Is it strange that my evening of retail therapy turned into into another sort of therapy all together? Rather than sifting through racks of clothes I knew I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) buy, I opted instead to look through the layers I’ve built up in the last few years and give my inner self a good once over. And man, if my inner self was a dress at one of the stores I visited tonight, I would have walked right by it. I couldn’t believe what I saw…all thanks to a little evening shopping trip.
Originally determined to ignore that nagging feeling I had that this would turn into something other than a shopping trip, I selected a few items and headed to the dressing room. But as I sat in the dressing room at Forever 21, wondering why none of the clothes I had chosen that looked so wonderful on the model-esque plastic figure in store just didn’t look good on me, I just couldn’t stop thinking about “my self discovery”. And then I had something of a revelation – it wasn’t the clothes that didn’t look good on me; it was me that looked badly in the clothes (enter the beginning of my self psychotherapy session). Somewhere along the last several years, I began to think of myself differently and I now lacked the confidence necessary to carry an outfit. I think that rather than appreciate myself for the accomplishments I’ve made, I chose instead to focus on what I could have done better. I participate in triathlons, but I could go faster; I do well at work, but I could do better; I love to write, but I could be published…In short, I’ve become far too critical of myself. This critical eye (once a great personality characteristic) has turned me into a person full of uncertainty, fearful of the fact that I won’t live up to my own (or others’) expectations. How a simple article of clothing evolved into this therapy session, I do not know, but it did nonetheless and enough was enough. So, there, in that dressing room, I decided it’s time to make a change.
I will find my confidence again. That drab inner self that wouldn’t have turned my head if it was displayed in a store window will soon be my must have item. I know it won’t be easy – damn, if it was easy, I’d be sporting the trendiest looks around without the slightest concern – but it’s going to happen. You know that sage advice that some random person said one time – “Fake it till you make it” – well, fake it I shall do.
From this day on, I vow to stop worrying so much about whether I’ve done something the best it can be done. As long as something is the best I can do, then that will be celebrated. From this day on, I also vow to stop concerning myself with others’ opinions. I’m 23 years old – it’s about time I make my own decisions and have confidence in them. It’s time I walk into a store and have trouble picking out an outfit because they all look so great. In general, it’s just time.
So while my evening at the mall may not have resulted in the new purchases I originally intended, I ended up leaving with something far greater (and more valuable) – I left with a new outlook and mission. I left with the start of some new found confidence. The best part? It was all free!
If you’ve ever had some sort of epiphany in a unexpected place, I’d love to know. Share your story in the comments section.