On Thanksgiving, I’ll be wearing this $7 striped dress from Goodwill. Cute, right? I found it while hunting for our Halloween costumes, and I knew it would be the perfect little special occasion dress and elevate-the-every-day work dress. We took these pictures at Squire’s Castle
, one of my favorite parks in Cleveland. It’s this dress that inspired what I wanted to write about it when it came to my feelings on gratitude this year.
I realize this is just a dress, but it and other things I’ve thrifted or repurposed over the years holds a lot of meaning for me. It represents a resourcefulness that I’ve discovered in myself to take what life has given me and make the most of it. I can’t afford my dream wardrobe. Well, truthfully I probably can, but if I spent my money on that I would have nothing left in my savings account. And, my dream wardrobe has far too many dresses, fussy heels, and sequins for my actual day-to-day life. That’s why it’s called a “dream wardrobe.” Something to aspire to that inspires my actual wardrobe and occasionally leads me to ask for gold sequin pants for Christmas that I’ll only wear once a year. We all have one or two items like that in our wardrobe, right?
Just like any idealized version of reality, dreams of achieving perfection can sometimes cause us to be envious of others who we believe have achieved this sort of state of nirvana, and worst of all, it can cause us to stop being grateful for what we DO have. But the reality of the situation is that what we do have is so much better than a dream. A dream can be something that inspires you to take a leap of faith and elevate the every day, which is amazingly helpful when you need motivation. But sometimes I think we can forget that a dream is only a dream. As inspirational as it can be, it can also be fake, shallow, and two dimensional. And truthfully, reality is so much more satisfying. Because of it’s twists and turns, reality challenges you to take what DO have and make it interesting, different, fun, quirky, and uniquely you.
That is why I love writing a style blog so much. It doesn’t have to be about buying certain brands so that I can fit into a particular mold and get more followers. It’s taking the clothes I do have and styling them in a different way. It’s walking into a thrift store not knowing what I’ll walk out with. It’s taking something old and making it new again. It’s realizing that what you have already is exactly what you needed in the first place.
I’ve been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast
lately, and I would highly recommend it if you are a creative soul or if you just need a nice, encouraging person to listen to. In an episode where she interviews comedian John Hodgman, he talks about how he feels when embarking on new creative endeavors. Instead of feeling fear or anxiety to try something he’s never done before, he described feeling grateful for the opportunity to be creative. I loved hearing that sentiment because it is something I relate to, and I don’t think that philosophy has to stop there. I would like to extend the idea of being grateful for the chance to be creative to my everyday life. Instead of getting frustrated that something isn’t going the way I planned, I would like to tackle the unplanned with a little creativity and be grateful for the chance to do so.
After a year that was challenging in different ways — from the political to the personal — I am grateful that with a little creativity and vision, you can make the most out of what you have, and sometimes, it can be better than what you dreamed. I think this can easily be true of wardrobes. And with a little bit of effort, I think you can make it true in your life as well.