Don't Sweat(s) the Small Stuff
BY VERONICA VICCORA
It was not my finest hour. In fact, I was pretty miserable lying on the couch while it felt like something attempted to claw its way out of my uterus. While I believe life is an occasion worth dressing up for, drooling on my pillow with a nasty case of PMS is where I give myself a break. Still, generally speaking I live by a simple sartorial mantra: if you don't want to feel like garbage, don't show up in the world looking like it. Living in the same pair of sweat pants for 3 plus days should usually be a style choice reserved only for when you're in bad shape. Which I was. So I figured taking out the trash was a perfectly acceptable time to emerge from my abode in something less than my best.
I ran in and out of my apartment, trying to be seen by as little people as possible all the while trying to decide who looked worse, the bag of trash in my hand or me. And then I was struck by a thought: when did my standards get so high?
I thought back to a time, pre-Manhattan, when I was perfectly comfortable going to work in 3 week old sweat pants. But now, I was questioning whether or not recycled leggings were acceptable enough to take out my recycling. Had living in New York changed me? Perhaps my rural Long Island hometown simply didn't call me to dress up the way this city does. For starters, back home, taking out my garbage wasn't exactly a public affair. Here, however, any moment outside of my apartment puts me at risk of running into a friend, an employer and/or a movie director just waiting for someone with my exact look for their next film. Here, the buzz of unknown possibility is ever present.
Or perhaps I was never really all that comfortable wearing sweat pants on a daily basis. Maybe it just became my default because in truth, I wasn't all that happy back then. If my life currently is indeed like a Big shiny Apple, life on Long Island was like a dried up apple core. Most of my friends had moved. Or changed. I was always stressed out, with several jobs and not a clue where any of them were leading me. And while my softest pair of leggings (despite the hole in the left butt cheek) might've been a source of much needed comfort in a hard time in my life, did they really make me feel like the best version of myself? In short, I guess I did feel like garbage and that's exactly how I was showing up.
Still, I can't give all the credit to New York. Because even when I first moved here, I found the comforting call of my old ripped leggings sometimes too seductive to ignore. A change in your surroundings may be the catalyst for a change in your outlook, but the point is that your mentality must shift too. Yes, I'm happy to be living out a life long dream in a place where style and self expression are quite welcome. But at my core, I believe that we're more than just byproducts of our circumstances. I believe adventure can be found anywhere; you don't have to come all the New York to find it.
It wasn't necessarily my outside that needed changing, but my inside. And the good news is, that can be done from anywhere. It can be easy to get back into the habit of complaining about work, choosing what's "easy" or "comfortable" but these days, I'm trying to be a lot more positive, focus on what I have to grateful for and therefore show up in life like I'm grateful and excited to be there.
To me, that means starting with an outfit that makes me feel incredible. An outfit that says, yes, life may get us down sometimes but why sweat the small stuff?