What do you do when a good friend or relative you see often gives you a gift that is so “not you”?  I’m sure it’s happened to all of us.

And it just happened to me on my birthday.

It’s one thing when you get something from a long-lost cousin.  You can hide it in the closet, or, better yet, re-gift it.  But when it’s from a good friend and the gift is something to wear?  Well, then you’re really stuck.

My good friend whom I see daily, gave me a bold, colorful necklace.  In all fairness to her, she admitted I may not like it and I could certainly give it away if I wouldn’t wear it.  Returning it was not an option since it was non-refundable.

Of course I wasn’t going to re-gift it.  No matter how generous my friend was in letting me give it away, I couldn’t hurt her like that.  So I was stuck with it.

But then I thought, “So what if it’s not ‘me’.”  What is “me” anyway?  Why should I resign myself to one look?  Of course if something really doesn’t fit, I don’t encourage anyone to wear it.  But maybe breaking out of our own molds isn’t such a bad thing.

So, I wore it.

And as the day progressed I felt increasingly liberated and empowered.

I got quite a few compliments on the necklace, as its centerpiece is a bold round turquoise that brings out my eye color.  And who doesn’t want to look great?

But, more significantly, it felt amazing to know I had the guts to take a risk with my appearance and try something new.  I’ve written about the power of a new look in previous posts (“Weekend Observations: Changing Your Lipstick Can Be Pretty Deep”) , but in this case, it happened to me personally.

And the effect of breaking out extends beyond my closet and vanity to my whole attitude.  My new look says to me “I am who I choose to be and I have the power to tweak, even transform into, the person I want to be.”

So if your aunt, neighbor or colleague hands you something you’d NEVER catch yourself wearing, try it on.  You never know what could happen.

There’s no question that necklace is going to adorn my neck many more times this summer.  And maybe, I’ll even find a few more like it!

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