Old self

old self

Uniqlo flannel top – Grana jeans – Coach boots

For some reason I’ve been feeling very raw over the past 48 hours and so bear with this post full of navel gazing and pondering.

This is an “old me” outfit. It’s probably one I’d wear in some variation every day, seven days a week several years ago. Something made me think – ok, let’s do this Casual Friday thing the old school way. I felt like I needed to go back to where I was and simply accept that sometimes I do need that version of me. I’ve now been wondering a lot if I’m changing myself too much for the sake of the change and not because it’s been what’s best for me.

When I got to the office the admin complimented my outfit, especially the boots. She said they looked nicely faded. I took a paper towel and wiped away dust from the top of my boot: Nope, it’s just dust, it’s not really faded. I’ve not worn these boots in two years. I joked about keeping the dust on to keep the faded look and she cheerfully said I must keep the dust on! She also liked the whole ensemble in general. I then noticed my top was covered in cat hair and dust because it had been in the back of my closet. It also smelled a little musty and I probably should’ve washed it before wearing it. I think my perfume did a good job of keeping the musty smell away unless people got really close to me. Now reading all of that – it sounds kinda gross, doesn’t it? But one thing did stand out to me – I looked “normal”. Granted, what is normal is relative, but compared to what I normally wear, I basically looked like most other people in the office today or like I’d match well with typical women my age – minus the pram and two kids in tow. But again, I didn’t feel like I wasn’t being myself – it was just going back to a version of me I’d not visited in a while. That got me thinking – what is the real me nowadays?

Talia‘s brutally honest and raw post about wanting things she doesn’t need really struck a chord with me. Her honesty in that post felt like a breath of fresh air and also like a kir of liqueur that I’d sip and savor, comforted in the familiarity of knowing her words mirrored mine internally – the difference being she had the guts to write it. The desire to stand out and not wear the same things as everyone else, but also wanting all the things everyone wears is a real struggle. With so much marketing around us – especially Pinterest, which I think is one of the most clever and fucking demonic forms of modern marketing touted as a virtual mood board – it’s really hard not to be wanting something that someone else has whether it be a blog influencer or not. Raise of hands, who else has a wishlist on their Pinterest like I do?

That post also reinforced the fact that I really don’t need anything and need to stop this trigger-happy reaction of adding items to wishlists because all that does is itch the instant gratification cat in me. And then I purr when I decide to buy the item and then go sleep on some other item for six months until I feel like coming back to it. It really is a vicious cycle and I need to stop justifying getting stuff because I can.

Just in the same way that exercise does make me feel better, I need to get back to doing things that really matter and will help me emotionally and mentally.

There is a guy in my office who goes to concerts almost every other week. He’s around my age or older and a lot of the shows he goes to seem very nostalgic in nature: Def Leopard, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band, Jon Bon Jovi, etc…. As we stood at the microwave (because there’s always a line at lunch) I asked him what his next concert was because he seemed to go to a lot of them. He simply said: I prefer experiences to things.

That statement alone sent me into an emotional vortex of WTF have I been doing buying all these clothes when I could’ve been doing everything else instead! Even my work itself was reminding me of things I used to do – like photography. I’m in the process of figuring out if the money we spend on our marketing company is worth it or if I can handle doing it. We’d cut back money on that expense to the company, but of course I’d be compensated for doing the work instead. Today I brought in my camera, dusted off the dingy light box I found in one of the back shop cubicles and started taking product photos. I then went to different departments to take a few shots for B-Roll footage here and there. Many didn’t mind at all that I was taking photos of them working and some were really happy to help out. It reminded me of other photography work I’d done in the past and how even doing mundane shots of products still takes a certain amount of creative effort. When I looked at the photos on my computer I kinda pat myself on the back – I still got it. Not only that, it made me actually want to work on things for work. That is fucking scary! But back to the point, the creative outlet of doing something completely stopped me in my tracks and instead of browsing online all I want to do now is go outside and take photos of the autumn foliage while I still can. I was really big into taking outdoor photos, especially close ups of plants. 50-60mm fixed lenses are my jam and I pray to the almighty Bokeh. Also, for several years I took photos of my breakfasts and even published a book with photos and recipes on Blurb.

One last thing to add to this already totally meandering, bumbling entry – I love anime. Karandi‘s post about loving anime and the stigma that comes when people find out was another raw one that nailed it for me. I’m over 40, childfree, and I prefer to watch anime over anything else on tv/internet. I don’t have cable, but I do have Netflix, Crunchyroll, and HiDive streaming accounts. I’m lucky enough that most of my friends really DGAF what I watch, but they will definitely berate me for not attempting to watch other shows. If anything, now they’ve all got kids they come to me for recommendations on shows they’d like their kids to watch if available on whatever services they have. However, I was a bit nervous about letting people know at work. While some do think it’s weird and give me the side eye, most others just shrug it off or don’t care. I’m wondering if there’s a certain age where we simply DGAF because I know that’s mostly the case for me at this point in my life, but also seems to apply to many around me who are in similar age brackets or much older. There is a younger engineer who also watches anime and we chit chat about the shows we’re watching and give each other recs as well. He’s really big into JoJo and I’m amazed I’ve convinced him to watch Banana Fish all the way through since BL stuff is very much not his cup of tea. He did remind me to watch the rest of Castlevania on Netflix, which I’ll be doing this weekend.

Like Karandi, I too love the music and characters and over-the-top plots. Considering tv shows that are popular these days some of the anime I watch seems on par when it comes to oddness, but there’s definitely a difference due to the medium itself. Having that oddness animated and then taken to DefCon Levels of Exaggeration is most of the fun with these shows. Today I even admit to the admin that I loved anime music so much I usually listen to that more than anything else. I’m a total anime soundtrack junkie and even have specific playlists for exercising, chilling out, etc…. Kuroshitsuji is my go-to for plane trips for zoning out/falling asleep. When I’m gardening? Totally a mix of all seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou. Maybe I’m hoping I’ll find yokai in my yard.

I don’t write about anime much here anymore, but I still very much love it and still watch it.

I think I’ve rambled on enough now. I’m still on the fence with myself and my style, but maybe that’s because I’m over-thinking it and need stop thinking about that and DO things I love again. Thank you for reading thus far. Now have a good weekend.

 

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