I keep buying long, flowy dresses because I want to be the person who wears long, flowy dresses. I don’t exactly have the kind of life that makes wearing dresses practical, with wearing scrubs for work and jeans around the farm, but then again, who said that life has to be practical all the time? I’m over being practical. I’ve always wanted to turn into an eccentric older lady, and I may as well start now. Wearing clothes for the simple reason of making yourself feel pretty seems decadent, but then again, could there be any better reason?
My closet is full of dresses and sparkly shoes that I never really have an occasion to wear and noisy clogs that announce my arrival long before people can see me.
I love those dresses and sparkly shoes and noisy clogs. And after a long period of rarely putting them on (because of the lack of occasion) I’m wearing them again, occasion be damned.
Most people in my regular life wear plaid shirts and jeans, sturdy work boots and dirty Carhartt pants. My husband thinks I’m crazy for wearing dresses and my “hippie clothes” to the local pub, but the cowboys get a kick out of it, and much more importantly, it makes me happy. It makes an ordinary day sparkly and just a bit more special, and that’s more than enough reason for me to keep wearing my dresses.
I read one to two books a week, memoirs and love stories and stories about strong, feisty women and books about how wonderful and heartbreaking life is – yet I haven’t read any of the classics. I have a subscription to the New York Times purely for their Modern Love column, currently my favorite read in the world. I pretty much never read the political section because it depresses me. But I love love, and I can’t get enough of the often heart-warming, sometimes heart-wrenching stories that are all about relationships and love and loss.
I love to laugh, but sometimes I watch movies that will make me cry because I also like crying. Except for when I see roadkill or abused animals or anything else that makes your heart hurt and wonder if there is anything good left in the world—I do not like that kind of crying at all.
I’m down to earth with my head in the clouds, alternating between being content where I am in life and wanting more, so much more. I have a happy personality with a heavy soul. I’m confident but full of doubts.
I have learnt that being who you are isn’t straightforward. We are complicated, contradictory beings, and we don’t always make sense (some of us rarely make sense), but accepting that about ourselves is the biggest step toward happiness.
There’s a flowy-dress wearing, big-dreaming writer inside of me who thinks a lot about the world and wants to change it for the better in a tiny but somehow important way.
There’s a little insecure child inside of me who is scared—of the future, of loss, of doing it all wrong.
There’s a capable woman inside of me who is good at filling out paperwork and keeping up with her and her husband’s doctor’s appointments, getting their eyes checked regularly, earning enough money to pay the bills and paying those bills on time.
There’s a responsible adult inside of me who makes grown-up choices like going out of town for work, showing up on time for that work, doing the best job she can, admitting when she makes mistakes and fixing them herself.
Usually, being a grown up is pretty awesome. Occasionally, it’s boring. Sometimes, it really sucks.
But what I know is that it’s more fun when you wear the clothes that make you feel pretty and read the books that bring you joy, skip over politics when you find them depressing, and read love stories because there’s nothing better in life than love.
I still have days where I want to blend in more than stand out, because standing out isn’t easy. But I also know this: standing out is much easier than not being who you really are.
I used to think that at some point we would have life figured out. I thought that once we ticked off all the boxes on our life’s wish list, we would live happily ever after. What a foolish notion that was.
I have come to realize that we will never have all the answers. We will never know it all. We keep changing, hopefully evolving, with life throwing different and new challenges at us all the time that make it impossible to be calm and collected throughout it all.
We can be a big, messy, wonderful, colorful, contradicting mess of emotions, likes and dislikes, passions and dreams and responsibilities and playing hooky from responsibilities. Once we embrace the chaos and the unknown and accept that we have less control over life than we thought we would, we can have a lot of fun with it.
Preferably in a long, flowy dress, worn on an ordinary Tuesday to the neighborhood pub.