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Still Not Fitting In, But It’s Okay

Blending In like a Chameleon

Outfit #1 - Florescent coral fleece sweatshirt, black coated jeans, black lace & faux leather lace-up booties with a kitten heel and a multi-colored fringed scarf (in shades of burgundy, brown & white) tied like a loose neck-tie. Accessories are lacy diamond shaped dangling earrings, silver bracelet and rings.
Outfit #1 – fluorescent coral fleece sweatshirt, black-coated jeans, black lace & faux leather lace-up booties

Back when I was a youngster through my high school years, there were many days I wished I could just disappear. I was a prime target for bullying in school because I was so quiet, shy, and afraid, and after school homelife wasn’t much better.

Thankfully time, distance, and many therapy sessions later have muted most of my childhood memories. There are however triggers from time to time that take me back to a specific situation.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know the primary focus of this blog revolves around style as it relates to blindness. However as I’ve said many times we are so much more than how we appear which is why I weave stories of my life into my outfit posts. Today’s memory partially revolves around the brightly colored fleece sweatshirts in the attached photos (more on this in a minute).

Outfit #2 - This outfit is exactly the same as outfit #1 except I'm wearing a bright peach colored fleece sweatshirt.
Outfit #2 – This outfit is exactly the same as outfit #1 except I’m wearing a bright peach colored fleece sweatshirt.

For years I thought I was different because I grew up in a dysfunctional environment however I’ve come to understand my main issue was unworthiness. In adulthood my codependency evolved into a strong desire to strive for perfection and to always be in control.

While my need for control had its own set of issues, when it came to someone I cared about being threatened my lioness instincts kicked-in. One of my bullies found this out firsthand when he decided he was going to pick on my little brother, to this day I still have the scar to prove it, I chased the creep down, unloaded on him and didn’t realize until afterwards that I skinned my knee.

Through protecting my younger brother my inner crazy was unleashed. So it only made sense when one of my other bullies thought she could still push me around, I channeled the crazy and from that day on the bullying ceased.

If I thought discovering I had a lioness instinct was huge imagine my surprise when, in my last year of high school, I finally found a way to become accepted. Prior to 11th grade if I wasn’t in school or studying, I was sleeping. Sleep was my way of escape so it really wasn’t a revelation that being introduced to alcohol would bring out a Steph I didn’t know existed.

Outfit #3 - This outfit consists of the same jeans & booties but I'm wearing a gray & white striped tee and a black boyfriend blazer cuffed (cuffs are black & white plaid). Accessories are a long pendant fringe necklace, silver and gray beaded stretch bracelet and the same earrings as in outfits 1 & 2.
Outfit #3 – Gray & white striped tee and a black boyfriend blazer cuffed (cuffs are black & white plaid).

For the first time in my life I was outgoing and fun to be around. Finally, I could become the person I always wanted to be because alcohol relaxed my inner turmoil. I now had a social life and was one of the kool kids.

When I began having children it was time to get serious and I remained true to my childhood vow that life would be different for them. I was unafraid to show them affection and would hug, kiss, and tell them at every opportunity that I loved them. I needed them to know they were valued, wanted, and more importantly loved. I would have fought to the death for them however while I loved them like crazy, I was strict because of that whole codependency/perfectionism thing.

Looking back now I can see how I’ve become so intense and how losing my eyesight would push me over the edge. In order to move onward after a life-altering situation like sight loss at some point you have to succumb to the circumstances.

So what does all of this have to do with fitting in? The answer in three words: The. White. Cane. When I first began using my white cane I felt like it was a beacon. I stood out and at times felt uncomfortable but I had to keep pushing through because as I saw it I had two choices: give up or give in. I chose to give in because giving in meant that I was going to accept my situation and learn to work within the parameters set before me.

In today’s photos I decided since I stand out with the white cane I might as well go all the way and wear bright, attention-getting tops along with my little granny boots and coated jeans. These fleece sweatshirts are two of three (third on is displayed in Mix and Re-Mix) that I got for $6.00 each at Kohl’s. Following and in Alt-text are descriptions on the photos.

  • Outfit #1 – fluorescent coral fleece sweatshirt, black-coated jeans, black lace & faux leather lace-up booties with a kitten heel and a multi-colored fringed scarf (in shades of burgundy, brown & white) tied like a loose neck-tie. Accessories are lacy diamond-shaped dangling earrings, silver bracelet and rings.
  • Outfit #2 – This outfit is exactly the same as outfit #1 except I’m wearing a bright peach colored fleece sweatshirt.
  • Outfit #3 – This outfit consists of the same jeans & booties but I’m wearing a gray & white striped tee and a black boyfriend blazer cuffed (cuffs are black & white plaid). Accessories are a long pendant fringe necklace, silver and gray beaded stretch bracelet and the same earrings as in outfits 1 & 2.

Have a great weekend!!

46 thoughts on “Still Not Fitting In, But It’s Okay

  1. I’m here because of your link on Jacqueline’s blog. Enjoyed my visit. I’m impressed by your ability to tell a story and weave in the outfits with descriptions. Well written. I’m following. Visit me sometime. Meanwhile I will see you.

    1. Hi Oneta, thank you so much for stopping by. I will certainly reciprocate. Thanks again. 😀 ~Steph

  2. I think I must have forgotten to tell you that you look fabulous and the cane does add style. You got such an upbeat attitude and the right one too about giving in. Your stories serves as a beacon of inspiration.

    1. Thank you Jacqueline for your kind comments. <3

  3. Liked your post. Common threads with the whole bullying thing. Didn’t fit in at all.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read my post. I thought bullying was bad back in the day but by today’s standards it was child’s play. I feel for children growing up in this environment.

  4. Interesting perspective on your life. You are a
    beautiful woman in every way. Our experiences in life sets the groundwork for who we will become. Thank God we have the opportunity to mold and reshape it accordingly. Keep keeping on…..
    This was a very revealing and honest article. Thanks for the transparency. Loved it!!!!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Pat! It’s still a bit of a struggle revealing those things that have made me feel like a failure or just insecure but they have shaped me into the person I am today and if what I share helps one person, then it’s worth it.

  5. Why do we let society dictate our feelings. We must breakout of those cages of fear and self-consciousness and LIVE life in a manner that is enjoyable to ourselves. I must say the third outfit is my favorite and those cuffs are what I really love! And your boots, I love the heel height, they look comfy!! 🙂

    1. I guess it’s the herd mentality and the need to be accepted. At least it seems as we get older we care less about what others think and are more concerned about living life on our terms. Thank you for the lovely compliments. The boots are sooooo comfy. The heel height, thought I typically like higher heels, is perfect.

      1. Yes as we get older we get wiser and do care less, as we realize it’s what we think about ourselves that matters. I’m not a high heel wearer, I prefer flats, that’s why I thought that heel height looked do-able…not too high but a bit of a lift. 🙂

  6. What a wonderful post Steph. As usual, I love your honesty and openness. And the bright fleeces…I’m going to have to get myself some of those!

  7. Powerful post Steph! You are a lioness with a soft heart…*hugs*

  8. You look lovely. The red really suits you but I love the third outfit – very hip.

  9. You look quite lovely in all three. Numbers one and two would depend on the occasion. Number three, my preference, which is also my wife’s style, is a timeless classic. In all 3 you are sporting the cane as an accessory. Well done.

    1. Why thank you so much kind sir 😉 #3 is my typical attire (black/white/gray) but every now and again I go a little nuts and break out a bright color. I wish my cane were blinged out but I can’t figure out how to do it without ruining the bling. I have a couple of friends though who just might be able to help. Just because we have canes doesn’t mean they have to be bland. 😉

      1. I know what you mean about the cane feeling like a negative beacon. I wish people just saw it like it is: a nifty tool. Like glasses. Those used to be shameful, and now they are a fashion statement. Grin.

        For bling ideas, here are some I’ve seen and used, both on my canes and on my daughter’s cane:

        glue rhinestones or crystals in a pattern on it.

        Change out colors. Ambutech.com has a wide array.

        Cover the colored tip with patterned duct tape.

        Hang a charm on the elastic loop on the top.

        Apply fun stickers.

        Try out various lengths and tips until you find one that you love.

        Happy caning!

      2. Hi Erin, Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I had a blue cane from Ambutech but left it in the grocery cart when my son was loading up the care with my groceries. So I’m back to using my ho-hum red/white cane. I’ve used cane charms and really wanted to do as you suggested with the rhinestones (my favorite choice). Since it’s collapsible won’t the elastic band rub off the rhinestones? Or would a hot glue gun be enough for the jewels to be secure?

      3. Hot glue would probably work. Or craft glue. If you knock a few off, you can fix them again. 🙂

      4. Are you on Facebook by any chance? I have a group called Women on the Move and would like to invite you to join.

  10. Is it okay to say you look really hot in that outfit? I like the ensemble very much. Your skin and hair are gorgeous. Awesome as ever, Steph.

    1. Um, YEAH!! Keep the compliments coming 😀 Thank you. <3

  11. Wonderful outfits. Love your sharing!

    As I’ve shared before, I went through a lot of bullying from not only an older brother but school mates as well. My personality is normally more outgoing, so I love color! I spent too many years stuffing who I am so now I enjoy sharing more of me. Thanks for sharing you!!!!

    1. Thank you Katelon!! Bullying was never a good thing but if I had to choose when to be bullied it would have been back in the day. Today’s bullying is all time low and I feel so badly for children who endure this type of behavior.

      Age has helped me to become a little more outgoing but I’m still an introvert at heart although I naturally gravitate towards extroverts.

  12. Love the gray and white striped tee outfit.

    1. Thank you!! I’ve had the jacket for years and it’s one of my favorites. The Ann Taylor tee is so lightweight and comfortable even with three quarter length sleeves I can wear it with ease in the summer. And the best part was that it was a great find on sale.

      1. I love Ann Taylor you can always find a good sale.

      2. I haven’t bought anything from Ann Taylor in a while but yeah, the sales are phenomenal. I bought 3 pair of jeans last year for a combined total of under $99.00.

  13. I really enjoyed the your openness about your life so far, and how you weave those experiences into the way you approach your life now. The photos are great. I wish that still I felt comfortable enough to exercise that kind of candor. Well done, and keep it up.

    1. Thank you John for the lovely comment John. I still exercise a great amount of restraint with the telling of my life’s experiences but I am finding it cathartic.

  14. I like your storytelling through fashion. Can you see colors or shapes and does that impact your choices.

    1. Thank you Tony. I can see colors although there has to be contrast because I have trouble with shades of colors. As far as shapes are concerned I really can’t tell what anything is until I’m close up on it but where my wardrobe is concerned I’m real familiar with everything I have so it’s not too much of an issue.

      1. I hope you don’t mind me asking?

      2. Not at all. Some people are sensitive to these types of questions but in my opinion in order to help people understand what sight loss is we have to be transparent.

  15. that outfit looks gorgeous on you:) love the pop of color:) /Mary
    https://beautytruuth.wordpress.com/

      1. I don’t know how I got two “r’s” in your name. I meant Mary, sorry about that.

  16. I both feel like I stick out and like I’m invisible. Some days I can’t decide which is truer.
    🙂
    Maybe the answer is that neither of them are.

    1. I’ve had days like that Kerry.

  17. I like how you weave your stories in with outfits…befitting of your blog. You look amazing, and you’re quite an interesting storyteller.

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