Come out, come out wherever you are

Do you ever feel like you lost a part of yourself?

I have.

After having my fourth child, I remember standing in my closet early one morning, about to pull out a pair of black yoga pants and a sweatshirt to head to work. It was 5:30 am and my routine consisted of a 20 minute appointment with the dreadmill and a quick shower. If I was feeling extra brave, I may throw on some mascara or a little bit of lipstick. I would only be in my mom gear for a short commute to work, where I was going to throw on scrubs aka green pajamas anyway. Self-care? I lost that somewhere between my medical residency and having four children.

For some reason that morning, I opened my drawer to grab yoga pants and I had an overwhelming sense of anger.

That’s right.  Anger. At myself.

What was I doing??? For one, I didn’t even DO yoga. Which is an entire other post. Why did I own 16 pairs?

For two, pre-residency pre-motherhood Sasha would NEVER have pictured herself walking into the hospital after working years to become a physician dressed like I was heading to the YMCA.

What happened to me?

Somewhere in between taking care of other people, both at work and at home, I stopped taking care of me. I ignored myself. My own self care. My own sense of style. My light had dimmed, and the only person responsible, the only person that could change it, was staring back at me wearing a gray GAP sweatshirt with her hair in a ponytail.

That night, when I got home from work, I grabbed every pair of pants in that drawer and put them in a donate pile. Then I donated two-thirds of my entire closet. I told myself this: if it doesn’t make you look and feel like your best self, it does not belong here.

Slowly, I started dressing in things that made me feel like my best self. I started taking time to dress like I wanted to feel. And guess what happened? I found a new, improved, stronger, more confident version of myself. It turns out all I needed was to believe I was still there, and it was worth it.

I see women, close friends, my sisters, (and myself - for years), hiding. Hiding in black pants and sweaters and yoga pants. Hiding because they don’t think they deserve to wear lipstick or a high bun or pearls or a bright colored dress or a lovely blazer. Since they aren't perfect (newsflash - no one is!) they stay hidden. Or since they see themselves as less than they once were, they think they must hide. So they do. Behind sweatshirts and ponytails and scrubs and black pants.

Now please don’t misinterpret my words. I don't care about what you wear…truly! But I do care if you think being more of a person means being less of a woman, or less of YOU. I care if you are hiding, or if you have lost yourself because you are too busy to take care of YOU.

I realize some of you won't get what I'm saying - and potentially think I'm being mean, or even selfish, but I promise I'm the trying to convey the opposite.

I just want you to SHINE.

So shine on. In whatever it is that makes YOU feel beautiful. Let your light be a source of strength for others who have forgotten what it means to feel beautiful.