Embracing white.

The backstory

I was working at Intuit, having a great time as I had finally found a company that I loved working at. It is here that I realized that my wardrobe choices were a source of joy and inspiration for others. At this point in my life, I was the mother of 2 young kids under the age of 5, had lost about 100 lbs post pregnancy, was really happy to be starting my new job at Intuit and overall, doing well in life. Looking back at the pictures from these years, I have to say, it is the best I have ever looked in my entire life! So it’s easy to say that I was in a good place, feeling happy had a lot to do with looking good. My wardrobe choices reflected that happiness. It wasn’t until one day in the kitchen area of my building, a woman walked up to me to say that she loved my green shoes. She said she had been watching me for days and was always looking forward to my ‘outfit of the day’. She went on to share her story of having lost her mother, having been through a difficult pregnancy and being in a place of not feeling too good about herself or her body. I could relate to some of this as I had been there not too long ago. From that day on, we would meet regularly in the kitchen for coffee. The group got bigger each time we met. You could see that the people on the floor dressed better, connected on a personal level (even if it was for a conversation about shoes), and it felt so good to be a catalyst for that. To think that it all started because of a gorgeous pair of parrot green shoes! These shoes have since been retired after bearing many years of wear and tear! Sigh!

Embracing white.

So let’s get back to that day at Target where I bought all the white tees. I felt an overwhelming sense that I needed to simplify my life. At this point in my life, I had spent almost 2 years in isolation with my family, the work wardrobe was once again gathering dust because I had nowhere to go! I had also started by own company with a mission that was keeping me occupied day and night. So I decided that I was only going to wear white from now on. I wore the same white tee (meaning the same type, not the same one) every single day with a pair of jeans or leggings. I turned in my many pairs of colorful shoes for a comfortable pair of white AllBirds shoes. Before you think it, let me just say that this is not an article about embracing minimalism or becoming a genius. I am aware of the ‘billionaire’ , ‘ genius’ hacks of wearing the same outfit every day. Trust me. I am not trying to be like them. I am not a billionaire and definitely am not a genius. I am also not one to advocate for minimalism. I own too many things and am accustomed to a life of dependency on material possessions. A minimalistic life is a distant dream at this point.

So what the heck is this article about?

At first I thought I was simplifying my life. It did make it a lot easier to jump out of bed, shower and get into the same outfit every day. It made me a lot more productive every morning. A related consequence of this was that I began to give up all the other activities in my life that were sucking up my time. Some of the changes I made were — I stopped coloring my hair, I stopped wearing make up, I stopped eating meat, I stopped drinking alcohol, I stopped engaging with people that I didn’t need to engage with, I stopped caring about what people thought of me or how I looked, I stopped worrying about things that I didn’t need to worry about, I stopped wanting, I stopped trying to control outcomes. There is one thing, however, that I have not been able to give up. That is my morning cup of coffee. To me, it’s more than coffee that I have to give up. It’s the experience of drinking coffee that I do not want to give up. But I am getting to a point where I am detaching from it which means I should be able to give that one up too.

Embracing white and it’s effect on my work.

I work with young people (ages 18–25) who are people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. These guys know a thing or two about being invisible. What I have learned by getting to know them is that the ONLY way to make it through life is through radical self acceptance. There is no other way for them to survive. Some of them were born with Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome. Accepting this is the ONLY way to live. Their problem is not their own acceptance of their disability. The biggest barriers they face in life is the environment in which they live in. Acceptance has not come to them in ways it has come to us. Even today, in 2022, there are people, lawmakers, educators, employers who haven’t fully understood or accepted what it means to live with a disability. We have not accepted the fact that disability is a human experience. Disability impacts all of us. Some more than others but it touches ALL of us.

Gayatri wearing a white tee and blue jeans standing against a fence with an ocean backdrop.
Gayatri (wearing a white tee and blue jeans) at Muir Beach Outlook.



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