Mom stopped me one day when she noticed.
"Are you wearing two different socks?" She asked.
"Well, you can't do that, people will think I don't know how to dress you."
"But you're not the one dressing me, I'm dressing me, and I want to wear two different socks," I argued.
Mom would not see reason and in the end, I had to wear matching socks from that point on.
When I was that age, I genuinely didn't care what other people thought of me or what I wore. I thought, anyone judging me by what I put on my feet clearly has nothing better to do, and I believed it.
I often think about that and wonder what happened. Somewhere between age 10 and age 29, I've developed uncertanties about what I wear in public.
Mind you, I'm by no means a fashionista. I shop at thrift stores. Paying anything more than $5 for a t-shirt is absolutely ridiculous to me, and even that's pushing it (I prefer to shop in the $1-$2 range). I have two pairs of pants that I wash and re-wear. I only replace my shoes when someone takes pity on my current pair and gifts me a new one. Seriously. I haven't paid for shoes in twelve years.
And yet, when I'm doing something a little more involved than making a midnight ice cream run to the grocery store, I get anxious about my limited wardrobe. Going to a nice restaurant can illicit a bit of stress. Job interviews put me into a near-comotose state of panic.
Still, I can't bring myself to spend the money on improving my wardrobe. The ten-year-old in me just doesn't care, while the 29-year-old I am is all like, "JUST BUY A DAMN BLAZER."
You'd think hanging out with predominantly circus performers would help, but in a way, it actually makes it worse. My wardrobe is not quirky enough! I don't have nearly enough stripey socks/baggy pants/tiny top hats/puffy skirts/corsets/utility belts/knee high boots! Indeed, I find my costume selection to be a bit lacking.
How sad is that? In a community where you're supposed to feel free to express yourself, I find myself longing to fill my closets with stuff that would help me express my desire to look like everyone else. Fifth grade me would be so disappointed.
The truth is, wearing what I have is expressing myself. I'm thrifty. I belive in minimalism. I am more interested in the event itself rather than stressing about getting ready for the event (even though I do). I should just chill out and wear what I'm going to wear.
I often think back to the sock incident. I wonder, if my mother had let me wear the mismatched socks, would I have learned to be more confident in my clothing choices? Or would the influence of society weighing down on my self-worth would have gotten to me regardless? There's no way to know for sure. The best I can do now is work with what I've got, and be proud of my mismatched everything.