Skin and Clothes

Okay, so this time all on my own and with my lonesome thoughts has been tough and uncomfortable on me…

πŸ™‚

In a way, I’ve been totally fine, yet I’ve been kind of a total mess – I’ve had to sit in some really uncomfortable space emotionally, and, not having any distractions from life has really given me the conscious opportunity to be okay with the discomfort. :/

So, though it has sucked, it has been good for me as a person, I believe… and it will continue to be better and better for me, so long as I persist is allowing the emotions to happen and then to disappear after being heard.

Also, I desperately miss hugs and physical contact right now… another really stressful point for me that has been bringing up a lot of history for me…, yet a good opportunity for me to learn to be my best self, even in the face of no agreement from the world.

I am finally doing a bit of genuine work for work, as of yesterday, and not just waiting around for e-mails most of the day, however, my time has passed greatly in the pursuit of playing music (learned to play the harmonium!), listening to music, making malas, making an art journal, painting, walking, cycling, checking on my friend’s cat for her, cooking and eating food, exercising, sitting on the porch swing, working on photos, watching(?) a few movies, reading books, daydreaming like no other, reminiscing, eating loquats off the tree out front…, and I started a puzzle today… to name a few of my activities πŸ˜‚

That vein said, this has really been a wonderful time lately of me exploring my self-expression in my wardrobe… one area where I do feel comfortable and at ease.

I just put on what I genuinely want to wear each morning, and I don’t even have a thought of concern when I have to go outside or to the store – I am comfortable and confident in my clothes, and excited by each outfit, every day… and delighted at how varied it all is, and at how I find myself chuckling at times, when I see how much skin is (potentially) visible – I never would have Dared wear such an outfit as some of these before, even at home… let alone Out in the world!

Yet, today’s outfit was just the same: I dressed how I truly wanted to dress this morning, having true fun in picking out the pieces, and then I had to go to two grocery stores…, and I never even considered a need to change clothes or anything, because I was already so okay with what I was wearing – of course it was fine to wear in public.

And so, I publicked in it, I laughed when I realized how I couldn’t possibly have worn or even considered this outfit in the past, and I was overjoyed at my clear progress in this realm of my life.

The outfit:

I know it isn’t exactly scandalous, but that’s exactly the point: It isn’t scandalous – just great, and it happens to show skin (especially when the wind blows).

And I love and loved it.

So, yeah…, there’s that for joy from today and these past couple weeks. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

Skin patrol

Let’s talk about clothes for just a minute.

In my life, I have often wondered with fascination at the girls and women who show skin other than arms and lower legs when in public (or even in private, but with others present!)… how could they do that?… how could they be comfortable with that, with people seeing so much of them, their bodies, their skin?… how could they even consider wearing such an outfit?…

And then, there was also, without fail, this tiny voice, afraid to speak, even in a whisper from the shadows, that cautiously murmured, β€˜Could I ever do that?’

After going through a whole series of this and thats regarding negative experiences with my own body image, and with men as a whole, I was eventually certain that such clothing options were only for the harlots and hoes… at least, that’s what I would be, if I wore such things….

But then, fast-forward another few or couple years to today: I have really sorted through that stuff – intense stuff – and I am in no way in the same space as I was before… I am seemingly not even the same person l (though, who I am deep down is, of course, the same).

As I mentioned, the other day, I wore an outfit that I had dreamed of wearing in the past, but could not fathom its being truly possible that I could wear it…

(And yet, I had the dress… something within me wanted it badly enough, dreamt of it strongly enough, for me to own the dress… I just never really expected to wear it, I think… it was always just a dream…)

Yesterday, when dressing, I found myself wanting to wear this shirt I have had for years – it was in the same scenario with that lovely dress from last weekend – but have never worn… Without thinking much of it or about it, I pulled on the shorts I had planned, added the appropriate bra and the shirt, and continued on in my morning activities… and I knew that I would be seen by people throughout the day… I was fully aware…. including people I know.

It wasn’t until that night that it occurred to me what had happened… including the significance of it.

Today, I had to do the grocery store.

To dress for it, I dropped my PJs, grabbed clothes that had not yet been folded and that would be warm enough for this rainy day and the grocery store, but not hot or uncomfortable…

And this is what I went out wearing:

My lower belly – the skin all the way around – was visible to varying degrees, depending on how the sweater hung… the sweater is holy by design, and, though my skin tone blends with the brown of the sweater, it was totally showing all throughout the sweater, because I had only a light gray sports bra under it, no shirt… the leggings jeans pants things show every angle of my legs and butt… and my hair was pulled up and it of the way, allowing even more skin to show all around my neck, upper back, and the v-neck cut of the sweater on my chest…

And I didn’t… even… worry about it…

Not one bit.

Sure, I pulled my pants up a couple times after squatting or whatever, and they had been pulled down somewhat… but otherwise…, I was genuinely unconcerned about how much skin was visible on my body, how much my body was noticeable.

It all just felt so normal…

When I realized this all, I couldn’t help but smile with genuine delight.

I think I am free… of whatever this mind game was that held me so tightly and for so long… Finally…, I am myself, and I can breathe…

I don’t want to dress like this every day…., but I want to dress like this when I want to dress like this… and the free is finally released from me, and I can act comfortably and confidently in my dressing… at long last, and after so much hard work, I am free…

How lovely… πŸ™‚ ❀

Post-a-day 2020

Today’s list

I had several things on my list for ‘want to accomplish’ today.

The first half happened beautifully.

The second half were avoided beautifully.

Instead of doing laundry and folding clothes, I rearranged a bit of furniture how I had been contemplating doing for a while now, and then I cleaned up piles of papers and such that I had had around the floor in my room.

And I organized all my paperwork and labeled it to bring to my CPA.*

It was a huge positive move, but definitely not on the list for today. πŸ˜›

I also, instead of working on the photos – I moved them to tomorrow, when I’ll be somewhere with Internet already, using my computer, and can stay a while – today, I expanded immensely the efforts I had intended to make with my Italian studies.

Until just a few minutes ago, I was working on the Italian, which was possibly the fourth time today… I even did detail work on it… and that’s saying something.

I also, instead of hopping to it on those aforementioned tasks, I got myself out of the house, down to our main park in town, and I walked.

For hours.

I even ran into a friend, and I joined her and her friend (and the friend’s daughter) for another hour plus, which started right about when I had been considering heading home.

(Suffice it to say that I walked a lot today, and it was great.)

(And I rode the park train twice… and that was lovely(!).)

All in all, I had a great day.

I even listened to a couple hours of my audiobook while cooking/eating and then walking at the park.

So much accomplished today… it feels good going to bed now, exhausted from a reason other than illness.

Not typically my style, but I would like for it to become my style.

Last week was a good start, and this week was even better… let’s keep this Sunday outdoor social activity + self-improvement stuff up, Banana. πŸ˜‰

*Not that I’m bourgeais (bourgey?) or anything – I hardly have money to survive in this society at the moment; I just used to work for her, and so we have a sort of arrangement for my taxes to be handled.

Post-a-day 2020

Easy A

Have you seen it?

That moment when she buys herself the new wardrobe – remember it?

Well, I want just about all of those outfits.

And I want to wear them.

And confidently so…

And I think I am almost to the point of being totally okay to do it… (currently lacking the funds for the outfits, but that is a different part of the story)… In terms of body image, woman self-confidence, and actual body, I’m purty darn close…

And that’s really exciting for me…

On what feels like a million levels.

πŸ˜€

Post-a-day 2020

Three things:

1) I burn a couple tissues together that have old oil all over them (peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, and Texas cedarwood, not olive or petrol), and all is well, and my room smells amazing.

I take a hot shower on this same really cold night, and, upon opening the bathroom door afterward, the steam sets off the fire alarms on both the second and third floor, leaving me to run around, fanning the alarms with the towel that had just been wrapped around me to dry me and keep me warm as I entered the cold, cold rest of the house…

::face palm

………

2) I actually am totally spacing on what the other thing was that I had wanted to share here tonight… hmm…

………

3) This conversation happened just as we were leaving my friend’s apartment tonight to go to Target before she drove me home:

Friend: Okay, are we good? [turns toward me] Hannah, your outfit is throwing me off… It’s cold out – do you want some pants?

All laugh, as we take in my wool beret, thick scarf, leather jacket, leg warmers, and short shorts.

Basically, I am cold-weather-dressed up top and summertime dressed in the bottom, with the leg warmers just thrown into the summer bit.

Friend: I mean, your legs look great. But are you sure you don’t want some pants? ‘Cause you can borrow some.

I assure them that I really am okay, and that I actually had been wearing pants earlier, but that it was just too darn hot… shorts were what I needed, if I wanted to keep the top half on (and I had wanted to change as little as possible earlier, when I was adjusting my outfit for the weather for the rest of the day – because pants and a long and heavy skirt had gotten to be just too much by early afternoon), and so shorts were what I was wearing.

Plus, the scarf really warms the whole body rather well – I was really surprised when I first learned how amazingly scarves work… now I wear them all the time for warmth, much more often than sweaters or jackets.

Anyway, we all laughed about my unbalanced outfit, and then three of us continued happily on to Target. πŸ˜›

We decided that I was, in a way, a perfect representation of our Texas and Houston weather. πŸ˜›

The white converse-style tennis shoes

Post-a-day 2019

Collaboration

My mom and I had our first glimpse today of how our collaboration on my photography could look…

And it looks awesome.

We have similar taste, yet different approaches to it and ideas and perspectives for it, so, working together is easy, yet always unique and filled with wonderful ideas neither of us would have gotten on our own, and that most people never consider.

We have a few foundational bits now, after today’s collaboration, going through clothing and fabrics, and I am confident that we can make this happen… very well, and somewhat soon.

I have a lot of the teaching work I kind of need to do at the moment, but my efficiency there is improving significantly by the day or two, so I’ll be able to put time and mental a leggier and physical effort into the photos my mom and I will be crating together in collaboration.

I’m delighted and looking forward to it.

And, I think she is, too. /)

So, yay!

Post-a-day 20198

Dressed for Work

Tonight, I attended with my mom a sake mini-course and tasting event.

As predicted, every Japanese man was in a dark suit with a white shirt… however, the slight touch of color was found in a tie or pocket square in the Americanized men.

Also as predicted, there was a fabulous array of Japanese foods, the presentation was brief but extremely informative, and the tasting was hilariously wonderful.

While there, I considered strongly at one point what everyone else was wearing.

Beforehand, I had asked my mom, a person who is usually quite particular about dressing to the appropriate level for things, if I needed to change into a different dress than what I had on… I showed her the dress, which was a much nicer and more business-y version of what I already was wearing, and she didn’t think the change was needed…. she pointed out that she was wearing something quite similar, albeit slightly nicer-looking (same color scheme, different pieces).

We had been at an art film showing earlier on, and I had worn my current outfit for that and felt totally comfortable in my choice, but I figured it was best to check with her regarding the Japanese event.

Sure enough, once there, she commented that we should have known everyone would be in business suits and the likes, since it was a Japanese event… I reminded her that that was precisely why I had asked about my outfit ahead of time, and she rather shrugged her shoulders unconcernedly at this with an Oh, well…, and we moved on to enjoy ourselves, anyway.

At this point, I thought about how everyone was probably just coming straight from work, anyway, and so they were all just in work clothes… and then I realized that I, too, was coming straight from work and that I, too, was just in work clothes…

I don’t have a corporate job in an office with a cubicle on a floor in a big building… or anything like it… I’m a writer and photographer… and, today, I was editing photos, and then sent them off to a client – much work accomplished for a single afternoon, actually… and this cotton dress and summer sandals are what I wore to do that… casual and cute, but not office business…

In “Hannah’s Life, Created”, a notebook I compiled a couple years back, while living in Japan, I have a brief description of what I want my work attire to be… tonight was a beautiful acknowledgement of my having achieved that desire, and, in that instant of noticing this, I was filled with a sense of calm confidence in regards to my life – I am doin a beautiful job of pursuing my goals and dreams and of becoming and being the person I want to be.

I’m not all the way there yet… I am there with some things, though, and I am well on my way to more and more at any moment(!!!)…. and I love it.

I really do love it.

Yes, it would have made sense to wear the nicer dress tonight… no, it didn’t ultimately matter for what tonight specifically was…, yes, it was amazing to notice what I did about being in my ‘work clothes’, and so was totally worth it this time to be a bit under-dressed…, and no, I never really quite fit in at Japanese events, anyway – Gaijin Smash to the max!**

So yeah… we had an awesome time at the event, learned loads about sake. – and yes, I am fully aware of how odd it is that I take such an interest in sake, when I drink just about no alcohol in the average month – and ate wonderful foods over wonderful conversations.

And I had a lovely discovery about my current status in life, and it tickles and overjoys me even now, hours later. πŸ™‚

Yay, life!

And thank you, God, for entrusting me with this piece of the path – I love this part, and I trust you fully, as I throw myself fully into this lovely hard work!

Peace

Hannah

**Man, do I miss my store Mister Maxx in Toride, Ibaraki!… like a cross between Target, Petsmart, and a bakery!

Post-a-day 2019