Looking at a recent photo of me in a pair of bright red sunglasses, my sister did a double-take.
“Who are you?” she crowed, giving me a hard look.
The answer came to me quickly: “Me. The new me.”
It’s true that I’ve recently undergone some changes. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I decided I was completely tired of my old life — mindset, misdirected energy, and the boring clothes I’ve been wearing since college: faded T-shirts with the University of Maryland splashed across the chest; ill-fitting jeans, worn with wear; scuffed sandals into which I’ve shoved my feet for years.
I’ve never been a fashion maven but I’ve never looked ridiculous, either. I generally wear feminine styles and, in terms of clothing, have a little flair for the dramatic. But lately? I’ve been stepping it up.
At least twice a week, you’ll see these little legs in a skirt or dress at work. Gone are my frumpy, baggy black dress pants — the ones I’d wear constantly to the office, hiding my expanding figure. In the past year, I’ve lost enough weight to fit back into all my “skinny” clothes . . . and invested in new pieces. Pieces that are more “me” than ever before. And see that nail up there, the one poking my cheek? That’s green, friends. Green nail polish. Would I have rocked a hue like that a year ago? Doubtful. But now? Let’s go for it.
Emerging from a very “blah” relationship and finally taking stock of my life since this time last year, I’ve sensed such a change in who I am . . . and what I want from myself. I’ve never been quiet, meek or afraid to speak up, but for a while I silenced any part of myself that was ready to step out of my comfort zone. Complacency was the name of the game, and anything that challenged me — as a person, as a writer, as a woman — was squashed. But between traveling, making new friends and strengthening old relationships, writing, bonding and generally living? I’m ready to get silly again. And bold. And crazy.
All while wearing bright red sunglasses.
And damn if it doesn’t feel good.