Where did my confidence go?

There was a time I felt more confident about my appearance. I don't think I ever really second guessed the way I dressed, smiled, styled my hair, etc. because I always felt I was true to myself. Sure, I had issues with my body; I still have issues with my body, but I didn't let that affect the way I presented myself outwardly. I guess I only let it eat away at me slowly over the years, and there have been days when that ugly monster has nearly eaten me whole, but for the most part, I have learned to live with him as one would a terrible roommate. I try not to pay any attention to him, and I sometimes feel like he's almost invisible. Almost.

Those feelings aside--I really did like myself for most of my young adult life. I enjoyed swapping clothes with roommates and trying different styles--all in an effort to define my style.

But somehow over the years I've been married and been a mother, I have let my style slip a little. I don't feel so confident when I look at the mirror. I often try on several shirts and pants before I give up and go for my standard v-neck t-shirt and jeans. And if I'm lucky enough and the weather is a bit cold out, I throw a sweatshirt over the whole ensemble and forget to look at the mirror again. Until it's nighttime and I realize I have rice in my hair or marker on my face and I'm back in comfortable sweats/pajamas, waiting for sleep to envelop me, which it always does rather rapidly.

I recently took an overnight trip to see my brother in Chicago, and he told me he liked my choice of outfits a couple of times. The compliments are probably long forgotten with my brother, but they have stayed with me ever since, especially since I see him as one who has always been comfortable with his style and proud to be who he is, and who he is a really outstanding guy, and it's reflected in how he presents himself.

His compliments stayed with me through the month of December, and I found myself wondering why they meant so much to me. After a lot of thought, I think it's because he's as real with me as real can get, and he would've been honest with me if he didn't like what I chose to wear so the fact that he did made me think somewhere inside I still have the fire to present myself, and present myself well.

I've really been considering my new year's resolutions this year, and I'm not done with my short list, but I have decided on one resolution: to present myself as a lady with class and style. I want to wear more color this year, more dresses this year, more blouses instead of v-neck shirts, more high heels (hopefully comfortable ones if they exist), and more jewelry. I did some early spring cleaning and tossed more than I anticipated in hopes of finding solid pieces that fit my body and my personal style, which although on an average day would appear to be pajamas, is really not that way at all. I know what I want to look like, and I even think I know how to do it, I just have to stick to a schedule that allows me to take time for myself in the morning--the one I currently have leaves me about 1 minute to shower and another 2 to get dressed.

Obviously, I realize confidence runs deeper than fabric, but I also realize that after 10 years of wearing spit-up and marker stains, it's also nice to look beautiful on the outside from time to time, and that's my goal.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley