I woke up recently and realized everything I thought I wanted six months ago had completely changed. Drastically.
One of the byproducts of my style experiment is the discovery that I don’t actually care about fashion. Which is not the same thing as not caring about clothes, but back to that in a minute.
Sometime in the last month I magically stopped caring what others thought of how I presented myself. This is not to say that I have gone to seed – rather that my only criteria for leaving the house now are my personal standards of aesthetics and hygiene. Those are certainly affected by the culture I live in, but my point is that I don’t think about it when I’m in public anymore, and I’ve totally disengaged from fashion mags, etc, without purposefully trying to.
What’s more interesting about this is how it’s renewed my interest in knitting and knits. Two reasons: One, I’ve discovered that, for me, pants are bullshit. (Insert giant exclamation point here – this was a huge shock to my androgynous closet.) But as a cyclist I need a compromise. Hence, knits in the form of leggings, etc. Two, turns out what I’ve really been interested in this whole time is craftsmanship. What fanciful delights can people make, and how well can they make them. Nevermind this whole trend-and-shopping business, what’s interesting to make and look at?
Now, as we all know, No interest in fashion + Strong interest in crafts = Middle Aged Cat Lady in Purple. Some of my favorite people are MACLIPs, so no judgment. Let’s just say that, gratefully, I’m not a cat person.
What’s actually been holding my interest all year is this . . . :
(My 3 month old pepper plants, started from seed)
. . . because they turn into stuff like this:
This slow transformation into a Mini Earth Momma began, I think, over a year ago. While at MassArt, I realized that most of the students around me were really energized by the world of fashion and designers, and for me the opposite was happening. The more I learned, the less I wanted in. As a result, I told myself that activewear was my calling – and it very well may be. At least the center motivation for that (on a good day) is taking care of oneself. But don’t get it twisted – that’s still definitely part of the fashion industry.
I’m trying to embrace these shifts, rather than fight them. There was a lot of self-doubt mucking things up in my cranium, but at this point it’s mostly been cleared away. I’m starting to learn about farming and more about cooking, while still attending to things I said I would do from what feels like my past life. Exposed Seam is still very much happening, and I am still excited about it most days. Making stuff that makes it easier for people to get out and get active still very much interests me. And after a short list of personal items I’m keen to knit through, I’ll be returning to sweater & home design in my “spare time”.
In short, I’m becoming a homesteader. Laugh if it so moves you.
My favorite thing about all this is the liberation I feel today. Suddenly, I’m free from:
– the constant feeling of “if I only had X” and the time lost searching for “X” (in vain, usually)
– the time suck of engaging in media that isn’t truly relevant
– others’ opinions about what is worth my time
– the feeling of being uncomfortable in my own skin
What started as an excuse to clear my closet of clutter and buy new clothes became a much bigger journey. All the in-between steps of sorting out my colors and venturing back into heels (a failure, btw) were useful in and of themselves, but also because they were breadcrumbs along the trail to the true destination. Once I had enough puzzle pieces sorted out, the picture became clear: I have seen the real me, and she is too fierce to care.