Today is a day where I just wish I could wear what I want. Go outside with my knees bared, or perhaps not be too concerned that a little cleavage is showing. I want a different pair of shoes. I imagine boots, a short skirt, and a shirt that flatters my neckline – my round face and larger chest beg for a scoop- or V-neck, not the higher cuts that are needed here. I want to wear different jewelry than what I have in my small collection here (which has been my saving grace – the few accessories I have and have gotten since being here have made my wardrobe bearable). I still believe that a limited wardrobe is more freeing, it’s just that the one I have here, because of the culture, does not look that great on me – I have complained about this before, and I am sure I will do so again. My clothes are comfortable for sure, but long skirts on a short body are not a great idea; neither are high necks on a short torso.
I also long to wear leggings and all the fun outfits I got when I was in Toronto. Not totally fashion-forward, but about as modern as I will ever be – even though I bought the clothes over a year ago now, possibly planting them firmly into the category of “outdated” in the fast-moving fashion world. Still, they are clothes I chose because I felt good in them – many purchased from local designers and neighborhood boutiques. The cuts and combinations new to my usual choices. I’m not really sure how I would define my fashion style, but it started to grow in Toronto, and continued to make a few steps forward in Korea and Vietnam. Of course, my fashion growth came to a screeching halt and regression as soon as I hit Oman. And besides, it’s already in the 90s here; not exactly a place to bust out sweaters and fleece tights (yes, they make these and they are amazing).
Maybe my desire to feel put together on the outside is because of how I feel on the inside. It’s time for another big transition at an undisclosed time. Most likely things will happen in four and a half months, but it could be sooner. And when that happens, everything will be different: my job, location, culture — everything. The feeling of being unsettled is thrilling, distracting, nerve-wracking, joyous. I feel sad, powerful, anxious, hopeful. I’m not sure I belong back in the US, but I want to give it another try. I know that the decisions I make now are, as everything is, subject to change. That moving back to Portland does not signal a permanent or even long-term phase – but it could. When I imagine being in that physical location, it doesn’t feel great. But when I imagine being with my friends again, my heart grows and I feel at peace; I actually feel like I am being hugged. Here is OK, but it’s not a place to be long-term (at least not for me). Maybe no place is. I am still craving being elsewhere, just not sure where.
It’s much easier to find an outfit that makes me feel great. Even if I can’t wear it today.