Check Your Insecurities at the Gate

Our time in Donegal was brief but delightful. The rain was an almost constant companion, but we apparently wouldn’t be getting the true experience if it was sunny all the time.

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Dress by Marc Angelo, Donegal, August 2nd
We spent two nights out in the country, which means I woke up two mornings to sheep outside my window. On our second night, I stayed up until 3am watching Enchanted with my toddler buddy…the kid’s a boss! Not a bad way to ring in your birthday.

Heading into uncharted territory, I stocked up on some goodies from Simple Simon’s for whatever the road might bring me and bummed around with my mom who is apparently obsessed with mugs (j/k…not really…love you mommy).

Thinking ‘it’s my birthday and I’ll dress shop if I want to’ (even though I barely ever wear dresses) when I spotted a colorful print on a mannequin, I found some super cute dresses in a dress shop behind a souvenir store.

IMG_20130802_144003_289[1]Now, I’m not petite by any means; I’ve dated some guys who’ve let me know that for sure. My last boyfriend would even say snarky things while I was eating cupcakes and chocolate…past tense for obvious reasons. So, I tend to be aware of my shape and even self-deprecating at times (join in with me and it’s like going the wrong way down a one way street…don’t do it). However, I’m growing pretty accepting of it. As it is, my body gets me over the finish line. Whatever I want to change about my body stems less from aesthetic desire and more from a desire to perform better, go longer, be faster.

So I grabbed my typical US size and one up just in case, but neither fit me and my face dropped a little. Hesitantly, I grabbed the sizes above it. Fit!

The digits on the tag took a second to wrap my head around. When I was 12, I was obsessed with the Magnificent 7 and Dominique Moceanu was the face of a store called 5-7-9…so naturally I wanted to shop there. Only problem, I didn’t really fit into anything. I wasn’t tiny even then. It was a whole store that embodied what I wasn’t. So for years I was size obsessed; even cramming myself into things that didn’t really look good on me because they were the smaller size. The size on the dresses I was trying on had been, in my mind, a no go zone. Sizes are arbitrary; what the tag says in New York may be different than what it says in the UK. My waistline didn’t expand when I walked (ok, lifted) off US soil. It was only the label someone had assigned to my body that had changed; I was still the same.

The best advice I read about clothes was to not shop for your future self. You might be working towards a weight loss, but you have to dress yourself now. If you buy clothes that don’t fit you, it can be depressing…and then down the rabbit whole you go.

When I went shopping in Derry later, with my mom (you’d think we were attached at the hip), I happily searched for appropriate fitting clothes. In a twist, my shoe size actually went down from an 8 to a 5…but they’re still boats. So, fellow countrywomen, if Prince Charming comes around with a UK size 5 glass slipper, try it on! You never know.

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!

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