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Meeting up with a friend and thinking about clothes

I’m still adjusting to being me. I’ve revisited Pema Chodron’s book as I tend to find whatever bit I start reading is often helpful. So she talks about the state of impermanence. How as human beings we long for solid ground beneath our feet, to give us a sense of security. Discovering that you are “different” at such a late stage of life means I am hugely aware of the shifting ground beneath my feet!

I spent some time with a friend this week who is also neurodivergent. With her I felt able to “show my true colours” which was weird as I’m not even sure what my true colours are!

It at time feels very discombobulating but if I use my wardrobe as a metaphor, not even a metaphor actually but an outward manifestation of who I am, it is quite helpful, even reassuring. So going back years I have bought items that I have really liked but then have rarely worn as I didn’t have the nerve. I’ve not wanted to draw attention to myself via my outfit. Maybe the item has been a bit bright or too eye catching. During covid however I started playing “dressing up”. Every day I would choose a new outfit. I would put together different items in a playful way, see how they worked. Of course it never mattered if I looked strange or eye catching, there was no one outside our bubble to notice. Since covid I have carried on with my fun game. I have been a lot bolder about my choices. I have divided my wardrobe into seasons so that each season has a limited range of clothes (based on colours and textures) and then I have to mix and match within that narrow range. It is a game I play every morning. One of the things I’ve noticed is how I have started wearing items that have languished at the back of the wardrobe. Before I had trouble using them but now I have a new eye.

These espadrille slippers were one such item which I am now wearing quite often. I bought them because I loved the tassels and then rarely wore them. We have loads of stairs in our house so they tend to slip off as I shoot up and down, but I just have to leave them at the bottom and then put them back on when I come back down. A good metaphor really, playful, slightly awkward but maybe worth the effort?

So I am a bit uncertain of who I am behind my lifelong mask of fitting in, of how my true neurodivergent self will present. But maybe I should take confidence from my wardrobe choices, about being playful, bringing different items together, layering and exploring, outfits don’t always work 100% but it is never really catastrophic, mistakes can be made and learnt from.

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