Last night I ran to Old Navy to purchase a new pair of black pants as my current ones literally fell off me yesterday.  They’d been large from the start and at this point I just look sloppy in them.  As I walked in to the door of the store from my car, I realized I have very few clothes which aren’t from Old Navy.  Why?  Well they have plus-sized clothing of course and at prices which don’t make me cringe when a student spills some dye on me in the lab.  So I got to thinking… everything of mine is Old Navy.  My coat, the sweatshirt I throw on all the time, all of my pants, 90% of my shirts.  I’m literally a walking advertisement for Old Navy every day of my life.  There is another reason for this…

As I became larger and larger, I shopped less and less.  I eventually stopped shopping for clothing in stores altogether, especially once Old Navy went to having their plus sized clothing online only.  For one thing, it saved me those horrible moments in dressing rooms when the fat seems to be bulging out of every available space and the same size I’d worn for a year is now too small.  For another thing, I already knew how Old Navy clothing fit me… no need to worry about having to send things back.

Right now I”m beginning to feel overwhelmed.  I’ve begun the process of needing to shop in person so I can try things on.  This puts me back out in public where, surprisingly I feel pretty confident these days.  Trying things on is kind of fun, also.  However, I’m still hovering inside of Old Navy, reluctant to leave it’s familiar walls and feelings of safety.  The idea of being able to shop in the mall once again is frightening.  There are so many choices.  There are so many places to shop.  It’s a good overwhelming, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I’m so not used to it.  Plus sized women have few places to shop.  My choices were essentially made for me.  Now that I’m able to shop in so many places, I realize I’m going to go through something of a clothing revolution.  Maybe I’ll start dressing trendy.  Maybe I’ll find I have a style all my own.  Maybe I’ll stop wearing things which are plain, dull and nondescript.

It’s an odd sensation because I realize I’m very likely reinventing myself and doing that is not my original intention.  It’s scary because I realize how badly I do need to reinvent and “find” myself.  It’s exhilarating  because I finally feel as though I’m getting somewhere.  WooHoo!

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