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06 November 2011 @ 01:55 am
Only at 2,000 words total, which is incredibly disappointing for the first five days of NaNoWriMo. Although I have to give myself credit for the fact that I didn't start any novel-planning until the first day and it takes time to outline a novel. Plus, what with being at the beginning, I have to keep stopping to pick names for minor characters and get a feel for them in my mind. I've finished all but some song-verses of Chapter One, so hopefully by the time Chapter Two is complete and I've met all the main/supporting and most of the minor characters, writing will be smoother. Lesson: stop beating myself up; it takes time away from writing.

Plus, tonight was Coffeehouse (I volunteer there when I'm around, every two weeks or so) and I managed to get my laptop out for a few hundred words before intermission. Despite the shoddy adaptor cord and the fact that my Netbook was acting up every few minutes.

And now for something completely different.

I'm not fond of many of the fashion trends of my age group; I have hardly ever been fond of them, as a whole, save maybe one type of clothing article every once in a while. I don't know the historical terminology for the styles I like, but I know that I like showing shape over showing skin. I prefer long-sleeved tops with maybe a hint of cleavage that I can tuck into trousers or skirts (mostly skirts, since I can never find trousers that fit my petite legs and not-petite thighs and bottom), especially with a belt over the waist. Dresses and suits that accomplish the same are also high in my books. I love the mystery of shaped clothing rather than revealing clothing; I love that a little imagination is involved. (It's not as though in much of the clothing described people miss the fact that there are curves beneath--we tend to know they're there! I like the different form of revelation.)

So lately I've been going with that style when I leave the house (which is thankfully not often, as I don't have many clothes that work that way) and I did so tonight. Long-sleeve v-neck top, skirt at the waist that goes down near my ankles, elastic waist belt and those Victorian-like shoe-boots I picked up a while back. Hair pulled back at my ears with a barrette. I asked for my Da's opinion before leaving and he said he liked it, adding, "You know, Kiwi, I like the way you dress." I like that at 21 I'm getting compliments from my parents on my dressing style.

At the Coffeehouse, I finally remembered to put on my volunteer shirt; it was baggy over my other clothes. After a while I actually noticed. Once upon a time, I would have left it...but this time I headed off to the loo and tucked it in under the skirt and belt as well. I feared I looked mighty odd, being the only person with a waist-tucked t-shirt, but when I came out one of the women I know kept looking at me and away when I caught her eye. (Nothing romantic - she's in a long-term partnership with another woman and they're both far older than I - but still appreciated.) When I got some soda and she looked again she mentioned my shirt. I said, "Yes, I feel a bit weird with it - but it felt so strange knowing the belt was underneath!" She replied, "Oh, no, I'm just not used to the t-shirts looking that good on anyone! You wear it well!"

It reminded me of my mother saying, "And what a lovely figure you have!" the other day went I bent over to fetch something on the floor and both made me feel wonderful, which I'm not used to at all.

I've been thinking lately about my low self-esteem. The thoughts didn't lead to anything active, but I think reading about Rachel Carson again (I took out some children and young-adult biographies on her) combined in my mind and inspired me to dress in the styles I've been looking up lately and see how that felt.

I think my conclusion is that it feels good. Mind, this is with my older crowd - parents, congregation, lovely older-lady bookstore owners - which is different from hanging out with my peers in what many of them appreciate stylistically. I'm also realising that it's fine and perfectly normal to have a varied wardrobe (beyond just work/play, formal/informal, whatever else) in having different outfits one is likely to wear around different groups of friends. It's not as though one is any more 'me' than any other. But if this style consistently keeps me more comfortable with myself and improves my esteem for myself/my body, then I may start phasing out some other clothes. Even in the summer I'm not a fan of spaghetti-straps and tank-tops...so why keep them, if looking at them in my drawer and not wearing them makes me feel bad about myself?

I've always dressed for myself and my individuality, which has always given me a certain level of comfort and confidence. I think now it's time to accommodate an attempt to increase my self-esteem, too, which means dressing in a way I think flatters my body, even if it's more akin to a different decade and generation than my own. From there I can mix it up. (Although it is funny to me that I'd be more comfortable in a skin-toned spandex suit or nude than in a bikini my peers would wear.)

Self-Esteem Quest:
  • Clothing: Working on it.
  • Body: Time to start working on it more.
  • Personality: Erm...so far no-go.
  • Self-worth: *Sigh.*
  • Writing: Good enough that I'm pushing myself to NaNo, bad in letting insecurity slow me down.
  • Expression: Not so fantastic. Keep fumbling/stuttering my words out of self-consciousness over everyone pointing out my accent and asking if it will go away. I don't know, people, I just talk the way I talk and words come out! But if I think about how the words will sound they stop coming out, so please, let it alone! D:
  • Intelligence: Really need to work on that. But I'm reading more again, which helps some, as I feel I'm not neglecting the bright-light curious child within and all the wonder I have for the world.
  • Achievements: Feeling pretty good.
  • Confidence of Future Achievements: Doesn't really exist a lot of the time. Need to work on that too. Especially because sitting on so many unfinished things makes me doubt myself.

I still have a lot of work to do up in this cobwebbed carnival-mirror brain of mine, then. BUT IT'S BUDGING. First short-cutoffs, now shape over skin so I'm comfortable in mine... I can do this! Slow and steady!

Now to bed, since I have church in the morning. (:

Eyes to see
"The one person who really knows me best says I'm like a cat - the kind of cat that you just can't pick up and throw into your lap. No, the kind that doesn't mind being held, only when it's her idea; the kind that feels what she decides to feel when she is good and ready to feel it."
[Ani DiFranco; Virtue]
Current Mood: crazyConfident.
zeezofbadfaith on November 6th, 2011 12:43 pm (UTC)
I often wonder if I should do a Self-Esteem Quest myself, you know. Because I've problems with myself ever since I can't remember - and that's something that hasn't changed through the years, even when people tell me good things about me.

I have this all or nothing thing when I dress, it's either all baggy and two sizes bigger or my size and something baggy. It started with me wearing too big clothes, because they fitted, and I just kept wearing them after I lost some weight. Comfortable zone. I've been trying to change it, but it's hard.

And, well, there's all the rest. But we can only do some, I think. Change happens with time and things like that.

You're probably one of the most intelligent people I know, so I wouldn't be too worried about that if I were you ;) But I'm sure you'll find ways to get even smarter XD

And I don't know how you accent was before, and I may be biased because I've a thing for British accent, but I love the way it is now :D I wish I had it, to be honest, because sometimes it just feels like I talk too much Brazilian English and I've studied English long enough that I shouldn't have an accent. Oh well.

Good morning, dear Kiwi ;) <3
Kiwi Crocus: HP || McMin || Wand grasping.cranky__crocus on November 9th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
That's what I've always found frustrating about self-esteem: it really comes from the self. Kind words from others can temporarily help, but the long-term is all us.

I had a huge baggy phase in high school. I came back to visit during university and my teachers were like, "Wow, you look great! Did you lose weight?" and I was like, "Uh, no, I just stopped dressing like a bag of potatoes." (To be fair, I always dressed as a colourful bag of potatoes, but that doesn't change the fact that I didn't dress with any idea of a figure in mind. Actually, I dressed to keep the figure out of my life.)

Change does happen with time and we can only do some, yes...but I have to believe that one can aspire to change (and thus do it faster) with will, understanding and self-compassion, because otherwise the basis for a lot of my life training goes caput.

Ah, I'm afraid I worry about my intelligence all the time! Actually, I tend to think it's something that only intelligent people tend to do - doubting themselves so much in that way.

Thanks, on the accent! :D If it means anything, I loved your Brazilian-accent English. Things that make people unique and represent their background can be a really glorious character trait that draws people in in a wonderful way.
Venturous1venturous1 on November 6th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
I have to keep stopping to pick names for minor characters and get a feel for them in my mind.
I have lots of this yet to do... my first nano, hell my first fic over 6k! I've got my leads and their parentage and mentors, and the supporting cast is coming into focus.

yay, you for the self esteem quest. if there was one thing that ruined my younger life it was not enough self-appreciation.

Edited at 2011-11-06 01:27 pm (UTC)
Kiwi Crocus: Nature || Elephants.cranky__crocus on November 9th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on your first over-6k fic! And on introducing your leads and their background/mentors. I'm sure you succeeded with the supporting cast as well. (:

Mmm, not having self-appreciation definitely put a dark cloud on my younger life. I'm hoping to step out from under it with time.
Feather Quill: Red Shoesfeatherxquill on November 6th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)

You are beautiful, and I think dressing and acting in a way that helps you feel that way and thus feel more confident is a wonderful thing, and sod what anyone else might think.

I totally agree on the spaghetti straps and tank tops thing. TBH, I think spaghetti straps are mostly for women who don't need stupidly sturdy bras to hold up their lovely but rather heavy boobs. I don't know about you, but I never feel particularly sexy when my thick bra straps are on display as much as the top I'm wearing. I think it's the imagination thing you spoke of - visible undergarments don't do it for me for that reason, and that's the only way I can really wear spaghetti straps (aside from the clear straps I have for certain things, like the swing dress I wore at DiaCon, which was fine for a costumey special occasion, but seriously not the most comfortable bra ever and I usually feel much better about myself when I am comfortable rather than needing to adjust all the time).
Kiwi Crocus: Ani D || Collage cleavage.cranky__crocus on November 9th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
*Hugs back!*

Thank you. (:

Agreed on the spaghetti strap - although for me it's the fact that I get flesh-bumps on top of my bra from sort of my shoulder/armpit area whenever I wear one and that shows when I wear a spaghetti top as it's above where the material starts. If I wear something with any sort of sleeve it pretty much disappears. I don't mind the bra straps a huge amount - sometimes I wear those open-shoulder shirts and don't do anything to conceal my bra straps as I believe it's ridiculous that some women still have to - but it does get annoying when either of the straps fall down.

I like visible undergarments in that now it is able to be acknowledged that women wear bras; it was so silly before that it had to be hidden when so much of the population in our cultures wear them (like how people can't really talk about menstruation when 50% of humans will menstruate/do menstruate/have menstruated/have bodies meant to menstruate). But the fact that it's now in fashion to show them and thus it's become sort of sexualised and objectified...not a fan of that.
tt: Muriel OLSBtwisted_twister on November 9th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
I don't even want to start about the place my self esteem went during the past year or so (hint: sank low along with my sagging but expanding front) but I'll tell you this: when I was your age, I had my own style, and it was never fashionable nor age-related. I kept getting compliments from strangers in the streets. One woman even said I looked like a movie star! Thing is, you are most comfortable wearing what you like to wear for yourself and it shines through and make you prettier. Embrace your own style, love. That's exactly when you should do it. I dare say and not too many peers will find fault in that, because you'll just be prefectly you and they'll love you for it.

Not gonna talk about the rest: not the best of times for being me lately.
tt: Um... hello?twisted_twister on November 9th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, forgot to say: LOVE your English accent. Don't change!
Kiwi Crocus: Judi || Compact & portable giant.cranky__crocus on November 9th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that your self esteem has suffered as well. =( If it's any help, you were certainly beautiful to me! (But I know self esteem isn't about the words of others, but accepting such concepts into ones own heart.)

I've certainly always had my own style that wasn't fashionable/particularly age-related, although bits and pieces of my wardrobe may be. People have often known me for my unique style and given me compliments. I just like to be aware of when I'm intentionally stirring it up/moving into a new look, and this seems to be one of those times...it's a look I've been wanting to try for a long time but never have, so I'm pleased I'm doing it now!

I hope we will be successfully working through this self esteem thing together. It's funny (in a sad way) how the outer perceptions of someone and her own inner ideas about herself can be so completely different and contrasted. I certainly know that feeling well enough - which is probably why I always fear people think badly of me, because I project my own thoughts into them and I am so very self-critical.

(Thanks for the comment on the accent! It has Americanised a bit, so now I sound like a UK-US hybrid - some sort of Atlantic Sea Monster [or Mermaid]. :B )