T'is the season.
With the holidays on our heels & a plethora of parties to attend, of the business & pleasure varieties, the question of how to present oneself comes up.
Every year, I wonder if I should stay as is from the work day or go home & change into something a little more "me." Every year, on the day that begins the Winter Break, I do go home & change because I feel almost allergic to the clothes I had on all day & feel covered in the stench of 4 months of kiddie dander. I stand in front of my closet for no less than an hour, wondering what combination of tops & bottoms will appease my desire to no longer be Ms. Teacher but not show too much of Ndygo's literal or figurative ass. When that task feels too complex, I start looking at dresses. The dresses feels like I'm trying too hard so I go back to those puzzling separates & start that all over again. In the end I settle on something that is less than satisfying for Ndygo but comfortable for Ms. Teacher. What do I find every year? Folks who've decided "EFF IT!" & go the opposite direction, deciding that colleagues need to know just how much ass they have to show. Drunken & boisterous, loud & wrong, & a great deal of show & tell. Once I've seen how they get down I ALWAYS wonder why I put myself through this ritual annually?
Work sometimes leaves me feeling schitzophrenic. How I approach my career is ALL me. I'm in the field of education for a reason: my life gave me no real choice. Still, as I get
Something about the above shoe is who I am. In those shoes I understand my love of cooking & family. It speaks to my sensible side; the side who enjoys reading & academia. It's the side of me that still knows how to appropriately dress for weddings & funerals without disrespecting my elders or the houses these events tend to occur in. It's the side that knows when white panties are appropriate, that patterned underwear is risky under certain colors & fabrics, that slips exist; & how to pick out real stockings (panty hose if you've only bought them from the drug store). It's the part of me that still won't allow me to call my elders, even when they're colleagues, by their 1st names & that uses "yes/no ma'am/sir" as I was taught to. It's the side of me that knows how to dress for an interview or for work-related conferences. Though many aspects of this part of me appear bland, She is necessary. Code switching is a part of life.
Do know that when She shows up, it's only because she's required. In all actuality, this chick is who wants to hang out all'a'time.
While this inner turmoil grows tired, I am, however, thankful that I have the good sense to know what's appropriate & when. I could be 1 of these unfortunate women showing up for work looking like I came straight from the club & being passed up for all kinds of opportunities because I don't look serious about what I do or aware of where I do it. That poses a whole other set of problems that many women, in Chocolate City especially, live with on the daily. Bless their uninformed souls. My problems could be worse.
Watch me move.