Band-Aids

February 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

I suppose my biggest struggle in going home will be fighting a feeling of shame. I have been very vocal about how little I respect all the kids who graduated from college and moved home because they “couldn’t get a job” or who got a job but still live at home because they like not having responsibilities and a lot of spending money. I have no patience for these people. Get a job. Move the fuck out of your parents’ house. Stand on your own two feet. Be an adult.

So I feel a bit of shame when I tell people that I’m moving back home, even if it is temporarily. I want to emphasize that I was a success, not a failure, that I had a job and was enrolled in an MA program and had a great apartment on Capitol Hill but that I made the *choice* to go home. I don’t have to go home because of money or emotional need or laziness. I don’t have to go home at all. But I’m making the choice to go home. I’m choosing to go home at this juncture in life because I feel it will give me the time and opportunity to really get down to business on my PhD applications. I have no intention of staying with my parents, and I’ll know this time next year if I got into PhD or not, so I’ll know if I need to start applying to jobs or not. This is temporary. This was my choice, not something I was forced to do. I am doing it for all the right reasons. Yet I still feel like a failure.

I’m combating this in two ways. Firstly, I’m not telling everyone that I’m moving home, instead I’m just telling the people I really respect. They’re the ones who will most understand why I am doing it, and will assure me that they know I’m not going home because I “couldn’t make it” on my own in the big city or in grad school. I owned that shit. They all know I came here with no job and no place to live, but that I made it happen for myself. I got a job within two weeks of being here. I got an apartment within a month of being here. I changed jobs until I found the best one that suited my needs. I got into grad school and I kicked ass at it. They understand I am going home for the right reasons. Selective telling is helpful because it filters out the bullshit responses I could be getting from people I don’t much care about. People I respect understand and appreciate what I’m doing so I should not feel ashamed.

Secondly, I’m changing my look. That sounds superficial, but in Lady World, it can have a huge impact on how a woman feels about herself. I’ve done a first round of clearing out my closet of all the things that don’t fit or that I don’t wear. I need to do another round, though. I bought some new clothes to fill the gaps in my wardrobe, new clothes that will make me feel more like the woman I want to be, someone elegant and stylish but still casual. My new make-up, too, is simple but effective. I want to feel attractive and mature. I want to look like I’m a successful human being who is “going places.” I want to feel better about myself. I would like a new hairstyle to go with this, but I get nervous about cutting my hair because it can (and has!) go so wrong.

Took some photos of my baby steps into fashion adulthood. I bought my first pair of shorts in five years last night and I have been trying to build enough confidence in myself so that when spring comes I’ll actually wear them. They are very comfortable, as are all the new clothes I’m buying. I’m getting rid of everything that is uncomfortable because there’s simply no reason to be uncomfortable in your clothes. So here goes.

with pumps on. (they help me feel and look more sophisticated)

no shoes, less confident. shorter, stubbier.

no cardigan and bad posture! I’ll work on it. also, I should probably work on my facial expressions because I look a bit blase or deer-in-headlights in these pictures. building confidence one stone at a time! it’s slow going, I guess.

I will try to post more outfit pictures in the coming weeks in an effort to reshape myself in appearance so emotionally I’ll start to believe it before I make the big move home. I have nothing to be ashamed of and my actions are not hypocritical, especially since while I’m living next door to my parents I’ll be studying my ass off for the GRE and taking French language courses at one of the local universities. And painting. I should really paint. One of my very good friends invited me to do some volunteer activities on the weekends with him as well, so I’ll be active! No sitting on my laurels for this girl! So that makes me feel better. Baby steps, folks, baby steps.

Oh, and just if you’re curious, here are the haircuts I’ve been considering for about a year now (I’ve also been toying with an Emma Watson-style pixie cut, but I know I would hate it if I did it):

Of course it’s important to remember that my hair texture is very different than the hair texture of these ladies, and I don’t have a professional stylist to do my hair every day… I like the angled cut of the bottom picture, though. Last time I cut my hair that short, I got it cut straight across and I h.a.t.e.d. it. An angled cut like that with bangs might help me feel less like a 12 yr old and more like a mature, stylish adult. Ah, we’ll see!

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