I lost an entire day of writing yesterday. Suddenly it was terribly important that I rearrange my living room. I currently live in an open loft and so moving one item affects the esthetics of the entire room. Eight hours later…I found myself sipping tea, admiring my efforts, and watching Westworld on HBO.
Given yesterday’s events, I woke this morning determined to make real progress on my next book. And then, Darling Desi popped up in my YouTube feed while I was drinking my coffee. Thirty minutes later, I found myself scaling back today’s writing plans.
This is typical writer-procrastination behavior on my part. Unfortunately, some of these time-sucking rabbit holes must be seen through to their end in order for me to write that next chapter. So, please bear with me while I follow this particular Mad Hatter for today.
If you haven’t run across any of Darling Desi’s videos, click here to check out her channel. By all appearances, she seems to be living her best Victorian/Edwardian Story Book Princess life. The video I first stumbled upon was her Wearing a Corset for a Day experiment. That video led me to another, How to Romanticize your Life; Being the Main Character of your Life, which is the point of this post.
Let me say, I have always tried to live an intentional life. This of course is the ultimate point of Darling Desi’s videos as well, but I haven’t actually thought of myself as the main character in my own life.
Or maybe, I have…and just didn’t expressed it in those terms.
For those who may not know, my only child is now out of college and living part-time with my husband and me. About two years ago my husband’s job required him to travel quite a lot. I was able to travel with him some of that time, but when I couldn’t, it gave me large swaths of alone time. Or as alone as I can be with a grown child coming and going whenever he pleases. These fundamental shifts in our lives demanded that we make some changes to how our small family operated and lived.
Let me pause a moment to say, I have always taken the time to evaluate myself and my life so that I might refine who I want to be moving forward. In the past, I have gone through my corset witch-wearing years. The sexy mom years. The Victorian era vamp-esthetic years. There were the years I bought all things Viking, or all things yoga-spandex/gym-rat inspired, and also the two years I wore only boho style. Which by the way was extremely comfortable until winter arrived. Not too long ago, my wardrobe was revamped to accommodate the late 40’s and 50’s pin-up girl style. This was rather tricky since I am not in my 20’s anymore. But it was a look my husband greatly appreciated, so I felt beautiful instead of silly and I rediscovered the comfort of high-waisted pants.
With each of my costume changes and self-reinventions, my imagination flourished and my living space echoed each newly aquired style. To some extent, readers can track my progressions by the descriptions of what my characters happen to be wearing in each of my books.
But back to my most recent life-changing circumstances.
Last year, the year of Covid, I realized it was time to downsize. We needed to ditch the romantic, verging on Southern gothic house we’d been renting for fourteen years and move into a new space that any of us could simply lock up and leave at a moment’s notice. So the three of us moved into a two-bedroom downtown loft. After so many years in the same large house, we were bursting at the seams with accumulated stuff. It took nearly a year of sorting, donating, and packing to downsize our possessions but in the process, I rediscovered my love of minimalism. My obsession with having less led me to the joys of a capsule wardrobe and a modern furniture esthetic preference. Freed from so many things, I began to feel like a different person.
But who exactly was this new leading character in my life story?
Well, like the characters who populate in my novels, I’m still fleshing this new me out. Though my capsule wardrobe is small, I’ve filled it with quality pieces that suggest a woman who appreciates casual elegance. (Or at least I think it does.) Though I live in a much smaller space, it feels bigger with its Swedish neutral color palette and clutterless surfaces. This new me regularly travels to the Caribbean, something my old self never had the money nor the time to do. I’m basically childless now and rediscovering the kinky joy of being a couple once again with my husband. This new me has a hairdresser and tailor, something the old me wouldn’t have prioritized. Oh and let me not forget, I’m doing my part to save the planet by choosing to not eat meat anymore. I’ve left behind pescatarian and transitioned fully into my vegetarian-self while making real progress in my vegan journey.
I like this new life and leading lady. And shouldn’t that be the point. To live each moment with intention and awareness because you’re writing your own life story. To know that it’s okay to make wardrobe and stage changes as life circumstances dictate. Like a novel, life has plot twists… moments both good and bad which must be dealt with so the plot can progress and the characters continue to evolve.
Just one step further…
I can honestly say that though the main character may look different from chapter to chapter, my life-novel is definitely a romance. A romance where I’m in love with myself and the people who populate my world. And though I may reinvent myself at some point in the coming years, I will take a moment to appreciate each iteration of me to its fullest because I was deliberate in creating her.
So what sort of character are you, dear reader? And what genre is your life novel?
Thanks for stopping by the Chalkboard today. It’s now time for me to get back to working on my books.