The End of a Clothing Era
Several months ago on a dark and stormy night, I had a conversation that upset me. The contents of which don’t really matter, but I remember feeling determined that I would not be defeated by the food monsters that make me want to eat when I’m upset, so I channeled my energy elsewhere. I decided I’d go through my closet and donate the clothes that didn’t fit me or the clothes I didn’t feel good when I wore. I have tons of clothes. Some clothes I bought because I’d wear them someday, when I lost more/enough weight. Other clothes I don’t know, but I just hadn’t worn them.
When I arrived home after that fateful conversation, I dragged a couple of large garbage bags out and prepared to start going through my closet. This would be no easy task as I’m attached to my clothes, to the memories that they bring. SO many memories, but I felt determined to face those memories and their unfulfilled promises.
There was the teal blue skirt I bought in Hawaii that didn’t fit, but that I could wear someday. That someday isn’t now, so it went into the bag. There’s the beautiful tiered Calvin Klein cocktail dress that I could wear but not sit down in. Literally to drive somewhere in it I’d have to bunch the dress up past my hips, and then pull it down when I arrived. It’s beautiful, but it also went into the donation bag that night.
I didn’t just throw the clothes in the donation bags. I tried them on. I evaluated them. I checked in with myself to see how I felt. I was brutal, and I was merciless. Living in the now, especially when it comes to clothes takes great emotional fortitude and courage. By the time the night ended I felt beyond exhausted.
I’ve spent so many years trying to make my body fit into clothes it wasn’t meant to fit into. Trying to make my body something it’s not. I can’t airbrush myself. I went into Macy’s the other night and looked at bras. While I was there I saw an underwear advertisement that showed a gaping gap between a woman’s thighs. Seriously, no one has that much space between their thighs. No woman’s body looks like that, even if they’re anorexic. It just doesn’t happen.
My body carries its weight around the hips, so slim fitting clothes don’t work. I need A-line outfits. Fortunately, for me, there’s a fair amount of cocktail attire that has A-line skirts.
Sometimes I’d see beautiful clothes that wouldn’t quite fit but I’d buy them anyways, because someday…..Well you know what happens there. When does someday come?
Life is meant to be lived in the now. Not in the someday. Learning that is a constant process.
I cried a lot that night. But the anger from that fortunate/unfortunate conversation motivated me, so I kept at it. I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. I had to keep going. I had to get rid of the clothes and I had to do it then and there. I understood then that my anger had a purpose. But I don’t always want to learn from anger. I also want to change through joy. Anger can be a prod to action but so can joy. And that’s the part I want to encourage. The joy and not the anger.
Epilogue: Living in the NOW
When I’m out shopping now and I feel tempted to buy something that doesn’t fit I remind myself to live in the now, and even though I might feel a twinge of sadness in the moment I feel an overall deepening joy as I become more comfortable in my own skin.
Three weeks ago I decided to practice that trick where I turned all the hangars in the closet the opposite way. I want to be aware of what I do wear and don’t. The clothes I haven’t worn at the end of the month will be evaluated, and I’ll make a plan for when I can wear them. If I can’t make a plan then maybe, just maybe it’ll be time for them to find a new home.
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