On the last day of my maternity leave, I blankly stared at the clothes in my closet. I would return to work as the Morning Anchor for WISH-TV in Indianapolis the next morning and I had nothing to wear. It wasn’t about the fit (I, like many women, still had 15 pounds to lose). The problem was the clothes. They weren’t mine, at least they didn’t feel like it anymore.
This must be someone else’s closet, I thought. The clothes staring back at me belonged to a different woman, a childless, 20-something with a workout regimen and a regular social calendar. They belonged to a woman who dutifully followed orders of what to buy and what to wear during her decade spent in television. They belonged to a woman that wasn’t me anymore. I was 30 now. I was a mom now and somewhere along the way my perception of myself had changed. The problem was I didn’t know what to do about it.
This same friend helped guide me to an entirely new hairstyle, makeup style and wardrobe. She helped me get back on track to the real me, and I felt it on a cellular level. With her help, I cut twelve inches from my hair and embraced the wavy, wild things my hair does naturally. She also helped me change my makeup so that I wear way less and apply it in half the time.
I work in a business where “how a woman looks” runs a close second to “what she says.” The wrong choices on my appearance could’ve been disastrous, but I took the leap, and the result is a ferociously, fearless me that can’t be carbon copied.
So much about me has changed in these two years, and I understand now I didn’t allow myself to show it or embrace who I had become. I needed to give myself permission to be this new version of myself. The change had already happened inside and I needed to allow myself to evolve on the outside, too.