And did exactly what we wanted?
I know, it sounds crazy, but hear me out.
I think the world, and people would be a lot more interesting if we just stopped caring what other people thought about us, and did what we want.
I’ll be honest – I have been and am still quite terrible about judging other people and their lives/choices/etc. I’m trying to be a lot better and I honestly feel really guilty about what I’ve thought or said about others in the past. I feel pretty confident that a lot of people have also judged some of my life choices as well, however, though that doesn’t justify my own behavior at all.
Lately I’ve been reading about, and thinking more about clothing and appearance and the rules. As in, the rules about what women can or can’t wear after the ages of… well whatever indeterminate age. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere about how women shouldn’t wear mini skirts after a certain age – 25? 30? Who knows, but I’m well past it… and still wearing mini skirts.
I will fully admit that I have some age issues. I think most adults probably still feel like they are somewhere between 20-30 (I personally feel I’m still about 28. My husband insists he still feels 18… for those of you who know him, that probably explains a few things). But here suddenly I’m 34. I’m like… mid-30s. But I don’t feel old. And I don’t think I act old. Therefore, I’m sure as hell not going to dress old. Or conservatively.
I don’t know why, but lately I’ve felt like I want to live my most authentic life. I’m tired of feeling like I can’t do/or wear/or whatever X, Y or Z because I constantly worry that people will judge me. I am pretty sure that this constant worry is not only because I have been very judgmental myself, but because of the very socially conservative place I was raised (MN). As a young person I battled constantly with conformity – and I still do. I don’t really want to conform – I just want to be myself and have others accept me for who I am. I want to wear a bikini at 35 because now I finally have the body confidence to do that, without being shamed. I don’t want people constantly commenting on how I’ve gained/lost weight, etc. My husband wonders why I refuse to wear tank tops anymore, and all I can remember is wearing them (pretty much living in them) in my early 20s and being told to “put some clothes on” by a friend’s then boyfriend.
So now I’m in my mid 30s and… I’m really tired of people commenting on or judging my body and what I wear. I should be a lot more confident in the way I look now – I’m in my 30s – I’m healthy – and I’ll wear what I like. But I actually can’t get over these ingrained hang-ups – because someone might judge me. D tries to remind me that people actually won’t notice/don’t care/are too focused on themselves and don’t pay attention to others (generally). Maybe it’s my American heritage – where people feel they can comment on what others look like and wear? I’m not entirely certain. Or it’s just maybe a difference in manners?
I mean, life (and fashion!) would just be so much more interesting if we all had the confidence to just do, wear, and look like how we liked, and not just what we felt we ought to, or was ‘appropriate.’ Because generally, when someone starts discussing what ‘appropriate’ means, it’s often aimed at girls and women, and more specifically – about how they should behave or dress modestly, covering up or treating their bodies, etc. This is not just a problem of women, it’s a problem of society, how boys and girls learn to interact with each other, and eventually grow into men and women.
It’s a very complicated world out there, and navigating the life choices (especially as someone who has taken a less conventional life path). It doesn’t get any easier as we get older. And even though I keep reading that I will eventually not give a f–k, that day isn’t here yet. Until then.