While I was running errands today, I saw a woman who really caught my attention. She was striking in her appearance….very simple and classy. Her face bore the bronze lines of distinction of a woman maybe in her late 60s with a trendy, short cut for her silver streaked hair. I was envious of her thin physique which she clothed in straight leg jeans, sandals, an artistic graphic T of tans, browns and greys topped with a rustic tan cardigan. She carried a classic leather bag and caught my eye because she walked with strength and confidence which is always attractive. He straight, “shoulders back” posture reflected the confidence she exuded; yet, I felt like she was approachable with no walls built around her. I wondered if she was always strong as she appeared or if there was a time, like with me and some of you that she faced the need for change and inspiration.

 Have some of you read through this blog from the beginning and still not seen the need to go from frumpy to fabulous? Maybe, acting like you don’t care has become easy or is your form of rebellion. Or you think, “I have no other options…this is the way it is and has to be”. Or you just feel tired. I struggled with it all. Prior to the driver’s license incident, I lived and walked through many different emotions and scenarios. There was a cast of characters who had commented on my dress for years; all family members. I just could not get it right. Through three children, three C-sections, and a hysterectomy, I gained weight. The weight just dragged out the problem of what to do with my looks and always made things more complicated. It was so hard to please all of these people and be overweight at the same time! It was easier to walk away from the mirror than try to create the image all the naysayers wanted reflected in it. Around this same time; I began to associate with some very wealthy women. Their children were friends with my children and I also began to teach their children. I really wanted their acceptance; their friendship. However, I was only allowed into their circle so far. For whatever reason, I was not asked to join in with their social clubs…supper clubs, evenings out, etc. It may have been because of the way I looked and I certainly received it that way. But, I did not have the income to spend on expensive clothing as they did. It may have been other reasons. I will admit that sometimes, I tried too hard to look fashionable. I mean, really too hard…I cringe when I think about some of those glittering, shimmering disasters! Hot pink capri pants covered in colorful martini glasses might give you some idea of what I am referring to. This crazy path led me through a state of rebellion and confusion right at the timeI turned 50. It was my way of throwing all of my self- esteem issues back in the faces of everyone I felt were judging me. I thought it was too late anyway and this was the way I looked and the way it would stay.

As I said, looking into my reflection on What Not to Wear opened my own eyes to just how bad I looked. My appearance literally said that I did not care about life. I tell you all of this, because you have to want to change your look for no one else but YOU. As my style began to reflect me, I grew in confidence and everything around me changed for the better.

I am going to end with this picture of a drawer knob. I have had the same chest-of-drawers for years and last spring one of the handles broke off. I just left it broken for months because I did not want to face changing it and I wasn’t sure how to change it. Recently, I replaced the two handles with these porcelain drawer knobs, and I LOVE THEM! It really changes and improves the look of the chest. Don’t let fear hold you back, just go for it! Start with small changes, but make a commitment to change. Stop the excuses. You can look better no matter what you have going on right now. You will be surprised at just how good you feel about everything around you. Do this for YOU!

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”

Stacey Charter, cancer survivor

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