I found two fun pair of pants today at Target on the clearance rack. They were $11 each! I was super excited!!! It got me to thinking back to the day I would never have worn a pair of $11 pants unless they were, by some extreme miracle, a designer brand.
Growing up, I always had new and designer everything. I mean always. I had designer things, but what I didn't have was self confidence. The only self confidence I had was false self confidence that was found through these designer labels. I thought that having the "cool" and nice clothes would make me cool. I never felt pretty. I knew I was smart but not the smartest in the class. I wasn't any good at sports. I didn't have a stand out talent like singing or playing the piano, etc. The only thing I did have that others seemed to respond to was my designer "stuff." It seemed like that was what made me me. In other words, I began to let all of the designer stuff define me. They were what made me feel worthy of others attention and comforted me when no attention was given my way at all. These realizations have all come after the fact, of course. As in hindsight is 20/20. The strangest part is that I never based any of my opinions of friends, coworkers, etc. on anything having to do with money. I didn't care if they had $1 to their name. They were who they were, and I either liked them or didn't based on that. So, it is highly ironic looking back that I thought that was what would make people like me.
Problems only arose when I got married (which I did very early...at 20), and we then had to pay for those pricey clothes, shoes, handbags, accessories, etc. I was crazy about things. I even wanted my flippin' beach towel to be a name brand. Even after marriage I still managed to find ways to continue my (unhealthy) obsessions. I think a very small part of it was due to the fact that it was what I was used to. But mainly, it was that I didn't think I was anything without it. I felt I was identified by it, but was that the fault of others or of myself? It was mine. I didn't present anything much about myself to very many people. Therefore, how would they be able to identify me other than by my exterior?
Fast forward to the last few years. Yes, I am embarrassed to say that I am 30 years old, and I only came to these realizations within the last 3ish years. Through the help of God, Chris (my husband), my close friends, and my family, I have started to figure out what makes me me, and it isn't the stuff. I have a lot to offer others, and it certainly isn't monetary. lol They have all shown me that they love me for me. That what I am, my many, many faults and all, is more than enough. And I thank God and all of you (you know who you are) for helping me to see this.
Now, hold up! To all of my close family and friends reading this thinking, "say whaaaat?!" YES. I DO still like designer brands and expensive things. And most of the time I would prefer them if at all possible. But here is the difference: I don't have to have them anymore. I don't have to have them to feel worthy of other people's attention, respect, friendship, or love. And that feels good. Really, really good.
And now I am happier than I have ever been. Just me being me and my $11 Target clearance pants.
(So head out to Target this weekend if you are looking for some cute [and cheap] pants. : )