I’m wearing pearls today. I went out. Out further than I usually go, but not physically. Physically the distance was average, just once again to the next town. But mentally further, because I didn’t go alone.
Today I went to a garden party in the rain. This I am sure is the first garden party I have attended in Australia although I have lived here for thirty years. This garden party was a concern for me, a challenge, who would be there? How many people? And what on earth should I wear?
I don’t have any lovely dresses that would fit me.
I have plenty of options for shoes and bags.
I have a selection of hats. For some reason, I really like hats. I would wear hats all the time if I could. Even if I had my wished for rainbow coloured hair.
And importantly, and probably oddly for 2019 in Australia, my main wardrobe concern was that I did not have appropriate gloves. Not the delicate feminine kind I thought I ought to wear to a garden party.
For some reason, I thought wearing jewellery would help in the absence of gloves, so I wore pearls.
I dressed up as best I could with nice pants and a top and matching bag and shoes. But I really felt that I should not be wearing pants. Wearing pants to a garden party was unladylike.
To make it more confusing, the weather decided that it would be cold, windy with intermittent showers.
I didn’t think about an umbrella, although I have one. I am not, nor have I ever been an umbrella girl. Somehow I have always been too short and clumsy for umbrellas. Perhaps I hold them too close to my head. The closer they are to me, then the less chance they have of being swept up and shredded by an errant gust of wind.
Generally, when carrying umbrellas, I walk into things. Street lamps, stobie poles, shop fronts and sometimes people.
I am too short for umbrellas. I become dangerous.
Four of us went today. I was the only one not wearing jeans and boots, and a hoodie or a jacket. I was complimented on my outfit by the other ladies and explained it was my Englishness. They were still kind, and I didn’t feel as awkward in their company as I supposed I would.
The hurty thing happened, I knew it was likely because it always happens when I go somewhere. But it wasn’t the ladies. It wasn’t anyone there, just someone, just a person who has become so much less of a person now and is just pain … I heard my phone go off. I ignored it until I got home. And the hurty things … but
I’m working hard now. I have my flash cards, freshly laminated. I have worksheets and diary cards, and I practice.
I breathe a lot. Not automatic breathing to survive breathing but proper, focused, mindful breathing. The time for this must be made, a new structured life of doing everything differently.
If I am to stabilise and unbecome to rebecome then breathing is where it starts.
So I’m cold and damp and breathing and telling myself I did well today. But I should get out of my damp clothes. I have been sitting here for two hours.
Breathe. I did well today, being a little overdressed is ok. I went to a garden party in the rain wearing pearls.