My sister and I had a most interesting discussion last night, over an imaginary map made up of empty cups, saucers, and glasses. We were in a Korean cafe on a very late Friday evening. We talked about doors, and how some movements must be the act of opening doors and walking through them.
It's quite a record, actually, that I was out last night. I was just out on Wednesday to spend an afternoon with a friend (who helped trigger awake a number of suddenly possible directions). And then Friday night I made the effort to dress up (discovering without a doubt that I really have to upgrade my recently minimalised wardrobe) and went out to have dinner with my sister and her friend.
After dinner we browsed and shopped a little -- me forking over the cash oh so carefully but also recognising the necessity of allowing this expense in order to further my own forward movements. I have been very stingy on my own personal spending since I would rather not have anything new than worry about how to cover next month's household bills.
I bought two plain shirts of different colours (which echoed my own painting palette preferences), a pair of brown tights, and a pair of brown leggings. These are meant to expand the possibilities of my current skirts and dresses. I have mentally marked one perfectly fitting dress to return for once I've slept over the idea of buying it. Half the stuff left in my closet after I minimalised are leaning too much into the shabby-but-not-chic side and while they are favourites I may really have to let go of them soon or re-assign them as houseclothes.
Today I have plans of going to the mall and shopping for fabric to be made into skirts. I have an aunt who sews so I can have new skirts without having to pay the full store prices. Then also fabric for a few dresses. I already know the kind of clothes that make me feel both comfortable and nice. I do not have the face nor form (nor the finances) for following fashions. I also do not have the patience to make the effort to keep abreast of trends.
It is quite an awkward feeling, and I admit to feeling a bit sheepish at all this attention being paid to how I look. Last night my sister and I also dropped by out favourite local skin care and makeup brand, Snoe, and she got moisturisers. I, on the other hand, with much internal wrestling, bought a bottle of lemon drop spritz -- a definite upgrade from my all-time go-to baby cologne. The spritz smelled like how I would imagine a lemon orchard would smell like while the trees are heavy with ripening fruit and all the spaces in between trees are carpeted with flowers and everything coated with sunshine.
While I remain a total fan of solitude and spending as much time in my studio traveling my inner countries, I believe that the time has come for me to balance that inward movement with outward movement. Certainly the person who comes out of that voluntary seclusion is a different person from the one who went in. But different in the sense that I am better equipped (I hope) for any encounter. It does not mean I will start going to parties and chatting up strangers to "reach out". Or joining clubs and workshops. I still want to bring my quiet with me.
It means I will go out and relate to the world according to who I am and what I am. I will, however, concede to the compromise of being a character in order to participate in the common social language. But the character will be of my own choosing, and will not be a betrayal of my own values. But I will be open and receptive, and honest, and kind. I will also be mindful of protecting myself while respecting the truths of others.
I will be out there, moving into larger spaces, daring the labyrinth, mustering up the courage to keep opening doors and walking through them, both real and metaphorical portals.
I will be out there, silent and shining and real, in the best possible way I can.