I think it’s wonderful, the way we mid-life women have learned to own and express our opinions. Even in the realm of fashion/style, we don’t want to be sheep and follow other people’s rules.
This Steve Jobs’ quote from a commencement speech in 2005 makes me so happy: “Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”
For many of us, this courage of conviction has come with age. I so admire the young bloggers who are confident and outspoken, and follow their own drummer. In my twenties I was a hard-working professional and no wallflower, but I was certainly a conformist. I was a “good girl” who followed The Rules and didn’t rock many boats, style or otherwise.
It was while reading the responses to my recent post about wardrobe essentials that this realization hit harder: we are not sheep, baby! So many of my over-40 readers commented that they liked the list just fine, but they don’t follow “lists” or “guidelines” strictly anymore. Hooray! Love that. Love you.
This confidence shows itself in many guises. Our internet service was recently blocked at work. I wrote the IT department and asked for access to be restored to my usual professional sites, but also to my blog, because it benefits me during my (unpaid) down time. I never would have asked such a thing 20 years ago – for fear of being “too unprofessional” or frivolous or just uncooperative. Now it felt right. And my blog access was restored.
What’s the worst that could happen if we express our opinions? We might get disagreed with, or even ridiculed or shunned. Disagreed with? It’s the spice of life! And those latter two outcomes are 1) unlikely, and 2) non-fatal. When applied to fashion, the risks are truly negligible. (When applied to politics, they have gotten me shushed from the in-laws’ dining table on more than one occasion. But no one died.)
Thank you, fellow bloggers and readers, for sharing your opinions, for being proud of them, and for stepping onto the road less traveled. As Robert Frost wrote ” . . . and that has made all the difference.”