I wrote this earlier in the year. Some things have changed since I wrote it (mainly that just a couple days after I did so, I was engaged and have since re-married), but as I ended up going through my closet last weekend (and getting rid of three large bags of clothes!) I figured it couldn't hurt to post it here :o)
"I found myself with some free time this week, which meant...LAUNDRY! Excitement abounds. (okay, not really) Unfortunately, I had so much laundry to do (thanks to my bad habit of putting it off until I'm down to my last pair of socks or I'm out of clean running clothes) that I didn't have room to hang up all of the clothes that can't go in the dryer.
And suddenly I was reminded of some friends of mine who recently mentioned the objective of cleaning out their closets and getting rid of things that they didn't need/like/wear anymore.
So I went to town. After all, who needs a blouse from 2002 that never fit properly in the first place (damn you, 36D's!)? Or a wool sweater from American Eagle that was cute in 1998 but looks mom-ish now? Or a baby-style tee from 2005 that is too short to wear with the super low-rise jeans that are all I have nowadays?
In the end, I didn't get rid of as much as I wanted to. I probably didn't get rid of as much as I should have. But the whole process certainly got me thinking.
Why do we keep things around when we know we no longer need them? For instance, I am a notorious packrat. I literally have tubs and tubs of crap that I doubt I'll ever look at again. And the worst part? Every time I move (which has been a lot in the past ten years) I get rid of trash bags and boxes full of stuff. Yet I somehow still end up with things to throw away at the next move, or clothes to send to Goodwill when I do random spring cleaning (like I did last night).
Why is it so hard to just let things go?
The thing is--this applies to people, too. Why is it so hard to let people go? I was writing about not knowing whether I was in love with my ex-husband just a couple of years into our marriage...but I was too afraid to throw him away, because if I did, then what if someone else picked him up (a la Oscar Wilde)? Yet the minute I decided that I was ready to let go, that I had to let go...in that minute, my life truly began. I never really looked back and the past year and ten or eleven months have been the happiest of my life--happier even than when I was still blissfully in love with him.
And years ago, I always tried to drag out friendships with people who treated me like shit. Sometimes for months, sometimes for years. In the end, letting go meant less drama in my life, and letting go was always for the best. I've been better about this lately. When my so-called friend--our so-called friend--Mikey screwed us over last year, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am I was DONE. Sometimes, there is no apology that can ever be good enough for the way one is betrayed, and if that's the case, why even bother pretending to be friends with a person?
So many times, I've watched my friends let other people--be they other friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, family members--walk all over them, and I've kept my mouth shut. I don't do that anymore--keep my mouth shut, I mean. Of course, nowadays, it's still a bit about politics. I don't want to always take the harshest stand, because I know that not everyone finds it as easy as I do to just let go. And I've been there myself. I know that, especially in a long term relationship, it's hard to make the decision to walk away. But that doesn't stop me from telling my friends when I think they need to review a particular relationship in their lives and figure out where it is going...or where it is not going.
Honestly...get rid of the trash in your life! Whether it's that necklace from an ex that you never wear anymore, anyway; a boyfriend/girlfriend who you only keep around because doing so is the "easy" thing to do or because you're simply afraid to be alone; that glittery shirt that doesn't fit anymore, the one that you "can't" get rid of because you wore it to a party years ago and had a good time in it...if you can't think of at least three good, logical reasons why you are keeping something in your life, then it doesn't need to be there. Plain and simple.
As I hit my mid-20s and stopped worrying about whether or not everyone liked me, I've led a much more fulfilling life. I'd rather have an amazing boyfriend/relationship than a half-assed husband/marriage. I'd rather have a half-dozen best friends who I can trust with anything, than thirty people who talk shit about me and consistently don't include me in activities. I'd rather have a half-full closet of cute, flattering clothes than a stuffed-full closet of clothes that I don't even really like.
Some would look at my life right now and say that it's not good enough, because I'm not "popular", because I'm not married/not married anymore/divorced/"only" in a relationship, because I buy my clothes at Target and Old Navy and Kohl's rather than Guess and Banana Republic, because I'm healthy and fit but still not stick-thin, because I have allowed myself to become a spiritual person rather than a religious person, because I no longer need to smoke weed on a regular basis or experiment with God knows what other drugs in order to have a good time.
But me? My life is full. Almost too full. I am bursting with health and fun and friendship and love, love, love.
Me? I am a happy girl :o)