Sunday, November 21, 2010
I went to an art opening the other night (check it out, its really good work: http://www.markbrodkin.com/Mark_Brodkin_Photography/Home.html). My friend, Michael, and I decided to walk down since it is not too far from where I live. Donning my goose down, a practical yet stylish pair of knee high boots, skinny jeans and a little tunic top, I was out the door. As we arrived, I wondered if we were at the right event: there were women dressed to the nines .. I'm talking diamonds, heels that made the shortest legs look 7 feet tall and backless, sequins tops on skinny little frames. Well people, a feeling of deja-vu ran through me like a arctic stream, sending chills up my neck (if you haven't already read it, please see "In the Nude"). As I peeled off my goose down to expose my cotton tunic and argyle arm warmers, I gulped down any humiliation, straightened my back and thanked myself for being intuitive enough to put on a little make-up and a set of pearls.
In the centre of the room there were an amalgamation of couches, a little bar and a DJ set-up. The thing that I noticed immediately was that no one was actually looking at the art .. Michael and I did however, and were pleasantly surprised at its beauty and the artist's ability to capture a moment.
I took some time between photographs to be a typical woman, admiring some of the styles: I decided which women's boots I liked most, decided whose make-up was the most flattering and realized that no matter how good it looked on someone else, a backless sequin top in November would simply accentuate my smurf-like skin (see "hey Blue Legs..)!
Fast forward to the next day's shopping trip. Since I've been a maniac purger (see Clear House, Clear Mind), it has come to my attention that I no longer have winter boots! Being newly inspired by the styles of the night before, shopping seemed like a reasonable way to spend a few hours. This became an interesting exercise: instead of gravitating to the usual flat, functional yet stylish boot that I general go for, I found myself, store after store, putting high heeled boots on hold. I would try them on and they would make me feel sexy and womanly and desirable. There were moments when it seemed completely rational to drop a few hundred dollars on an entirely fashionable purchase. In the throws of internal conflict, I sat down on a bench and considered my options: (1) freeze your feet to the point of near amputation and smoosh them into a shoe that will contribute to the development of bunions to feel sexy or (2) find sexy within and buy a boot that will facilitate beautiful AND comfortable winter walks in the city; no amputation, no post-surgery recovery time required.
Before finishing off my boot shopping tale, let me add this: I spoke to my ex this morning. He just got into town from Trinidad (where we used to own an organic farm together and where he has now relocated to). He told me of his absolute shock when he saw the completely full, Yorkdale mall parking lot from the highway. In asking his driver what was going on at the mall to prompt such a crowd, the driver responded, "People are shopping". It is easy to forget in a society of consumerism that we are complete and whole just the way we are: no pair of boots, no slinky top, no diamond bracelet will change that (although, I will not deny that these are nice to have)!
My shopping trip ended at ROOTS, where my money went to supporting a Canadian company. I picked up a pair of nice winter boots that will keep my feet warm, will be comfortable to wear and whose sexiness will be reflected by the level of sexiness that I radiate from within!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
In preparation to move house, I have committed myself to the act of purging. It seems easy enough when you think about it: just look through your stuff and get rid of the stuff that no longer serves a purpose in your life. I have purged in the past, but never so intensely as I am purging now. I am not sure what has prompted the intensity of this purge; perhaps my promise to move forward in my life once and for all or perhaps the feeling of stagnation that any excess seems to create or perhaps a combination of these coupled with the intention to finally attract the future I wish to have. Regardless, I have embraced this process with such fervour that it has frightened those close to me!
As frightening as my trance-like state is, it has facilitated a process of absolute change. This change, although necessary, has not been entirely easy. The emotional energy wrapped up in something as simple as a Nike track suit is so intense that it has left me whimpering like an infant for hours! Some of my purge has demanded that I critically assess my emotional association to objects and my need to preserve past relationships: both romantic and familial. I have observed the excessive emotional energy I've put into material objects: whether it's jewelery or pair of my ex's pajama pants or my deceased mother's hand knitted sweater, putting them in the purge bag tears at my heart. I don't completely know why since the jewelery that my ex bought me is not longer anything I would wear, his pajama pants don't fit and are practically rags and the keeping the knitted sweater of my mother's is not going to result in her coming back. But still, the emotional ties are strongly present and unless I cut those ties once and for all, they will continue to consume valuable emotional energy that I could be spending more wisely on other aspects of my life.
I have noticed in my process that I can only do a little at a time: too much seems too emotional and too overwhelming. After getting over the initial emotional shock of letting go, a clarity of mind is achieved. There is something to be said for the fung shui concept of clutter: clutter in the home results in clutter the mind. It makes sense: the more energy tied up in the stuff that you have, the less energy there is to devote to clear and calculated thinking. With every full bag of Goodwill items, an equal weight is lifted off my shoulders: with more room in my living space, both physical and emotional, I have more room to accomodate new objects, new experiences and new people.
As difficult as this process has been, it has also been refreshing. I look forward to a new future in which, every time I search my closet for something that's been hastily tossed into the purge bag, I give myself yet another, very reasonable excuse to go shopping! And every time I look to something material to satisfy my emotional need to feel close to my mother, I choose instead to look inside myself at the woman that she had such a significant influence in creating.