When I started dating Antique Daddy, every time we had a date, I would run out and buy a new outfit.
I wanted him to really really like me. How could he possibly really really like me if I were wearing something he had seen me wearing before? I wanted to look my best and wearing something new made me feel good and made me feel confident.
As I got ready for the She Speaks conference in North Carolina, I of course wanted to buy a new outfit because I wanted everyone to really really like me. I wanted to look my best and feel confident. Going to this conference was like going on a date with 550 women. As I type these words, I am fully aware of how crazy that sounds but I also know, ladies, that you know of what I speak.
The month before the conference, I went to my sister-in-law Annette who has a fabulous boutique filled with gorgeous things and she fixed me up with a nice business casual outfit — a Nic and Zoe crocheted sweater and matching pants. The sweater was a splurge, but it was perfect for the conference because first and foremost, it was cute. Second, it’s always cold in the hotels but hot outside, so layering was a good choice.
For the month before the conference my expensive Nic and Zoe sweater hung in my closet and I gazed lovingly upon it. Sometimes I would even walk clear across the house to my closet just to look at it, like I was checking on sleeping baby. I would imagine myself striding confidently around the Charlotte Embassy Suites where publishers and agents would throw themselves at my feet with book contracts — because certainly anyone wearing a sweater as cute as that should be given a book contract. That’s how it works in the world of publishing. I think that’s how it happened for J.K. Rowling.
On the big day of the conference, I did wear the sweater and it was cute and it kept me warm in cold hotel. But it snagged on everything but air. It snagged on my purse, it snagged on my bag, it snagged on the clasps on my pants, it snagged on my folder and my ink pen. I don’t know how many times I had to beg the poor soul sitting next to me to separate me and my sweater from whatever it had glommed onto. By the end of the day, this sweater looked like something the lawn mower had spit out.
But I really didn’t care. Although my sweater was frayed, my confidence was intact. You see, I learned long ago that while I enjoy new and pretty things, sweaters and the other things of this world will sooner or later, ravel and fray, disappoint and fail. Even people who not only really really like me but love me, will ultimately fail me — if for no other reason than that someday they will die.
My confidence comes not from what I wear but from the knowledge of Whose I am.