Right now I'm taking a class about transformative learning, which is an adult learning theory that examines how people change through the process of learning. One part of this is that they have to know their current selves, realize their new selves, and then be able to merge those concepts of themselves into their new persona.
If you've ever watched What Not To Wear (and if you haven't, you should), this is what happens there. Someone was one thing. Stacy and Clinton force her to think of herself a new way. She resists, then little by little gives in and finally talks about how the new her is just like the old her but better. She learned and she transformed.
That was me this past Saturday.
It's been a long time since I've had new clothes, mainly due to budget. We simply don't have money to go shopping. When I think about how I used to shop for clothes 10 years ago, it feels like a different lifetime (and, I guess, pre-marriage, pre-Tom even, and pre-Nate, it really was). But I've found myself in need of clothes because a lot of stuff no longer fits right and even my good clothes have begun to wear out to the point of being unwearable. I haven't even been near fashionable in about four or five years. It's felt sad but there wasn't much I could do about it.
I used to be the person my friends asked for clothing advice. They took me shopping with them so I could advise. I can still do that because even though I no longer participate in fashionable dress, I read about it all the time.
But then I found myself face to face with a wall of skinny jeans. I stood, mouth agape, for quite literally a minute or two, unable to figure out what I should do. Finally an awesome saleswoman asked if I needed help - which I clearly did - and she shoved me into a dressing room with a pair of black skinny jeans.
I tried them on, expecting to want to puke at the sight of myself in them. But I didn't. I felt fine. I felt modern. I felt like me again.
I bought them and then wore them out to dinner with my husband, along with a beautiful blousy top, black lace-up booties, and a long necklace (another trend I had yet to master). I have no picture to share but I can tell you I felt awesome, if a little unsure of myself. It was like the first time you go driving alone after securing your drivers license. Someone's told you that you can do this and you feel awesome and amazing doing it, but simultaneously terrified and like an impostor.
That said, I earned some coupons while shopping this weekend and will be going back to buy a dark blue pair of the same jeans. And eventually I'll buy some boots I can tuck them into, a look I've been wanting to try but have been afraid of for so long because I felt like plus-size women couldn't wear the look well.
Well, 1 - I don't believe that anymore and 2 - I don't care, even if someone does believe it. It has felt absolutely amazing and wonderful to feel like me again the past five days and I plan to maintain that feeling because I had forgotten what it was like to treat myself like I was worth something. It's funny how a silly pair of scary skinny jeans can do all this, but they can.