Well friends, tomorrow is the last day of this series! I started this month with 354 items in my closet and drawers and a burning desire to change. It hasn’t always been easy to write, or live, this series, but it has been worth it.
Wearing ten things for a month taught me a great deal about myself. For instance, I learned that I derive a large part of my confidence and sense of acceptance from my appearance. I shared my fears and insecurities going into the ladies retreat several weeks ago, insecurities that resurfaced each Sunday when I donned the same dress I wore the week before, or when I wore a plain tee and jeans to a birthday party. Would people like me without my cute coordinated outfits? Will I fit in? Will people think I’m weird, radical, or self-righteous?
Yes and no. I definitely alienated some people, just by being myself, and by talking about human trafficking and why I was wearing only 10 things. I’m sure some people do think I’m radical and self-righteous. I know some people don’t understand why this matters, or why it matters to me.
But I found out that I can deal with that. For each blank stare, polite nod, or change of subject, I had heart-felt comments, beautiful emails waiting in my inbox, and encouraging tweets to spur me onward from you, my faithful readers, and scripture passages that put it all into perspective at just the right time.
And I also learned that I am weird, and I am radical. I am standing for something. I’m putting my stake in the ground and owning it. I’m not here to get by, have a good time, or be happy. I am here to change the world.
I’ve thought a lot about how I want people to think of me. At the beginning of the month, other’s opinions of me were a major source of anxiety. Do I really want people to think of me as someone whose outfits were always well put together, who looked like they had life together, and always looked cute? Is that what I want to be known for?
I realized that the people I most respect are people who don’t care about their appearance, but care deeply about loving others. They spend their days loving their kids, lending a listening ear for those who need it, supporting their husbands, sharing a home-cooked meal, and serving their church. Tara and Tammy, you are truly the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.
This quote attributed to Majorie Hinckley sums up the legacy I want to leave:
“I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”