Figuring out the answer to this question is one of the hardest and yet easiest things I’ve ever done. When I was a little girl, my favourite colours were pink and purple. I loved things that sparkled and my ultimate dream job was to be the President of the United States. Also, to marry Prince William. (Sigh). Playing outside meant a few rounds on the swing set and then taking my latest book under a tree. I loved parks and gardens and hated woods and weeds. Basically, I was prissy from the get-go.
Then, I got older. I hit college and listened to all the voices that said it was time to outgrow the phase of wanting to marry a Prince. I was a woman, no longer a girl, so it was also time to abandon pink as my favourite colour. Grow up, they all said. It’s time. So I abandoned collared shirts and pencil skirts for band tees and holey jeans. I let go of my dream to have long hair and got a pixie. I dyed it pink. I started to embrace the idea that negativity and passivity were “cool.”
Fast forward several years after college and I found it hard to define my personal style to anyone. My closet was a mix of farmers’ market fare and GAP cardigans. I owned knitted beanies from Guatemala and a monogrammed Derby hat. I was a mess. Personality wise, it was no different. I tried to embrace negativity and a blase` attitude while stifling any sort of optimism or naive joy I might be feeling. Nothing matched and I couldn’t figure out why.
Then, one day, a dear friend pointed to my Pinterest board. “This is your style,” she said. “And this is who you are.” My style board consisted of classic, preppy, simple looks. The same kinds of things I loved as a child I still loved as an adult. Inspirational quotes about the power of sunshine, of happiness, of champagne abounded. You see, it wasn’t that I had ever gone through some drastic changes ( in those areas anyway) it was simply that I had stopped giving myself permission to be me. I got so caught up in who I ought to be that I forgot who I was. Rediscovering myself felt like coming home or like wearing your most comfortable dressing gown. It was easy and it was real.
The Dawn of 30-something is the same Dawn of 6, mostly. I no longer want to be President and I’m pretty happy with Prince William’s current wife (but, Harry can call me). I still love swing sets and gardens. I still love a good stiff collared shirt or a dress that I can twirl in. I still think the best thing in the world is a day in early Spring or Autumn. I’m back to being me, and it feels lovely.
May you all be true to you!