Friday, 29 October 2010

Stifled by Workshirts

For the most part I know that my blog is a rather joyful place, and this optimism is no lie - most of the time I feel in awe at the world and its wonder; as annoying as it may be for the pessimistic folk in this world, I can't help but feel completely eager to be in every minute I am given.

Of course, this isn't a constant state of being; I'd die from exhaustion, probably, or from overwhelm-ment of the senses. Recently, though I have been constanly exhillerated by the external world - the autumn colours, my new job, my new home - internally I have been feeling rather dull, even pessimistic, and full of self-doubt. On the train last night I was sat by a group of girls, all younger by maybe four years at most, but I felt so old and withered in relation to them. I feel like I am no longer paying heed to myself; I wear my work clothes during the day, and automatically change into the comfiest and least attractive of outfits when I return home - thinking about how I look no longer comes into my life, and it's having negative consequences on my self-image. My hair has been left to grow, my clothes are a reflection of what I do and not who I am, and my body feels shapeless and forgotten. I feel like I have somehow been buried underneath my job, and hindered by tiredness and busyness I am unable to find my way out.

I need to address this.

My plan going forward (please excuse the business jargon, I just really like this phrase!) is to be more mindful. To remember what I enjoy - yoga, running, hot baths, colour, beads, cosy tights - and to make sure that my day pays heed to this. I want to be a reflection of my lifestyle, if that makes sense - I want to wear myself on my sleeve, and be proud to do so.

For the first time in a long long time, I feel frumpy and splodgy. The energetic and proud body that I used to have is so often hidden, I'd forgotten that actually, underneath my hoodie, I have a healthy and pretty wonderful body in which to live. And I'm getting odd yet exciting commuter muscles on my legs from all the stairs/power cycles/platform transfers.

So I feel the need for a re-image; not a new image, but a revisit to the one I have hidden somewhere. A need to acknowledge the calm side of myself, the part of me that exists underneath all the furrour of life. That side of me doesn't require an outfit or a shape or a hairstyle; it lives as a constant yet dynamic force inside everyone, an essence of everything that a person is. But I think that this is expressed outwardly by colour and shape and decoration. By the choices we make from which we know others will judge us. And surely the nature of our view on how others judge us (and how we also come to judge ourselves) is what we normally refer to as self-confidence or self-worth? People spend their lifetimes battling with their outward selves, sometimes constantly, sometimes on-and-off. I'm lucky to be more off than on in this respect, but the battle is a tough one as soon as it hits - a short sharp shock is needed to put it all into place!


  1. Can you jazz up your workwear with colours and beads and so on? I used to get away with it in law so I'm sure you can get away with it in publishing! Stripey tights and boots with black skirts, bright cardies and beads with black trousers or over a black dress - it means you can bring a little bit of you to work! I completely agree that our outward appearance is a reflection of our true selves, or at least should be :)

  2. Great post - and it's so true, we spend so much time at work that it's important to express yourself, and just plain remain yourself, there as well. When I first started having to wear work clothes I just bought normal 'appropriate' workwear without giving much of a thought as to whether I actually liked the items. Was it work-suitable? Great. Then I'd buy it. I would feel like I left myself behind when I toddled out the door in the morning, and it would only take the sight of one person who had clearly worn something that they *liked* to leave me feeling awful about myself. Now, I do still wear work appropriate clothing of course, but I try and interpret it my own way. It is a lot easier than it sounds, and I suspect that half the time noone else notices - but that is 100% not the point!

    I will look forward to reading about how you do this. and i hope your weekend has involved lots of the things you love too.