The effect that proper fitting clothes can have on a person is quite astonishing. At least, I feel that way. Today I am wearing a $3 sweater dress I picked out at the Village Thrift Store, $2 clearance tights from Target, and $17 shoes from the clearance rack at Sears. Totaling only $22, yet I feel like a million bucks. I feel amazing.  I receive compliments, which don’t hurt my confidence, but even without them, I am standing tall and walking with a bounce in my step.  My confidence level is night and day compared to 18 months ago. I no longer look at the ground to avoid meeting people’s eyes. Instead, I meet them with a smile and make my attempt at nonchalant yet awkward conversation if it feels right. These days, when I look down it is only to avoid falling flat on my face…again.

As my confidence increases, so is my comfort level increasing as I speak with random people life is sweeping across my path. That little voice is always there questioning my every move, every little thing I say, wondering if I was too offensive, or annoying, or not polite enough. It is always there. Thankfully my confidence has given me new eyes to view myself and a new voice to overpower the negative one. That anxiety I feel when I speak to someone new still gets my blood flowing and the little voice is ever present. It always will be because it’s what makes me who I am.

That voice makes me say things a little off. It puts people on edge sometimes, but I hope it makes them think because I believe that’s okay. I think we could all use a little dose of self-reflective thought now and then. I am more comfortable with myself than I have ever been. And I believe to my core it isn’t because I’m in the best shape of my life but because I know myself fully and have plunged to the deepest parts to shine some light on the darkness. And after scouring the darkness, I am shining all the brighter for it. Whatever beauty you might attribute to me is nothing more than a reflection of love. For my family, for myself, and for everything else.

And we all know that love is beautiful.