Tag Archive: failure


I’ve spent the last couple of years attempting to make my life easier.  In some areas, I’ve been successful.  In other areas, I’m still a work in progress (I almost typed “failure” – but what is failure?  Just an idea that didn’t work.)

One of the areas I looked at was my wardrobe.  I researched capsule wardrobes and was initially intrigued, and then overwhelmed, and then stifled.

Making my life simpler does not include rotating cloths for the seasons.

Making my life simpler does not include mono-toned colors and patterns and accessorizing with scarves, purses and shoes.

Making my life simpler does not include checklists to make sure my wardrobe is “complete”.

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Don’t get me wrong – I am aware that capsule wardrobes are huge and people seem to love the idea.  I personally don’t know anyone who uses one – but that doesn’t mean the idea is wrong.

It’s just wrong for me.  I live in a location that doesn’t require rotating cloths for seasons (in Texas we have chilly, cool, just perfect, hot, sticky hot, and hot as hades weather – sometimes in the same day!).  I love color and sparkles.  I loathe scarves (I have no idea how to wear them, and with my extra-large girls hanging out on my chest, I don’t need any help accentuating them), I have just a couple of purses that I love and my shoes must be comfortable, yet cute.

I love checklists – so much so that Hun groans whenever I talk about one.  But one for clothes?  Come on!  There is a thing as too much of a good thing (if it works for you – great!  I’m not knocking that or you – it just isn’t necessary for me).

So…I didn’t do anything with my wardrobe except clean it out when Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” stormed the world.  I actually bought her book about a month before it really took off.  I felt like I was on the cutting edge!

Everything that I didn’t love left my closet.  There were a couple of pieces of clothing I had to keep due to work requirements, but everything else that I didn’t love – gone!

Three large trash bags of cloths were donated to charity.  I was left with about 20 shirts, 7-9 pairs of pants/skirts, 4 sweaters/jackets and 2 dresses hanging in my closet.  I could move my hangers freely.  My clothes could “breathe”!

At the point that I cleaned out my closet, I worked in a position that required uniforms – but before that I worked in an office that was business casual.  I kept everything that I could still wear as a weekend/after-hours outfit.

When I switched jobs about a year later, the business casual outfits were once again in use full-time.  I started to panic that I didn’t have enough work cloths.  It bothers me to wear the same thing every week to the office.  It depresses me and affects my mood.  But since I was only working part-time, I could not justify the added expense of new cloths.

One day, after about 6 months at my new position, a coworker asked me, “Is that a new outfit?”

Me – “No, it’s not.”

Her – “Then it’s a new shirt?”

Me – “No, I’ve worn this at least 3 times since I started working here.”

Her – “Huh, well…it looks different.”

I thought nothing of her comment at the time other than to realize – people really don’t pay much attention!

But…then something else happened recently.

I’m part of a group that recently issued a challenge – “Lay your cloths out the night before to help you be more productive in the morning.”

I commented, “Hmmm…I already have a system in place for this, but it doesn’t involve “laying clothes out the night before”.  All of my clothes (except for a very few, event specific items) are worn on a 4-5 week cycle.  Does that count?”

An astonished poster commented on my post, “You mean you have a plan on what you’ll wear each day for the next month?”

Not exactly – the closet and my system “plans” the outfits for me.

And that is when I realized that my “capsule wardrobe failure” is actually a success.

Most of my shirts will pair with most of my pants/skirts.  Most of my sweaters/jackets will pair with most of my outfits.

My shirts are my accessories with the colors, patterns and bling/sparkles.

All of my clothes can be dressed up or dressed down – depending on the occasion.

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My solid royal purple shirt goes well with my grey pants, black pants, white pants, jeans, shorts and black and while patterned skirt.  Each time I pair it with a different bottom, it is a new outfit.

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My tie-dyed inspired pink, brown, orange and white shirt goes well with jeans, shorts and either my brown or white pants.  Paired with a brown sweater, it’s a whole new look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wear the clothes that are “closest to the back” today, each day.  By doing this – each item is worn on a regular basis.

Why don’t I just pull from the front?  Because that’s where I hang the clothes that I just washed – pushing the older clothes to the back of the racks.  Isn’t that what most people do with their freshly washed clothes?  If I pulled from the front – I’ll be wearing the same items I just wore this week – and I abhor wearing the same thing over and over again!

Why don’t I just put the freshly washed clothes in the back?  Because doing that would cause my “special occasion” clothes to eventually make their way to the front – where I don’t want to see them when I first walk in the closet every morning (I know…I know…picky picky picky!).  Do you want to see your ski pants or ugly holiday sweater in July?  Besides – I’m usually rushing to hang clothes up just to be done with laundry – I don’t want to think about how to hang the cloths up any more than I want to spend time thinking about what I’m going to wear each morning.

So…how long does it take me to pick out my clothing each morning?  Depends on the day.  I spend more time thinking about what I want to wear on the weekends and my days off than I do on work days.

On work days, it takes me about 30 seconds to go to the back of my closet, skip the “special occasion” tops, grab the first top that was worn the longest ago, pair it with a bottom and decide if I want a sweater or jacket or not (usually yes – our office is FREEZING!).

On weekends, I consider what I’m doing that day, who I might see, where I might go, what I might do, what kind of mood I’m in, what the weather is going to be like where I’ll be, and if there is anything “special” about the above.  Will I need a change of clothes, should I layer, did I wear this to that event last time, and on and on and on.

I’ve spent more time than I care to admit attempting to figure out what I plan on wearing to Walmart than what I wear to work.  There’s something not quite right about me apparently…

So there you have it – my solution to my capsule wardrobe failure…uh…I mean…success!

 

Impostor Syndrome

The very title has me hanging my head in defeat.

Who do I think I am?  Why do people think they can trust me with these responsibilities?  Surely everyone knows that I’m a fraud, just as I know it.  One day, they will know that I’m not who they think I am and will point and say “SHAME!”

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome is a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  It strikes smart, successful individuals.  It often rears its head after an especially notable accomplishment, like admission to a prestigious university, public acclaim, winning an award, or earning a promotion. 

Source

I have felt like an impostor most of my life.

Why?

I don’t have a ready answer for that question.

When I was a child, I didn’t feel like I fit in with the other kids.  I wanted desperately to fit in, but my likes and dislikes didn’t fit in with theirs.  So, I changed, as best I could, to try to fit into their mould.  I loved wearing dresses in elementary school, but no one else did – so I forced myself to wear pants.  They loved music, I preferred my environment to be quiet and peaceful – when I did listen to music, it wasn’t what everyone else was listening to; so, again, I was labeled different.

Going into the teenage years is awkward enough for most kids; to me it seemed like everyone else had figured it out, but I was from another planet.  I liked school, loved learning – but that’s not what rebellious teenagers are supposed to do.  So I didn’t study, my one avenue that I could successfully rebel at – and succeeded with good grades anyway.  I was in honors classes, and I questioned why – I didn’t study, I didn’t want to care about getting good grades – couldn’t the adults see that?

And then it happened, I actually failed.  It came at a time when I should have been at the top of my glory – a senior in high school, a major part in a play, a leader on my team – and I failed English class.  School rules state you cannot participate if you fail – and I finally proved what no one else knew but me – I was a failure.  I was ashamed of myself.  I ran away, literally dropping out of school, certain that everyone was pointing at me behind my back.

The months that I was away from home were not all roses and fun, but neither was it gloom and doom either.  I learned a lot while I was away – about the world, about myself, and about life in general.

I had no direction, no purpose to my life at that point.  I fell into adulthood working, paying rent and wondering what was next.

Marriage – which was again a failure (if you count that I divorced him within 2 years).  Yes, I had my wonderful son Buddy out of the deal, but even that made me question myself at times.  Flotsam was ashamed of our son; he was ashamed of his disabilities; he was ashamed of me for “giving” him a disabled son.  The doubts would occasionally creep in, would make me wonder – am I a failure as a mother too?

Work was no better.  I was quickly promoted, a high-school drop-out, from employee to supervisor – the youngest in the company (I was only 21).  I had other employees questioning, within my hearing, what I had done to deserve the promotion over them?  I blew the comments off, I worked hard, and I learned all I could.  But still, I felt like I didn’t belong there.

Every few years, another promotion to another department, brought back the same doubts, the same questions – why?  Why do they believe in me?  Why do they trust me?

During this time I married Hun, with his three children; and Jetsam who openly questioned my value.  She acknowledged that I was a mother, but sneered that I was obviously not as good of a mother as she was.  That I failed at being a mother.  The kids, feeding off their mom’s disdain for me (desperate for her approval), echoed her statements, determined not to give me a chance.  So it became a self-fulfilling prophecy for them – in their eyes I am a failure of a parent.  Today, I still question what I did wrong; how, when I love these kids so much, how did I fail with them?  I question this as the failure is all mine.

And then it happened, at work I was promoted to the point that I could no longer succeed.  I failed and I could no longer handle the pressure.  I crumpled and quit, willing to throw away a 20 year career.  The stress of trying to prove that I was worthy was too great.  I was a failure and now everyone knew it.

I stepped back; I examined my life, my hopes, my dreams, my own desires.

My mind wandered – researching, learning, soaking-up how to find myself again.  Reading, podcasts, journaling, meditating; all in hopes of rediscovering who I truly am.

I concluded that I had not been living an authentic life; that I had been living my life for others, to make them happy rather than myself.  Glimpses of my true self had poked through, straining to free itself from the cage I had placed it in – trying to appear “worthy” of those around me who wanted me to be someone else, someone different.

The times I had stood up for not only myself, but for the kids – to Flotsam, to Jetsam, and even to Hun.

The time I had insisted that I wasn’t ready for a promotion – knowing in my heart that it would lead to the failure it finally did.

Ignoring those around me, admonishing me that I cared too much for kids who didn’t return my feelings, telling me to give up – standing my ground and saying “no, I will not!”

It has startled me, in writing this post, to come to the realization that I have been an impostor.  That I have good reason to feel like one – because I am one.

I have been trying to be someone I’m not all this time.  I have failed at being Karaboo.

All this time, I have been ashamed of who others think I am, instead of embracing the greatness of me.

Yes, I am stubborn – but that also means that I am determined, persistent, steadfast, tenacious and tough.

I can be opinionated – but also confident, bold, courageous, undaunted and self-assured.

I tend to be judgmental – which is a combination of my intuition, awareness, experience, reasoning and understanding – and more often than not, my insights are correct.

Finally, I have been accused of being uncaring – they see the surface of my intensity and not my passion, dedication, and spirit.

People who know me are going to say I have changed.

They will be right.