Finale?

Observations of my dress habits this week:

  • This final week I became very focused on authenticity; if I went to run errands, or for a hike, I’d take the photo after, in my full outfit, rather than before.
  • This led to a fair number of sweaty, “unattractive” images of me. But being “attractive” was never the point of this project, in any iteration.
  • Now that the weather is consistently warmer, my dressing has become more formulaic, and static, as dressing habits tend to become once you’ve settled into season. Sundresses, shorts and tank tops, light pants and a camisole. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The above are things I’ve been reflecting on with this project, in conversation with the points at the top of this post. All of these thoughts have culminated in my being done with this project in this iteration.

Reflecting back on this project, it was my own personal response to COVID-19, being forced into a work from home/shelter in place situation, and trying to build myself some sort of new routine. I’ve accomplished that routine, and I think this project was part of that, and for that I am thankful. But this project has also begun to feel like this task I have to check off of a daily to-do list. It’s starting to increase my anxiety, and my compulsive tendencies, which are bad for my mental health. This is something I’ve dealt with while working on other durational/time-based projects, and I’m starting to see old habits and thought processes form. In response to this, I’m choosing to learn from past projects and experiences that bring out these negative behaviours in me, and choosing to stop now, before it becomes even worse for my mental health. (Side note: I could get into a whole rant about the glamourization and romanticization of mental health/mental illness in relation to making art, but I could be here all day ranting into the void, so I’ll spare us all that rant).

On the positive: I’m engaged! It happened very pragmatically — no big proposal, no ring, just two people discussing plans for the future. Since this engagement that happened earlier this month, my fiance and I are simultaneously celebrating this moment, and also diving into planning mode (oops). This means I have another thing taking up my mental and emotional energy on top of a full-time job, preparing for a maker’s market at the end of the month, and maintaining my aforementioned partnership. It’s a lot! A lot of good things, but still a lot. One thing I have control over is this project, which, as mentioned before, is becoming a negative thing in my life, so why not let this self-appointed thing go?

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