My Suits Helped Me Try on Another Life, But I Don’t Need Them Anymore
Sometimes I still think about my suits and the life I could have had. Now I work for myself, and my standard uniform is jeans and a T-shirt.
When I was fifteen, my mom bought me two suits—two jackets and three skirts, one plain set and one with pinstripes. I had signed up for speech and debate class to meet a graduation requirement after hearing other kids rave about how cool the coach—Ms. (never Mrs.) Denney Bull—was. After a couple months of training, my first tournament rolled around, and it was finally time to put on one of those suits.
I love writing and reporting, and if I knew what else I wanted to do, I might do it. Instead, I’m left feeling fulfilled in my soul, with my stomach eternally in knots. Maybe a less creative life would be worth the tradeoff for a better retirement account and a more traditional work schedule. If adulthood is about the trade-offs you’re willing to live with, I’m still not sure stability is something I’m willing to give up.
More in this series
“As a child, I swallowed the Nation’s ideology as easily as the Harlem residents Baldwin observed.”
To me, these never felt like steps to sprint through on the way to simulating life, but life itself.