Wardrobe gaps. I have always believed in filling them. In identifying pieces that would link others together and offer countless more outfit combinations. I still think it’s a sensible way to keep a wardrobe functional. Too many clothes languish in the back of cupboards, not for a lack of owner love, but for a lack of any play mates. Getting the basics right is the easiest way to ensure that the showy Deliah piece has a sensible Jane garment as her wing woman.
But when I looked into my wardrobe not so long ago, I didn’t see any gaps. I saw A LOT of clothes. So what was I filling as I was continuously buying more? Gaps in my wardrobe or gaps somewhere else?
It’s been two and a little bit months, and I still haven’t bought any new clothes. I see this is as something of an achievement. My husband rolls his eyes and tells me that I’m just being normal with my spending habits. He has a completely functional, completely minimal wardrobe that is furnished via birthday and Christmas gifts only.
When I first decided that I’d not buy new clothes for a year, I reviewed why and I how spent. That was definitely useful and I stand by those reasons. Much of time I am just a sucker for beautiful things. But as time goes on, I’m wondering about some of the deeper reasons I was spending.
Being back in the corporate world has gifted me more than just a regular pay-check. I found more self-worth that I expected when I sat down in my new office. To be honest, I didn’t realise it had been so badly missing. The hard graft and the hustle of working for myself had worn me down more than I realised. The days and afternoons in front of the computer and phone that should have been spent with my little ones hurt my soul more than I knew. And most of all, definitely most of all, the lack of face to face human connection drained my energy more than I had admitted to myself. Added to all of that, was the hurtful knowledge that I would never be as financially or professionally successful as I would going back to an office and doing what I knew best.
It’s a little hard to write that. I admire (so much) the women that have created businesses for themselves. I value entrepreneurism. Those were all lofty goals that I had set for myself. But I have realised something – I am intrapreneur, not an entrepreneur. My gift is working within an established structure, with other people, and improving that. And when I was able to do that within my own business, helping clients, I was happiest. But my super power is not building things by myself. It is not the level of self-sacrifice that requires.
We have routine and structure back in our lives. When I am doing a certain thing, I don’t feel pulled in a different direction. I can focus without thinking, “but I really should be doing x, not y”. My days are firmly contained – the work hours have boundaries around them that don’t bleed. I don’t feel like I am pushing against what feels natural for me. Things feel “right”. I feel content. I feel like I have a clear purpose and that I am pursuing it.
And in that contentment, I don’t feel the need to buy. Whether the contentment partially comes from the realisation I don’t need new things to feed it, or the contentment has solely come from my new working arrangement, I am not sure. But I do know that the pull towards the shops has lessened. I no longer feel a need to “reward” myself. Perhaps, at this small window, life is it’s own reward. It certainly feels more relaxed. I am happier than I have been in a long while. There are no gaps to fill.