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.