My previous post featured a website that offers an amazing array of artful and well-made clothing that I have come to adore. Since I last wrote, I have indulged myself with purchases from Kristena West who is in Santa Barbara, and I cannot express sufficiently how my life has changed.
The experience has been transformative for me. Let me share what I have discovered.
Dressing is a pleasure. Moving my body in clothes that do not bind, that flow, that feel wonderful against my skin is a tactile experience I treasure. I like to move around and sit any way I like. I like to feel artful and playful when I teach. I like to celebrate my spirit rather than notice the pain in my feet, or a tight waist, or wonder if I look fat in what I am wearing.
It occurs to me that dressing for the free and lithe spirit of the feminine in me is so different than dressing for society. As a California coast woman, it is not unusual for me to be reminded that I am not a conformist in most ways. (I do, however, conform when I drive. I wish others would.) As an Angeleno, I have been continually reminded that I could be thinner, more fit, younger looking, and more desirable.
Leaving Los Angeles, which was hard, has been revelatory. Even free-wheeling west coasters get stuck in conformity; just a different one.
Let me be clear. I am not giving up my more body-conscious clothes, nor am I giving in to every cookie or bagel. I still stay as fit as I can — given I spend most of my time teaching, researching, or writing — and I eat pretty smartly. But I am older, and not as inclined to be a gym devotee. I prefer to read and spend more time in solitude than when I was younger.
Age is an amazing teacher. Out of necessity, we make alterations in our life-styles that have a dramatic effect on our sense of who we are. I choose to age with grace and wit. No, I am not a size 5 anymore. I can’t wear high-heels for very long and I certainly cannot walk blocks in uncomfortable shoes, lest the bit of arthritis in my hips act up. I can’t do heavy aerobics, lest I get an asthma attack. After 14 years, I still have hot-flashes, regardless of what regimen I try. But there are new adventures as an older woman and I am having the time of my life.
Kristena West is on to something. I am going to post her website urls here.
I hope you will peruse her sites and discover what womanhood can be for those of us who have less time ahead than behind.
Thank you, Kristena West for opening my mind, my heart, and my spirit. I am forever in your debt for reminding me that I can dress for myself, my soul, and my comfort, in clothing that allows me to feel free and beautiful.
As the song in Gigi says, “I’m glad that I’m not young anymore.”
Tryin’ to be stylin’