picture this woman: she's wearing keens, mid-thigh khaki shorts, a comfortable yet fashionable shirt (probably bought at one of those earth-conscious stores), there's a well-worn nalgene bottle in her hand, half full. her legs look strong, her hair is relaxed - no fuss, she's wearing makeup? minimally, with a corded bracelet. she's carrying a baby in a backpack and has just come from hiking a mountain.
this is the woman i've always wanted to be.
i'm turning 37 in two weeks and have finally come to grips with the fact that i will never, ever, be this woman.
i've been on holidays for almost a month - we've been to a cabin in saskatoon, a camp on vancouver island, grandparents in the lower mainland of BC, and now i'm with the kids at my parents in Ontario. somewhere, in this journey, i must have caught a glimpse of myself: wearing a dress, manicured hair, sandals with rhinestones, chunky bracelet, makeup and purse. i was holding a travel mug with tea, and was showered and changed after my jillian micheals workout dvd. somehow, in that glimpse, a wakeup call sounded: it's time to embrace myself and let the dream of outdoorsy-casual-low-maintenance janet make way for the reality of indoorsy-dressy-medium-maintenance janet.
i look better, and feel more comfortable, in a dress than in shorts.
i don't like hiking mountains.
i like a little flavouring in my water. and caffeine.
i look prettier with some mascara and lipstick.
this, i must tell you, has been a freeing revelation. i went shopping with a dear friend down in washington, and i didn't even try on a pair of pants - only leggings! it was so relaxing to walk into a store and think about what i actually wanted to wear instead of what i wished i would wear. does that make sense? see ya later shorts and sweatshirts. hello cardigans and sundresses!
i've gotten the line "why are you so dressed up?" a few times (especially at camp :)), but I'm getting less and less embarrassed when it comes. i answer "this is the way i dress". doesn't that sound mature? for the first few weeks i felt the need to explain this revelation to everyone. most of them looked at me like "it took you this long?". i guess everyone else has been in on this secret except me.
wouldn't you know i'd be the last one in on my own secret identity.
so, i'm off in my maxi dress to get my birthday present from my parents: leather boots.