“Is this really you?”

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For my final project in Fashion Technology this past Spring quarter, I was to construct a jacket.  Each student was given the same patterns, but we were aloud to pick out our own unique fabric and buttons.  I fell in love with this super soft, white velvet fabric from my favorite local fabric shop in Savannah.  While I was there, I also found buttons that were black and had gold trim with a gold skull and crossbones in the middle.  I went ahead and purchased the fabric, but decided to wait to purchase the buttons since they were so different from my usual style.  Here is the thing: I could not stop thinking about those buttons, so much so that I ended up purchasing them the next day!  I was more excited about this garment than any other one that I constructed that quarter (and this is including the bow and polka dot print skirt I made).  Fast forward to the last class of the quarter, where I was putting the final touches on the jacket that included sewing the buttons on.  The sewing tech in my class walked over to me, picked up one of the buttons, looked me in the eye and said, “Is this really you?”  I could tell that she didn’t like the buttons, and while I didn’t mind whether she liked them or not, her question took me aback.

I began to think about the way I am often openly told about the preconceptions people tend to have of me.  Yes, I own an exceptional amount of clothing in the color blush, my voice is higher than the average gal, and I have a rather soft demeanor.  However, when people get to really know me, they are often surprised by how different I actually am.  And with that, here is my answer to the sewing tech:

I don’t know.  I don’t know if those buttons are really me just like I don’t know if the ballerina skirt I am wearing right now is really me.  Why can’t they both me?  In my style post last week, I mentioned how much I have changed this past year.  We change as we grow and that is an important part of the beautiful process of life.  I think that it is limiting to feel as if we can only dress or be a certain way.  Maybe the next time I wear my tulle ballerina skirt, I will tuck my Grateful Dead tee into it.

One of my favorite bloggers compares her blog to an onion, in saying that it has a lot of layers.  I think that this is a great metaphor for people, too.  There are layers to each of us that the world doesn’t get to see right away, and this is why I think it is important to really try to get to know each other before passing judgement.  And people do surprise me everyday, in the most beautiful, kind ways.  I like to look at this in the way that when we do something that seems outside the realm of our style, it is simply just another layer to our personality, or an indicator of personal growth.

It’s okay to not know exactly who we are yet.  I used to not allow myself to do things because I was afraid to find out that it wasn’t who I was and I didn’t want to look silly.  In college, I’ve really let that go.  I have most definitely embarrassed myself a few times, but I’ve also made memories and discovered things that I will cherish forever.

I want to leave this post with one of my favorite affirmations from Empower Yourself, “I celebrate my uniqueness and individuality.  I am happy to be.”  I love saying this to myself because it reminds me to love all of the quirky aspects of my personality, and I am learning to not be afraid of exploring all of those weird quicks.  We are all beautiful and weird and doing the best that we possibility can.  We may not always know what the right thing to do is, but we can choose to live lovingly and courageously, and sometimes that means feeling a little silly here and there.  The more loving and accepting we are of ourselves, the more free we will feel to be ourselves.

I hope that you were able to relate to this, if even just a little.  If you have a story to share, feel free to leave it in the comment section!  And of course, thank you so much for reading.

Much love,

Carly xx

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