Fashion Feelings: Coming Back To Life

I’ve been mentally writing this blog post for a long time now.  I’m hoping it’s fully formed and will come out the way I have had it in my mind.  You know when you have an idea, but it’s just really hard to put into words?  That’s this post.  And I have been waiting till I could adequately find the words to really express what it is I’m thinking.  And I have A LOT of words, so I know it must be complex if it’s taking me more than five minutes!

Of course, I have to talk about television.  Because I’m a sucker for a good story, I love things that are about more than reality, and I find a lot of comparisons to my life in stories.  So here goes.  I’m going to use an example from a television show that many of you will laugh at me for watching, but that’s okay, I’m confident enough to not be a closeted teen tv lover ;)  I love the show Teen Wolf.  The costuming and acting are cheesy as all get out, but the story is like the most fun thing ever, and that’s all I really care about.  And here’s this one story line that really stuck with me.  In one of the seasons, some of the teens were disappearing, and appeared to be “dead” when they were found.  The long and short of it is, the teens were kidnapped, had been “altered” or made into supernatural beings, buried, then emerged a few days later with a newfound ability.  Now, in this story line, they were turned into instruments for evil, or that was the attempt.  But something about this story line really caught me and has been sitting in my brain ever since.

Here’s why.  I went through a few years of kind of “death” you could say.  I lost a lot, some of what I lost was…myself.  It was a difficult time, and it felt like I was underground.  It felt like I had lost everything and I didn’t know who I was.  And then one day,  I began to reemerge again.  As I go on with my life, I have discovered that this is not actually an uncommon situation.  Many more people than I ever thought have gone through some type of “death” in their lives, where something unexpected happened, and the course of their existence took a detour.  I have been surprised to see how many people can relate to this feeling, no matter the details surrounding their difficulties, the result is always the same.  One “life” ends, and then another begins.  What ACTUALLY differs from person to person, is what happens NEXT.

Back to Teen Wolf.  I love this plot (regardless of the fact that it was actually kind of intended as a negative story line, I love the concept).  You know why I love it?  These people “died” and when they came back to life, they had something NEW inside them.  Something GREATER than what they had before.  Wow.  Here’s the problem though.  Often after these devastating things occur in our lives, we come back to life, but at “half power”.  Because disappointment is so strong a deterrent, it can keep us from being aware of our newfound “power”.  We may not have x-ray vision or invisibility cloaking after suffering a great setback.  But make not mistake, we DO have a newfound power.  And I mean that.  What is it, you may ask?  It’s a few things.  It’s the power of conquering disappointment and moving forward and THRIVING in the face of let down.  There’s a level of courage and boldness that comes from realizing that you are not “conquerable” after you LIVE again.  It’s also the fact that new creativity and ideas are often born out of pain, need, and the fact that you are less afraid of people than ever before.  Plus, there’s nothing like getting a new lease on life to motivate you to try something you’ve always dreamt of before.

The thing is, as much as I run into more and more people who have gone through this kind of situation, there are many who are not able to see their new ability.  They are still emotionally living underground, accepting their “death” instead of accepting their new LIFE.  It’s a hard thing to embrace.  I know.  It’s often easier to just partially stay underground instead of risking “failing” again.  But if you don’t try again, you most definitely cannot succeed.  And this time, well this time you’ve got something you didn’t have before.  A new super power.

Okay, so my “superpower” may have always been dressing weird.  But I have new things inside me that I didn’t realize were there before I went through what I went through.  And less fear with which to tackle them.  No matter what you’ve been through, I bet you’ve got so much more to do, give, and create…who cares what your age or stage of life is.  You’ve got more, I guarantee it.

Track pants, ruffly blouse, and vest…weird combo I know.  But somehow, it’s all very Manrepeller, and by nature that makes me LOVE IT!

Katy

 

On Hiking and Mini Dresses (But Not At The Same Time)

Waiting is the worst.  We all know it.  Toddlers remind me this every single day when I inevitably ask them to wait for their food, or for me to fix one of their toys, or for me to finish something I’m doing.  They hate it.  And of course, while this is a natural part of life, I can understand their simple frustration with this concept.  It’s not fun, when you really want something, don’t like where you’re at, or simply can see something better…to have to wait for it.  Regardless of the circumstances.  Whether it’s dessert after your dinner or finding the right person to marry…it’s not very fun.

I’ve talked about this before, and I think it is one of those things that just pops up a lot in our lives because either we are “waiting” for something, someone, or for a change, or we know someone who is.  I think it’s interesting too how often this situation goes.  We sludge along, we keep trying, we put one foot in front of another…and…nothing.  It sometimes seems like we make no progress, or so little that the “wait” or “work” or whatever we want to call it can seem like it was all for nothing.  I mean, gosh, sometimes it can even seem like we have gone BACKWARDS.  It’s massively frustrating and horribly discouraging.  But then, it’s almost like in one instant, everything can change.  The job you needed but couldn’t find is suddenly available.  The person you thought you would never meet is suddenly sitting right in front of you.  But literally, moments before this occurred, you may have laughed at someone saying that this would EVER happen.  Now of course, often things don’t change “out of nowhere”.  I mean, most of the time we’ve been working our butts off and putting in time and energy to get to where we want to be.  But it usually feels like in one instant, it happens.

I’m not what you’d call an “outdoorsy” person.  I mean, really.  I like nature and all, but I’ve tried my entire life to figure out what plant is poison oak…and I still couldn’t identify it if you paid me to.  However, I have hiked before.  A few times. But still, this is actually from my personal experience and I’m not just making crap up here!  Hiking is the worst.  Okay just kidding.  That was not my point at all.  I mean, yeah yeah it’s got it’s merits, but it’s basically WALKING UPHILL CONSTANTLY.  I digress though.  In the few times that I’ve been hiking, I remember a lot of hard work, and a lot of bends in the path as you weave up the mountain.  And for reals, it gets harder and harder as you go.  The beginning is easy…you’re all gung-ho ready to conquer this mountain, the land is usually less sloped at the start of the trail, and you’re got all this energy saved up.  And then you get going.  It gets a little harder, you’ve been doing it a little longer, but you’re still determined.  Then, about halfway up, you start to wonder if this was such a great idea, and whether you maybe took a wrong turn somewhere because SHOULD the trail be this steep and this covered in this much brush?  Should it be this hard??  Maybe you did something wrong earlier on because this seems to be taking more time than it should be.  But you’re already committed to that path, so you keep on going.  Three quarters up the mountain and you’re getting mad.  Your legs are on fire, your water supply is getting low, and you should have BEEN THERE BY NOW.  What the heck?  This is stupid.  You see people coming down all happy and glowy from their successful hike and you hate them all.  Why did THEY make it to the top before you?  Some of them were BEHIND you when you started, and they made it up to the top, basked in the glory of the view, and are already racing down the hill.  All before you’ve even seen your destination.  It feels unfair.  You feel like maybe you’re not as good as they are…maybe you did something wrong that slowed you down?  You want some answers at this point.  But, you keep going because you have invested way too much time to give up now.  And then, right when you’re near the top, THAT’S when you want to quit.  I mean, you’re WAY too tired to keep going.  You wonder whether this is all even worth it after all.  Every time you think “this is it! This is the LAST bend in the path!” you are disappointed.  You discover that you are only facing another climb…one that you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give for. This is the worst part of the whole climb.  You want to give up.  You even start to think that maybe there isn’t anything waiting at the top of this horrid climb.  But then, at curve in the road number 2,436…there it is.  In that ONE INSTANT, you are there.  You spent ALL that time and effort getting there, and it felt like nothing.  You saw nothing.  There was no view up to that point.  It was dark.  Difficult.  Exhausting.  Discouraging.  And in one single moment, in one single breath, all of that is gone.

Some of you may love hiking and not really be able to feel the pain I’m talking about.  But can you feel what I’m talking about in other situations?  I’ve had friends who waited so long to get married.  Dated guys they hoped were right, but it never really worked out.  And then, I’ve heard the “almost-there-discouragement”, the “maybe I’m never going to get married” hopelessness come out.  The “I’ve rounded too many curves in the road, only to discover that I wasn’t there yet to think this will happen” statements.  And then, one day, they meet the love of their life.  I’ve had lots of moments like this in my life.  With jobs, with finances, with friendships, with weight loss…with all kinds of things.  And yet, here I am again, battling the same old thoughts.  The “I’m too tired for this and I’m not even sure if it’s worth it” thoughts.  The “I’ve been climbing for so long and it feels like I’ve gone backwards” feelings.  Yep.  This is a life-long thing for all of us.  And yet, if we can just hold on to those moments where we finally rounded the bend and saw the light…then we can remind ourselves to just keep going.  We may be tired, we may feel like giving up…but that THING we’ve been waiting for may be one single step away.  We don’t know, we just have to keep going!

Summer can feel like a discouraging season to me.  Sounds odd, I know, but I kind of get weirdly depressed when I am too hot to wear what I like to wear!  So I’m trying to make due, and remember that fall is just around the corner.  Before I know it, I’ll be back in my velvet pants and robes and all that madness!  Until then, I’m trying to be comfortable in mini dresses and shorts!  I’m not compromising on the boots though.  Those stay with me year round :)

Now you know my true feelings on hiking.  Well, they were gonna come out sooner or later…
Happy weekend to you all!
Katy

 

On New Chances and A Thrifted Top

Gosh I love when the tables turn in the right direction.  For a few years there, I really struggled to find the good in stuff around me.  I mean, I knew it was there. I had a lot to be thankful for no doubt.  But honestly, the thoughts that ran through my head were more negative than positive and I had to struggle pretty hard against the negative thoughts most days.  Even when things started to get better and life became more stable, it was still hard.  It takes a long time to conquer loss.  To realize that there is life after the life you had planned fell apart.  To remember that your dreams do matter and that maybe, just maybe, you have some usefulness left in you.  Slowly but surely, I have noticed that the tables have turned in my thoughts.  Sure, I still have lots of things that bum me out.  I have days where I wrestle with old feelings and thoughts.  I have things that discourage me and I feel like maybe I should just give up.  But those days and those thoughts are getting less and less, and I’m finding that my thoughts are often more happy than negative.  Ahhhhh I love this.  I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for this.

Just yesterday I was at church talking to people (because this is where a lot of my social life happens!) and I had this sudden realization.  I LOVE the people around me.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have ALWAYS LOVED the people around me.  Deeply and completely.  But yesterday, talking to someone who is so different from me, someone who loves to go to flea markets…but he goes for Lord of The Rings stuff, swords, and Star Wars action figures…I just felt so happy.  There are so many people around me at this point in my life who are so different.  In every single way.  They’re different ages, backgrounds, interests, and personalities.  But honestly, they’re SO FUN.  I just had this amazing feeling that has become more and more common lately, where I just felt so loved.  So supported.  So encouraged.  This happens more than just at church for me lately.

Instagram has been a mixed bag for me quite honestly.  I know I’ve talked about social medial before, so I won’t go down that road again.  But I have met the BEST people on there.  I talk to some of those girls (one in particular, she knows who she is! :) ) more than I do people I’ve actually met!  And all of those women, ALL OF THEM, have been endlessly encouraging to me.  I don’t think they know that they have brought me to tears with their words of encouragement.  I don’t think they know how low I have been.  How worthless I have felt.  And how “done” I thought I was.  I guess this is my love letter to all of you, my Instagram friends and also to my church, because without you guys, I’d be lost.

Rebeca Zulch, one of the COOLEST girls on Instagram, chose to put me on her website.  Honestly, I feel so flattered to be included on the site of someone who OWNS GUCCI LOAFERS you guys…her shoe closet is like magical unicorns built it out of rainbows and happy thoughts.  She’s beautiful and uplifting, and I got included with so many amazing women including Elise of caturdaystyle.com (another favorite of mine!).  Check out the link to Rebeca’s site HERE.  Gosh.  This is what I mean.  I get that feeling again, that warm feeling that spreads throughout the whole of my being of being loved and supported.  And even though I cheese grated my thumb this morning, everyone’s been in a super crazy mood today, and I’m sweating from every part of my body…I’m so thankful.

I chose this outfit for today because this top was one that almost got passed over at the Goodwill last time I went.  It had the potential to be super ugly, but I gave it a shot, and I fell in love with it.  I realized that it had new life in it.  Sans shoulder pads and with some ripped up old Levis and platforms, it had a chance to be something other than ghetto 80’s fashion.  I can relate.  There have been many days when I thought that if someone would just give me another chance, maybe this time I’d succeed.  Thankfully, life is full of many chances and we get to try and try again.  Just like this shirt!

When you feel low, remember.  You’ll get another chance, another day, and it’s not done.  YOU are not done yet.  In the words of one of the wisest fictional characters, Anne of Green Gables: “tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.”

Own it.
Katy