My daughters are both very fashion focused. I like to think it’s partly my doing because I loved dressing them alike (the same dress in sizes 4T and 7, please,) and always making sure their clothes matched and were clean. I took great pride in dressing my beautiful babies. As they approached the pre-teen stages they turned their eyes toward me and noticed I didn’t dress myself like I dressed them. The closer it looks and feels to a pair of elastic waist pajama pants and a baggy t-shirt, the more I’m drawn to wear it. And if there’s a drawstring in the waistline, honey, I want six pairs, one in every color it comes in. My fashion savvy daughters do not approve.
I really don’t mind, but they have been picking out and/or “sanctioning” my clothing purchases for years now. No “matchy-matchy” (I will happily wear five shades of the same color at the same time,) and keep patterns at a minimum. I have been sitting at the mall food court with my daughter and she will gather my attention to a woman wearing a colorful pair of Capri pants and say, “In case I’m not with you when you’re shopping, no multi-colored prints across your butt.” I thought they were fun and vibrant looking. Let it be said, I have a few wardrobe pieces in hiding that neither off-spring would appreciate. This one pair of elastic waist silk pants from India is crafted of more than fifty fabric swatches and almost none of the patches match. Granted they are amazingly difficult to wear with any solid color top, but I love them.
I’m what’s known as a non-conformist dresser and personality in general. I’m not a trouble maker or intentional hellion, but I prefer the beat of my own drummer. My wardrobe reflects practicality and creativity. It’s practical because it is easy to wash (I do five loads of same-color laundry a week: whites, black, green, purple, and red/pink/orange. Although brown has recently been gathering strength.) It’s creative because I can buy a scarf of many colors and wear it with three other solids and have an outfit that is “acceptable” yet simple, quick and self-created. I didn’t have to rely on the whims of a regional clothing buyer at a major department store to pick out my clothes. I wear what I wear because I like it not because it’s fashionable.
In his fun book The Art of Non-conformity, author Chris Guillebeau looks at life much the same way I view creativity. Creativity is a side effect of thinking outside the normal way of doing things. Guillebeau explains that the advice we received as children from supposedly well-meaning adults was good to a certain extent. The patina-speckled remonstration goes something like this: If everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you? Well…….it depends. Guillebeau says, “It’s not bad advice, even if it’s sometimes used to exert control more than to support independent thinking.” While the advice is meant to make us think for ourselves, then what’s wrong with dressing for ourselves? Because everyone else is jumping off the same fashion bridge into their laundry pile of the same thing everybody else is wearing doesn’t mean I’m going to swan dive right along with them. Guillebeau then says, “Screw those people jumping off the bridge. Make your own decisions. Live your own life.” But he adds to do in a conscientious way that contributes to our world and doesn’t suck from it greedily without returning the juices.
That’s what creativity is for. Being creative in life helps return the flow of exciting energies back into the Earth and the Universe to help others find their own creative habits. And as Guillebeau points out, the age old phrase is really meant to encourage independent thinking but the message gets skewed by manipulators with control agendas. Okay, I’m not really an intentional hellion, just want you to think (and dress) for yourself. After all, even Albert Eistein knew the clothes make the man when he said,
"Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy." - Albert Einstein
Girls, I promise not to wear stripes and plaid at the same time out in public, but that’s as far as it goes. Love, Mom.
Tell me about how the fashion police would write you a ticket for a clothing infraction!
There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)
Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.
And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.
http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer
http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook
http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb
http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.
http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey
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Be well, write well.