Winds of Change

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Top: Anthropologie Dusk Peony Blouse
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Civico 10 
Earrings: Tree and Kimble

"Little bird have you got a key? Unlock the lock inside of me. Feeling old until the wings unfolded. Caught me a long wind. A long life wind." - Feist

I've been thinking a lot about value systems lately. We all have different things that are important to us. Things that define who we are and give our life meaning. What do you do if you discover your value system is wrong? How do you change a way of thinking that you've been practicing for so long? Tonight, I'm struggling with these very questions.

I put too much value on outward appearance. I'm not sure when the seed was first planted. Junior high perhaps, when my appearance became the butt of jokes? Maybe it was the influence of my perfectionist mom or of my sister, the homecoming queen, who is 9 years my elder. Maybe it was Corporate America's fault, or maybe it wasn't any outside influence at all and just my own faulty thinking. Whatever the case, the idea was sown in my mind that my value as a person is directly correlated with my outward appearance. This is an idea that has greatly diminished my quality of life over the years.

I've been a slave to it. Spending countless hours and money on makeup, hair products, and yes, clothing.   I've had times where I couldn't leave the house because I felt too ugly to go out into the world. I've let it ruin times that I did go out because I felt like a loser because everyone looked better than me. I don't want to live my life like this anymore. I want to enjoy my love of fashion without letting it control me. I want to leave the house with no makeup and still feel good about myself. I want to be free of this burden. I'm on a journey to change my way of thinking. I don't know where I'm going, but at least I've begun.  

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Caught a Long Wind - Feist


CONVERSATION

22 comments:

  1. This is my favorite post I've read on this blog. Very heartening to read this. Good luck on your journey.

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  2. Thanks for the positive vibes, guest! I really need them today.

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  3. I'm happy to hear this. It's so easy to get caught up in appearances and "things" and lose focus on what really counts in the end. I hope things work out for you!

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  4. I think society as a whole places a lot of emphasis on outward appearance. In reality, it isn't what you look like in your lifetime, it's what you do. Good luck on this journey!

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  5. I can definitely relate to this post! I'm the middle of 3 girls, and I was always told by everyone when I was younger that my sisters were sooooo pretty. I was the smart one; they were the pretty ones. I was envious of them. And then something happened in college, and suddenly I was getting alot of attention from boys. It was fun to be thought of as attractive. I was so happy because it seemed like everyone around me placed so much importance on it. The problem is that I'm in my mid-40's now, and although I look like I'm in my mid-30's, my appearance is fading. I know I've gotten things in life because of my looks...whether it be men, a job, etc., so I have placed alot of value in it. Now that it's gone (or going), I have to find other ways to find value in myself. It's tough growing old. I know this seems shallow but I wish I'd get the attention from men that I used to get. It made me feel good about myself. It's sad really that I don't feel good about myself when I no longer receive those compliments or attention. I know I need to focus on my inner qualities instead of my outward appearance, but it isn't easy. So if you can figure it out now while you're younger, please let me know because I obviously need help!

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  6. I actually don't agree that it's "what you do" either. I don't think it's about how many things you can accomplish in life. Society places too much importance on that as well. It's about being true to yourself, and having good, solid relationships with people who matter to you. It's about being a good person, and treating others well.

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  7. LOL. You and every other woman in the Western world.
    Have you considered doing some volunteer work or otherwise finding a way to get out and help other people? It is often a good way to overcome a habitual obsession with yourself.

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  8. The thing that struck me first was your statement that you think your value system was wrong to begin with, for so long. I don't know that I would whole heartedly agree with that. You valuing looking good and making every desirable asset you have sparkle (in public) is not really wrong. Self awareness like that is what keeps us separate from the folks who think that sauntering out of the house wearing tube tops, hot pants and UGG boots while sporting an extra 50 pounds is perfectly acceptable. I think that letting it limit your enjoyment in life is what's wrong, a mistake too many of us let happen early in life. From everything I've read it seems you're starting to line up the rest of your life behind the recent decisions you've made. Your values are changing, and that's perfectly fine, everyone's values should change over the course of time. Some of the core ones remain (as they should) the same, the peripheral ones change. I can't imagine putting the same value on the things and ideas I held in high respect at 20, now at 40. I think it would make me a very close minded, stunted individual. Sort of like the people you describe from your past, the ones who made so much effort to control you. You think? Maybe? :) Please just don't start investing in Walmart Fashion, bedazzled tube tops are never a good idea, no matter what your value system is.

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  9. Oh Lisa, I love this comment. I feel judged and misunderstood by so many people, so when someone "gets" it, it feels really good. You have brought a big 'ole smile to my face. Thank you so much!

    P.S. I was in Walmart tonight and was very tempted to purchase a sparkly tube top just for you. ;-)

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  10. Yeah, it's an epidemic. I think volunteering is a great idea, but I think saying I have a habitual obsession with myself is a little harsh.

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  11. Totally feel you on this. My older sister was always told she was pretty, and she put so much importance on it. I guess I was doomed from the start. After 3 kids and 34 years, my body isn't what it used to be, so it's been difficult adjusting. I know there are so many things in life more important than appearance, but it's difficult when society puts so much emphasis on it. I plan on documenting my journey through this blog. I hope you find some things on here that can help you in your own journey.

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  12. Don't want to put words in her mouth, but I don't know that Anika's mom was thinking quantity. It appears that the 2 of you probably agree. Being a good person and treating others well turns out to be an option for what you do.

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  13. first of all your photos and that blouse to die for, the background is so beautiful that I feel to move to NC ASAP :). second of all majority of women want to look good, always and forever. if you read history of fashion, red lipstick, shaving legs and wearing nylons became very popular after WWII. Women need/want to look their best to feel happier and IMO there is nothing wrong with that.

    p.s. what kind of lens do you use with your SLR camera. is it L series?

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  14. Train-wreck-engineerNovember 19, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Alas no L lenses in my near future. I am taking all contributions though. LOL. This is the 50mm 1.4 that I use the majority of the time in these shoots. I like the low light friendliness and the short depth of field that it provides. Not always shooting it wide open, but when I want that dreamy look that only 1.4 aperture can give you... That's my go to lens with STF but you've also seen the 24-105mm and even the 10-22mm.

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  15. I calls 'em as I sees 'em.

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  16. Bonnie, you can't beat yourself up for caring about how you look and present yourself to the world! There is nothing wrong with that. Now, if it become detrimental to you and hurts you in some way, be it financially or socially, then that is a different story and is perhaps something to maybe adjust in your life. I think there is a healthy balance. Being too hard on yourself is also detrimental.

    Love the colors in that blouse on you! You look so very fall! Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving planned for you and your loved ones. Are you braving the Black Friday shopping at all? Do you think Anthro will have a Black Friday sale?

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  17. deep thoughts, bonnie! good for you. although, gotta say, i think clothes and fashion are meant to be enjoyed...life would be pretty dull otherwise. but good for you, for thinking beyond them. love the fall colors behind you as the background to the gorgeous dusk peony!

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  18. By the way, you look unbelievably beautiful tonight. You're practically glowing!

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  19. I think you are absolutely glowing in the photos of your past few entries.

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  20. glad to hear things are going well. I starting writing the bottom part before reading your post, so while this may not be appropriate per the topic...

    I just wanted to let you know that I really love most of your outfits and you have a great eye for color and shape combinations... but this one didn't strike me as flattering. you have a great body and figure, and the oversized, puffy nature of the top plus the (slighty-shapeless) long skirt doesn't do you justice. hope you take this as constructive criticism and don't feel offended!

    as for what you were talking about... I have been lately feeling terrible and ugly because a nasty rash/acne thing attacked my face and has not gone away in over a month. It makes me feel so ugly, and I feel so insecure that I won't go out without trying to cover it up. I used to go anywhere with or without makeup, I hate feeling that the makeup is necessary.Also, my hair has decided to revolt and I am losing a ton, and the texture has gone yucky. I just can't seem to feel pretty!
    BTW I think you're beautiful, and I don't think you should have to hold yourself to photoshopped images of women to feel beautiful. Some effort is always good, but it doesn't have to be EVERY day or so time consuming!

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