My friend, Alice (not her real name), recently retired from a job with law enforcement. To celebrate she got a tattoo, something she’s wanted to do for a long time. Since she’s in her early fifties, I asked her why she didn’t get one sooner and she replied, “It didn’t feel appropriate.” Her tattoo isn’t visible unless she wears shorts and would be covered with clothing when she worked. Besides the new tattoo, Alice wears less conservative clothes these days. From my perspective, I think the real Alice is coming out of hiding.
My friend’s response about not feeling appropriate, got me got me to thinking about how many of us live inauthentic lives, for fear our true selves may not seem “appropriate.”
How many of us wait until we’re retired before we “let it all hang out”? Wouldn’t we be happier if we just lived our truth and not worry what someone else might think?
For most of my adult life I worked as a waitress and that meant wearing a uniform at work. It was easy for me. I didn’t have to wonder what to wear everyday or if I had worn the same outfit twice in a week (some of my women friends at the time thought wearing an outfit more than once a week was a huge fashion faux pas!) I always liked fashion and even modeled briefly in my early twenties. I especially liked the some of the silly outfits the models wore on the runways. On my days off though I wore pretty much what everyone did– boring clothes! I looked average and only daydreamed of wearing more creative, artsy clothes. Why didn’t I just dress the way I wanted? Maybe I was afraid of looking weird or because I was lazy and not wanting to make an effort to put an “outfit” together. To be honest, I didn’t think about it at the time.
My style did change somewhat when I moved to San Francisco. I just turned forty and was ready to experiment with fashion. If you’ve ever been to the City, you’ll know pretty much anything goes! That’s when I bought my first pair of Doc Martin’s.
I also became a redhead.
I still worked in restaurants so my fashion style was my own only on my days off and that’s only if I left the house. (I still enjoy staying in my pajamas all day if I don’t have to go anywhere).
It wasn’t until a few years ago (I’m now *cough* sixty years old) that I decided to “hell with it” and live my whole truth; including dressing exactly the way I want and expressing myself in the spiritual sense. My home reflects who I am. Since we moved three months ago, my home décor is western, Goddess, bohemian, Zen and hippie. I love it! And I think hubby does too. Our home is comfortable and that’s important to me. The clothes I wear are comfortable too …and artsy. When I get myself dressed, I think, What outfit will raise my vibration today?
Maybe Alice and I are a lot alike. We’ve both been hiding our true personalities. I just didn’t realize it until she showed me her tattoo. (by the way, I got inked for my 50th birthday. I have no idea why I didn’t get one sooner either and no one asked). I am happy that I finally live life on my terms, clothing and otherwise, before it was too late.
What about you? Are you living your authentic life? I’d love to hear your thoughts.