Putting Our Best Selves Out There

My career in fashion, first as a sales representative for multiple fashion lines, then as a designer and manufacturer of women’s clothing, allowed me to dress in the way I enjoyed. I wore slinky pants with form-fitting jackets and skyscraper heels. When I first moved to the North Shore of Chicago with my preschool-aged children, my presentation was very much a “fish out of water” type of scenario. Very quickly I realized that the heels and jackets were no longer practical, so I followed the trend of suburban moms everywhere and traded in my business duds for Lululemons and gym shoes. I no longer felt that bounce in my step, but I was trying to adapt to my change in circumstances and environment.  

Years later, after my terrible battle with Toxic and Septic Shock, I was relegated to wearing sweat outfits and gym shoes for the next several years. Through time, determination and ingenuity I became able to wear fashionable clothes and shoes again. The elevation in my mental state between the days that I wear my chosen apparel over the days that I wear sweat pants is markedly better and sets a better mood throughout my day. 

Sometimes someone will burst my bubble by asking me why I’m so dressed up. I’m not sure if people truly don’t understand why or if they somehow think it’s a conversation starter, but it never fails to make me feel defensive and somewhat flustered. Why can’t we present ourselves to the world looking nice? Is it wrong to want to feel and look nice most days?  

In the early days when people would ask me this I would feel the need to explain myself or go back to dressing like I was heading to a workout to fit in, but upon reflection, I realized that I’m dressing nice so I can feel good about getting up and facing my day with all the extra weight of my new circumstances. What is the harm in that? There are many ways that people deal with trauma: They can isolate themselves and hide out, they can resort to drinking or drugs, they can become angry and bitter, or they can use whatever tools are at their disposal to make themselves feel good again by presenting themselves to the world looking and feeling as good as possible. I’m sure that the latter of these options is by far the healthiest choice. 

Life is difficult for everyone in some way. We all have some form of heartache or undesirable circumstances. Why not do what we can to feel and look our best by putting our best selves out there? Why not celebrate each other and our individuality rather than question it?

Writen by Penny Fisher

Penny Fisher has not only survived an unbelievable trauma, but also she has thrived. She is working on her memoir, and is available as a motivational speaker and mentor. To contact her, email: pennyfisher11@comcast.net.