I spent a chunk of the day at the beach yesterday, doing research for characters I’m illustrating on a project I can’t talk about. But there’s water. And characters. And I really needed to see how waves fall when the water is intensely wavy which is something you don’t generally see on the lakes I’ve been to in Northern Ontario.
I chose Lake Huron because I swear it never stops rolling. The silt in the water is a constant so even a few inches into the water, you can’t see a thing.
Walking around the touristy area, searching for lunch, had me in one of those shops where you can buy anything you’d possibly need at the beach from goggles to water shoes to dresses and swimsuits. All brightly coloured and so inexpensive you feel ridiculous passing up a deal.
So I bought a dress for myself. No biggie, right?
I haven’t bought, nor worn, a dress since 1998, and it was my wedding dress. Not even shitting you. And I think prior to that, I owned maybe two dresses in the 90s that weren’t my wedding dress.
I put it on when I got home and was instantly uncomfortable. What the HELL was I thinking? I am not a dress person.
I thought maybe it didn’t look good on me so I turned to my brutally honest teenager for feedback and she assured me it looked great, the issue was my confidence in wearing it.
And I realised she was, of course, right. I stepped out of my clothing comfort zone big time with this dress. I wore it all evening but the feeling of missing my pants was huge the whole time. Feeling half dressed. Maybe not even built for wearing a dress.
Where are my pants? OY!
But see, I’ve dressed mainly one way my whole life and I know that nothing changes if nothing changes, right?
And I know from absorbing Queer Eye on Netflix that clothing can profoundly affect everything about a person. (Also, if you haven’t seen Queer Eye yet, FFS go watch it! They surround a person with so much love and change everything about them!).
Since five gay dudes aren’t about to descend on me.. hang on… just wait… maybe I’ll get lucky….nope…Since they aren’t going to descend on me to change things for me, I gotta do it myself.
Maybe a dress isn’t my thing, I haven’t worn it long enough to decide, but either way I’ll know for sure because I tried it out. Not because I rejected it out of hand.
(Ask me about the time I spent two weeks in Spain eating goat cheese, which I really dislike, just to make sure I really disliked it. The jury is definitely in and “loathe” is probably a more accurate word for how I feel about goat cheese.)
As I move into my new life, I’m going to be doing more things like this. More stepping out of my comfort zone. Maybe more dramatic things than just wearing a dress. But right now? This feels pretty huge to me.
‘Scuse me while I go find my pants.