Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Final Stretch of October

I realized today this was the last weekend of October.

To commemorate, I emptied my entire dresser and closet and hand selected each item to go to a friend, return to the closet or dresser, or go to the Goodwill.

Purging feels so good. How can it not? Purging the wardrobe of clothes that will most likely never fit again or aren't appropriate anymore is a way of accepting myself for who I am right now.

I got rid of the tube top (Jaimie, I know you'll look amazing in it and you can pull it off for years to come!). I got rid of some faded black T-shirts that used to make me feel cute, in a low-maintenance way. Now they just look, yes, faded. Old. I imagine Tim Gunn over my shoulder going "You're 30. You have a child. It's time to upgrade."

I did, however, hold onto the miniskirt I have worn only once. Maybe I can dress up for Halloween .. next year when I'm sure it's going to fit again.

As much as I hate waste, I hate even moreso the act of holding on to those things that no longer fit. And this applies to more than just clothes.

It used to be okay to smoke cigarettes now and then. And it was something fun to do with friends and wine. Now the thought of a cigarette makes me gag and I can't believe I actually ever enjoyed them.

I used to be okay with friends who weren't really friends. Even better than getting rid of clothes, is getting rid of the people in your life who probably should not have been there in the first place.

I look in my dresser and I see only the things I want to wear. I look in my address book and see only the people I'd want to send letters. This is the way it should be.

It used to be okay to go out, act wild, put on slutty makeup, be the court jester. Now I just want to stay home with my family. And, yes, I occasionally even want to spend time with my mom. I want to kiss Phoebe's head about 500 more times before I go to sleep. I want Geoff to be barbecuing chicken in the backyard while I make (always too strong -- sorry!) white Russians.

The life I used to want is here. It's simple. And good.

During my last few weeks of pregnancy, I went through boxes and boxes of old writings I'd saved throughout the years. Lots of letters to and from ex-boyfriends. Lots of really bad poetry and even worse fictional accounts of my life.

And it pained me a little to get rid of them. And I laughed to myself about how far I'd come that I was emptying bins that used to hold writing and would soon hold the clothes of my baby.

But I thought "Where does this fit into my life now? I am going to have a baby. Would I want her to find this someday? No. Would I want to explain this? No. This is a part of me that is old and gone. And it does not need to take up space in the space where I live."

So I threw out a bunch of things. I saved some of the things I loved. But mostly it all went away.

And I thought about where things go when you get rid of them. Because the physical is not here anymore, but the memory of creating it still is. And the tube top will be gone tomorrow (even though a part of me is hoping Jaimie won't like it so she will give it back and I can hold on a little bit longer) but the memories of my wearing it will be here.

What good does it do to hold onto things that remind us of what was? Or worse, what could have been?

Kim and I play a game called "In my next life". I'm always coming up with something totally different from my own life "I'd like to be Katrina -- a surgeon, living in NYC traveling the world with my mom". And Kim always -- ALWAYS -- counters something like "I'd like to meet Zach about 5 years earlier" or some variation of the theme.

And every single time I shake my head and go "you are --yet again-- so right". What can we know of another person's memories and life? What good does it do us to think about things that could have been or that once were?

Getting rid of the old memories, clothes, the dead weight ... it gives us the great and important opportunity to gather more of what's meaningful to us as the years pass.

My drawers are slimmer. I don't have many old emails. I will probably not wear a tube top again for a very long time. At least not until Phoebe is old enough to be embarrassed by my wearing one.

And I suddenly feel so much more open than I did this morning.

In my next life, I'd really like to do everything just the same. But next time I'd like my perception of the passing of time to be just a little bit slower.

And, also, I'd really like to stay a size 6.

I have so much room for November now. And it feels really really good.

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