While growing up I thought my family didn’t have very much money because I didn’t have designer clothes, we usually went for the sale items, and I never got store bought cookies. I didn’t understand the privilege it was to grow up with home-baked goods back then, and thought we made stuff from scratch and bought on sale to save money not realizing it wasn’t because we had to but chose to.
I also didn’t understand that the label on my jeans meant nothing to my parents and therefore it was not something they were willing to prioritize.
I thought it meant my parents loved me less than my childhood best friend’s because mine wouldn’t pay full price on something I was either going to grow out of, ruin or could get on sale later. I don’t blame them now but back then I figured “no” meant either we couldn’t afford it, or else they just didn’t love me enough to get it for me and either option felt bad.
I tied my self-esteem to how much my Mom was willing to spend on my clothes and where she let me get them from. Second hand meant I wasn’t good enough to be a first hand owner, by my naive estimation, but in the end it all served to make me wiser and more conscious.
For years I had low self-esteem because I determined my worth based on factors outside of myself when I was the only one that could actually turn things around for myself.
The same is true for you too.
Not getting designer clothes while growing up meant getting comfortable in my own skin, I just wish I’d learned sooner that it’s not about what you wear but how you wear it that matters.
And if you can pay less and get more, then why not?
There are some things I will only buy new but there are other things I’ll not buy new regardless of how much money I have. My lack of designer clothes and store bought cookies growing up had nothing to do with our ability to afford them and everything to do with distribution of resources and the fact home-made is just naturally better.
What I didn’t understand until years later is that it wasn’t that we couldn’t afford it but that it was exactly because my family was conscious of where they put their money, whether they could afford it or not, that made them and other self-made people come to have more than enough.
At the end of the day I have learned that it’s not about what you wear but how you wear it that will make all the difference to how you feel about yourself because of how you impact those around you.
You can wear a $5 or $5,000 pair of jeans and wear them equally well if you’ve got the right attitude about who you are within them. We’re all doing the best we can with what we are aware of and once you know better you can do better.
May this shift in perspective help you see your own in a different way.
Laura JE Hamilton
PS. That’s Day 2 of 21 Days To Journey Through The Soul-F.U.L.L Warrior’s Quest and I have no idea what tomorrow will hold as I get a new topic every day. Today’s was: tell the story of the thing(s) you were never given and what that taught you or how it shaped you… what would you have written about?