This dazzling ensemble is what I wore to the post office this morning. I literally rolled out of bed, threw on an ugly, stained, ratty sweatshirt, stuck my feet in my boots (I'm not even wearing socks, yo... because I'm a rebel. And I couldn't find any within a foot of where I was sitting), ran my fingers through my raging bedhead, got in my car, and went.
I even went inside, talked to the post office lady, smiled at a few old people, and gave zero fucks.
As I was driving the half mile home (shut up, it's raining. Not that I'd walk if it wasn't, but still) I had a brief moment of clarity: Dude... you have completely left your Shame in the dust.
Shame is hanging out at the beach right now drinking Starbucks and eating a scone and I'm in upstate New York wandering around in public in my jammies hating on Dunkin Donuts. (Seriously, it's gross. Weak-ass coffee, greasy sad donuts. Toughen your shit up, Dunkin... I want my coffee to taste like coffee and I want a damn maple oatnut scone. And green tea that is actually green... but that's a complaint for a different day.)
(And then I totally forgot what I was talking about.)
I felt wistful for a moment. I remember Shame. Shame was that voice of reason that made me shower every day, shave my legs in the winter time, do my hair, and put on pants. Shame walked behind me and nagged me until I put on a bra, ate my vegetables, and reminded me not to announce "That's bullshit!" every time I disagreed with someone. Shame gave me a filter, helped me shop, and reminded me I wasn't invisible when I had an itch that needed to be scratched in public. Shame would have advised me not to sit in the open hallway at work and pick carrot cake crumbs out of my cleavage. Shame would have been like, "Gurl... PEOPLE CAN SEE YOU." Shame was my bestie, that friend that let's you know that you've had enough to drink, you can't dance, you can't sing, and you do, indeed, look fat in those pants.
In hindsight, Shame is kind of a bitch.
After moving to New York I kept in touch with Shame for a little while. I made an effort when going out in public. I kept my thoughts and opinions (mostly) to myself, I put on pants before leaving the house. I worried about how my ass looked in those pants, was self-conscious about my muffin top, and cared if people liked me.
Then it occurred to me: I don't know anybody here. Not one single person gives one single shit about how I look standing behind them in the grocery store. They don't care if I'm fat, they don't care if I'm nice, they don't care if my knees are growing bangs or if I go home and cry because I have no friends. I am completely anonymous, there isn't a chance in hell that I will encounter anyone I know. Not one.
(Also? Depending on where I am at a given time, it wouldn't matter what I had on... I'd still be the most fashionable person there. Thank you, Amish people. *fist bump*)
It's incredibly freeing to not give a damn. I rock my jammy bottoms and my Bear Paws, I wave hello to people who don't know me (and don't want to), I call bullshit on the masses when duty calls, and I've become mildly feral. (Am I wearing a bra under this sweatshirt or am I not? Only my boobs know for sure. In case you were wondering, the answer is usually not.)
I'm good with that.
Don't get me wrong... I do wear clothes to work. I make an effort with my hair and makeup. I'm polite to customers and only declare bullshit when my phone is on mute (so far).
Long story short? I don't miss Shame. When I go back to California to visit we'll probably hang out... we'll have drinks, sing karaoke, and I'll be properly embarrassed in the morning. And then I'll return to New York with no regrets. None.