100 Days of Fashion. It is decided. We like deadlines and structure so we set a goal to keep this project going for 100 work days and see what happens. Today is our last entry before the winter break. Our regularly scheduled programming will resume Monday, January 3rd.
Ena - Day 31
Ena: Today is Day 31. Bina and I agreed that since 31 days is about a month – and since Day 31 conveniently falls on our last day of work before beginning our holiday – we would take a moment in today’s post to reflect on the project thus far. Hummm…
In case it hasn’t become apparent to everyone already, I will be frank; I am not really what you would call a sharer. In fact, the idea of sharing personal information with anyone (anyone!) makes me feel queasy, defensive, and upset. Wait, wait…that’s not entirely accurate. I guess I should be honest – that’s the point, right? I will share personal and sometimes highly inappropriate things with people I barely know, but that’s only if it’s something I want to share, something I want you to know. I have a very difficult time sharing my feelings…look, it just took me, like, three sentences and significant beating around the bush just to get that out…and, I’m feeling a little light headed and angry now and every time I reread that sentence my pulse skyrockets. Pathetic.
Truth be told, I have been inspired by Bina’s fearlessness, bravery, and brutal honesty – I really don’t know how she does it; she is much, much tougher than me – and feeling like I too should put myself out there emotionally. After all, the point of this project is not just to learn to dress like we’re happy, passionate people, it is to actually become happy, passionate people. So, in the spirit of really, really, embracing this project and getting my money’s worth so to speak, I will attempt to share how this project has been making me feel…here goes.
Thinking (and looking) back to November 5th – the day we hatched our genius plan – I find it surprisingly difficult to identify with what I was feeling at the time. I had just turned 30. Republicans had just made major gains in the mid-term elections. The Giants had just won the World Series. It felt like a precursor to Armageddon. I was beyond dejected, feeling slightly hopeless, and finding it difficult to locate a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and I was wearing my melancholy on my sleeve…and my back…and my legs…and my feet…and my – oh well, you get the picture.
Now, I am not one who is prone to depression – I have even been known to be happy about being sad – so I knew that the pathetic mess that was my life at that time would not last forever, but I also knew that something needed to change. Since finishing my MA last June, I have been feeling directionless, purposeless, and like I’ve lost all ambition. I no longer have a goal. This may not seem like a big deal, but I have not not had a goal for the last 25 years. What do I do now? Well, besides panic?
The short answer, figure it out. So, that’s what I’m doing, that’s what projects like this are designed for. As I said, I find it difficult to identify with what and how I was feeling when we began this project. But, does that mean it’s working? Am I happier now because I’m dressing better, or am I happier now because the shock of some of those traumatizing events has finally worn off? It’s impossible to tell really.
So, to sum up this terribly long (you asked for feelings) post I’d like to offer two lists. First, the most challenging things about this project so far; and they are: sharing my feelings (duh), facing my insecurities in such a public way, taking pictures every day, dressing myself well (yes, that is still hard), and not knowing how it will all turn out. Second, the most rewarding things about this project so far; and they are: feeling more confident in appearance (well, most of the time), conquering some of my biggest and longest-held fears, inspiring others – like my wonderful sister who is much more beautiful and talented than I will ever be, having a reason to get out of bed in the morning even if that reason is only to get dressed…and not knowing how it will all turn out.
Bina - Day 31
Bina: When I look back on the full gamut of my outfits and emotions, it is kind of amazing to me how far I’ve come in about 6 weeks. There have been hits and misses, for sure, but I feel like I am finally taking pride in my appearance on a daily basis and now that I’ve tasted the sweetly satisfying nectar of looking good, I don’t know that I could go back to my homely ways.
I’ve learned a lot so far about dressing to impress. I’ve learned that tights aren’t so bad and can totally make an outfit way cuter than I thought possible. I’ve learned a little eyeliner and mascara goes a long way. I’ve learned that men check me out way more when my waistline and legs are showing and my hair is down. I’ve learned that I desperately need a haircut. I’ve learned that while I’m proud of my rack, I’d rather it not dictate my whole look. I’ve learned that I walk around with my heart on my sleeve and on my face – the photos never lied about how I was feeling that day. And I’ve learned about the healing powers of looking your best and knowing it.
I’ve also learned that I will get out of this project what I put into it, like most things in life. This blog is a good way for me to be held accountable to keep pushing and moving forward. That even though I sometimes feel beaten into submission by life, it is far from over and I have faith that the best is still yet to come. In the meantime, I can keep doing things to strengthen my soul and take care of myself. I’ve discovered the restorative powers of yoga, rock’n’roll, and volunteerism. I will be open to trying new things, and I will stop letting the fear of failure hold me back from the things I’m capable of accomplishing – both in my clothing choices and in life. 2011 will be a year of change, perseverance, new beginnings – and also, lots of fabulous outfits.