"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." ~ Nelson Mandela
This weekend, I was forced to really dive into my bedroom and closet. Besides me getting a new bedroom set, I'm also planning a closet sale in May and taking some trips. And my clothing (and shoes!) situation is starting to get out of control.
I say "forced" because for me, I tend to form an emotional attachment to things so it's hard for me to purge. But I don't know... I am in a different place and wasn't so anxious about purging this time around.
My 15-yr-old niece Savana was helping me go through stuff and as I went through my clothes and shoes, I realized that I was seeing the "old" me in these things. And it made me realize how much I have grown in the past few years.
I used to hate showing my upper arms. So I had a collection of shrugs in every color and print. I also own so many blazers when honestly, I am not a blazer girl. I'm more of a moto jacket/cropped jacket girl. However, back then, I wore shrugs and long blazers to cover my arms, stomach and butt. Those shrugs and blazers went in the "donate" bag along with those ridiculous fears I once had about showing parts of my body.
I had tons of maxi dresses and long skirts because I did not like to show off my legs either. And let's not even discuss how I always hid my stomach with long tops. They also went in the Donate bag.
I also saw how my style has evolved in those clothes that I held onto. I bought so many things that were not my style but I wore because I was trying to fit in or be like everyone else. I also found jeans that were two sizes larger than I am as well as baggy tops and sweaters. In the Donate bag they go!
It was as if the road to my true confidence and love for myself was laid out in those bags on the floor of my bedroom. Each piece told a story, some not-so-good ones. My niece sat there with me as I told her some stories and how I built my confidence over time. I told her how I now love my arms and show them off all the time. I haven't worn a shrug in almost three years, since my brother's (her dad's) funeral.
So much has changed since then. Grief forced me to reevaluate my life. When I started this journey of healing myself, I had no idea where it would take me. I look back now and don't even recognize the girl I once was. While I was smart, competent, pretty, caring, genuine and amazing back then, I did not know my own greatness. My lack of self-worth, confidence and self acceptance didn't allow me to be the best person I could be because I did not believe in myself.
I will never blame my size or my grief or any other outer force for me not being totally in love with myself and living fully. I take the full blame because at the end of the day, I have a choice in how I live.
I ended up giving away four bags of stuff and putting away two bags for my closet sale. I threw out so many things too! Usually, when I purge, I'm in tears at the end and mourning the loss. However, this time, no tears. I felt like a large weight had been lifted off of me.
The clothes and shoes I kept are truly me. My style, my rules and my life. I never knew I could be this happy -- I still have bad days but now I know, bad days do not equal a bad life. I just have to roll with the punches and live life as best as I can.