Religious at Work is a series about my experience balancing a religious lifestyle with the demands of a full-time job in a secular environment.
One cold winter day, as I was getting into the elevator in the parking garage, the woman next to me couldn’t believe I was wearing a skirt. “Aren’t you cold?!” she asked. “I love wearing skirts, but could never wear one in the winter!”
Honestly, before this comment, I had never thought about it. I never noticed that a skirt might make me feel colder than if I had worn pants. I also didn’t realize that wearing a skirt in the winter would make me stand out.
I’ve mentioned my challenges with modesty before. Being the only one wearing sleeves in the summer months is awkward and weird. It’s almost like I’m not allowed to say that I’m hot because I’m wearing so much!
So, do I stand out at work? Absolutely. There’s no question about it, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think the way I dress commands a certain amount of respect and shows that I value myself.
Dressing modestly in the work place has taught me that there’s more to a person than meets the eye. At first glance we judge each other and convince ourselves that we having nothing in common. But often, it’s quite the opposite.
Even though my colleagues don’t share the same lifestyle as me, we do in fact have things in common. We may like the same type of food and can share recipes. We may both be dealing with a baby waking up at all hours of the night. Or we might just share a passion for our work.
It’s not about what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Until next time,