work, I may see some kind of shift elsewhere. Which is doubly important, as I always feel like my job is on the chopping block. Turns out it was a good day. Everything went as it should and I looked cute while doing it. It makes me want to buy more nice clothes for work as it’s seemingly my only social outlet these days.

“Clothes make the man,” as they say. I always thought that meant the more expensive clothes are, the better they are for you. While I do enjoy the finer things and would love a wardrobe full of key pieces, it’s becoming clearer that phrase is just about the effort you choose to put in yourself and your appearance. Why shouldn’t I want to look nice for work? If it makes me feel good, then what’s the problem? I know I can’t look amazing every single day, as I’ve had days where my face would just not cooperate, but why not make the conscious effort to look good in clothes? I don’t even ‘need’ makeup per se. I’ve earned these dark circles under my eyes and see no reason to cover them up. But my outfits as of late have shown a lack of caring, and I’d like to change that.

It’s better to let go of the feeling that I don’t need to put effort into how I present myself. I always joke that “I’m not at work to impress anyone,” but why not impress myself? People take notice of how people dress, even if they don’t ultimately judge them for who they are. I need to stop letting myself go into “fuck it” mode. A little effort can go a long way, just like making the effort to stick to a diet that can finally help me see the benefits of long-term weight loss. And hey, less weight means clothes will look better on my person. No more Spanx needed to suck in the gut.

What I’ve Discovered

I hung out with my friend *Lara today. We’ve been friends for over ten years. Every so often we’ll get together for a lunch or dinner to catch up and dish on what’s going on in each other’s lives. And she is about ready to pop. Her due date is next week and I couldn’t be happier for her. It’s always a pleasure to be around one another, and I find that to be a constant in all my friendships.

But it was time to depart, knowing the next time I see her she’ll be an official mommy. We said our goodbyes and I went to catch a cab. And as soon as I sat down, my entire mood shifted. It was like I could feel some kind of wave wash over me. I slumped down in the back seat, just staring out the window, watching Covid tent after Covid tent pass me by. While we were stopped, a guy on a pedicab lit up this massive fat blunt and handed it to the two ladies in the backseat. If I could smell anything, I’m sure I’d get a contact high. I just stared them all down until we began moving again. In the moment, I didn’t want to be anything else. I wasn’t sad, but I wasn’t thrilled. I just sat and stewed, absolutely everything and more on my mind.

It occurred to me that it was okay not to be “on” all the time, especially when there’s no one around to see. If I wasn’t feeling all dressed to impress when I’m all alone, do I have to fake it? Why pretend I can get it ‘up’ if I’m just not feeling it? This has burned me in the past where I’ve worn my heart on my sleeve far too openly, giving everyone the impression that something was wrong but not being willing to talk about it. It’s not like anything was particularly ‘wrong’ either, I just didn’t feel like carrying the energy I saved for meeting with *Lara into the cab with me after. Is that a bad thing? I hope not. Nothing with her was faked. Why not honor whatever feeling comes to me when I’m with no one but myself?

I don’t always need to dress up how I feel. If there’s one thing I can guarantee about me, you’ll never get a phony version of me. I’ll be who I am, honoring myself and how I feel along the way. But I will work on letting go of that drama bucket of water I like to carry around from time to time.

What I Hope to Find

I’m a pretty easy shopper. I like doing it, but I don’t like to spend a lot of time on it. I’ve got a pretty good eye for what will look good on me and what is just wishful thinking. But back in February I was planning for a friend’s wedding in Florida, and realized I don’t have a single thing to wear for it. So I took a trip to the Midtown Nordstrom one night to see what I could find. There was plenty to choose from, and price is becoming less and less of an issue these days, thankfully. But every single thing I tried on that day looked like an absolute nightmare on me. I was close to crying in the dressing room, thinking of how bad I had let myself go, and feeling like no one would ever want me in the current state I was in.

It’s only been one day, but I feel as though these kinds of occurrences will soon be a thing of the past. If I keep playing my cards right, I won’t need to feel the embarrassment or shame in trying to find clothes that actually look good. And maybe some day I’ll actually find something that fits for good. That won’t get up and go when the going gets tough. That will stick it out through thick and thin. That will hang on me in just the right way.

It’s possible. Again, I’ve only worn this kind of carnivore cap for one day. Who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow. Who knows what I’ll find buried in the back of my closet, only to find it’s the best fit of them all.

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