Frustration, particularly when we allow it to build up indefinitely, can be one of the biggest problems we deal with in our everyday lives. I am at a point where my frustration has been accumulating for at least a couple years. Probably longer than that even, but it has been more noticeable here lately. Stemming primarily from circumstances beyond my control, which makes it that much worse. I have done my best to “handle” it, but that is never easy. Especially when the frustrating situations only deteriorate with time. And especially when there are multiple sources of frustration. Sometimes it makes me want to scream. Or cry. Or beat my fists against a brick wall.
There has been one amazing change in my life this past year or so that has both helped my frustration and made things worse. One thing in my little world that is what I want and on my terms. Most of the time. This makes it easier to deal with frustrations by providing a break, but it also makes those frustrations worse by comparison. It also makes it that much worse when this one comfort lets me down. When it ceases to act as a balance to the constant frustrations and instead joins their ranks, it very nearly pushes me over the edge. I am afraid of allowing my pent-up aggravation to destroy this one good.
The primary fuel for my frustration is lack of control. Being an uptight, take-charge, super-opinionated type of personality, having others dictating what I can and can’t do or how to think is particularly aggravating. Even worse is being judged and criticized for thinking and being different than everyone else. My paradox is a need for things to be my way and also desperately wanting to please the people around me. This makes for a highly combustible situation.
Finding myself and discovering where I stand and what I believe has only accelerated the problem. On the upside, I have learned to accept that others won’t think like me and won’t make the same decision I would in their shoes. But on the flipside of that, I have zero tolerance for anyone who expects me to conform to their parameters. Being (well) over 21, it is high time for me to define my own parameters. But due to various circumstances I still have individuals in my life who believe that they have the right to dictate how I live and what I do.
There really is only one solution to this problem. One way to nix these sources of frustration. It is a decision I have been loath to make for quite some time, knowing that the day would come where I would no longer have a choice. Where I would have to do what’s right for me. For the sake of my own sanity and well-being. It is a difficult decision to make – the two sides of my personality have been at war with each other for some time now. The time has come to end this war. The frustration and the turmoil have begun to take a toll on both my physical and mental health. I must do what is best for me, come what may.
As a kid, I was something of a tomboy. I have never been a girly girl. And for a lot of years, I couldn’t be bothered to think about trivial things like clothes or makeup. If it fit and allowed free movement, I wore it. And the only attention my face got was keeping it clean. But over the course of these past 2 or 3 years, I have finally gotten in touch with my feminine side and found my own sense of style. I guess you could say that I’m a late bloomer. Better late than never, right?
The process I went through to find my sense of style has three primary components. One is I figured out who I am. This is probably the biggest key to finding your own style. You have to know who you are to be able to express yourself eloquently through style. If you don’t know yourself, you end up following the latest trends. There’s nothing wrong with trends – unless they don’t fit with who you are. I found myself primarily through writing. Journaling, short stories, observations on the world around me – I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. But it’s only in the last few years that my writing has uncovered the essence of me. I would encourage you to write your thoughts down. Keep a journal and just write. Thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears, ideas, whatever is on your mind – just put it down on paper. It doesn’t have to make sense and you never have to show anyone else. In fact, it’s better if you don’t – I find that I am more honest in my private journal than anywhere else.
Another part of finding my sense of style is Pinterest. I admit I am a Pinterest addict. I have several boards dealing with style and fashion and clothes among many other topics. The biggest pitfall of using Pinterest to find a style is pinning anything and everything that you think is pretty. That is no help whatsoever. To get the most out of your style board(s) you have to pin only those outfits that are what you would actually wear. Outfits that suit your personality and body type. No matter how gorgeous, if an outfit doesn’t suit you, you will not be comfortable and confident in it. And comfort and confidence are the biggest part of looking good. Once you have a few (or few hundred) style pins, look for commonalities. For instance, one thing that kept appearing in the outfits I was pinning was a black and white striped long-sleeve tunic. Once I noticed that, I realized that I didn’t have any striped shirts. So I went out and bought one. And guess what? It is one of my favorite tops. I can make so many cute outfits with it.
The last part of me finding my own style was to actually go shopping. I took someone whose opinion and advice I trust (my dad) and we made a day of it. I tried on dozens of shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses. We found the things I was comfortable in and that he thought looked good and that would work in a variety of outfits and situations. And where those criteria met is where I found the clothes that are just perfect for me. And if you give it a shot, I think that it will work for you too. You’ll be amazed how rocking the right outfit can make you feel.