The clothes make (parts of) the man

I made the greatest purchase of my life today. Well, it's second only to my new microwave that has a button specifically for heating up a slice of pizza, but this is still particularly amazing in its own right.

I bought an $8 t-shirt from Target.

I'll just sit here for a moment and let the awesome news I just shared with you sink in.

You good? Can we move on? Great.

Remember a few months back when I was on my period and whining about how I was feeling depressed and thought I was going through an identity crisis? Well, that whole thing is still true, but lately I've found that I have a severely dimished tolerance for dealing with it. Basically, I'm sick of hearing myself complain to myself about how I don't feel like myself. It's one of those poop or get off the pot scenerios - fix the problem or just get over it and move on. Since this is my own personal happiness we're talking about, I can't just "get over it" and live the rest of my life feeling like a stranger in my own skin (for some reason that thought just reminded me of "Put the lotion in the basket!"). So, I have to come up with a plan ... and quick.

This weekend I was slugging whiskey and whining to Clay (not nessearily in that order) about how I felt more secure in who I was at the age of 18 than I do at 25 (Poor Clayton. Every other weekend in our house is an episode of Oprah: After the Show). "I was just so much more chill and comfortable," I slurred (not from the alcohol ... okay, maybe slightly from the alcohol. I only had one drink, but it's hard not to feel like you're two sheets to the wind when you're drinking liquor in 90% humidty). "How do I go back to that?"

That's not a question for Clayton to answer (and bless his heart, he sure tries). Rather, it's a conclusion I have to come to on my own. I have to tap into what caused me to become so fearful of people and yet desperate to be accepted by them at the same time. Something has made me incredibly insecure and introverted, and I don't know about you, but I am sick of being a Debbie Downer. I'm not enjoying my life because I'm overthinking everything

A few weeks ago at softball, my buddy Maria pointed out a teenage girl standing by the bleachers at a nearby ball field. The little girl, who might have been 13 or 33 (I don't know, I'm terrible at guessing how old kids are), was listening to an MP3 player and busting a move like no one was watching ... only everyone was watching her. And she clearly did not care. She was enjoying the moment and doing something she felt compelled to do, strange or not. Maria and I laughed, but then we both immediately agreed that we wished we could be more like that.

So I'm incredibly anxious to stop being a broken record and start living my life with abandon. I want to embrace my flaws and celebrate my good points without comparing them to anyone else's. I want to look in the mirror and say, "I'll take it!" rather than, "Yikes." I want me to finally realize that me is enough.

The inner, emotional stuff is going to come in good time with a lot of personal reflection, prayer, and patience. It's the outter stuff that I can start working on this very moment. And that's what I'm doing. I started this weekend by taking a long, hard look at my wardrobe. Now, I have a lot of clothes. And you know why I have so many clothes? Because the definition of glamor and beauty is constantly changing and I'll be darned if I wasn't going to make sure I could keep up. So I buy clothes constantly, and you know what ultimately happens? They go unworn in my closet. And do you want to know why? Because I'm not a glamorous, fussy girl. I'm actually incredibly Tom-boyish, and I truly think the most feminine part of me is my love of handbags and make-up. Other than that, I don't like being high-maintenance. I don't have the patience for it. It looks fake on me.

Last night at Clayton's softball game (Goodness, all of my social happenings revolve around softball), his teammate's girlfriend was sitting in the stands in front of me. I couldn't help but notice how beautiful she was with her perfectly highlighted blonde hair, freshly painted French manicure, trendy jewelry, and chic maxi dress. My first instinct was to completely envy her and make a mental list of the items I would need to go out and buy so I could look just like that, but I caught myself. Yes, she was gorgeous and clearly took time and effort to put herself together so flawlessly ... but was that me? Clearly not. I was wearing a pair of running shorts, a gray workout shirt, and had my hair piled on top of my head in a messy bun (Sorry Clayton, but a trophy wife I am not). Sure, I could go out and buy that dress, get that hair cut, get my nails done and present myself in that exact same way, but I can guarantee that I wouldn't feel like myself. It would feel phony. In the past I would go out and buy those things because I thought that's what I should be, regardless of whether or not it was genuine. And that dress would ultimately end up sitting in the back of my closet, unused.

In the last few weeks I've finally started to accept that I'm not a girly girl. I'm just not. I thought I was. I thought I was supposed to be. But the fact of the matter is, when I was 11 years old I wore my Colorado Rockies baseball hat in the shower because I hated to take it off. Thankfully, I'm no longer mistaken for a dude, but I think you get my point.

The truth is, I feel the most self-assured when I have on my baggie flared jeans and a tshirt with flip flops.Yeah, wearing my nice jewelry and a pretty top with a great pair of shoes can make me feel like a hot tamale sometimes, but even Clayton admits that I've never looked more beautiful than when I roll out in my casual shirts and worn jeans. He says even my smile is different.

So yeah, I'm gonna stick with that.

And that is exactly what led me to Target today after work. I was on that side of town running errands and thought I would poke my head inside for a quick second to look around.  I found a display in the junior's section of simple v-neck tshirts in a variety of colors. Not a name brand. Inexpensive.Easy. They seemed familiar.

So I bought two.

P.S. I'm going to be having a garage sale or donating stuff to Goodwill.  If you want something from my closet (Ashley), speak up or forever hold your peace! :)

This is me when I was 18 ... playing with fire.

This is also me when I was 18. I think you see a pattern.


  1. I miss your posts! I hope you're away doing something fun, fabulous and fsummery (the "f" is silent...? Couldn't come up with another 'f' word, so why not make one up?).

  2. I was trying to pronounce "fsummery" outloud just now ... and I slobbered all over myself. FFFFFssssssummery.


Post a Comment