Day-to-day, I’m pretty good at keeping it simple. But every once in a while a wind of change blows through and I’m overcome with the urge to be FANCY. To have new cute outfits every day and switch out purses like there’s paparazzi lurking outside, just waiting to catch me repeating a look.
One thing I’ve noticed about this pattern is that this urge typically arrives at two different times: When I’m bored, or when things feel out of control. Apparently, upping my style strategy is how my mind deals with life at the far ends of the spectrum.
Thankfully, most of life is lived in the middle, with me in jeans & a t-shirt, dragging around the same bag and wearing flip-flops long past the date where my toes should be back in hibernation. And as I think about this pattern, I see that I like these changes, the brief forays into REALLY thinking about how I present myself in the world and wondering if there’s some other way I might like better. Because when I’m bored or when I’m stressed, I need distraction. Otherwise I start strategizing about bigger things, making new excitement or escape plans, most of which would make excellent movie plot lines but I wouldn’t want to follow through on in actual life. (And I must admit that after each phase of FANCY ends, I revert back to my regular style, but with the renewed awareness of what I’ve known since I was three: dressing up is fun).
I don’t have a deep philosophical point here, except to say that in a culture obsessed with self-improvement and identifying our negative patterns, there’s probably equal benefit from recognizing the coping techniques we’ve acquired along the way that work, that help us restore equilibrium (or at least wait it out until the boredom/chaos passes) without upending our lives.
For me, wondering how life here in fleece & Birkenstocks Cambridge might be spiced up with this green leather jacket over sequins ensemble (designed by my friend Heidi, who is from a fancier land!) works pretty well.
What’s your most enjoyable coping technique?