A reflection I wrote apx. 2-3 years ago.
Articles of Clothing
Over the last 6 months or so, I have donated over 6 garbage bags of clothing. Yesterday night, I went through my closet and again, donated another 3 bags.
As I have been doing this. Many thoughts have gone through my mind. Frustration with myself, misunderstanding of how it got to the point it did and a deeper understanding of what the clothes meant. I began realizing how each stage of my life influenced the growing amount of clothes in my closets over the years.
Before I went into foster care, the way my bio mom and I bonded was through shopping. We shopped all the time. It was a way to get out of the house and do something together. If mom took you shopping, she was happy with you that day.
In my foster home, for the first time, I began buying things on my own. Meaning I owned them, not my parents. Meaning the items could not be stripped of my possession to make me fully reliable on someone else. I was also able to dress the way I wanted, and express myself as I wanted. Not how the bible indicated.
As I moved out on my own, and began going to university and growing into myself, I experienced several different identity changes and tried to look a certain way to match those identities. I also resorted back to shopping when I was stressed as I was subconsciously taught as a child. Giving away clothes made me anxious. Even though I never wore them, the thought of separating from the clothes made me second guess myself…what if I wanted to wear it one day and didnt have it? What if it would fit again soon?…I also went through a time period where I saw myself differently than others did. I always bought clothes too big. I would stand in changerooms for 20 minutes thinking…what if it shrinks? What if it wont fit me in a few months…better go up a size. I would buy mediums and larges when in reality I was a xs or small.
Yesterday was one of the most relieving days for me. Although exhausting, I let go of almost all the clothing from those previous life stages. I am in a new stage in my life where I am constructing the future I want for myself. I was able to look at an article and say: this isnt who I am anymore, this doesnt fit me, I dont need this, this is OK to donate, its time to move forward…and I was able to put things in a bag without thinking twice.
By the end of the night, I had let go of more than clothes…