I have a lot of incredible shoes. I have a really beautiful wardrobe. I used to love getting up and getting dressed for my day. Or working in workout gear until it was time to get ready for an evening event. I don’t wear my pretty shoes much anymore. I rarely pull out a favorite piece from my closet to wear. I’ll get dressed up for a week of meetings in NY, but even that has become a bit of an easy uniform.

The last four years of my life have cracked me wide open. The death of my grandmother (who was my stand-in Mom after my mother passed when I was 18) and my stepfather, the ending of my marriage, the ending of a decade-long job I adored and then didn’t, and my father being diagnosed with Parkinson’s has been leveling in the truest sense of the word. Level the ground type stuff. Clear it all off and start over type stuff. It’s been a bring her to her knees few years. And I’m so grateful for it (now, not then) because it required me to finally deal with the giant hole in my body, heart and spirit that was growing up with alcoholic parents.

When you do this amount of self-reflection and healing, you don’t have time for outfits. Or showers. You do the best you can to do life while also navigating your challenging internal terrain. While trying to understand it all and put yourself back together in a new, stronger way. And so I’ve been ever so chuffed to find myself reaching for my cute shoes again. Grabbing a lovely coat instead of the one I wear every day. Without guilt. But in full awareness of: my goodness it feels good to like myself enough to carefully dress in a way that is about joy vs surviving the day. It’s progress. And I’m here for all of it.