Believe me when I say, getting older has it’s positives. True, it also has it’s challenges – but it’s not all ‘downhill all the way’ – and it’s worth bearing that in mind as the years gallop by – because with it comes a peculiar confidence that only old ladies can muster, a wisdom that only years of experiences can teach and a certain comfortableness that only years of learning to live with yourself can usher in.
But the challenges that ageing brings along are pesky and often, despite all that is written on almost every topic imaginable – some of them are a complete and utter shock to you – it doesn’t matter how prepared you think you are – when they appear in your life, you are appalled you didn’t see them coming.
And in recent times I have found myself riding a challenge that I could never have imagined besetting me – losing confidence in myself.
My YouTube video this week charts my complete crumpling over suddenly not knowing what the hell to wear for my eldest son’s graduation. It sounds pathetic I know, Heather doesn’t like her outfit – boohoo! But my issue goes deeper than just a bit of dithering over what frock to wear.
Because I find myself these days not knowing what to wear for events – what is appropriate for a fifty something?
Of course I have read articles telling me we can wear what the hell we like – there are no limits to our choices – we are empowered. Except I don’t feel very empowered.
Do I look like Mutton dressed as Lamb?; does it make me look matronly? Fat? Is it too casual or too formal? Suddenly every event and every outfit is a trap waiting to happen.
What makes this all the more stupid – is that I have always been decisive and completely comfortable in my choices. So where has this crisis in confidence come from?
Well – it’s Age.
With age has brought a change in shape. I don’t like it, but it seems stubborn and resistant to being shifted and as it stands right this minute, I have to accept and deal with it – it doesn’t just melt away because I want it to. And lets face it if I want to breathe, shapewear can only do so much!
But it isn’t just the change of shape – it is the constant second guessing – feeling undecided about the appropriateness of the outfit I have chosen – I swing from being completely satisfied to jibbering wreck in seconds – I seem able to listen to this negative and disturbing voice in my head that is saying – no no no and then it doesn’t matter how much of a positive spin I want to put on things – the damage is done!
I feel a need to feel comfortable in myself and that tends to mean a preference for something more casual, and low key – the last thing I seem to want to do is draw attention to myself – in fact I find myself wanting to merge ever more successfully in to the wall paper – and that is so unlike me, I feel like I must be talking about someone else.
Where has this new, wall flower personality come from? Why has age stripped me of my inner confidence and acceptable personal image.
I thought it was only teenagers that had this crushing sense of worthlessness – in fact, in truth, I actually don’t think my teenage self ever worried herself with something so irrelevant – I knew who I was and knew what she looked good in.
Alas this seems to have evaporated along with all my estrogen and I am struggling to know how I go about recapturing something that had previously been so easy.
This week we (the family) attending our eldest Son’s graduation ceremony – an important red letter day in our boy’s life and certainly one that warranted a new outfit, for sure.
Several weeks ago I bought outfit number 1 – from Hush, it is a black plain knit dropped waist dress that I decided I would wear more like a tunic with tights or leggings – so when I tried it on 2 nights before the big day – I suddenly felt seized with panic that the dropped waist looked too twee and girly and with jaundiced eye I failed to see the charm of the outfit that had drawn me to buy it – I simply didn’t think I could carry off. (click on the photos for a closer look)
In a panic – I ordered from NEXT – (with next day delivery) Outfit 2 and 3 and gave over the decision of which outfit to wear to the family – husband, daughter and youngest son all chose outfit 2 (Katy and my sister also picked number 2 from the photos) – and so I wore outfit number 2.
If I am honest – I felt much happier in outfit 2 and certainly felt more comfortable than I would had I have stuck with my original choice – but it still wasn’t perfect and I still felt I wanted to hide. It didn’t matter what I said to myself – I still had this annoying voice telling me that it wasn’t exactly right – but I shushed it to more of an annoying whine than anything truly disturbing and I can’t help but be pleased that NEXT is so speedy at delivery!!!
So crisis dampened down rather than averted altogether but it still leaves me hating this new facet to myself that seems to have settled with me most unwelcomely!
Am I alone in this feeling? And if not – what have you done to alleviate it/beat it?