Yesterday was an interesting day.
First, my blog post on dabbling earlier this week caught career coach Laura Simms' eye and she included a link to it in her weekly newsletter for Create As Folk. I never really know who's reading around here, so it was just as cool as it was anxiety-provoking to watch the page views rise.
From that anxiety, I found myself in the middle of clothing anxiety, brought on by an event I attend each year that was last night.
Back in October, I started a serious Project 333 journey, i.e. constructing a small capsule closet to wear for three months, in this case through the end of the year.
On Wednesday evening, I tried on the red cocktail dress I had set aside for fancy affairs like this one ... and I wasn't happy. It was tight around the waist and not quite the right length. (And it was colder than expected last night.)
My MO in this situation would typically be to run out the next day, drop in to my favorite local boutiques, a few resale shops, maybe a department store or two and dig through the sale racks to find something else that was "perfect."
But when I committed to Project 333, I committed to only wearing those items, to not shopping on a whim, to not adding to my closet until January 1.
My stomach gurgled. My heart beat a little faster. I didn't want to wear the dress. I tried on everything and anything (which out of 33 items isn't very much really) that might possibly in some way work for a fancy affair. I wasn't happy with anything else in my closet either.
I lusted over retailer emails that just happened to drop in my box yesterday advertising shimmery royal blue sequined tops and dressy wide leg pants — On Sale! — and thought, "That's exactly what I'd like to be wearing!" I wrangled with how to justify a shopping trip.
At one point, I even considered not going to the festivities at all. (As an introvert, this is a pretty easy thing to fall back on. Big parties make me antsy. Big parties when I don't feel appropriately clothed, whatever appropriately means anyway, make me antsy and uncomfortable.)
And then I sat with the anxiety.
I dug deep.
I texted a friend for support. Called my hair stylist and had her trim my bangs. Grabbed a pair of scissors and shortened the dress. Found some hose in my drawer with a bit o' support around the mid-region.
And I went.
I'm so glad I did. I hugged friends and smiled for pics and drank champagne and danced — oh, yes, I danced!
And while I drove myself a bit batty, and I still have pangs of doubt about how I looked in that dress, and I'm a little queasy about how I'm going to look in all those pics in this particular dress ... I also know it takes ongoing, committed practice to change a lifetime of habits. And, honestly, I'm pretty darn sure no one else even noticed.