no longer 21

i’ve been thinking about changing my blogsite title to “no longer 21”. like a sarcastic take on ‘forever 21’, which is of course a clothing brand that caters to girls and women within the age bracket of 13 to above 21. yet the clothes they sell are not a good sight to behold if worn by a woman way beyond 21, say 40 or 50. their market is for those who feel like they’re just 21. not for me. i’m 40, and of course no longer 21, so why dress as if i were 21? when i was 21, i never wore clothes like those.

though come to think of it, when i was 21, i wore jeans and shirts, and was never considered fashionable anyway. if i were to exhibit any fashion sense when i was 21, i would be teased and asked if i were sick. sure, i enjoy the occasional dressing-up, but i would feel uncomfortable with it. i wouldn’t  last a whole day with make-up on; it would always wash off along with sweat even before the clock strikes noon. and i was never one to even bring make-up with me when i was in my teens, let alone in my 20s and 30s. i wasn’t one to wear heels either. i will fall flat on my face if i were to wear heels back then. i was more of a flat shoes, mojo sandals, rubber shoes and birkenstock kind of girl. i still am, actually. all of the above. even after 19 years since i left college, i just now realized that i am still wearing the same kind of clothes that i used to wear back when i was studying.

now, wait a minute… i started this entry despising the fashion trends of forever 21 because it promotes a halt in the aging mentality of women and denying any acceptance that they are getting older. yet, here i am, not wearing any of those fancy, fashion forward and trendy clothes, and still wearing jeans and shirts and rubber shoes to work (yes, i do have a career) but i may have also halted my own aging process. clothes-wise. fashion-wise. maybe even in other aspects of my life.

maybe because my principle when it comes to clothes is the comfort and ease in wearing. why should i let myself suffer in heels when the work environments that i have been in doesn’t call for wearing any heels at all? and as i said, i will fall. i actually have fallen before because of heels. but that’s another story altogether. but sure, i sometimes wear heels, especially in conferences and meetings; but i would never wear them on a daily basis. i don’t even seek out to buy heels unless i really need a pair, just so i would look corporate enough. i’m comfortable with my flats and sneakers, thank you.

then there’s the clothes issue. my dad’s a tailor, and i grew up in an environment with needles and thread and sewing machines around me, and making clothes is an everyday thing. so i sort of took that all for granted. as i said, i love the occasional dressing up, but i am not the fussy and frilly kind of girl. so whatever feels right and good for me, i can keep wearing that over and over again. maybe that’s why i never really moved on with my fashion style. it’s my comfort zone, and i feel secure in it. does that mean i am afraid of moving on?

does this mean that i have my own version of ‘forever 21’? wow. maybe that’s what it is. perhaps intellectually i am no longer 21; i am, after all, in a junior management position, i’ve had several years of work experience and have had my share of academic exchanges. emotionally, well, maybe that needs some work (and a whole different entry). physically…ok, let’s not go there. nevertheless, i guess my point here is that i should not jump into judgement of women who tend to wear clothes that are not age-appropriate, when i myself have that tendency. at this age where the female species has moved on from being a second-class citizen to leading states and nations, the initial intention of this entry to criticize women who deny their age (fashion and otherwise) has boomeranged back at me.

maybe this is a sign. in as much as i still love my jeans and shirts, and i will continue to wear them, i may need to level up a bit. move on and find my own comfort in clothes and situations that i am not used to. move past my comfort zone and be a little more daring. heck, i am 40. even writing this blog made me think “this is for people in their 20s and 30s, why should i join the bandwagon?” but i needed to do this, i needed to get past a long writers block saga. besides, being 40 should never be a hindrance. it’s just a number, right.

besides, i’m no longer 21.





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