One Year

So many colors in my closet compared to a year ago…

This month marks one year since I started this blog!  It’s weird to say that because on one hand it feels like I started it just yesterday.  On the other hand, as I look back on the journey I recognize that it’s been substantial.

I had some personal goals when I started, namely 1) to redefine my style and find a balance between casual and chic, 2) to build a mix-and-match wardrobe, and 3) if I could in any way, I hoped to maybe help anyone out there who felt frustrated with getting dressed in the morning and maybe even anyone who felt frustrated with themselves as a result.

It’s been a fun journey so far, both in superficial and profound ways.  On a superficial level, some of the ways my closet has changed are:

  • Went from a closet of “one-hit wonders” to a mix-and-match wardrobe.  I’m still trying to get better at this, but I’m proud of where I’m at right now.
  • I started wearing skirts again
  • There’s significantly more color in my closet.  My mom used to say to me on repeat, “You always wear dark colors.”  Those days are gone, Mom.
  • I own colored pants.  I actually know they exist now…
  • I discovered accessories beyond earrings
  • I think I found a balance of casual and chic that I’m happy with.  As long as I’m not mistaken for a college student (at nearly 30 years old) I’m happy.  But when I turn 40 I want you all to tell me I look 30.  Deal?

Beyond the closet changes, style blogging, as superficial as it can be, has actually caused a significant internal shift in me.  Yeah, I’ve learned a lot about building a wardrobe and how to wear colors and how to accessorize, but the most significant thing I’ve learned from style blogging was to be more myself.

Where do I even start?  Even though overall I’ve really enjoyed blogging about clothes, and even though the goals I had for the blog were personal, it was hard sometimes to keep all of that in sight.  Especially near the beginning, but even at times through out the whole year, there’d be a little voice inside of me that made me think that I needed to dress a certain way to be accepted in this silly world of style blogging.  I wanted to be like other people whose style I admired, and while I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing since we all need to be inspired somehow, sometimes I desired to be like others so much and in such a way that it kept me from being free to be who I am.  
But thank God for Pinterest.  I kept seeing pins such as the ones below, and while sometimes I think sayings like these are cheesy, this year they spoke to me loudly and led me to a sort of mantra for me this year: Be who you are.
On those ugly, lame days when I was consumed by what people–you all!–would think, like that an outfit was “too simple” or boring or that it wouldn’t be liked because it wasn’t awesome like how so-and-so dresses, I just told myself, “Stop being dumb silly about it.  Just be who you are.”  While it wasn’t necessarily easy to post the outfit after one of those conversations with myself, afterwards I’d feel an inkling of more freedom to just be who I am and nothing more or nothing less.

The funny thing is that I started saying that to myself in the context of posting outfits, but I found myself saying it in all other areas of life, too.  In my professional life, in social settings, in everything.  Whenever I had to do something and got caught up in how I’d be perceived, I said, “Just be who you are.”  In a post a while back, when I turned 29 I alluded to how I feel the most rooted in myself that I’ve ever felt, and this is largely why.  I mean, I don’t think I was marked by insecurity before this year, though of course I have things that I get insecure about, but I definitely feel a greater freedom than ever to just be who I am, whatever that means, to whoever.

I didn’t expect a style blog to do that for me, but it’s a pleasant and welcome surprise.  And I know I’ll probably forever be learning to be more and more myself, but I’m thankful for this blog for having pushed me to this point.

I’m also extremely and sincerely grateful for all of you who read this blog and to those of you who take the time to comment.  I do read and appreciate every comment, and it’s your comments that affirm and encourage me to “be who I am” especially on those days when I’m being dumb and it feels like a struggle to do so.

Like I said, it’s not just about the clothes.  You guys have affected every part of my life and you encourage me to more fully be who I am and whatever it is that I have to offer the world.  Thank you.  Seriously.

I don’t know what to expect from this next year of keeping up with this blog, but I can only hope that it’ll be half as good as this year!

you are you
this is truer than true
there is no one alive
who is youer than you.
– dr. seuss

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