Every closest has a deepest darkest recess. Yesterday I ventured into mine. Not lightly, but it had to be done.
This was not a cleaning or clearing expedition, it was in fact a hunt borne out of a little desperation.
Only a little, mind you.
I decided I was going to wear a proper suit to work.
Now, I work in an office and have been wearing tailored gear, so it’s not as if I haven’t been dressing up. It’s just that what it means to be a professional has changed for me. At some point I reached that zone where being good at what I do is less about convincing others that I am and more about projecting my self-worth and confidence in knowing I am good at what I do. This is not hubris or arrogance, I know there are ways I can do better and I consciously put myself in positions where I have to learn every day. It’s just self belief. Guys tend to be quite good at it. Women, not so much, we tend to only put ourselves out there when we have ticked every box. Guys maybe tick one box or tend to have a go when they think they could tick at least one box if given the opportunity. There are masses of women’s publications devoted to this very topic trying to nudge women to move away from perfection.
Whatever you want to call it, self belief was a lesson that took me 40+ years to learn.
And with it came a wardrobe (and job) change.
Now my work wardrobe reflects who I am. Whilst I have never been tempted to pull out the little pink sequined number with purple Doc Martins ahead of a business meeting, manly because I don’t own any of these, I have given myself permission to move away from the classic suit. It has been quite the liberation.
One small step for mankind, a huge leap for the Curtain Raiser!
But back to the bowels of my closet and suit day. I’m not sure why the reason for the suit, there was no high powered meeting or function. I just felt like it, and that’s a revelation in itself.
So I gingerly approached my closet’s bowels and starting pulling out suit options. First one, then another and then another trying to figure out which one would work. I hadn’t laid eyes on these for a couple of years, so there was a short period of reacquainting and reminiscence. And as I began laying them out in a row, a pattern began to emerge.
It hit me like a plank to the side of the head. These suits that I faithfully wore over the last decade were all the same. Oh, there might be slight variations in style as in pants versus skirts or charcoal grey versus navy, but they we all made of dark fabric and had pinstripes.
There laid out before me was evidence of my blind conformity. All in all, was I just another brick in the wall? (With apologies to Pink Floyd)
It’s amazing how the myriad of little decisions we make everyday weave together to make the tapestry of our lives. Any one of these decisions in isolation probably has little consequence, but put together and laid out like this, it’s a page in the book of your life. A page I have firmly decided to turn.
It was heartening to see in those suits confirmation that I had moved forward.
Speaking of moving forward, time to head to my closet and then to work. Uniforms need not apply.
To my regular readers: My sincere apologies for not yet posting about my travels. I have had a few technical glitches with photos. Will hopefully get to it soon.