The Day After

Hello reader,

Yet another year goes by, and I’m left evaluating the month of October. Every time I tell someone about the October Dress Project, they ask me two questions: “do you wash the dress?” and “why do you do it?” Normally, I give my standard “pro simplicity, anti consumerism, creativity booster” response, but something tells me there has to be more than that. What is it about this project that keeps me putting on the same exact dress every day for an entire month? I don’t consider myself to be materialistic, I’m a pretty creative person in general, and simplicity isn’t really my cup of tea. After thinking about it, I’ve come up with three things that make me stick with it. The first is commitment. When I start something, I finish it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a terrible movie or a craft project. When I decide to do something, almost nothing can stand in the way of me finishing. The second is the challenge. I really enjoy trying to make each year’s dress look different every day. It excites me to search through my closet to find obscure matches. I like seeing how many people don’t notice (especially this year and last year, when I wore patterned dresses). Not everyone who participates in the project makes it look different every day, and that is perfect for them. This leads to the last thing, which is the community. The group of women who participate in this project year after year are amazing. Reading their posts and seeing their pictures encourages me to continue, inspires me to try new things, and reminds me of the things that truly matter. Because it’s ok if you skip days when your kids are sick or your house is flooded. It’s ok if some days you wear the dress over sweat pants and slippers. The building up that occurs on the ODP Facebook page, which is full of women from all over the world, many of whom have never even met, showcases the community that Christ desires for us. These are the women that reel me in every September as I begin sifting through thrift stores for the next October dress. These are the women that read this blog and write encouraging comments. These women are friends, although I have only met a few, who I can count on for kind words and affirmation. You are the women who make me do this project, and I love you all. 

 
Ps: first non ODP outfit, and it’s a floral dress.. Perhaps my wardrobe could use a little diversity..

ODP Day 23 – Puddles

Hello reader,

Remember the rain from yesterday? It didn’t go away. Remember my idea to wear rain boots today? Well I did that, but it turns out my rain boots have lots of holes in them… Oh well, it gave me a reason to dance barefoot in the puddles.    
Also, can I just say that having a vegan friend is so fun. I could never dedicate my life to being vegan, but having a reason to experiment with vegan recipes is quite exciting. Enter: vegan dirty chai cinnamon rolls. So. Good. Definitely will make again.

    
 Today also begins the RSM Fall Retreat. I’m super psyched! Hooray for small group bonding and talking about Jesus 🙂 now if only we could get a teeny respite from the rain…

 

ODP Day 20 – Relax

Hello reader,

It might seem odd that I found today relaxing, given that I had a meeting about graduation requirements, a lab practical, work, and youth group, but I really did. I think it came from finally having answers to my graduation questions, the relief of finishing something I’ve been studying like crazy for, and quality time spent with quality people.    
It also might have to do with the fact that I drank 5 cups of coffee today, because I didn’t have time to be tired. 

 
I was feeling pretty pumped after my practical, so I decided to document the moment. That’s right, y’all – I took a bathroom mirror selfie. #whitegirl

But really, aren’t my scrubs super cute? The lady at the thrift store I got them at said, “you’re in school to help people? Sweetheart, you can have this for $1; we need more people like you.” God bless little old thrift store ladies.

The last time I went to youth group in my lab scrubs, the kids asked me like a hundred times if I was a nurse now, so I’ve decided to stop confusing them and just change before I leave campus. It doesn’t really count as a bonus outfit though, because I wear the same two pairs of scrubs to lab all the time.  
Check out this super cool Halloween castle in the youth neighborhood! It’s made out of styrofoam, and I wish I were as architecturally skilled as the person who built it. It’s wicked fancy.

Also, I know what you’re thinking. “Finally! She’s wearing more than two prints at a time. These lame-o boring two print outfits were getting old.” I completely agree. I’m feeling the thinning of my wardrobe selection as these last 11 days approach, so you’ll probably be seeing more of these three pattern combinations. I like them (mom, it’s ok that you don’t. I still love you).  
 
Ps: Internet, do you remember Lucy? She’s the bomb.com, and you should be her friend. 

ODP Day 19 – Aspirations

Hello reader,

The walls are made of windows in the building where I work, so one of my favorite pastimes when clients aren’t coming in is to people watch as students rush by, hurrying to their next class. This is what I was doing early this morning before we opened. I saw this girl walk by, and I was instantly captivated by her personhood. She had long, blonde/pink hair, a Pinterest perfect fall outfit, a hipster beanie, and a super cute backpack. I turned to my friend Lucy and said, “she is the personification of everything I strive to be.” But the more I think about that statement, the less I believe myself. I know nothing of that girl’s spiritual life, academic achievement, campus and community involvement, dedication to friendship, or anything else that truly matters. There is no denying that whoever she is, the girl has style, but when I evaluate my goals, that is not what I strive to have.  

I strive for spiritual maturity in my walk with Christ. I strive to graduate with a 4.0 gpa and be accepted into a top graduate program. I strive to make a difference in the lives of the students around me. I strive to be a source of unconditional love for my friends and family. 

   
Looking cute is fun, and it might gain me followers on Instagram and WordPress, but allowing God to use me by investing in the lives of the youth in my church will help me grow and mature spiritually. Being the last person in the library parking lot will help me achieve my academic goals. Spending quality time with my friends will deepen and strengthen our relationships. Sometimes I think I need a reminder that my external appearance is one itty bitty fraction of who I am as a person. That’s part of the reason I love the ODP so much; the depth of emotions that comes from wearing the same dress every single day for an entire month  is what brings me back to this project each year. Creatively pairing articles of clothing into outfits I’d never dream of wearing in any other month is exciting, but the yearly mental reset into an attitude of thankfulness and contentment is the real treasure of the ODP. 
 
Dear Pinterest-perfect hipster girl,

You are adorable, and someday I hope to ask you where you got your backpack. I think we could be great friends, and I’m always down for more friends. But you are not everything I strive to be, because I strive to be more like Jesus. 

Love,

The writing consultant who was creeping on you through the window 

Ps: let’s get coffee sometime, because I’m serious about the backpack thing.

ODP Day 14 – Justification 

Hello reader,

 Today was long. And hard. And I’m starting to feel like junior year is never going to end. But at the (almost) end of the day, in between work and my night class, I cracked open a fortune cookie that told me to be thankful. Jesus knows what we need in our weakness, y’all. I am thankful for long talks with my mom, professors who give extensions, answered emails, and access to the UNT library database. 6 weeks of the semester left, y’all. Let’s do this.  
 I bought this leather belt a good two and a half years ago. Today was the first day I have ever worn it. But it’s so cute with this outfit, right? On the other hand, I bought these shoes about three weeks ago, and I practically wear them every day. Bottom line, regardless of how often I wear the things in my closet, if I feel happy when I wear them, I feel justified in their purchase. Life isn’t about how often, it’s about how well.