Okay, be honest. How many times have you heard those three words being said to you? How many times have you listened? How many times has it actually made you feel better? How many times have you wanted to slap that person and just scream, “ITS JUST NOT THAT EASY!”
Yes, you are reading the words of one such individual who has both said those words to others and been on the receiving end of it. Granted, it does sometimes help to hear those words, but there was a point where being myself was just something I didn’t want to be, or at least I didn’t feel I was someone others would want to be around. Last year, I wrote a blog on weight and explained a little about my journey with it – https://livinglifewithlucia.home.blog/2019/05/06/6-may-myself-and-i-weight/ this is the link if you want a small segway into what I have previously spoken about. Along with the things I spoke about in the blog above, one thing that bothered me most were my clothes. I just wanted to sit and wear my slouch as all day long, with a baggy jumper that made me feel nice and small and like I was being cuddled by a big teddy bear. It was great! I was also hiding. From myself.
When I was younger, I used to wear all sorts of clothing that I actually loved. I didn’t care what other people thought and I loved anything that was bright or striped. As you get older, part of the challenge is finding out what you like and don’t like. Just like your taste buds developing and your body too, so does everything else.
I always have and always will love Doc Martin’s. I love going from jeans and a t-shirt to wearing a dress, although I am always adamant that I’m not a girly girl (not that anyone cares either way.) I used to love wearing anything that was bright and stood out, because it made me feel more comfortable. I have never been one for wearing lots of makeup or doing fancy hair dos, but instead, I always felt like I expressed myself and was fully who I am by the clothes I wore. I loved vintage clothing and although for a time I chose to ignore that, I have found my way back to it again.
When I put on weight and was struggling with my body, I didn’t want to dress in my usual clothing. I no longer felt myself and suddenly I found myself looking to other people and how they dressed. This included buying more clothes that I saw a lot of people wearing, buying clothing I knew weren’t really for me, but forcing myself into them. Now, out of this, I did find some clothes that actually suited me that I never before would of even picked up. However, one day, I looked at my wardrobe and saw someone else looking right back. I had somehow managed to buy clothes that 5 ft 8 skinny girls would wear, who didn’t have massive boobs to worry about and could wear these items and look stunning! I am 5 ft 3 and I am a curvy woman. I’m not small chested and I have to be careful with certain clothing, because some can sit on me in such a way that they can make me look flat chested, or bigger than I am and I’m sure many other people can relate to the battle of finding clothes that fit your size, shape and skin tone (yes, that is actually a factor). Please don’t misunderstand, there is no judgement or hate towards women that can wear these clothes and look amazing – quite the opposite. I used to envy those that could pick something up and just know that it was going to look great on them. I was hiding away from who I was and never realised that what I chose to wear was actually telling people, “I’m so lost right now, I literally do not know my left to my right. I don’t know who I am.” It was such a huge waste of money. Especially for a student, who needed every penny she had! I ended up throwing them away or happily giving them to my friends who would get some use out of them.
I remember having a chat with one of my best friends, who came round one day and basically told me that she could tell I wasn’t myself. I told her what was going through my head and that I needed new clothes. So, she came with me to start getting some new things. Bit by bit I began to buy things that suited me, that made me comfortable and feel sexy and attractive. I began to surround myself again with people who made me feel good to be who I am, who told me I looked great and who made me feel confident enough to be in clothing that felt like me!
Even now, I am still learning what I like and dislike and I find that my wardrobe is still changing constantly. Now that I am in a full time job, I have found that I love high waist trousers (or anything high wasted). I love fitted tops and dresses and I have found a website called ‘Joanie Clothing’, that sells vintage style items. If I had the money, I would probably purchase every item on that site! I also feel lucky enough to be with somebody who loves how I dress, including the more quirky items that I like to get. He even bought me a gorgeous book dress that I have completely fallen in love with and got to wear to the Harry Potter Tour in London! (One of the best days EVER!)
The point of this particular topic, is not just about wearing clothes that make you feel good, but is also about not hiding from who you are. It’s about just being yourself. It can be really difficult to hear those three words and I completely understand that, but I had become so consumed with negativity about myself and my body (for so many reasons) that I had basically turned off and was becoming a robot of myself. Everything changes and you continue to develop from the day you are born all the way through to the day you die. Tastes change, interests divert and items that you once clung onto, slowly slip away. There is nothing wrong with that. But maybe, if each day, you try and focus on being you and being the best version of you, you can actually begin to enjoy yourself. There should be excitement in getting new things. There should be happiness feeling good in something you wear. It shouldn’t be a burden. As corny as this may sound, you have to start loving who you are and what you have to offer the world in order to enjoy the things that life throws at you. It’s definitely not always easy and I could go on and tell you so many times that I have not been able to find one single item of clothing that makes me happy, but quite frankly, I don’t want to bore you. Take each day, one step at a time. Start throwing away items that don’t bring you joy. Whether that be clothing, shoes, books, movies. Anything. There is so many things bad in the world, why hold even more negativity in your room or in your house? Declutter. Start again. Rip things apart and put them back together again. Do what you need to do to find who you are so that you can wake up everyday and be happy with who you are. You might even be surprised and not hate it so much when someone turns to you and says,
“Just be yourself.”