Today I Give Myself Permission to Embrace Originality #atozchallenge

a-to-z-letters-oWe are all born an original, each leaving behind the broken mould of our birth. However, as most of us grow and travel through our teenage years we start to see that originality is perhaps the harder road to hoe, at least for a child, and the drive to fit in overtakes us. We then move onto our adult years carrying that need to fit in. This time though the stakes may be a little higher, with a promotion, bank loan, long-term relationship or a business opportunity at stake.

For some brave souls who turn their noses at societal pressure, the original child becomes the highly original, memorable and successful adult. The one that you secretly now admire and envy for having the courage to march to the beat of his or her own drummer. Rhetoric abounds, but in my experience the corporate world does not value originality or if it does, it is confined to originality in ideas and not in respect of individual attributes.

Dark suits, business shirts and black pumps have been my business wardrobe staples for the past two decades. But a look a little closely and you will see a few of my salutes to originality.

Let me start by saying I was born without the accessorizing gene. Really, I am accessory challenged. I’d love to be able to tell you that I solved my originality conundrum with funky jewellery, fantastically memorable earrings, unique handbags and sexy scarves. However that would be misleading and probably a little boring.

In the early nineties when I first stated work, original males wore funky ties to work. How I loved those ties filled with amusing cartoon characters, Snoopy was a favourite. Sometimes, the guys actually engaged in an originality double act by also wearing funky character or slogan socks.Perhaps they only wore them out of deference to the tastes and gift giving activities their spouses, but whatever the reason they brightened my day.

Remember these? Guys had it easy in the originality stakes.


Snoopy Tietas devil tie

I clearly couldn’t get away with either, so my ode to originality came in the form of the Swatch.

The Swatch is a wonderful invention of Swiss ingenuity, not only that, it actually tells time!  Love them, the more colourful the better. I’ve owned at least one Swatch for the past twenty years. A splash of colour under the dark suits and a small window into my personality. I wonder what our choice of watch says about us? Over the years, I have received many positive remarks about my choice of watch, not only for the colour but also for the kooky designs. Rainbows, fish, falling numbers, stars and moons I have had them all.

English: Swatch Flik Flak Fifa World Cup Spain...

English: Swatch Flik Flak Fifa World Cup Spain Edition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More recently, my originality push has extended to the Converse shoe. I purchased my first pair a couple of weeks ago and have since worn them to work. I am told they are very me – a pair of purple high tops with small white flowers over them. Love the funk factor and the surprise on people’s faces when they see them on my feet. Didn’t expect that, did you? Sweeeeeee!

Not mine, but rates high on the originality factor

Not mine, but rates high on the originality factor

As time marches on, the need to conform is waning and it is so liberating. I plan to continue to celebrate originality in others and embrace it in myself.  Middle age is a great time to try the new and experiment with identity and it is full of possibilities. It is probably no coincidence that a lot of women this age obtain a tattoo, a permanent sign of originality. Whilst I’m not tempted by tattoos for my own body,  I applaud those who decide to express their originality and individuality in that way.

Fortune favours the brave and the original.


 What do you do to embrace your originality?

Today I give myself permission to embrace originality. 

About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

29 thoughts on “Today I Give Myself Permission to Embrace Originality #atozchallenge

  1. Originality can be homogenized so easily. I keep getting that feeling whenever somebody tries to tell me a writer’s style must conform to a prescribed formula. If my works resemble everyone else’s what makes it stand out?

    • I agree. It’s all to easy too try and convince others to stick to a tried and true formula. Good luck with the writing, Joe and keep fighting the good fight for originality.

  2. a hidden tattoo…which is not original at all, but I’m not going to be THAT lady in the Scanpan commercial! Apart from that I am pretty much well ‘ordinary’. I don’t wear watches. My writing is the only thing that I would say is original (to me at least) 🙂 xx

  3. I usually don’t try to be too original in my appearance, but I like to try to have original ideas or at least original twists on old ideas. As they say, there’s nothing new under the sun.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  4. Great post Judy! Like you I have spend the best part of the last 20 years wearing a suit… my salute to originality and my previous goth girl teenage years at work is in the form of a bracelet that has skulls on it. Occasionally, I’ll even break out the black nail polish!

    • How radical, black nail polish! I wore that on my toes once and I certainly received some different looks. Clearly, I wasn’t meant to wear that colour, but hang it, I will again. I love the idea of the bracelet with skulls on it. Have you had any unusual comments about it?

  5. I can’t say I’m too original with fashion either–I guess I don’t like standing out in a crowd that way. I do try to bring creative and original twists to my work, though. Does that count?

  6. About twenty years ago, I grew my hair really long. I got lots of grief for it, but it stayed. After a while, they decided “Oh, that’s just John” and didn’t say anything else. I still have it long, too.

  7. There isn’t an original thing about me today, but when I worked, I always had a brooch or pin of some type on my suit lapel. It was about all the accessorizing I could manage, but some of them were really cool.

    • Some people can pull off accessorizing with such skill and calss, sadly I’m not one of them. But a collection of brooches and pins sounds really neat. I’ve seen some great ones around and have been tempted, but then I think I will only remember to put them on once I have raced out the door.

  8. The eclectic has always appealed to me. Part of it is due to a wide array of interests. My kids also carry this gene, so if something is popular, they probably won’t like it too much. Though, as a teenager, you have to have a good sense of humor to combat the teasing and ostracizing. Good post. Keep on accessorizing. BTG

  9. I’m not one for fashion these days but I am short and was told I was short in stature but tall in personality. I tend to be out spoken and have to watch myself that I don’t hurt people

  10. Awesome Post. Kudos to you for your wonderful theme for the A-Z Challenge.
    I used to work with a bunch of engineers. You cannot imagine how horrified they were when I wore blue toenail polish my last summer working. I wasn’t trying to be original, I merely pleased myself, and as I continue to do. I don’t consider if something is fashionable or if I’m original. I please myself after years of suits and stockings and rules, rules, rules.

  11. I can be difficult to express originality these days. Everywhere you go seems the same. The same shops, selling the same things, people looking the same and dressing the same. Originality is a blessing and we should all embrace it. 🙂

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