When I originally started this blog, I thought I would end up sharing frequently about two of my favorite passions…thrifting and crafting. In the beginning, I actually did, as Fern’s long sleeping hours afforded me time to sit and sew while she was latched on.
But it’s been quite a while since I did a major crafting project (a fact which is about to change as we are jumping into preparations for Fern’s 2nd birthday). And as far as showing off groundscores and thrift finds…I have to admit that I’ve been waiting until I…uh…return to my former shape. The past two years, as the baby weight has shown no sign of dropping off, (despite assurances that all the breastfeeding and babywearing would make it melt away) I have taken to avoiding mirrors and taking satisfaction if I am not completely embarrassed after getting dressed. I am squeamish about sharing this, but there you have it.
The weight is only part of it, and I’m aware that I’m healthy and that I’m at risk of being screamed at by other gals who would say that they would love to be my size. More than the increase in dress size, is my perceived loss at Who I Was. Thin for my whole life, I look in the mirror now, or at photos and I’m like “Who IS that?”. I move throughout the day, feeling like someone took me out of my old self and put me in this different shell. I don’t recognize the new me and don”t really want to accept her, waiting instead for the day when I have time to do the 30 day shred and will suddenly return to my 35 year old self.
I used to disdain worrying about one’s weight or body image…which I realize now was much easier when I had the comfort of a body size that fit into the conventional standard of beauty propagated by mainstream media. I see my acquaintances, friends and even clients under the oppression of this standard and I feel angry. I have all these feelings about the way my body has drastically changed, but have had no real outlet for working them out. I have difficulty even validating myself, because I really don’t want to feel this way…I want to be uber body positive, and in fact, I AM…but only when it comes to other women’s bodies. I want to age gracefully, I want to cherish my expanded rib cage and super power hips. I want to shout from the highest hills that I Love My New Body that Gave Me My Baby. And then I do something like post a picture of myself on my blog and spend the next week having multiple cringe moments. I have thought about taking it down, but I don’t want to give in to, or strengthen, that inner critic.
Don’t you worry now, I”m working it out. But I share this because
1. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only mom who has had a post-birth invasion of the body snatchers experience and I want to normalize it and
2. If I’m going to start sharing more fashion posts on this blog, I want to pop any bubble of “better than thou”…how many times have you looked at fashion on the internet, or in a magazine and walked away with a nagging sense of being inadequate? Rather than furthering a sense of mystique by projecting image, and image alone, I would like to show up as a real person who might inspire YOU to let your freak flag fly with your vintage dress or home-made earrings. Finally…
3. I have been endlessly inspired by Milla and other amazing blog friends, not only for the fun finds that they share, but for the attitude in which they do it. The first time I ever commented on Milla’s blog was on a post where she talked about how style, rather than being a weapon to use against ourselves or other women, can actually be a really important part of self expression…a form of every day art. This has always been the reason I dress as I do (which defies categorization but can be described with adjectives like funky and vintage)…the morning’s routine is sometimes the only dose of creativity I have during the day.
In the spirit of all this, and while I ease gradually into more self portraits, I thought I would start with sharing a piece of my personal style that those who know me will recognize, but I don’t think that anyone really knows the significance of.
Giddiness. All that’s left from the two bags I found at a junk sale…many of the beauts I used for art and gifts.
Years ago (sometime in the 20th century) a dear friend and I would talk about why we liked things like old boxes, trunks, keyholes and skeleton keys…it was the secret stuff that might be held within, and gained access to with the right unlocking. Think about it for a second, and you can run pretty far with this metaphor. As within, so without.
My current favorite to wear. The teeth at the bottom are set at an angle. Mystery!
I have been collecting keys for years, and have also seen the rise in the popularity of key jewelry, especially in steampunk culture. Even Macy’s jumped on the bandwagon with platinum “skeleton” keys, fashioned with diamonds. Maybe I’m lazy, maybe I’m boring, maybe I’m still too much of a tomboy, but I like my key adornments plain.
Unless it’s something like this, when I was looking at Etsy for pictures…Yes Please…
Available from dayslonggone.
On any given day I usually have some form of key on me…
On my belt…
I particularly love this key that says “Female” on the top. The key to a bathroom in a train station? The key to a dormitory? A jail cell?
Hanging from my ears…I love the dragon faces.
If I have all these keys, I need something to unlock too. All of my keys were found at flea markets, but this little cutie I purchased at a craft fair.
Fern has her own set of keys that she carries around. I used rust removal, but some residual remained. Now where did I put that tetanus shot?
There is even a keyhole at the top of my 1/2 sleeve. The key is tatooed elsewhere. Where? I can’t tell you…it’s a secret! But not that hard to find.
The pineal gland in the brain, a tiny part responsible for some of the phenomena experienced in near death experiences, spiritual visions and even sight of “other beings” is unlocked by the DMT molecule. DMT is found in many plant species, and there is speculation that it is also released by the pineal gland at the time of death or during ecstatic spiritual states. Guess what the molecule of Dimethyltryptamine looks like?
I would like to unlock the mysteries of the universe. I would like to live in a house that could only be unlocked with an old key. I love the clinkety clank mechanism of an old key and lock. I yearn for simpler times, simpler industry. I have an old fashioned heart that can only be opened with the most unique of keys. Sometimes children ask me what my keys are for, and I often say that I carry them around just in case I need to unlock something special. This is always seen as a perfectly adequate explanation and no further questions are asked.
You just never know when it might come in handy. Mystery abounds!