Refreshing My Wardrobe (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

If you regularly take time to purge clothing and accessories you no longer wear and/or to add new items to your collection, do you first pause to consider your goals in doing so? I did in recent days and decided my first priority was comfort. After settling on this goal, I was then empowered to make decisions that fit for me.

Since starting T, I have gained a bit of weight. As a result, some of my clothes have become uncomfortable. I wear a binder when I attend public events and at work, so I need the rest of my attire to be loose-fitting. I want to be read as androgynous which fits along with my physical needs. To achieve this, I purchased pants that are a size larger than the ones I had been wearing and have the old pairs set aside for donation.

Comfort, for me, involves selecting clothing that reduce my body dysphoria and that do not trigger my eating disorder. I am in the process of adding fleece pullover shirts to my closet. I own one of them currently and it is the coziest shirt that I can wear as “work clothes” that I’ve ever owned. I ordered a variety of colors and a few styles so that it doesn’t feel like a uniform.

Appealing to other people’s tastes and making myself look nice are not my top priorities in terms of what I wear. I want to appear well-groomed and to have my clothing be in good repair, but I do not need to have expensive, on-trend clothes to feel good about myself. Removing any requirements to attract the male gaze from my clothing choices feels freeing. I also love the idea that part of what it means to be free is to acknowledge that people can dress in whatever way matches their top priorities; their choices do not need to be about comfort first if that is not what they value most. If you want to look sexy, go for it!

The longer I consider the topic, the more I realize our style of dress is a weird tangle of our personal insecurities, the lived realities of the prejudices people in marginalized groups face, and self-expression. I hope for a world in which what we chose to adorn our bodies is a matter solely of individual and collective expression and not the result of discrimination and/or internalized norms that do not fit our truest being. I’m grateful to be able to make choices for myself in this area. If you could choose, what would you set as the goal for your wardrobe? What pieces would you toss and/or add? How much does the way you dress each day reflect who you really are?

A Cozy Spot (Today’s Daily Remembrance)

My Daily Remembrance cards contain several prompts related to “what is at the intersection of…” which I’ve been skipping over as the questions feel too weighty and frankly confusing (even though I was the one who created them!). Today’s draw, however, was about the confluence of excitement and boredom, which I feel up for tackling. The answer, as my first pass, would be comfort and a safe coziness.

Excitement carries the potential for challenge and risk, which I tend to shy away from as much as possible. I rely on social interaction as my primary source of excitement, but it tends to quickly escalate into feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated. I have, however, had a few times in recent memory where things felt too static and that there was too little excitement.

Boredom comes for me also in many social settings; once I pass a certain point of too much activity happening around me, my brain goes into a lower gear and I feel immensely underwhelmed and disinterested in connection. Music pumping, lots of physical movement in a crowded space or many people all talking at once leads me to check out.

Even though I need little sensory information coming at me in order to feel satiated, I require a constant stream of mental engagement. I want to be learning something new and challenging my perception of the world as deeply as I can every day. My capacity to take in this type of stimulation–the intellectual/perception kind–is much higher than my external-stimuli processing one.

My dream, then, I suppose, would be a place where I could engage in both internal and external conversations, through writing, art and verbal communication, in a laid-back, soothing environment. Coffee-shops, especially large ones with lots of furniture choices, fit me perfectly and are where I’ve had some of my best fits in terms of high mental stimulation/low sensory input environments. Where I live now is unfortunately rather bereft of such places, and instead most of the art and well-being focused events are centered around alcohol (painting + wine, yoga + beer, etc.).

I have some down-time coming up in the next few weeks for the holidays, and I need to make visiting coffee-shops a priority. The coziness, the blending of not too much excitement with not too boring, should be nice. I also find a similar environment in art shops and museums. What places in your life do you find fit your need for stimulation best? Are you an adrenaline-seeker or low-key? Do you require more intellectual or sensory input to feel filled up?