We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Jul 23, 2007

30 Days The memories packing brings

I spent the morning packing boxes and listing stuff on Craigslist. At one point I was going into the closet to pull my husbands sweaters and glanced at my side of the closet. And this is what I saw.
I love how it is full of flowery shirts. This has been a long process. I grew up in a house where clothing was usually navy blue and tan or gray and white. My mother's taste tended towards tweeds and denim while my father wore a business suite or Chinos with a navy blue tennis shirt everyday. My clothes were either hand me downs from older friends or bought along the lines of their tastes. As I grew older they felt like my own.

But I remember spending hours looking a catalogs with dresses and shirts with flowery patterns and light colors. I would wander through the neighborhood dress shops like some people do jewelry stores. But when it was time for a new dress they were usually very dignified or casual.

Slowly after I left home more feminine clothing entered my wardrobe but I still preferred blacks, blues and greens, and nothing to girly. It wasn't that I didn't like the colorful stuff it was just that I felt awkward wearing it.

After I meet my husband I was introduced to a new palette of colors for clothing. He wore oranges and browns and light blues. Since we were fairly close in size I found myself in his t-shirts and button downs often. It was a slow process but I eventually added more light colors to my closet. But the dresses and skirts and flowery prints still eluded. Then we moved to Denver where the summers are hot (I know I've mentioned this before) and so I started to wear skirts on hot days and well they've drifted into my life and I have begun to love them.
The flowers came along slowly first in blues then broadening. Until now the closet bursts with colors.

But I was trying to tell a story. Last Fall a childhood friend came for a week. We were getting ready to go out for a nice dinner and for fun I asked her to choose me clothing, like she used to years before. Before we got to my room she told me that I should wear something flowery, as a joke. She was surprised to see my closet and me causally saying 'but which one'.

My family is still surprised when they see me in anything other than jeans and t-shirts or some women's version of a male piece of clothes. The funny thing is if I map this change in wardrobe I see that it follows a more complex line of changes in me as a person. As I have become more confidant with who I am I have felt more at ease in my body and therefore more willing to wear different colors.

In a lot of ways I can thank Kevin for a lot of these changes. He has always been supportive of my choices and he never expects less of me since I am a woman. Yet he revels in my womanness. With this support I have been able to pursue the things that are important to me and not worry that he might be critical. Knowing that he is there loving me has allowed me to become more of who I am. From starting a non-profit to wearing dresses.

hmm... I think I'll go kiss him.

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