It is hard being in your twenties and hearing people say that you don’t really “come into yourself” until you’re thirty and beyond. That’s especially hard to hear when you got yourself married and three kids before the big 3-0 hit – like maybe I couldn’t possibly know that I want to be married or have kids yet… Like, perhaps I’m not old enough to make deliberate family-building decisions in my twenties.
I mean, of course I don’t believe this, but when you hear people lauding their thirties as the time when everything became clear to them, I can’t help but wonder what all these major life choices I made in my twenties will amount to.
I’m not yet thirty, so I can’t really speak with any authority re: finding one’s self in their thirties, but at 29, I do feel like I’m starting to see glimpses of this mid-life clarity that I’ve heard women allude to. Of course, this isn’t leading me to question my choice of husband or wonder whether I really want to be a mom. Instead, it feels like the individual that I am is coming into focus a little more. It is comforting to know that I am unlikely to wake up in February of 2016 regretting the previous 30 years of decisions. At the same time, it is exciting to be discovering myself even amidst this season of life where it is so easy to lose oneself in the diapers and sleepless nights and kindergarten registrations and nightly home-cooked meals.
I never thought I had a “style”. Ever. I suppose thinking back there were a few things that I grabbed on to and claimed as my own – in middle school I started layering necklaces and bracelets and would wear the biggest, loudest earrings I could find. While my neck is no longer adorned with six necklaces at a time, I can’t leave the house without one on. And yes, I still think bigger is better when it comes to earrings. I also gravitated towards Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes in high school. Could I really claim that style as my own, or was it an image I was trying to aspire to? Who cares?! Now, I’m a 29 year old woman who doesn’t love buying shoes but loves having a pair of Converse and a pair of running sneakers at the front door at all times. Regardless of how it started, that’s my style now, and I’m claiming it, proudly.
I’m over trying to be stylish. I’m over trying to achieve a certain look that I see in other people. I just have such a hard time buying things for myself that I can’t maintain any sort of style apart from jeans and a plain tee. If that’s my style, so be it. Man. I like being okay with me. I like discovering the me that I’m okay with. Someday, when the kids are a little older and my weight doesn’t fluctuate so much between being pregnant and being a runner, I’ll find the time and the money to flesh out the things I like and some sort of style – one that makes room for Converse and big earrings – will emerge.
But for now? It is hard to spend enough to bring that image of myself into reality.
I was recently issued a challenge by RetailMeNot.ca to see how much I could save using their site. I’m all for saving. But this kind of saving isn’t the avoid-buying-something-for-yourself-at-all-costs kind of saving. This is the kind where you have to spend to save. I’m not good at that. Can I get an “Amen!” to Mom-Guilt? What did I want? What do we need? Shopping gives me anxiety.
And then I saw it. A bag. Not just any bag: a purse. And not just any purse: a designer purse. I fell in love. I’m actually pretty good at not falling in love with things that are ridiculously expensive. I learned long ago to guard my heart from things that I want but know I can’t have. But it is oh-so-much harder when this something that you would normally never let your heart fall for is actually on sale. 57% off, to be exact. Compared to $278, that $119 looks pretty measly in comparison. Except that, you know, $119 isn’t actually measly and a Kate Spade bag isn’t exactly a need.
Maybe it is because I’m nearing my thirties and coming into myself, or whatever. Maybe it is because I’m a blogger and I was supposed to write about this experience. Whatever the reason, I started thinking about why I liked this bag. Was I trying to impress anyone? No. Quite honestly, I’m the type of person who doesn’t want to flaunt a designer purse around. I’ll be apologizing for it constantly: “But I got it on sale! And I had a gift card!” So why did I want it? Was I trying to be someone that I’m not? Maybe – just maybe – this non-stylish girl actually has a style.
We joke around a lot at my house about how often I dress the baby in stripes. Often, both he and I are wearing stripes. On good days, I have everyone in the family wearing a striped shirt. Even my iPhone is striped (in a Kate Spade case for that matter). Like the constant presence of necklaces, the big earrings, and the canvas sneaks, stripes seems to be something I gravitate towards. Dare I say, it’s my style?
I got the purse. It is in the mail. I’m looking forward to having this accessory that I really like for no other reason than I just do. This is me, people. Stripes. Black Chucks. Big earrings. Ponytails. Nails done. And all it took was a coupon site, a challenge, and a 57% off purse to realize that it is okay for me to embrace this look I seem to have created for myself.
About that challenge? I was told to spend $250 and see how much I could save through RetailMeNot.ca. I saved $159 on the purse and had plenty left over to get my husband a pretty cool Father’s Day gift (shhh). Not only did RetailMeNot.ca alert me to the sale at Kate Spade and the online store where I purchased the gifts for Father’s Day, but it also provided me with a coupon code for the latter as well. At this second retailer, I got two items for 60% off for a total savings of $45 plus I saved an additional 20% on the whole order with a coupon code which saved me an additional $8.59. Between both purchases, I spent a total of $208.94 while saving $212.59 and all I got out of it was a designer purse and a Father’s Day gift.
RetailMeNot.ca wants to give a $100 Visa gift card to one of my Canadian readers to help you save too! To win, just fill out the giveaway app below. Giveaway closes on Monday, June 8th.
RetailMeNot.ca provided me with a $250 gift card to complete their challenge. I found out about the Kate Spade sale and the sale & coupon code from Think Geek through RetailMeNot.ca. The experience written about is entirely my own.