I love those moments in life where you realize that you are completely different than you were a year ago, three months ago, or even three weeks ago.
Call it a moment of clarity, or what have you – but, I had one of these moments the other day. Maybe this has something to do with turning 34 a few weeks ago, or the fact that my three year anniversary of moving back to BC is steadily approaching, but I realized that I feel completely differently – about life, about love, about myself, about work – than I did three years ago. Heck, even one year ago. It was a really good realization, and to celebrate I decided to do something really big.
You guys, I threw out my leopard print pyjamas.
Those of you who have been reading for awhile, might grasp the significance of this. Up until a few weeks ago, I was hopelessly attached to my two sets of leopard print pyjamas (perhaps, a little too attached) – a reality that was well documented on Instagram & my blog. I’d sleep in them. I’d work in them. The only thing I wouldn’t do is leave the house in them. I started referring to them as my “freelancer’s business suit.” Things got so dire, that my family staged a pyjama-vention of sorts.
Although I was finally able to break my pyjama habit when I started to work out every morning, I kept the leopard print pyjamas in my drawer none the less (I had two sets that I’d regularly rotate.) I’d still wear them at night before bed, but that was it.
That takes us up to a few weeks ago, when I put on the older of the two pairs, bent down, heard a ripping sound and realized there was a giant hole in the butt. Luckily, I had another pair standing by! However, they only lasted about a week before the same thing happened.
Being the ever so handy person that she is, when I told my Mom about what had happened, she immediately offered to help me repair both pairs.
“Maybe, I could patch them. We could make the patches a giant bright pink heart if you want…wouldn’t that kind of match your blog?” she suggested.
There are a lot of things that wear out on a semi regular basis: running shoes, toothbrushes, nail files. I feel like pyjamas shouldn’t be on the list. If you’re blowing out the butt of your pyjama pants on a regular basis, you might have a problem. I should know.
“Mom, that’s really sweet but I feel like that would just draw attention to the problem and scream out…well, sadness. Besides, I think both of these pairs are just one rip away from being ass-less chaps.”
“You know dear, you’re probably right.”
“Also, I think it’s just time.”
So, the decision was made: I would throw out the leopard print pyjamas. To prepare for this event, I bought myself a new pair of very grown-up silk pyjamas from one of my favourite stores in Vancouver. However, then the summer got really busy and I simply forgot to dispose of the old pairs, until I opened up my bottom drawer today and promptly declared, “These need to go, NOW!” and dumped them into the garbage bin outside.
I’ll always have a place in my heart for these my well-loved, feline inspired former sleepwear but, they no longer serve me – both as physical items in my home, but also by what they represent.
The girl who lived in these PJ’s was trying to get over an emotionally jarring break-up while starting a freelancing career. She had an idea where she was going, but she was still afraid of a lot of things. She was afraid of really putting herself out there and getting her heart broken again, and feared that maybe she wasn’t good enough to really make it as a writer. She was also kind of lonely. She was happy to have moved across the country to start anew, but also longed for the active social life she used to have. The pyjamas provided comfort and acted as a security blanket to quell these fears. However, three years later I no longer feel like that girl.
I’m still afraid of things (who isn’t?) and yes, I definitely enjoy regular quiet nights in (featuring my new pyjamas and a steady stream of Netflix) but I feel like I’m on the other side of the phase of the one I described above. I go to the gym most mornings, I wear real clothes to work, I date and I have a busy social life. My life might not look that different to the outside observer but it feels different and that’s what counts.
In case you hadn’t already guessed, I’ve been on a downsizing kick lately. So, while I was still on a high from disposing of my old pyjamas, I did another big thing: I purged my closet and got rid of all the stuff that no longer fits me properly. This seems like a no brainer, but for me it was a big step.
As I’ve mentioned before, my body has changed a lot over the past three years. I’m no longer the size I was when I moved here but I’ve hung on to a lot of the clothes I used to wear when I still lived in Toronto – namely, a pile of size 23 and 24 jeans that I have long since outgrown.
At first I kept these pieces because I thought that I would eventually lose the weight. I’d wear them anyways, allowing my muffin top to spill over the waist band (which, just made feel worse.) Even though it was clear that these ill fitting pants were hurting my self-esteem, I had all sorts of crazy excuses as to why I couldn’t get rid of them:
“But they were expensive! What if I need them one day?”
“What if I get a rare tropical disease that causes drastic weight loss, what will I wear then? I’ll need the old jeans!”
“I guess I should probably save them just in case I meet someone, get married and get pregnant in the next 10 years and need to convert them into maternity jeans.”
“If there is a zombie apocalypse, maybe I could use the jeans to barter for food or toothpaste or something.”
Eventually though, I decided that hypothesizing about tropical diseases and the zombie apocalypse (and imaginary, future pregnancies…ahhh!) was totally ridiculous.
The truth is, I didn’t just gain weight over the past 3 years – my body changed. My hips have widened and I’m a lot more muscular from my workouts. I will likely never wear a size 23 jean again and I’m happy about that. When I look back at some of the old photos of myself from when I lived in Toronto, I’m reminded of how unhappy I was. The stress of living in the city was literally eating away at my body. I feel so much stronger, healthier and sexier now, why would I ever want to go back? Once I finally made peace with this, I knew the jeans had to go.
Most of these clothes are still in really good condition, so I’ve put them aside to either sell online or take to a local consignment store. To celebrate this “aha” moment, I decided to treat myself to some jeans that actually fit me properly. Thanks to some savvy shopping at the Nordstrom Rack (my happy place) and a gift certificate to Aritzia, I was able to pick up three pairs of pants that I absolutely love and will surely wear for seasons to come – all of which are in the correct size.
(FYI, these Rag & Bone legging jeans totally rock.)
Numbers be damned, there’s something very luxurious about wearing a pair of pants that are comfortable and don’t give you a muffin top. Just saying. And no, I won’t be pulling a Jerry Seinfeld and changing the “26” on my jeans to a “23.”
If anything, this experience has reminded me that letting go of things that no longer serve you – whether that’s a pair of jeans, a relationship that’s run it’s course or old beliefs about yourself – feels pretty damn amazing. I now feel ready to tackle the Fall.
I think 34 is going to be a good year.
What have you let go of recently?