Choices always come true

I blow upon a dandelion

And make a little wish

Yet I choose the same as I did yesterday

So, I don’t believe in dandelion fluff

Or fairy dust

Anymore ….

We are always in a position to choose. But how often do we take that opportunity, or even see that such a thing exists?

Yet wishes are everywhere and so many remain unfulfilled, because we don’t realise that choices are stronger than wishes and what’s more, choices always come true

We operate on dated software. People rarely change their haircuts. Some never change jobs, even though those jobs are oppressing or depressing them. We eat off the same plates, drink from the same cups, literally and metaphorically for much of our lives, we unconsciously choose the same things, unless some disaster such as fire or flood destroys our homes and we have to begin from scratch.

The opportunity to choose, is an opportunity to discover who you are. When did you last check? I change a lot, have changed extraordinary since I was in my twenties, both mentally and physically, so I tend to check in regularly with what I’m up to, and yet to be honest, I don’t even know.

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher said “Change is the only constant in life”

Franklin said “Nothing is certain except death and taxes”

But really, anyone could have said these things – they are truisms, things that we all know. Yet how infrequently do we wonder about how much of current life, our current friends, our current job, our current wardrobe, haircut, car, teacup, perhaps even our current spouse, suits us?

I’m not saying that anyone, least of all me, should throw away every thing they own and begin again in every way. Far from it. That would be ridiculous. But the thought process is a good one to go through when you have become so far embedded in your comfortable little rut of daily living, that perhaps you haven’t asked yourself in awhile “am I choosing this? Or is it choosing me? Does this person, thing make me feel good or is it in fact draining the lifeblood out of me?”

Every January, a myriad of people buy gym memberships and make bargains with themselves that most give up by February if not sooner.

This is driven by a desire to change. But it is a top down and backwards way of doing things. Perhaps that is why so few last. It may be driven by the awareness that something needs to changed, but in the desperate desire to change, they may have got their choices and the reason for those choices wrong. They may not even know they are choosing or why because they are oblivious to the programs that their mind is running.

What if we decided everything not on whether someone else would like it, not on what someone else would think of our decision but carefully and deeply considered “what do I truly want, would this suit me? How would that make me, this me that I am right now, feel?”

To take those questions further than the wardrobe or hairstyle, and apply it to the people which we choose to mix with, the job we spend so much of our lives working at, the hobbies that once filled a void but now just fill cupboards and take up too much space? Year after year we choose. Either unconsciously or consciously. In the end what we choose becomes the life that we look back on. But can every seventy or eighty or ninety year old. Hell, can every forty or fifty year old say “I chose that” or did their life simply continue to be the result of a choice that made, and then kept choosing.

This post came to me over the course of a wardrobe transformation which has in turn, transformed my thinking lately. Clothes are like that – transformative, yet so often we dismiss the idea of fashion or clothes as frivolous and materialistic. I do anyway, to the point that I’m a bit sheepish to add to this post by discussing it. But I think the discussion of clothes and choice go together because every day – as human beings, we choose what we put on our bodies. Unless you are a nudist (and that in itself is also a choice). “What am I going to wear today?” is the first item on the agenda for many, and what you choose can make or break how your day goes in terms of how easy that item of clothing is to find and how it makes you feel when you put it on.

Steve Jobs, the genius, knew all about the energy that decisions such as this can take, he chose peace and a uniform of black polo necks and jeans. Something he felt good in and they suited him.

Many people make a choice not to choose and that is fine. But how many of us choose again and again things that don’t suit us or we make the choice in desperation or anxiety at having no idea what to wear?

And yes I know how fortunate such a dilemma to have even is. Plenty of people have limited choice due to poverty or circumstances out of their control. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a million other people making poor choices with their wardrobe, both the purchasing and the wearing, every day that isn’t leading to a gigantic pile of waste. I know, because I contribute seasonally to that waste when I donate things to charity, because I have made the wrong choice in buying the item and can’t live with it taking up space my wardrobe anymore. The waste frustrates me. I want to do better yet I am a very eclectic person – I was making the wrong choices. Well up until lately when instead of me transforming my wardrobe, the task of updating it, transformed me.

I’ve lost weight in the last six months, quite a bit, enough that many of my old clothes looked and felt ridiculously large, and I needed to buy some new pieces.

I’ve gone up and down a little in weight over the years, I have never changed drastically, but I have now and since I know it is going to be a forever thing – simply because I have settled into this fasting thing as a lifestyle that I enjoy and find easy – I figured it was safe to buy a new wardrobe.

And I don’t just mean a small overhaul. It was top to bottom and inside out, underwear, bras, even my shoe size has changed.

With a chance to begin again, I put a lot of thought into the things I chose.

When we have a base that we are adding to – as with anything in life – things can go awry if the base is wrong.

My old wardrobe was disparate. Things added to it over time, many purchased on a whim or due to some mood that I was going through at the time. The holiday mood when you feel bohemian, but nothing works when you get back to your rural roots. That sort of thing. Regardless I had plenty that I loved but that didn’t really go with anything else.

There was no base, no planning, no idea. My cupboards resembled a mix match of emotions and feelings and I could rarely find anything that felt right without a great deal of digging. Which is time consuming and draining.

Stick with me, this post is about more than clothes and fashion I promise.

2023 is shaping up to be a year of travel. Short trips – over a week-end, long trips – seven days or so and trips I haven’t even thought of yet, but I know they are going to happen, because I can feel that this is one of those years. A year of change and growth.

An interest in clothes and fashion is often labelled as frivolous and materialistic. The fashion industry, and deservedly so, has in the last few years, copped a lot of flack for being environmentally destructive. Both in then way in which clothes are manufactured, but also in the way in which they are discarded, their used by dates are sometimes less than a container of butter. So much money and emotion is tied up in clothes, particularly for women, but also men.

Yet pulling on just the right outfit transforms everything about how we feel about ourselves. Instead of having social anxiety around an event that I have to attend, suddenly, with the right clothes, I am looking forward to it. So in this way, getting our clothes right, should be top of mind to anyone that has confidence issues. Sadly, our clothes are often the root cause of dread, rather than the delight which they can be, if we are able to get the choices right.

I’m creative. I appreciate art. I love clothes, I love interesting textures and vibrant colours, and I love the way I feel when I am wearing a beautiful item of clothing that I know I look good in, and I can truly appreciate. Clothes are either life affirming or life draining and that difference can be felt with excruciating immediacy from within the four walls of a change room with bad lighting.

Far from being an easy fix. A wardrobe overhaul is probably one of the largest obstacles that women over a certain age avoid like the plague. Oh we probably buy plenty of things, but how many of us actually get it right without the help of a personal stylist and why does the help of a good personal stylist work?

Because they see as we are, not who we think we are. A personal stylist, a well trained one, is assessing us as skin colour, hair colour, eye colour, body shape. They are looking at us as we are in this moment and endeavouring to find things that suit us. They are not stuck in preconceived concepts. They deal with facts.

How do we do this, when it comes to looking clearly and unemotionally at who we are right now and what suits us?

I think I went into this process with the right mindset. I wanted a wardrobe that I could wear that I felt good in. I wanted a wardrobe that all coordinated to make even more pleasing outfits. I wanted a wardrobe that was made of sustainable fabrics that felt good now, and would become even better with time, and that (again with ageless fashion in mind) were classic shapes and colours.

I was truly fortunate that I came across a website that had almost everything that I was looking for and it all hinged around a core colour that I had never thought of. Brown. Turns out brown loves me and I love brown. Brown gets such a terrible wrap as a colour but as a nature lover I found when I put this colour on, it feels deeply relaxing.

What items to choose can be paralysing, even with a great colour and selection available.

This is where travel can be edifying. You can only take so much in a suitcase. You have to take things which are suitable for a myriad of purposes with a couple of stand out pieces that nevertheless, look and feel timeless, in case you have to wear them for a couple of nights in a row. This structure automatically pars the choices back to a limited but clear selection.

I have done this process in a kind of backward way, but it has worked.

First I bought my capsule wardrobe in a base colour that I loved.

Next, out came everything that didn’t fit my body. This took care of all the micro decisions around colour and whether a piece had cost a lot of money and should therefore be worthy of a place in the new wardrobe. If it didn’t fit, it was put to the side.

Then I chose only the left over items whose colours complimented my new outfits. Turns out once I culled the clutter, there were many colours that went perfectly with the browns and creams that I had chosen as a base wardrobe.

What I am left with now is an extensive array of clothes that fit perfectly, feel amazing and will be able to be packed to take with me at a moments notice.

In short (because I probably really do need to shorten this up and get to the point – alas we have not reached it yet) I have the wardrobe that I have always dreamt of. One which I love, and don’t spend a lot of fuss and time trying to match up or pair.

The chance to buy everything from scratch for the person that I am right now, and to do so mindfully and with care, was an opportunity to choose.

We are, of course, always in a position to choose. But how often do we take that opportunity, or even see that such a thing exists?

And now we are back at the beginning and perhaps I should have left it there.

I didn’t have to add to the second half of this post, my personal experience with wardrobe. It probably seems extraneous and indulgent to some. I thought about it a fair bit during writing and I nearly deleted it quite a few times. However, in the end I have decided that this one choice, the one that we universally make every day, indicates how important all the choices that we make, create our lives and enhance or detract from our experience of that life.

So I left it in and I will add to it with a further note, because if you have read all the way to here then you may as well read a bit further.

When I was a child, if I did the wrong thing, my Mother had a wonderful thing where although I was in the poo for the day of the thing in which I had erred, the next morning everything was forgiven and forgotten.

Every day was a fresh start. I have a very clear memory of being nine or so and bouncing down the staircase because I knew, due to past experience, that Mum would have completely forgiven me, the misdemeanours of yesterday were forgotten.

Because of this I don’t wait until next week or next month or January to change things in my life. I just begin the next day. I’m forever grateful to Mum and the way she parented for that simple mechanism to allow things to reset overnight. We all have the chance to be whatever we want to be, to change, to transform, to begin fresh, at any moment, or on any morning.

Today is a new day. Choose.

And if you hate your choices, choose again tomorrow. Keep choosing until you find what feels just right, not too heavy, not too light, but just right, for you.

8 thoughts on “Choices always come true

  1. You’ve covered a lot of ground here. While I agree that each new day is an opportunity to make different choices, circumstances in our lives beyond our control can override our heart’s desires.

    • That’s true Rosaliene and unfortunately when I cover a lot of ground I write fast and don’t always include every perspective – I think there will always be circumstances outside of everyone’s control, we still have choice but our choices become constrained.

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