I've caught a cold last week. It wasn't until I scrambled through my medicine bag to find that all my cold medicine expired in 2016, that I realized I hadn't gotten sick much in a few years. Whether physical or mental, I don't always remember or appreciate my own strength. I know I am strong, but it takes discipline, reminders, and seeing myself succeed in specific tasks for me to remember that sometimes.
When I was navigating Europe on my first long solo trip, I would sometimes literally say aloud to myself: "I can do anything". I found the verbal confirmation really encouraging. Despite unfamiliarity with cultures I encountered and constantly dealing with logistics, it was easy to feel capable as opportunities for new adventures presented themselves all around me. At home, however, I could get into a lull from the predictability of the daily routine. I start getting comfortable and start feeling less interesting and daring. One (perhaps) small thing that can really turn my mood around is a good outfit, and nothing makes me feel more powerful than a statement blazer. If I feel good in my outfit, there's a spring in my step. I I feel more confident, more open to spontaneous conversations, and often end up being more productive.
Clothes, of course, like everything else in life, aren't magic. Sometimes nothing seems enough to make me feel better about the problems I'm having. The only choice I have is to accept it. At the end of the day, all we can do is try to be as kind to ourselves and others as possible. These two sets of photos were taken and edited 7 months apart in very different moods. Looking at them reminds of me of my own strength and creativity, but most importantly, the blessings that are my friends. We explored new parts of our city while taking these photos, giddy over ones that turned out better than we imagined. Another friend gifted me the dress I'm wearing. For them I am grateful.