So – after quite a looooooong time – I decided to make a pit stop here to walk through the end of the project.
In short, grad school was the death of this. It didn’t happen quickly – I made it about ten months – but eventually, I needed new yoga pants, new t-shorts, new supportive undergarments for movement class – the whole nine yards.
And it was the end of my blogging career, as well; I loved graduate school wholeheartedly and fully, but it took up nearly every creative thought in my mind (and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.) The idea of writing anything after a long day of Shakespeare and vocal training and acting class and rehearsal was woefully exhausting.
I’m now 30, four years out from the project, and my relationship to my wardrobe has changed deeply – and for the better. I’m really, really happy I did that, and I’m also really, really happy to put it behind me. I moved, after the end of my graduate program, to New York, where my acting career is going well and will hopefully flourish (fingers crossed you’ll be seeing and/or hearing me around your commercials or TV shows). New York on an actress’s budget is never generous, and I have finally quit my retail day job – which helps to keep the temptations to a minimum – but even so, I spent money freely and happily on clothes that could (no probably about it) be better served elsewhere.
But – I no longer break my budget for clothes. I’m better about saying no, much better, and I understand that my relationship with my wardrobe is not related to my self-worth or my concrete happiness. I no longer buy clothes that don’t suit my lifestyle, and I think the wonderful thing about 30 (as everyone says) is knowing who I am, what I like and what flatters me, and embracing being myself.
So – my style for the future includes lots of dark jeans and herringbone trousers, classic or artistic blouses, big earrings or statement necklaces and boots, paired with the leather jacket I bought on sale this spring and the faux fur scarf I picked up last fall. I’m much happier these days to buy statement pieces I love and expect to use for years, to pair with my this season’s t-shirt and leggings or skirt. (And my long-curated wardrobe, much of it sold in San Diego but all my favorites traveling east with me, has won me several fashion fans at several gigs.) (And don’t think my style doesn’t still include things like my favorite summer piece, sparkly silver tap shorts that I’ve paired with almost everything.)
I still like to shop. I maybe always will. But I also like money in my bank account. I like watching my savings get bigger. I like being out of debt, and when I get into debt again (because there’s always something, isn’t there, until you’ve built up the good cushion – which is my current goal) I like watching the number go down as quickly as I can make it happen.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. This blog was a much-needed outlet for me and an exploration of my ‘shopping problem’ – and it was such a happy place for me, and one I desperately needed, until my time at the Old Globe superseded it. (And y’all – that was such a happy two years. If I could time-machine back……well, New York’s actually been pretty great to me so far, but if there’s anything wrong with living in constant sunshine 20 minutes from the beach with a job you love a ten-minute bike-ride-through-the-park away, I couldn’t find it.)
To those of you attempting similar challenges – do it! You’ll never know the value of your wardrobe til you do, and I’m so so so glad I did.
Wishing you all well-curated closets full of clothes that make you feel powerful and attractive and capable and the best you you are,