If I told you I got a job because of a pair of sweatpants would you believe me?
It’s finally “stupid pants” weather (ie: fleece-lined sweatpants) and I can’t take these out without thinking back to 2 years ago when I first tried on these sweatpants and decided to make a post about them in a FB group related to a fashion blog I had been reading for years.
That post would be the catalyst for a job that would take me through nearly a year and a half of fashion blogging.
I thought maybe I’d feel some sort of way pulling them out this year. Sadness, anger, etc. But no, I felt joy. Joy in recalling the discovery that the most implausible sweatpants were actually perfect (I mean, really, wide-leg, high-waisted sweatpants shouldn’t work). It also reminded me that I didn’t land the job because of my fashion choices – I can’t take credit for discovering the pants, that was another blogger – but because of the way my words connected with people. We found silliness in the stupid pants. Revelled in someone new buying them and trying them on and having them work (or not). Swapped ideas on styling them. We made a stupid pant community if you will. It had nothing to do with style, it had to do with being real.
Maybe fashion blogging has never been for me (or the type of fashion blogging I was engaged in). There was always a part of me that felt uncomfortable with it. Maybe I didn’t feel I could truly be myself and that’s partially baked into the reality of how you make money as a fashion blogger. Because my real self is stupid pants and a graphic tee. When you spend 80% of your life feeling crappy (yay autoimmune diseases) and prepared for a nap at any moment, duvet-chic as I coined it, is of upmost importance. The newest distressed designer jean and dry-clean only cashmere isn’t going to cut it with my chronic illnesses and 3 feral children running amok. My real self is someone who likes to follow social media accounts of fashionable individuals with all different style tastes, but I realize that it’s not something I want to emulate but rather appreciate.
Sometimes I felt like I was putting on my “blogger self” and shedding it later like a pair of discarded pants for a try-on haul that were definitely going to be returned later. I wasn’t consciously inauthentic; I was trying to be everything to all people and by the end I wasn’t able to be me. (To be clear, I think bloggers/influencers should get to decide what they show to the world and some things should be just for them. Performative authenticity is the worst though). I wish there had been more time to explore what “being me” meant and maybe focusing more on writing and not fashion, but that wasn’t the name of the game and things probably played out for the best in the long run.
It’s been a weird year. Six months have gone by since I lost an identity that I had really leaned into – hard – for nearly 18 months: Fashion Blogger. I was consumed by it. Proud of it. I was unsure who I was without it. And this isn’t a neat post that I’ll tie up with a bow and tell you that through cacao elixir’s, yoga and Eat, Love, Praying myself around the globe I found who I am and life is a million times better. Some days it is, some days it isn’t. Some days I’m content with my life, some days I’m excited about the future, other days I’m angry with the cards that 2022 dealt me. But I’m trying to accept where I’m at and stay curious about what is coming. Because when you remove something from your life it opens the door to explore something new. Or revisit something. Or gives time for reflection to figure out what it was that you actually loved about the thing that used to be your identity.
For me it’s always been about writing. Creating. Connecting with people. It was never really about the fashion and maybe I just had to learn that the hard way to discover my next big thing. Or my next little thing. Or just enjoy the calm between the chaos which is raising children, running a home, dealing with autoimmune diseases, etc. As my BFF astutely pointed out when they quoted Tolkien:
“It is not bad thing to celebrate a quiet life.”