Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to dress up. I always have. It’s an outward, artistic expression of who I am. I like fantasy, not because I deny reality, but because my fantasy helps me clarify my reality.
So when I notice myself going to a Fantasy/Sci-fi convention, on Halloween weekend, and I don’t dress up… I know something is wrong. But what?
What follows are internal blatherings, so if you don’t relate or think I’m silly and vain then feel free to pass with grace and peace from me to you.
I only publish these thoughts as I presume I am not so unique as to be alone in my inner struggles and perhaps someone else might hear me and know they are not alone, too.
So, this morning as I prepared to go to day two of ICON39, the Fantasy/writing Con here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I consider why I have seemingly avoided my usual fancy dress. My subconscious reasoning saddens me.
My inner self tells me I do not want to dress up and draw attention to my outward appearance. I don’t want to look as beautiful as I can. Sure, I’ll touch up my hair and make-up to look pretty presentable, but I don’t want to turn heads… which cosplay, or even just a corset, usually does. Why not?
I am tired of physical attraction.
Let me be painfully honest here. What I am about to say truly hurts.
So many times I dress up because I like to feel pretty. I like to take an old thing and make it look beautiful. I do that in my art with old windows.
And while I insist on maintaining youthfulness in my attitude, I will be 43 years old on Sunday. Some consider this old. I refuse to age, but my body does what it does on its own. That isn’t what bothers me. I actually love me.
What bothers me is all the men who take one look at my voluptuous and buxom figure overflowing in my corset and start salivating and twitching their hands wanting to reach out and play, like a little boy eager to rip the wrappers off his new present and play all night long with this fun new toy!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not condemn such behavior. I am a lusty woman who delights in romping with much gusto, but I am tired, so very tired, of the continual influx of “gentleman” that are drawn to the outside, but as soon as they catch a glimpse of the intensity within, they take off running. For I am not an easy woman to love.
I am honored and flattered by outward attentions. I am vain, I admit that. I do like to see the gents turn their heads and take that second look as I pass by, but I am tired of that being all it ever is. There is so much MORE to me than my DDD and greatness of behind. There is more to me than my infectious laugh and winning personability. I ache within.
Everyday I rise, I do so only because I survived the battle with depression the night before. Every moment I say #NotToday because I know my depression, anxiety, and addiction will kill me someday. Either quickly by my own hand, or slowly by chipping away at my soul bit by bit. But not today. Today is not the day I will allow defeat to kill me.
Yet, I cannot just survive, I must thrive.
So I will choose to dress out today. I don’t want to. I don’t want to be the physical attraction that gives a little thrill to all who look on me. I care not for that. I care that I do not allow my depression to dictate what I do.
I would rather stay in bed, unshowered, unkempt, in tears, and bid the joy of living goodbye. But NOT TODAY.
So I will kick the cat off my back (he sleeps there as I write this), get in the shower, shave, wash my hair, then style it, paint on my make-up, glitter myself in shiny jewelry, and last but not least, I will put my happy face on!
I don’t do this to conceal the sadness within. I do it to coax the sadness out that I may turn the frown upside-down and smile.
So, if you happen to see me today at ICON, or see a photo, or connect with me at some other time, just know that I am there to generate joy within myself that I may pour out the same in you. Please do not dump your criticism on me. Please do not ply your lusty learing over my body. I just may not be strong enough to remain standing under the weight of that. Getting where I am is almost all I can do.
But, I pray that by doing so I will generate the energy to keep my joy afloat and pour out into you.
Ultimately, Jesus is my generator. I rest in Him. But, I gotta get out of bed.