Yesterday I woke up 20 minutes early entirely to ensure I’d have that much extra time to fuss over my outfit.

I’ve never been what anyone would call a “girly girl”.  The tricks of doing hair have usually eluded me, makeup makes me nervous, and for most of my life I’ve bought clothes to hide my body.  Ok, maybe not my ENTIRE body, but to hide my belly, or mask my chubby thighs, or even to cover more of my huge arms.  Heck, it’s not like I even have boobs enough to wear a low cut top and feel like I’m baring something.

So anyway, the whole concept of enjoying clothes shopping is pretty new for me.  I’m loving it, I really am (in moderation, mind you, I am not made of money).  A couple weeks ago I went shopping and bought a dress.  It’s cute.  A sweater dress with a tiny sleeve, beaded around the collar and which falls nicely just above the knee.  I love it from the moment I put it on over my jeans (a definite outfit sometime, seriously).

Yesterday, I woke up 20 minutes early so I could wear that dress to work.  It’s the first time I’ve worn a dress to work and the third time I’ve worn a dress in 5 years.  (Totally counting my wedding day in there.)   I was scared to death.  See, I knew the dress would attract attention and suddenly all my insecurities came flying out of the box I’ve stuffed them in.  What if the dress isn’t in style?  What if I’m not wearing it the right way?  What if it doesn’t look as good as I think it does?

You know, those insecurities can be summed up by this:  They’re all gonna laugh at you!

It took all 20 of those extra minutes to get ready yesterday morning, plus another 5.  (oops)  And you know something?  No one laughed.  About 20 people said I looked “soooo cute” and most people didn’t even look at me twice.  You know, because I am just a person in a dress… it’s nothing special.

So yeah… it was a cool day.

Tonight I’ve got my gathering.  There have been a few people who can’t make it but those who are coming are totally excited.  Again, inviting people over…hosting anything at all…. not usually my thing so I’m nervous.

And I guess what all this means is… I’m stepping out of my shell.

It feels good, too.  I mean, all these years I’ve held myself back a lot; always afraid of not being good enough or not being able.  In the past year I’ve decided I am good enough and I’ve also decided I will make myself able.  So here I am, wearing dresses and hosting gatherings… donning makeup more often too.

I wouldn’t call myself a butterfly or anything, but I’m definitely stepping out of who I used to be, molting if you will… I like the changes.  I like the new me.  I like knowing I’m good enough.  I like knowing that, just because I can’t do something right now, it doesn’t mean I won’t ever be able to.