An item of clothing bought decades ago does not always qualify for the fashion of the current day. Equally relevant is the fact that what I was able to wear as a teenager decades ago does not work for me anymore. If I were to attempt to wear a short skirt I can guarantee that it would look ridiculous and out of place. As much as I would love to fit into today’s teenage fashions the reality is it just isn’t going to happen! Yes, sad I know….
Fashion changes from one year to the next, which is similar to our lives. We go from one season to another. Each season presents us with new challenges and opportunities for growth. Besides the obvious physical changes our bodies go through we also change as a person. We mature and develop emotionally and are better equipped to handle life’s responsibilities.
You will find that in my blogs I refer a lot to my teenage years. The reason being is that my teenage years were filled with so many struggles. I remember as if it were yesterday the utter frustration that I felt on most days! Most of the frustration I had revolved around my identity. My best efforts at feeling good about myself always failed before they got started. At the time I had no idea what was going on nor did I have any answers for how to navigate the season more productively.
Going back to the topic of revolving fashion there was a certain fashion that never seemed to out date itself in my life. Let’s just call this piece of fashion my negative outfit. There could of been a better choice of outfit however, I chose the negative outfit each day as it almost called to me.
The topic of outfits or suits puts images in my mind of super heroes. One of my all-time super heroes when I was young was ‘wonder woman’; her outfit represented the power to save the world, she was confident and was not focused on herself. The outfit I put on every day was the complete opposite it represented a person who was afraid to be themselves and preferred to hide.
Perhaps the only common feature between my outfit and wonder woman’s outfit was that they were indestructible! My negative outfit was day and night wear at its best. The comfort of that outfit resembled the comfort one feels in their most favourite pair of jeans. Not only was I comfortable in the negative outfit it provided me with the idea of safety, the safety of not being hurt again.
The truth was that the outfit was quite destructive it had the power to put me in a foul mood very quickly. It also kept me trapped as my world was so small inside that suit. In other words between me and the world the negative outfit was my protection. In the event that a possible threat could present itself then my negative outfit was suitable for keeping enemies away. A threat for me was anyone or any situation that had the potential to bring out my insecurities to touch those raw areas that hurt like hell when someone came too close to them.
The outfit represented the person I was; it had almost become my identity.
In high school I found myself confused and consistently questioned myself as to why it seemed so difficult to connect with others. Wearing that outfit kept me hidden. People didn’t really see me they saw only what I was living in. So rather than seeing the real me others saw the outfit of negativity.
What does negativity look like?
The first most obvious thought here would be that being negative is the opposite of being positive. To be more specific I looked it up in the Merriam Webster Dictionary which gives the simple definition as:
- Harmful or bad; not wanted
- Thinking about the bad qualities of someone or something; thinking that a bad result will happen; not hopeful or optimistic
- Expressing dislike or disapproval
When I had a look at the full definition of the word negative the main one that described me or my outfit perfectly was this:
Marked by features of hostility, withdrawal, or pessimism that hinder or oppose constructive treatment or development.
While I was never someone that got into fights at school I was always on guard just in case someone had the intention of being nasty. The only exception for the guards to come down would be for those I knew well. My approach was quite distant and defensive. In the back of my mind I would analyse the other person’s true intentions and purpose. Almost waiting for the moment when they were going to come out with what they really wanted to say. And of course that would be something negative!
Being a positive person was definitely not natural for me. As I started dealing with my internal hurts my choices of outfits started to change. This change took place over several years and I am still on a journey.
While I would like to say that I am never negative the truth is that occasionally when life gets tough I go looking for that negative outfit and put it back on for a while. The difference between now and the past is that in the past I wore the outfit every single day for years. Today I may put it on for a short while only to realise that it is no longer comfortable to wear. There is no joy wearing that outfit. I recognise that when I wear the negative outfit it always puts the brakes on in my life. My world becomes all about me again and that is when life has no purpose.
It still requires effort from me to be positive. I have to work at it regularly as it has never been a strength of mine. In the past it would have been almost impossible to find something positive in bad situations yet these days it never takes me long to see the good among’st the bad.
As I have journeyed along in life and allowed for my inner hurts to be healed or have chosen to let go of what I can’t control the choices of outfits in my wardrobe have considerably increased and improved, you could say they are more fashionable!
Even with more options of outfits I am aware that they do not define me. It is about who I am on the inside. The more comfortable I am about myself the less I rely on anything external.
Today it doesn’t matter so much what I wear as I am content in who I am and the clothes don’t make me!
What is your favourite outfit?