Shirts that make us feel a type of way

For the last 3 years, I have not felt in love with myself. The effects of covid and other health problems loitering inside, provoking almost a constant feeling of utter exhaustion and unhappiness.

Working full-time has taken its toll – largely mentally – leaving me in several crises while tearing apart pondering the all-important question: “Do I really like this job?”. The answer of course is “No”, because corporate culture, as I have realised, is unfulfilling.

I wake up unenergised, put on a suit, and clock in (if I can make it to the office) – ready for lunch. Praises, promotions, and good words from seniors all deflect off of me as I contemplate why words, that were once music to my ears and put me in a good mood, no longer mean much.

On the weekends I resign myself to errands, groceries, cooking, and life admin – all in my usual attire of joggers. I live and sleep in them – previously for comfort, but now because I simply cannot be bothered. Brunch dates seem unreachable now; having gained 20lbs (and possibly more) throughout the pandemic, I accepted that I no longer look the same in skin-baring attire and tighter clothes which I once donned without hesitation.

To round all of this up, my self-confidence is just not as it was.

However, on the weekend I received a unexpected gift – a shirt. A light coral canvas flowing past my knees, with traditional stitching. Long, billowy, with frills on the sleeve. It is not something I would pick for myself. But I liked it. Classic me was still sceptical on how it looked, until I asked for photo. And my jaw might have dropped upon seeing it – I looked okay!!

Photos can be deceiving, but this one is not. When I look at it, I see someone who, in that fleeting moment, looks confident, present, and happy. Though I have returned to the usual grind this week of work, it feels as though this small boost gave me a gentle nudge and realisation. That though I am not where I was and do not look how I did, I still look presentable and maybe even nice…

So here’s to shirts that make us a feel a type of way.

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