Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I bought boots today.
Scratch that... my mom bought me boots today. Yep. It happened. I'm that 28-year-old (one who didn't own boots and one whose mom still buys her clothes). I lived in Texas for over six years and never, ever was tempted with such a purchase. But a move to New England at the beginning of January made it seem like a wise investment.

The problem with the boots, however, is that I feel like a fraud when I wear them. It reminds me of when I started wearing dresses.

Have you experienced this before?

I've probably identified myself as more of a 'Tom Boy' most of my life. My mom was pretty disappointed after having three boys to get a girl who didn't like to wear frills and lace and feminine things. Instead of looking like a girl, I sought to look more like my brothers. I often sported the 'ol two colored Umbros- remember those? They were the best.

There were a few brief stints in junior high and high school were I tried, quite unsuccessfully, to look more like a girl. Mostly it just consisted of bad make-up and terrible fashion sense. Eventually I left my girliness to school dances and formal events.

But, over the years it's changed. Maybe it's been my circle of friends, or the willingness to admit that dresses can actually be comfortable...or maybe just a desire to actually embrace my femininity instead of despise it.

The first few times I wore a dress (outside of a dance/wedding), I felt ridiculous. It felt like everyone in the room could tell I had never worn a dress before and it was written all over my face. I searched for validation in every possible way, eager for people to either tell me I looked great....or simply not notice the monstrosity before them. And while I now realize that no one probably cared or noticed, I know that I was having an internal meltdown as I attempted to parade around in this costume as though it were normal attire.

I like dresses a lot now...even if it took a few... years. I've even graduated from not wearing shorts under them every time I wear one.  I don't wear them all the time, but I don't feel like an awkward duck every time I do. As I move away from camp life into 'real world' life, I realize I can't get away with my Umbros (shoot, if I actually had a pair of these, I'd actually wear them a lot...) and t-shirts. Or my plethora of sweatshirts. I mean, I guess I could... but I don't want to.

I want to step further into my femininity in the way that I dress, but because it's such a foreign land to me... it's terrifying and often makes me feel like a fraud. Sometimes I think this is where you just need to take a plunge, though. Sometimes, no matter how I feel on the inside, it doesn't mean that it's apparent to everyone else...and it wouldn't matter if it was.

I think these changes are hard to make. And while, yes, superficial on some level... I think the way we present ourselves can speak volumes for the way we think about ourselves. I think for so long my inability to dress 'cute' was a direct tie into my inability to see myself as attractive. So I avoided fashion trends and style...because I felt like I could never look as good as the other girls. I didn't have right body, right personality...and the clothes looked stupid/were uncomfortable. I had every reason to not look like girly girls... but I think, on some deep level, I always wished I could.

Maybe it's vanity.
Maybe none of this matters.
Maybe I could walk around for the rest of the life never wearing make-up and dressing myself in sweats and be perfectly fulfilled (ha, I have...). But I think we tap into something deeper when we allow ourselves to become more of who we were created to be, both internally and externally. And I'm not saying that every woman or man will approach this in the same way. I'm simply saying that in me, there's always been this connection in the way I dressed and the way I thought of myself. The past few years have given room for transformation both in how I think of myself and how I then present myself.

Let me be clear- this doesn't mean that in order to embrace your femininity that you must put on make-up, wear dresses or buy boots. There's not a certain dress code for what this means...I think it can look different for each of us. I guess I'm just challenging to consider why you wear the clothes that you do, why you present yourself the way that you do. Is it a direct correlation to how you view yourself? Is it a true representation of who you are...of who you want to be? Is it only a representation of who you want to be and not who you actually are?

I still feel like a fraud when I wear things I'm uncomfortable with or not used to... but, I think, sometimes that's okay. Sometimes it takes time to grow into things. And I think that's true when we change internally, too. That sometimes we have to be willing to be uncomfortable, feel awkward... and maybe we become more of who we were created to be, both internally and externally.

So I bought boots. Tall, leathery boots. The kind of boots you wear with skinny jeans. I don't own skinny jeans. *sigh*

I think this will be a very growing year, after all.

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