It’s the same pattern each time.
I sit staring at the online checkout.
Shipping address typed.
“Continue to payment,” it teases.
As the sun slowly slips under the mountains, a glaze of darkness spreads across the room. My eyes have not adjusted, as they have been glued to the curation of the perfect shopping basket displayed across the blaring white screen for the past hour or so.
My mind is constantly justifying each click.
The seasons are changing. That other jumper has a stain. I need that.
Sometimes, after a glass of red wine, my brain drains the guilt through the heat drawing down my veins, numbing my fingertips. And suddenly, I’m looking at a map of my home. My delivery destination.
I watch the minimalist Youtube channels and commit to a low-buy year. But every time I swipe a cheeky scroll, I am catapulted into another site of “must-haves” (now, I know about it). And I really believe myself when I say to myself,
After this order, I will have everything I need.
When the postman calls and the rush of endorphins hit until the tear of taped cardboard and fluster through trendy melt-away marshmallows, it never satisfies me as much as I thought.
That’s how they keep you.
As the air declares its cool sting down here in the southern hemisphere, I have sat folding the oodles of clothes I already have into seasonal boxes. I held each one—thousands of dollars worth of material. It made me feel nauseous.
The hours of my life I have invested into earning money for these unloved pieces of fabric. Hours I will never get back, stacked flat in drawers and hanging in dark closets, and drooping their shoulders over mismatch coat hangers. The clothes spent their lives staring at dark doors when they could have been out dancing, having their first kiss, thoughtfully picking up groceries, or sipping coffee with friends. They were designed and made, some in unthinkable circumstances, then purchased into space that offers them less than their colours and buttons deserve.
Some of those clothes, with all their promise and gleam, never really did love my body back. I am still working out what looks good on the current season of my canvas.
When you’re 30, you kind of feel like you’re still 20—figuring it out, just maybe with a little more poise and precision. It’s difficult to keep up with the maturing body I have now. The body that stands a little rounder, paints dimples and streaks with its movement in places I may have indulged in flaunting 10 years ago.
There’s a stubbornness to the softness of true feminine style. It’s kind of difficult to love the changes—but I try to. Every time I catch a photo of myself unposed, for some reason, it never looks like the woman I met in the mirror before the event. Maybe I’m too forgiving on my own reflection, standing slightly to the side to flatter those curves. Maybe just slightly holding my breath, belly sucked in, and lifting my chin.
We hold in our heart our own reflection differently than the reflection the world mirrors back to us. I remember a dear friend so miserable over a photo of herself and her partner, nit-picking what she felt to be her flaws. All I could see in that picture was the spark of pride and joy in her boyfriend’s eyes, arm wrapped around her majestic light.
People say beauty is on the inside—but I’m not sure that’s accurate.
I think when we are genuinely doing our best by ourselves and others, the beauty within is captured in the eyes, smiles, and skin of others.
When they say, “She lights up the room,” where does it come from?
Which window into her spirit is open enough for us to be captivated?
Isn’t that light what we should all be striving to wear?
I like finding the strokes of light beaming from others. The way the tips of my friend’s cheeks turn pink when she is happy and how another’s ponytail shines as it sways by the slight bounce in her step. The sweet laugh of my co-worker and the slither of silver in my partner’s beard—beauty resides in the there.
This time, I didn’t press the proceed to checkout button.
I’m almost 100 percent sure no one will notice I’m not wearing this season’s style.
Clothes deserve to be worn as much as I make in my hours at work, and it deserves to be consciously and sacredly spent.
Nothing we buy will develop our essence more than nourishing the light within.
Open it up. It looks great on you.