Learning to be Myself

Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster

I can’t believe it took me 31 years to realize I should just wear what I like. I shouldn’t be worried about showing too much; if someone has a problem with my cute crop top or unlined bra, that’s about them, not about me. I shouldn’t ask myself if my love for campy fringe is too much… too much for whom? and of course it is, that’s what makes it camp! This outfit might not seem like much of a statement, but stepping out in it, and feeling more confident than ever, was a big step for me and symbolic of the changes I’ve been trying to make for myself.

Maybe it’s the roller derby – and spending the last six months feeling my body become stronger and faster – but I felt great in this: the first crop top I have ever purchased. I wore it to a barbecue and didn’t feel the usual need to cover up or apologize for my female figure, like I’ve been trained to do since that summer my legs grew several inches and the boys noticed before I did.

I fell in love with the perfect black fringe and brightly coloured pom pom trim of these sandals the second I saw them last summer, but didn’t buy them because I was worried they would be too bold to fit in with my current wardrobe. When I saw that they were on clearance this spring, and about to slip through my fingers, I realized that I was being silly and if I loved something that much, it was obviously part of my core style. I have since worn them so often, they have found a permanent position on the little mat by my front door because of course¬†they suit me.

I’ve had to learn, over the past two decades, to trust my taste, learn to stop fretting over other people’s expectations and opinions about my body and the way I choose to decorate it (because it’s super weird that they feel the need to tell me, anyway) and, really, learn how to be myself.

Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster Learning to be Myself | Sophster-Toaster

Top American Apparel
Skirt Steady Clothing

All photos by me.

Spring Fever

Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster

I did pretty well this year. I managed to stay positive about winter all the way up to the end of February. I lived in the moment and enjoyed everyone’s least favourite season through the snow, wind and ice storms, through the dull root vegetables, through the plastic on my 1926 windows, through the cold mornings and through the endless layers of bulky window clothes until around my birthday. At some point between catching a bad cold and running out of the pickled jalapenos we grew and preserved from last summer’s garden, a switch flipped inside me and I started desperately longing for spring.

Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster

Something inside me needs to shake off the winter wool and see the snowdrops poking through the garden soil. I’ve been dreaming about open windows and the feeling of a soft, warm spring breeze on my skin. I am so ready to wear pastels, short dresses and anything but my big winter boots again.

Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster

The unseasonably mild weather we’ve had the past few days has been such a tease. I got a chance to wear something other than my jeans and a heavy sweater (with optional long underwear) uniform of the past month, but knowing these above 0 temperatures have come too soon to stick is only making my spring fever worse.

Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster

Dress Gap
Blouse Banana Republic
Stockings What Katie Did
Shoes ModCloth
Glasses Warby Parker
Necklace Suzy Shier

Spring Fever | Sophster-Toaster

All photos by me.

Back in Colour

 

Back in Colour | Sophster-Toaster

I had been envying women with bold hair colours for a while when I came across Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair. I browsed the rainbow of unique hair colours and thought it might be fun to dye my decade+ naturally chestnut brown hair an exciting bright pink. That was almost a year ago.¬†Since then, I have been working to get my long dark hair light enough to go pink while trying to damage it as little as possible.

Back in Colour | Sophster-Toaster

 

Over the course of ten months, I went from natural chestnut, to sort of auburn, to “bronde”, to decidedly blonde, to pink. I started, regrettably, by trying to lighten my hair as much as possible, without bleach, by using a home dying kit. I got maybe one level lighter but not nearly light enough for the pink to show if I were to dye it then. I waited two months after that for my hair to grow, fade and recover. This time, knowing I would need to bleach, I made the right choice and booked an appointment at the salon for some dark blonde, warm/neutral balayage highlights. My stylist did a fantastic job working through and blending out the box dye. My hair still felt quite healthy after this but, nevertheless, I waited another six months to bleach again, all the while babying my hair with few washes, cool water, fancy shampoo and conditioner, and very little heat styling. At my next balayage appointment, we really went for it and took me up to a full blonde, deciding to leave lots of natural, healthy, new growth hair at the roots. After enjoying the fruits of my labour and living as a blonde (for the first time in my life!) for another two months, I went pink with a semi-permanent, deep conditioning dye that made me, and my hair, very happy.

Back in Colour | Sophster-Toaster

After nearly a year of getting my hair to a point where I could play with colour, and being stuck at boring transition shades, I can’t wait to try out new looks as the seasons change.

Back in Colour | Sophster-Toaster Back in Colour | Sophster-Toaster

Sweater ModCloth
Jeans Angry Rabbit
Glasses Warby Parker
Earrings ModCloth

Hair Lime Crime {an equal mix of “Strawberry Jam” & “Bubblegum Rose“}

Back in Colour | Sophster-Toaster

All photos by Matt.