Today’s mantra: In the end, the only person who truly cares how you lived your life is you.
Today’s action: Take note of anything you’re doing to impress other people, but that you don’t derive enjoyment from. Then consider what would happen if you stopped doing those things.
My first thought is that I’ve grown out of this, but I know deep down, that’s not true. Though I’m much more secure and confident in being myself than I was 10 years ago, there are still situations that make me feel insecure.
The first thing is my appearance when I meet new people. The ends of my hair are colored- originally blue and green, but currently purple. I dress pretty casually, I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of a girl, usually, it’s a nerdy shirt of some kind. And I tend to forget that jewelry exists. I do own some, but forget to even consider it.
Now, I like my appearance, that’s why I look the way I do, I think it’s an accurate portrayal of who I am, but when I meet women who are more put together, it makes me feel self-conscious. I know I could look like that if I wanted, but it’s not high on my priority list. I have to remind myself that we value different things and that if I value looking more put together then I need to make it more of a priority in my life.
But for the most part, I just get over the insecurity, try and be myself and move on with life. I don’t care too much about fashion or trends, but I think I could frugally find a way to dress a little nicer. There is a part of me that aspires to be more put together, and I do want to do a minimalist capsule wardrobe to help achieve that, but that’s a goal for another time.
The other thing is my house. I have a cute older house (late ‘70’s) that I got a screaming deal on and love, but it is an older house that could use some updating. I’m not the best interior decorator, and most of my furniture was free from family, so it’s a bit of a mishmash. It was also a rental for years before I bought it, so the carpet is pretty trashed, it could use a coat of paint and it has a few quirks that need to be fixed.
I bought the house 7 years ago, so clearly these things would have been fixed by now if they were a high priority for me. I tend to stop seeing things that need to be replaced after a while (like our nasty, stained carpet), and once I find a workaround for a quirk I forget that I should probably actually properly fix it (like out toilet that sometimes will continue to run, unless you jiggle the handle).
I don’t think much of these things until someone new is coming over to my house. Then I notice every stain on the carpet, every dent and stain on the wall, the mismatched furniture. But you know what? My house it cute and has character. It’s clearly not a new house, so it doesn’t need to pretend to be. My furniture may not be what’s in style, but the price was right, and it’s high-quality stuff. Plus my coffee table was made by my late grandpa- how cool is that?
Again, like my appearance, I do want to improve the style of my house and for it to look more put together, but I can do it slowly and frugally. There’s no need for me to drop thousands of dollars to make it look like a pottery barn catalog. I still intend to style it the way I like and the cobbler’s bench my grandpa made isn’t going anywhere (though it might get a little TLC).
What things have you found yourself self-conscious of and tempted to spend money on? Did you give in to the temptation or resist and stay true to yourself? We all slip sometimes, but the goal is to keep doing better.