|Jenny "The Bloggess" rockin' her red dress|
This project about a red dress that travels around to different women in desperate need of something impractical in their lives is apparently one of the awesome things I missed. I'm most likely the last person on the planet to actually hear about this since it's been going on a while, but whatever. I'm as enchanted by the idea of this as I would have been had I known about it from the get-go. I've probably spent the better part of the last hour or two reading all the red dress stories people have shared with Jenny since she first made that post as well.
I've also been realizing that my life really needs a lot more "red dresses" in it. I don't mean literal red dresses of course, because I have at least two I can think of right off the top of my head collecting dust in my closet right now. I mean impractical things that are done, purchased, or experienced just to bring a little bit more magic into your life and possibly by proxy, the lives of other people around you whether you know them or not. I haven't had any magic of that particular variety in my life in a long time and I sincerely doubt I've been spreading much around lately either.
The sad thing is I used to be someone who was considered something of a magical person, both in my own eyes and in the eyes of a lot of people who knew me. I used to have zero problem with identifying potential "red dresses" and acquiring them simply for the hell of it. If I wanted to wear an actual red dress complete with matching red lipstick on a given day, I just did it. I didn't need to be going anywhere special.
If I felt like learning French, it didn't have to have any practical application to my life at all for me to decide it was worth making room for in my schedule. I just put Rosetta Stone on my computer, started learning it, and had a blast in the process. Years ago, I read a blog post all about how to make cheese from scratch, so I made the damn cheese even though they obviously still sell ready-to-go cheese at the grocery store. Then there was this one day when I felt like buying a sword for no reason other than I wanted one and I had the money. Did it!! Still have it, too.
Somewhere along the way though, I let the world convince me that every second of every day should be about working, trying to make money, and striving to "become somebody" in a professional sense. Also, every choice, every purchase, and every thought you have has to be practical in order to be worthwhile. Ironically, that attitude only really became part of who I was when I started doing things I actually care about for a living. Before, yeah... maybe I was just a retail slave with a shitty job that made me feel about two inches tall the minute I punched in for my shift, but something about being "nobody" and not seeing any potential for that to ever change also freed me up to pour my real energy into making magic and being magical more of the time.
I thought that people who were "normal", and scheduled, and planned, and practical were better than I was, so I wasted a lot of time wishing I was like that, too. Now that I am them to an alarming extent, I'm realizing how much I hate it. I have always instinctively disliked people who are like that and I'm beginning to remember why for the first time in a while.
I felt irresponsible at first drawing some boundaries and taking back even a couple of days a week of my life for the sake of re-devoting them to actually having fun and doing things I enjoy, whether that's playing a game or catching up on my blog reading... or my blog writing, for that matter. However, I'm realizing that those were (and are) the days that count the most. When else are you going to wear your red dresses... or have a chance to discover other people's?
I don't know how to "see" red dresses anymore and it's been depressing me... quite literally. It's also really destroyed my creativity. Without red dresses, swords, impromptu French lessons, and homemade cheese made for no reason, I have no stories to tell and no pictures to paint. That's no kind of life for a free spirit. I'm hoping that the balance will begin to restore itself naturally. I can tell that somewhere inside myself, I'm still the vastly creative person who did all those wonderful things once upon a time.