Losing Yourself

29 Apr

When my first kid was born, I had a surge of creativity that I hadn’t had in years and being home with her gave me the opportunity to express that. With two kids now, I am adding more negotiating skills and distraction tricks (along with a laundry list of other, actually, quite useful tools). I feel a little bit fuller now, a little bit more complete, a little bit more whole of a person in some ways.  But I cannot help but feel like a little piece of me is missing, as if I just don’t have time for that little something today.

A lot can happen in a few years – these two munchkins did not even exist three years ago! I mean, that really is a short amount of time to add two people into your life. Two little people that are your sole responsibility to love and raise and guide. How can younot lose a bit of yourself in the process?

“The old illusions of what life was supposed to hold, the restless remains, the undefined dreams do not die as they were supposed to. Probably every educated wife has found herself staring at a mountain of dirty diapers and asking herself desperately, “Is this all there is?” And at the same time she is embarrassed by her dissatisfaction; she, of all people, with her intelligence and realistic view of life, should be able to rise about it. But the paradox is that it is she who is least able to. She lives for a better day. Things will be easier when this baby is born, or that one toilet-trained, or the children are all in school; and she will have time to be pretty and intelligent and young again.” Nora Johnson, The Captivity of Marriage, 1961

For instance, I used to love dressing in interesting garments – mixing and matching and feeling, overall, quite good and clever. Feeling confident and lively. Poised and powerful. But I must admit that I rarely feel that way anymore. I usually end up wearing the same three pairs of rotating jeans and shirts. You see, I am still nursing most of the day so my shirts have to be low enough or button down so that I can whip that boob out at a moment’s notice and not have to shuffle a sweater up to my neck or pull down hard on a tight neck line. I have to say. I am getting really tired of it. I am also scared to wear nicer sweaters or delicate fabrics because I often have a gooby hand reaching out towards me or slimy face ready to wipe itself all over my shoulders. And because I don’t work outside of the home, I don’t have the chance to dress up every day – those ever so often girl’s nights are my only opportunity to jazz it up a bit.

Now, you may think, really? Clothes really make you feel like a piece of you is missing? Commmmme on lady! But I have to say, that yes, this does make me feel like a little bit of my individuality is stuffed all the way back in the bottom drawer, next to the sequin top and Indian tunic. So I am hoping that once I wean my little one here in the next few months, some of that me flavor will come back. Because seriously folks, how amazing does it feel when you walk out your door and you just own it? You feel a little like Stella McCartney must feel or Emerson from EmersonMade (have you seen her at her country home in tight ass jeans and leather opera gloves tending to her pigs? Insanely cool). You feel put together and unique.
I had a moment of panic the other day when I realized that I am approaching the age where wearing a mini skirt will be highly inappropriate. Not that I rock minis now but still the concept of “not supposed” to be wearing something is scary. But then again, Gwyneth Paltrow still rocks them and she is ten years older than me so maybe there is some hope. She’s just a rockstar actress who has a personal trainer come and kick her ass everyday and a stylist who makes her look insanely hot at every red carpet event but that’s no big deal – not so terribly different from my life, right? Yeaaaahhhh…

And then there is the leather pants. I have always wanted a pair ever since I saw Jacinda (from Real World IV London) wear them on TV. I needed some. I wanted some. But I have yet to find the perfect pair. I want to wear them to the farmer’s market, to the park, to the dinner date…I want to wear them in place of jeans. An everyday sort of look. Can I wear leather pants when I am in my forties? I still have time but man, it feels like it is zooming by so I’d better get on it.

So, yes, I believe clothes do make a difference. They make you feel special and magical and you all at the same time.

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