A Sabbatical of Style

I’m back on Facebook.

And as much as I’d like to say that I feel like a different person now that I was, I’m finding quite quickly that old habits die hard. I will still post something on my wall, and then check back five minutes later to see if anyone has liked it. I will still gravitate towards the photos section, for decidedly vain reasons. Being away from Facebook for a month can’t fix everything.

But I do think it helped a little bit. It gave me enough space to realize that my life at least doesn’t revolve around Facebook, and a little more courage and resolve to keep it that way. If only briefly, I was able to breathe a little bit, and get myself to the point where I wasn’t worried about what was happening on social media — I was focusing on the people around me. I was texting people personally to see how they were doing, instead of just viewing their lives through the newsfeed. And now that I’m back, I will try to remain in that perspective, hard though it may be.

I like the idea of taking a break from things that are frequent reoccurrences in your life. I kind of want to do one thing every month. It’s a nice reminder of who you are underneath all your baggage — you are not someone on Facebook. You are not someone who has an image to uphold. You are you.

I think my next possessions-break will be with my wardrobe. I’m not one who always has to wear makeup, or freaks out if one hair is out of place… but I do have an inordinately large amount of clothes. Several people have told me that I should make one of those capsule posts, about taking ten items of clothing and making it work for a month. At first, I took pride in the fact that so many people thought my sense of style was strong enough that I could pull this off.

But the truth is, doing something like that would make my identity even more outward-focused than it already is. I have become known for having cool hair and outfits. I am my style.

I made a post about makeup a while back, and how it can be your art project — and how my hair is also my art project — but then I made the specification: “Just don’t allow it to cover you up.” Well, in the same fashion (pun not intended), I’d like to  make sure my clothing doesn’t cover me up (so to speak). Strip away my style, and what do you have? I mean, I’m still there. But what am I? When I removed Facebook from my life, I dealt with the blow of being less visible. Now I’d like to make my personality more visible. Much like the capsule idea, I could get rid of a good chunk of my clothes, but instead of getting creative with a few articles for one month, maybe I’ll just wear black.

Let me explain.

The stereotypical “film director’s wardrobe” is a black t-shirt and jeans. There are a lot of reasons behind this, but the main one that I’ll focus on is this: it doesn’t distract from the vision that the director wants. In the morning, a film director doesn’t get up and say, “What shall I wear today?” A film director says, “Where are clothes that I can put on so I can go out and do my life’s passion?”

So maybe that’s a little dramatic. But instead of worrying the entire day about whether I picked an outfit that matches (which is more often than not), I could be thinking about the next project I’m working on.

Or, I can worry instead about connecting with people through the interaction of our identities, rather than my outfit.

I do love wearing pretty things. This is technically a part of my identity. But, just like I took a break from Facebook, maybe I need to take a sabbatical from style. When I return, I can go back to those choice articles of clothing that I kept, but perhaps I won’t be so caught up in it, and focused on how the world sees me.

I may need some accountability on this, folks. Starting in September.

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