Well I had a blog post all drafted out which I was getting ready to post, but then I was second-guessing myself and wondering whether it was a little cringey, or too much information. It was about how I owe it to myself, after everything I have experienced and complained about endlessly, to be as beautiful as I can possibly be, both on the outside and on the inside. It is like I am taking that energy within me which has come from a negative source, and deliberately redirecting it to something positive.
Additionally, I have deliberately been dressing very very simply for simply years now. Except for some Nigerian parties, going to church, and other events where you can’t really get away with exaggerated simplicity. I do not regret these past years of simplicity. I am instead very grateful for them as they have allowed me to reconnect with myself, and a sense of humility regarding my appearance. As unattractive as it may be to admit this, the truth is that when I am too conscious of my own appearance, and “looking good”, I can lose myself beneath all those layers of makeup and become fixated instead on how I look.
All the same, truth be told I am now at a point where I am simply bored with all these simple outfits. I want to exercise my big imagination and big creativity in the area of my dressing as well as elsewhere. You know, as I write this two things occur to me:
Firstly (although this occurred to me as the second thought): I need to make the “simple me” the default me. I always assumed that the well-dressed me was my default but considering humility and holiness and Christlikeness, it makes more sense to do it this way.
Secondly I’ve been watching a few fairytales and thinking of a few fairytales recently. You know that trope where there are say, two sisters, for example, and one is makeup free, naturally beautiful and pure and kind, and sings to all the birds etc, while the other is perennially angry, frowning, under layers of make up. How profound this trope would be if both these “sisters” turned out to be the same person, just expressing herself in different ways at different times! I think that this is the most powerful way of thinking of any such comparison; not you versus someone else, but the best version of your own self versus the worst version of you.
So now the challenge is to resume dressing well, but in a way that retains a simplicity of heart, without becoming preoccupied with my own appearance, ideally in a way where I could switch between dressing up and dressing down, and still being the same person either way and offering to people not a preoccupation with my own self, but rather a true focus on love and grace and kindness.
To start with, I am going to focus on internal beauty. I am a Christian and this has to be my overwhelming priority, always. You know, this is not about a husband, or getting married. This is first and foremost a personal priority for my life, regardless of whether or not I get married.
In practice, what this means is systematically ridding my heart of all the evil thoughts that I have allowed to get rooted there, and instead replacing them with thoughts of kindness, grace and patience. Learning to frequently check in with myself. Being able to evaluate myself and know when I need to try harder etc.
Then when I am sure that I have mastered this, then I can expand my range to looking physically lovely too! OK, I mean that even from the outset I will consciously make an effort to look good, but I will maybe stick to wearing the same basic outfits so I can concentrate more headspace on cultivating internal beauty. Then when I feel as if I have adequately mastered internal beauty, then I can focus more on being very creative with external beauty.