Wearing pretty clothing is a way to love yourself!!
Greetings all! It's month two of picking a theme for the month with this series that hopefully helps people feel as great as they dress, and it being February and all I opted to not be a hipster about the most cliche theme I could pick and have indeed chosen love!
This week I will not be talking about romantic love, however. I want to talk about self love and self respect, and I feel I probably couldn't ask for a better audience to be reading this because most women in the pinup and vintage community have shared stories ranging from feeling insecure to finding a self esteem through clothing and what it was like to find self worth.
I feel like I know so many women (and men) in real life who exude confidence and have a solid idea about what they want in life. But the second they find a partner, some of that fades. Obviously relationships bring compromise, but when people throw important things like their moral compass to their core goals and friendships out the window for someone else, it raises a few eyebrows. I find myself wondering how secure these people really were to begin with versus what was smoke in mirrors if they could change so quickly upon meeting a new romantic interest. I think a lot of us accidentally lie to ourselves about how grounded we feel about who we are versus who we want to be. That's OK, it happens to the best of us, but it's a damn shame when other people come into our lives and take control. So many people use relationships to define their happiness, or even identity, but I think you'll both attract better partners and be happier in future relationships if you draw lines in the sand beforehand (or are lucky enough to already be in a relationship with a partner who enables you to practice loving and respecting yourself).
So many people try to make relationships work to their needs after a relationship has already evolved and is exhibiting signs of it not being a healthy relationship. People easily make excuses about why someone isn't treating them right instead of asking why they're drawn to someone who isn't treating them right-and why they're staying with them. I'm not one to share my current relationship status on anything from this blog to my personal Facebook page, but I can say once upon a time this behavior was me too. I was in a long term relationship that just wasn't working out and I stayed in it for too long, mostly because I developed a fear of being alone and was afraid of "what else" what out there in terms of male suitors. I guess you could say I grew fond of my cage. Once I did finally rip off that band aid, I realized how much happier I was not being stuck in a relationship that wasn't working. I quickly learned that being in a broken relationship was way more lonely than being alone ever could be. As much as I stuck with that rule in regards to gaging whether I should stay in a relationship or be single again to this day, I've made other mistakes along the way. One of my more recent exes found me when I was in a weird headspace so I missed a lot of red flags, like he enjoyed arguing and talking over people, had no self awareness, and made a lot of false promises. I only focused on the good because I was a little bit lost and by the time the bad caught up with me it was a maddening process to undue and get out of.
Why did I go into those anecdotes? It wasn't to blame any my exes but expose where I fell into some traps that a lot of us having trouble avoiding. With the first ex I mentioned, I didn't love myself enough to have the courage to be alone and let fear drive me. With the second one, I let some really ugly traits slide because I needed to feel like I was in any partnership at the expense of actually being in a healthy partnership. My overall point is that relationships are supposed to add to your life. Of course most-if not all-relationships will slightly vary from whatever fantasy you saw yourself ending up with. But if you aren't getting your needs met, think about how much you love yourself and take solid inventory about where this relationship started, where it will realistically end up, and what's actually best for yourself. And if you're single, draw those lines in the sand now! Love, lust, and attraction can be blinding as us humans tend to go for shiny things without thinking through consequences. If you go on a few dates with someone and they don't seem engaged and attentive, blow you off, or have personality traits and habits that either remind you of exes or things that rub you the wrong way...love yourself enough to be strong enough to walk away. I know this is easier said than done. I'm a 0-60 girl in that I'll be stone cold single for 6 months and then BAM will be in a committed and borderline serious relationship within the first few dates with someone new, often while skipping a lot of steps in figuring out how compatible someone truly is for me. I'm preaching stuff that I've had to work on a great deal so I totally get whatever frustrations you may be feeling reading this! All I can say is that the outcomes are worth it.
It's not just about romantic love either. Love yourself enough to not make bad choices. Stand up for yourself when need be. Anyone who is against that isn't for you. Make decisions that will make your future easier. Do stuff that makes you happy every day. It sounds simple, but most of the above takes a lot of work, mindfulness, and practicing being present and in touch with yourself.
Valentine's day is all about romantic love. But don't let that one day a year detract from loving yourself the other 364 days of the year.
Outfit details- Flower- NicCoCo Creations via Unique Vintage, Cardigan- Old Navy, Skirt- Voodoo Vixen via ModCloth, Shoes- G By Guess
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