Yea, I know that we should do things for ourselves and we should just be ourselves bla bla bla. But really, these days, if it were up to me, I think I would rock up at work every single day wearing a pair of jeans, no make up. BUT we live in a society where grooming up is a necessity as to a certain level, we are expected to be appropriately presentable; it is one of the ways of demonstrating respect to those around us; that we are bothered enough to make the effort to clean up and be presentable.
Ten years ago, I would never have predicted that politeness is the main driver of this change. Quite frankly, I am not sure I have succeeded in this challenge. I am still figuring things out. I have become aware of the fit of my clothes (which is why I enjoy reading extra petite very much). I read Nina Garcia's books (the Look Book and the Little Black Book of Style). I edit my closet. I become a lot pickier of the things that I wear. I have no problem returning gifts to my family if they are simply not wearable (and in the process politely ask them not to buy me clothes/shoes/bags without me being involved in the decision making).
It has been a very relieving experience. I am so relieved that I don't have to look at the things that do not make my heart sing. I am so relieved that I don't have to look at things that I know I would never wear. I am so relieved to claim my space back again. I am so relieved that I can be honest with people about my preferences. I have no problem letting go of things that I know I don't use.
I am much relieved that I don't get enticed to buy things as easily as I used to. I have no problem putting things down and walking away and train myself not to think about those things.
I realise that just like other things in life, this requires discipline, and discipline is hard work. And it is ok, because I can work for it.