I hosted a festival of sorts in my bedroom this weekend. My friend dubbed it Kristineapalooza. Spur of the moment but oh so fun, I’d do it again. Only I’m not sure I could do it fully clothed, as I gave much of my wardrobe away during the festivities. In this way, it wasn’t really so far from Lollapalooza, from what I hear.

Click here for a photo that will give you some perspective on the Lolla scene, in case you’ve never been. My festival looked just like this except for the mud. And the kissing. And if I think hard about it, there might be a teensy age difference for attendees of my fest.

Kristineapalooza began innocently enough. I called a couple of friends who are close to my size and let them know I was purging my wardrobe. They said they would be right over. I am known, you see, for being a good shopper.

I am making light because my heart feels light after the purge. I delighted in seeing these two ladies try on dresses, skirts and shirts that made them look even more beautiful than they already are.

I have many faults, but a lack of generous spirit is not one of them. I don’t hold garage sales or sell through consignment stores. Instead, I give things away with an open heart.

In that spirit, as I looked through my closet racks this past weekend, I realized I was still holding onto remnants of a former life. I needed to purge my evening gowns, work dresses and the like in the same way I had purged other areas of my house and life. I challenged my assertion that I would finally fit into or find an occasion for the dresses with tags still intact. They were from a life and a body I no longer have. And the new life I’m moving into will bring its own dresses, sizes and happy nights.

I am done holding on for dear life to things that never bring the security I once hoped they would bring. I have dear friends clinging with everything they’ve got to lives they have outgrown. Each for her own reasons—not mine to judge. I believe I did the same a few years ago. But oh, the sweet relief of accepting where you are—good or bad—and getting on with the life you are actually living instead of the life that is a remnant of something prior.

Yesterday was fun. Just girlfriends in various states of undress as I poked and prodded at them to get seams to sit just right. No pretense, no regrets on my part, no awkwardness on theirs. We chatted about our lives, our work, our kids—and some of the memories these clothes brought back. The dress I bought for a court date that never came. The evening gown I wore when I chaired a fundraiser. The flirty frock I bought for a trip never taken. Instead of focusing on the past or missed opportunities, I tried to focus on the happy memories that will be made in this clothing in the future. And the happy memories that await me, as I have made room for new things in my life. As I’ve said before in this very blog, your hands must empty. You can’t catch a fly ball with a closed mitt.

It helps that one of my friends just texted me a photo of her at her desk in a shirt that has fond memories for me—of Mother’s Day brunches gone by. My heart expanded a little when I saw it. She has been in need of a break—a pick-me-up—some good juju. If the shirt that hung unworn in my closet for three years brings good spirits to her ordinary Monday, then I’m all for it.

Energy can weigh us down when it sits stagnant, as these items did in my closet. Or it can buoy us up, as it gets a second life.

Just like me. And my clothes. And a few of my friends. I’m all for that.



38 Comments Add yours

  1. Eli Pacheco says:

    I’ll need an outline to reach all of the parts of your post that I love. This reminds me of the Martin Luther quote, and I paraphrase, that anything he’s held from the world in his hands has slipped through; all from God has endured. The story is fantastic – the story-telling is cream of the crop. So glad i wound up here tonight, Kay.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Eli! I’m glad you wound up here also:). What a great quote! Thanks for introducing us to it and for the kind words:).

  2. See when you start a post by saying: I had a festival in my bedroom; clothes is not what comes to mind. Just saying

    1. candidkay says:

      Touché. But that would be Lolla style:).

  3. “Your hands must be empty.” I love that.

    1. candidkay says:

      I love the way it rolls off the tongue but putting it into practice in another matter entirely:). Oy.

  4. This has been in my mind to do. You just turned it into a real objective. It’s about lots of things –books, jewelry, trinkets– making room for new things. I’m happy for you. 😊

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, good! Lighten up and enjoy that feeling. I sure am:)!

  5. Amy says:

    As always, my dear friend, you inspire me. Love this. xxoo

  6. Aunt Beulah says:

    What a generous, lovely thing to do with clothes you no longer needed or wanter, and what fun the three of you seemed to have. But what impressed me the most was your understanding that they were clothes of a past life and no longer important in the life you lead. A few weeks ago, I looked at some pretty dresses that have been stored away in an extra closet for years and thought I should get rid of them because I no longer attend the sort of functions they’re meant for; and even if I did go to one and wear one of those dresses, it would be a case of mutton dressed like lamb, as my Aunt Beulah used to say. Monday I’ll take them to the non-profit clothing shop run by our local Advocates for Women organization and hope they can sell them for a good price.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I love that idea! The nicest bit for me has been watching one of my friends delight in her new clothing items:). Her joy brings me joy.

  7. It’s always great to have a purge, it does make you feel so much lighter and ready to move on to something new.

  8. cristi says:

    You are AMAZING! Sounds like fun while working on your karma and opening your heart to the glorious future. Each day is full of potential and oh so many possibilities, now you can hold even more. Continued joy and blessings to you, you are such an inspiration!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! The beauty is in the lightness of being that comes, the joy brought to friends and the lack of regret. Reminds me my ties to things are inconsequential. Sending joy and blessings right back at you!

  9. Roy McCarthy says:

    Good on you Kristine, giving stuff away. I’ve heard it said that if you haven’t worn something in 14 months then you’re never going to. I don’t think I’ve got anything newer that 14 months 😦

    1. candidkay says:

      Then your feng shui is in order, Roy! Look at it that way:).

  10. I’ve done the same recently. Except all mine went to the charity shop. And I went beyond clothes as well – books (too many overflowing onto the floor and stacked up where they shouldn’t be!), china and odds and ends. I’m not done yet, though. The first bag that went to the charity shop contained everything that a certain man had ever given me over the past few years. That helped! 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Good for you! As I’m purging, I realized I should smudge. Did so with white sage and then sweet grass. I want to usher out the old energy and welcome new:). You should message me or email me so I have your email address and we can keep each other going on this!

  11. What a great idea, Kristine. I love that. I can’t think of anything nicer than clothes you no longer want or need, going to a loving home (and body). Great work.

    1. candidkay says:

      It’s a win/win (I hate that cliched phrase but it truly applies here!).

  12. Well done Kristine, you will be pleasantly surprised in what energy WILL go with that move from yesterday. You have told the universe ‘it is time’.
    But I must warn you what you have actually done…’he’ will now turn up…because you have asked it by doing as you have done…created that vacuum that will allow another into your life.
    You will wake one morning and feel something different…the energy will have changed…how you view everything will even seem strange at first, but deep within you will feel a new way, a better way, even if a little scary.
    And out of the blue, you will do something different…go get some fish and chips in some far out place…and the guy behind the counter will grab your attention, even though you have never met. But the one thing that will stand out, is the truth that emanates from him, a connection that could not be seen before because you were still vibrating in a way that still had the past tagged to it.
    You will realise it IS now time, to just be you…you have now reached a point of being able to create something wonderful, instead of reacting to the world around you.
    May your fish and chips taste delightful…but most of all, may your heart create what it seeks inside 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Can we make the fish & chips a hot fudge sundae? 🙂 Of course I’m kidding. I did a smudge–sage and then sweetgrass today. So, maybe that “different” feeling is upon me. Whatever it is, I love the energy and lightness. And your kindness in reading and responding so generously . . .

      1. My pleasure young lady…and you can even change it to a roller coaster ride, holding your hands in the air as you go over the rises if you like 😀
        But no blaming me if you get ill 😀
        Whatever you do Kristine, just enjoy the ride, the destination will look after itself 🙂

      1. It most certainly is…that lunar eclipse was a huge hit. Much has been released…after going through some highly charged bits. It has been leading to this for quite some time, and even the after effects will go on for some time as it requires a lot of understanding and shifting within as we take on the new.
        Even I got a nice ‘clip up the ear’ over the weekend in something that I could ‘see’, but did not respond too 😀
        The eclipse was one of those times that the universe does a ‘push comes to shove’ moments so that we will take that last step in doing something we know we should, but keep putting it off. And the more you are going where you are supposed to be, the less of a shove you will feel.
        Enjoy the ride Kristine, you’ll look back later and realise it is a beautiful journey 😀

  13. You have a generous heart Kristine! Such a great idea. Sharing this with good friends makes all the difference. I feel lighter letting go too 💚

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I am convinced there would be enough to go around if we all shared a bit more.

  14. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely. I think this is the best way to move stuff out of your life that you don’t need. I hate the whole process of selling my stuff, and really enjoy knowing it’s gone to friends instead. I think these purges of old stuff are so theraputic — and such fun!

    1. candidkay says:

      A soul sister:). This evening, I will be boxing up some lovely dress shoes for an old college roommate. I love knowing she’ll get some joy opening up the box!

    1. candidkay says:

      It’s soooooo satisfying, isn’t it? You really do feel physically lighter:).

  15. So fun! We have something else in common – I never sell my clothes either, I too prefer to always give everything away with ‘an open heart’.

    1. candidkay says:

      Do you get the same pushback I do on that? I have many friends who urge me to go the consignment or garage sale route. They see dollar signs:). I prefer the happiness from seeing other people made happy. But, I’m always surprised at the pushback!

      1. Yes! So many of my friends sell their clothes and believe that’s the way to go. But, like you, I have always felt very strongly about the idea of sending/gifting my clothes out into the world for others to use and enjoy.

  16. Witty and wise, as always, Kay.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Feels good to have something to give, literally and metaphorically:).

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