Friday, September 12, 2014

A Girl with a Postponed Cross-Country Move

Tangled little heads halfway across the globe; yup, I’m going to talk about that again, but perhaps in a more interesting way than I had anticipated. Life is nothing, if not one big long lesson – subject after subject, with Netflix marathons sprinkled in between.

From the beginning The Turk has been all about exclusivity, whereas I have been very anti-exclusivity. After my history with love and men and falling on my face, I don’t enter into these things lightly; I like to think I learn from my past mistakes, trips, and those that's-nice-but-not-rights. Shortly after my last post - and not even a week into his departure - I realized I really had to put my foot down on that fact: The fact that we are both free and single to do as we please; it was my fear we otherwise wouldn’t make it. It would be like putting all of your eggs in one pressure cooker. The differences between Egypt and Turkey, The Ex and The Turk, working and holiday, five months and three weeks, 22 and 30, and ‘I love you’ and ‘I like you’, are worlds apart – a world that would fuck up any potential.

Our communication and understanding of one another wasn’t sufficient enough to overcome misunderstanding or convey hurt feelings. Or the satiate the insecurities of one another – or maybe just me. Our modes of in-relationship were never established. And, more importantly, I had voiced often and much that we were not boyfriend and girlfriend: You can’t just claim something have it be true. If he wants me, he needs to earn me -à la Olivia Pope. I have learned that a woman’s love is a privilege that must be earned and I think girls – like my 20-something self – give that privilege away far too easily.
via

I also have this horrible tendency to just fall into relationships; like my head is a weight into a hole...or staircase. As much as I resist, once I let go it’s a mother fucking rabbit hole...or face plant into the second step. And I sure as shit do not intend to fall in love with a promise or to commit myself to a memory of 19 days. And I remind myself of this as I think of him still, longing, but also fearing that I’m forgetting everything. And fearing that when he comes back, he’ll have forgotten about me, as he has the opposite problem of getting - in his term - “distracted”.

So, all in all, this remains a very strange thing. I miss the idea of what he has the potential to be. I miss the nightly calls, as much as I hate to admit that. I miss having that person beside me at night. But as I sit here halfway through his absence and heading into being apart longer than we were together, I begin to wonder if we built enough to survive desire of what we long for, for twice as long as we had it. Can a romance of 20 days survive and absence of 40? And how’s that for the fucked up part: I’m the one who’s resisting and also the one worrying I’ll have nothing to resist.

We are dating put on pause. I do  hope he comes back to me while I fear I’m forgetting him; the sound of his voice when he goes too long without skyping. But this world apart lacks the understanding of longevity to trump insecurities, so we’ll just have to wait and see. And then I think: What if we start over and it’s even better? That’s a big fucking rabbit hole, but I’ll cross the burrow when I come to it. In the meantime, I should enjoy being solo, because at the moment that’s all I still am: A single girl with a postponed cross-country move to Seattle. 

New tentative date set: March/April 2015.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Hostage Situation

(Next, I will return to my regularly scheduled posts.  Noted: Hats off to military wives.)

I was angry. I was sad. I was panicked. I was falling for someone. I worry now. I worry for someone beyond myself; beyond my family; I worry for this person I’ve known for less than a month. I long for him. I wonder if he’s okay. And I find it fucking obnoxious.

In my moments of panic – when I knew I was really beginning to care for this person – I’m fairly certain now that I was subconsciously trying to push him away. Because I knew what was coming; I’ve been here before: The Ex and I were dating for only a few months - and I had told him just the night before “I love you” for the very first time - before he flew off to work in Egypt for six weeks. And it fucking sucked. That was nearly 10 years ago and I still remember how awful it was waiting for his call once a week - twice, if I was lucky. Beaming at the sound of his voice; learning how to navigate the awkward pauses of an international satellite phone. And absolutely pitiful when it was time to hang up. I would miss him even more and knew it was that much longer between the next time we would speak.

It was so incredibly difficult because he had become a part of me, part of my heart. And it is terrifically awful to have your heart away from you, so fucking far away from you and for so long – particularly when it is so new; fresh; exciting. While my current situation is different in that we've only been dating a few weeks and aren't in a relationship, the infatuation is still being ripped away and you can’t curse the other person, you can’t grieve or cope by hating them - this isn’t a break up: It’s a hostage situation.

Last week, when I knew shit was happening, when I began to really feel something for The Turk and thus understand it was going to be just as shitty as Egypt, I asked him more than once “Do you have any idea how hard this is for me? How difficult what you’re asking me to do is?”

It’s bullshit. It really is. But I can’t blame him; I know that. And you can’t control matters of the heart. My brain didn’t even stand a chance. It tried to fight in intoxicated moments, but the sober reality was that my heart left no choice but to not move and wait for him. To stand with my fucking hands in the fucking air for five fucking weeks - baited by just three.

I want to say what he should have done was just wait, wait for him to leave and come back before chasing me, but he would have been chasing my trail – I would have been gone by then. I would have been twenty two hundred miles away by then. And the way he looked at me - even that first day. That weird intense stare that creeped me out - like his heart feeding through his eyes - how could he ignore that? In the moments we met, it’s like he knew something I didn’t. You can’t fight that kind of thing. And he did what he needed to do to keep me here, all while urging me to leave “if that’s what you think is best for you.” He didn’t want to stand in my way, but that weird guy and his intense stare drew me in; he grew on me unimaginably in 19 days.

And now after I have been content single for so long - at times longing for a partner - all I want to say is: this fucking blows. Dangling a carrot and saying 'wait five weeks to eat it'; having to worry about and yearn ache for a guy 5,200 miles away all while living my same single life as if nothing has happened: what a seriously fucked up way to re-enter the dating world. But even while I have my fist-shaking frustrations, doubts, or insecurities while he’s gone, I’m not questioning waiting. I'm not certain as to why I am certain, although I am cautiously curious of the outcome after 36 days.

As for today, I'm only five days in. I assume it gets easier over time; that I’ll acclimate to my hostage environment. Or at least, Dear God, I hope so, because my brain appears powerless over the activity rumbling in my chest. Or maybe they just agree for once. And it's fucking obnoxious


Friday, August 22, 2014

"Aşkım"

It's Saturday, August 16 - 14 days in. He picks me up. He whips his Mercedes around as a clutch to the chair, fit at my sides: “Your setting number is 2,” he reminds me, having set it 10 days before. We go to hibachi and stare adoringly. He had pulled out my chair, graciously offering me the seat next to an empty chair and taking the other seat on the corner, next to a twenty something guy on a date.

“You can sit beside each other if you want; no one else will be joining you,” the waitress informs us five minutes later at our grill table set for 12, but seating only seven. He declines and tells me he’d rather look at me. We are the two at the table, the two foolishly falling for each other; the ones I normally roll my eyes at and sometimes envy.

via
I wipe sauce from his beard, mid-meal. I refuse to catch the shrimp in my mouth. I’m fairly certain the cook thinks I’m just a wet blanket. Honestly, I just don’t want you to blow air in my face with your Pee-Pee boy or fish a shrimp out of my cleavage. Thank you very much.

Dinner ends, we take a short walk – nothing compared to the walk along the water at Georgetown’s boardwalk the previous Wednesday, when we lost track of time and sauntered aimlessly for hours, only to get home by 2am from a 9pm dinner. Then we head back to his car, the seat still at my setting; a little less I clench the sides or whimper as he took note of my previous fast-flying reaction and slowed down. I relax a little and breathe the wind into my hair. We discuss where to go and head to a bar on the way home for a game of pool.

He doesn’t drink. Never has - strike one, my list would suggest. His hazel eyes – a strike of two. The glimmers of green that cascade his brown eyes, I only just noticed the Friday before - just six days past when we met - after I canceled my date with 3 bottle of wine guy to see the Turk. When he came to my house, he was troubled. “What’s wrong,” I asked as he walked into my room. Something had happened to his brother in Istanbul. (He's okay.) So opposed to his normal hyper, I’m met with calm; his energy enigmatic, yet completely transparent. Fuck, I’m taken.

I sit him down, trying to figure out a way to fix his sadness. Watching the tears well up and die down. It's then that I delight in the glimmer of green in his eyes, all while his anguish becomes mine too. He insists we leave. We head to a local diner. On the wall of the patio outside they’re playing “Chariots of Fire”. We get a table, order some burgers and catch up on the film – intertwined even still at our table for three; gripping each other and holding on between the corner’s edge. This is where I’m comfortable.

The calm of that night reminds me who he is when, at the bar for a game of pool after hibachi, he orders a Red Bull with my vodka tonic and bounces off the wall like the frenzied guy I’d first met. But he makes me laugh. 'Thank god he doesn’t drink,' I think, 'maybe he wouldn’t be quite so endearing.' And that glimmer of green; those little glimmers might be what keeps me from moving.

That glimmer that finds me on a wall later that night, half drunk and half terrified at 2am outside the bar: ping-pong, ski-ball and pool have never been quite so unnerving. The green a mystery of the only sometimes seen; it keeps me interested; keeps me searching; it stares at me while he listens to my vodka-honest mad-man rant, consoles me, and then gets me off the wall and back into the car. “You’re beautiful,” he tells the frazzled girl beside him, while she thinks his interest has got to be feigning by now.

We go back to my place. He leaves early this next morning for a soccer game and I don’t hear from him all day. My mind grips back onto panic. All day alone: panic’s playground.

The day winds down and he calls to say goodnight – a now normal nightly routine that at first I thought was crazy and have since come to adore. (Sort of like him.) It’s 10pm. I’ve had all day with my thoughts; the stifling feeling of a caged elephant. The word “girlfriend” - he’s expressed desire to use - scares me. It feels like a loss of freedom: 'Girlfriend' at 30 means a whole lot more than 'girlfriend' at 21. “You sound crazy today,” he tells me after I go on for a bit, “and I just want to like you more every day. One day of like on top of the next on top of the next. One day I want to say ‘I love you.”

What I should have said was, “I’m not crazy, this is just what panic sounds like.” Instead I quickly quipped, "You have take the good with the bad," and changed the subject.

Because he already knew about my “wall” – as he called it the week before with no overtly guarded indication from me. He just knew. And followed that up with "I'm going to knock it down brick by brick. I wish I could use a crane, but a crane wouldn't work."

His admirable perspicaciousness led to another lengthy conversation during our nightly call on Monday. He inquired why I had been "cold" the past two days. And by now I have come to learn that in relationships it is better to say exactly what you are thinking than fishing for what you want to hear. And so, there I am completely forthright with him about my concerns and misgivings. He quells my fears and explains what he meant by things versus my interpretations. The thousands of jumping fish calm to the bottom of my ocean. My poetic little Turk - through mildly broken English - ends the conversation with: “You are like my water in the middle of the desert.”

I hang up knowing that I’m losing giving my heart and with it, the power of owning it all alone. It’s terrifying to let go and I'm ever so cautious, but I'm also 30 now and there are really only two ways to handle these situations: 1. Eh fuck it. All I can do is give it a shot because I've been hurt before and I know I can survive. I've got nothing left to lose. and 2. I've been hurt before. AHH!, run because I don't want to go through it again! Then he calls each night, makes me laugh, reminds me that I’m beautiful, texts “good morning aşkım,” and I melt a little more each day.

In two days he leaves for Turkey for five weeks. And I don't plan to move while he's gone. I'm too curious to see where this goes. He did it - not quite "love" as he forebode - but that little mother fucker did it: For the moment he (in part) has kept me here...just like my mother predicted.


Mom, You'll be happy to know I should be home for the holidays. I'm happy too. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Turk



::blinks:: really, guys. REALLY?
It was GFN’s birthday party last Saturday. We had a table with bottle service and many, many bottles. I had spent eight hours at the dealership that day buying a new (used) car in prep for my cross country move. After a quick shower, a Lean Pocket, I was out the door and on my way: A striped crop top and a knee-length asymmetrical blue skirt white matching striped shoes. Cute, yet tasteful. I didn’t even get up the metro escalator before a man was hitting on me while I was on the phone. To get rid of him I spouted off my digits when he didn’t even ask and instead said “give me your number” WHILE I'M ON THE PHONE. Seriously dude, take a hint. Three days and two unresponded to text messages later, I receive a dick pic from escalator dude with a pack of Ritz crackers for scale and the message: “Okay  you’re clearly not into me…do you think an other girl would find me attractive?” I was tempted to text back “nope” or tell him some girl had given him a hoax number and I was a church clergyman, but I just left it go and did my best to laugh it off. 

But seriously dudes, NO. NO, NO, NO. Bad. And probably illegal.

What’s funny is that this text came just moments after I had told my cousin that I’m happy single; I enjoy dating now, thinking earlier in the week how much better it is at 30 than 25. Then my phone buzzes, I see a penis next to a pack of Ritz crackers and immediately voice, “Maybe it’s time I rethink that”. And this conversation only started because of the Turk. So let’s go back to the bottle service...

Lean Pocket in my belly and with every intention just to wriggle my butt all night to celebrate a birthday, I arrived at the club. The hours pass with much merriment. Some people left; some of us stay. It’s about 2am and I’m spinning and drinking my pink champagne when a man at a table across from hours that i now just happen to be dancing in front of tells me he likes my dress. I correct them that it’s a skirt.

“I like your outfit.”

"Thank you," and I excuse myself to fill up my glass and come back as promised and we continued to talk. I learn he just turned 30; he doesn’t drink, but he likes to dance so that’s why his birthday was being celebrated there. Through his accent and the haze of blasting music, I can’t understand him so I pull out my phone to type what I’m saying: This I only learned last night and today when he told me and then came across our conversation in the notes. I was clearly sober. (Psych. Although he thought I was - go go gadget auto pilot!)

He woke up in my bed Sunday. I wake up and actually remember there was a guy in my bed before I saw him this time. (Progress! haha) He had to pick up his friend at one, whom he made get a hotel room because his friend was drunk and the Turk was using his car to take me home. He tried to take me to breakfast but I declined because I was going to lunch at 12:30p. So we went to grab Starbucks and while in line, lunch fell through. So I told him and he exclaims “We could have gone to breakfast! … Well I’ll come back and take you to lunch.”

I didn't really take him seriously, but that’s exactly what he did. And then for ice cream..nom nom. And we spent the day together until 11pm when he went home. During this time together he revealed that he’s going home to Istanbul the 24th for a month and I said “I might not be here when you get back.” He was taken aback when I said I planned to move to Seattle and declared that he would figure out a way to keep me from moving. The following afternoon I asked if he had a plan yet; apparently he's going to make me love him so I can't go...

He called me again Monday night to say goodnight. A short call; okay. And last night we spent 90 minutes on the phone; a huge deal for me; someone who “hates” talking on the phone. Serious subjects matter too, like he'd like if if just he and I could date. That’s sort of a problem for the three bottle of wine guy I have a date with on Friday (oh, I need to tell you guys about that one…) but I kept that to myself. This is all so weird. So fucking weird.

“I have 19 days to make you fall in love with me…”

And then my mom chimes in “I had a gut intuition that you would meet someone in late summer who would keep you from moving on the schedule you wanted.” Okay, mom. Okay pipe down, everyone. This is so bizarre. But I have to go – he’s coming over tonight. He wanted me to make him dinner but when I said I wasn’t going to put a candle he told me to save cooking for when it was “special”. I don’t know what’s going on. But, you know, someone calling you a drug isn’t as weird as it sounds. It’s sort of endearing. And infinitely better than a pack of Ritz crackers.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our hearts are worth more than compromise.

Last month I went with HG to a concert. I’d seen a band he’d introduced me to was headlining, so as one of the few people in town that actively attends concerts, I asked if he’d be interested. So there we were, June 10, running into each other again for the first time since the erotic novelling. A nice, safe Tuesday. We ducked out of work early, grabbed drinks and nachos before the show, chatted a bit (he told me he’d decided the night before to go to Bonneroo and they were leaving the next morning), and then headed over to the show and enjoyed MSMR. (Not nearly as good as The Sounds though.)

So the show ends and he asked if we were going to uber – interrupting me talking to mutual friends – and I responded ‘ya’ and continued talking. He walked away, I went to the bathroom and came out to him rushing me forward to a uber cab already waiting outside. It was 10:30 at night. I was immediately livid. I didn't know he meant uber right now. I just went silent; a silent fury. Where was the consideration asking if I wanted to grab a drink after the show?! Hello concert protocol! It didn’t matter; he wanted to get home and get ready for Bonneroo. Once I finally explained that him not even asking or considering what I want was hurtful and rude – he sorta kinda seemed to understand. He apologized and I said “whatever. It’s fine”.

I would like to take a moment to say that whichever pop culture nob decided that “whatever” was going to be a flippant word and make it so pervasive as such in our culture is a jerk. Whatever means whatever; any which way – it’s fine. He didn’t take it the way I meant it (thanks “Clueless”) and we spent about two hours talking. That’s a lot of time to talk for people who are just trying to be friends after a weird initial burst followed by two years of lying low and some months of sporadic meaningless hook ups. Finally I walked him out to my car (we went to my house so he could borrow my sleeping back for Bonneroo) and had a gut feeling I expressed: This is the last time I’m going to see you.

He thought I was being melodramatic, but I wasn’t. It’s just the feeling I got. On the short drive to his house, I tried to get him to admit to the one thing he’d done: Use me to heal his broken heart. He admitted to all the individual things surrounding that, but refused outright to admit he used me to transition out of his relationship and back into the world. That bothered me. Once at his complex we sat in the car for about another hour talking; same car; same spot where I broke up with him years before. The outcome was good enough: I told him if he wanted to be friends, it was on him to do the legwork. And as a peace offering he handed me his pool pass to use. We hugged and he left.

I drove off feeling strange and unfulfilled by such a at length discussion; trying to figure out what it was all worth; bothered he still refused to admit (or apologize) for his foibles. I know it was a mistake; I understand mistakes. But if you forgive a mistake someone hasn’t acknowledged, all you’re doing is giving them permission to do it again. I had forgiven him before - even told him about the post card I got him from New Zealand I planned to write ‘thank you’ on and send because if it wasn’t for him I never would have had the balls to go (although I never sent him the card) - but I’d never been so forthright about my issues regarding it. Now that I was, it was no different; my feelings or opinions didn’t even matter enough to see what I wanted to do after a fucking concert. (And to be fair, he came at the end of a long string of me feeling mistreated by friends, but valid in my reactions I felt nonetheless.)

A few days passed and I dug out the unsent post card from New Zealand. I wrote "It’s been a pleasure" on it in Polish, signed “Best”, taped his pool pass to it, and mailed it off. (I haven’t heard from him since. And I think it’s best this way.) A couple of days later I was still thinking about things and wrote this on my phone:

June 15, 2014, 4:54p 
I’ve been thinking about it for a few days in my head – hesitant to write things I don’t mean before I mean them. I finally came to the conclusion that I really just don’t like this person. But the truth is, I like the guy, I just don’t like how he’s treated me. And that’s the weird point – when do you stop waiting for a person to get better and come around just because you like the moments when they make you laugh? When does the potential of good outweigh the amount of hurt feelings? Simply put: He’s inconsiderate; and in any interpersonal relationship, all humans want to feel like they matter; their needs considered. It’s what separates strangers and friends; selfishness from compassion; respect from disregard; love from indifference.

Sometimes I think people who regard themselves as good people, fall short for no more than the inability to look beyond themselves and see the needs of another – particularly when it fills no need within. Self-service is perhaps man’s greatest flaw. And consummate disappointment. You can only be disappointed so many times until you have to stop waiting for someone to be what you think – if they saw beyond their own nose – they have the potential to be. Such is life, I suppose, as I move forward with the sage advice that you can’t expect people to treat you the same as you would them – but! what can I do when I believe in my heart that I deserve no less of anyone than exactly what I put in? I don’t want to have to compromise with what people are willing to give.

That ‘advice’ is an insult to our individual spirits. Our hearts are worth more than compromise. There are plenty of people in the world. I will just keep trying.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Recovering Mormon, a Beautiful Gay, & My Great Rally

Back in April I went on my second Tinder date. I wasn’t particularly attracted to his photo but maybe it was one of those times I was feeling charitable – or just no guys were pinging me. And then he asked me out and I fell back on my incredible inability to say no (without good reason). So there I was on a Friday night meeting up with this guy who I thought maybe just didn’t know how to pick out a good photo.

I saw him, gave him a hug after sneaking in a clandestine once-over and immediately decided 1. Not interested and 2. He’d be perfect for GFN. But I stayed on the elevator…even though he was a 'recovering Mormon' from Utah. (See, I don’t discriminate.)

Tinder is just one really big elevator, I figure. I can walk into an elevator and carry on a conversation with anyone. If they ask me out on an elevator I’d probably say yes then too. (Okay, twice I was asked out on an elevator and both times I declined, but that’s not the point.) So here I was on a Friday night, sitting across from this guy I’d met on a virtual elevator. We had drinks and conversation then moved to dinner at a hole in the wall. At which point he was impressed that I was totally okay with a hole in the wall.

Free food is free food, dude.

Since this was right around the Cherry Blossom Festival, they were serving a drink called a Cherry Blossom which consisted of some IPA and cherry vodka. It was disturbingly good; I think we drank about a million of them. (Mormons can drink.) Then, after dinner, I proceeded to kick his ass at darts. (If I'm winning a bar game, I'm drunk.) Once he gave up on darts, we sat back down at the bar and a older black gentleman kept coming up and talking to us. His name was Sammy. 

Sammy told us he was drunk. Sammy told us he had “seen some shit”. And then Sammy told us he was going to go snort coke in the bathroom. We decided it was time to leave.

It was nearly 2am, so we headed to another bar near the Metro. There, we ran into beautiful 22 year old gay. At last call, he asked if we wanted a shot of whiskey. (Pro Tip: If someone asks if you want a shot at last call, you say 'NO'.) After downing what I’m fairly certain was half the bottle in a rocks glass, it was time to go and I was a full sheet to the wind. The beautiful gay and I discovered we lived off the same stop, so after I hugged my date goodbye, I rode off with my new gay friend. (Precisely how he wanted the date to end, I'm sure.) Whiskey can’t quite remember how but we ended up sipping vodka and talking on my porch until (when housemate P told us to shut up at) 5 in the morning.

The next day was The Sounds concert and I was going with my female housemate, E. Doors opened at 5pm. At 4:24p, I woke up. And if half dead feels like something, I think it felt like that. She was on her way home from work, so I texted her my current state and said I was going to try to shower it away. When I got out of the shower, I shuffled into my room and laid back in bed. She came home a few moments later, took one look at me and said “We’re not going to this concert, are we?”

“OH YES WE ARE!” I declared, somehow willfully defiant through my tequila, vodka, IPA, whiskey, vodka haze. After a short discussion, we realized I had to do it; I had to ‘pull the trigger’, as it were. So there I was, 30 years old, sitting on the floor of the bathroom while my 24 year old housemate literally cheered me on from the other side of the wall. After about 20 minutes of hesitation (I hate booting), I emerged.

“Did you do it,” she asked.

“Yes. But I feel worse,” I responded slightly despondent, but still determined to make this happen. We decided to walk to the local grocer, get our drinks (per our previous plan), grab a sandwich and head back before going to the concert. We got our sandwiches first and I sipped on an iced tea the entire walk. After a little over a mile, we were back to the house to eat our sandwiches on the front lawn. I put a bag in front of me – half joking, half precautionary – “in case things didn’t go down well”.

“If you’re gonna puke, you go behind the porch. YOU GO BEHIND THE PORCH OR I’LL PUKE!” I gathered she wanted me to go next to the porch if I was going to hurl. With that in mind, I took the world’s teeniest nibble of a fry and immediately ran to the side of the porch and lost all of the iced tea I’d worked so hard to put in there. I immediately felt better.

Just then P came outside. E announced I’d just booted by the porch. “I heard,” he laughed, “that makes me kinda happy after last night”.

“Oh yea” I said now returned to my chair, eating entire French fries with pride, “sorry about that”. (Apparently we weren't that loud, just unfortunately placed below his bed.)

From there, E and I got ready, popped in a cab that took way too long to get there and arrived at the concert. We were late and missed the opener I wanted to see, but The Sounds were awesome. After the show, we met up with my favorite gay couple (who I just happened to see crossing the street while we were standing in line for will call) and danced the night away.

And that, kids, is how I pulled off my greatest rally of all time.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Friends are like wardrobes.

When I was packing to move a couple of months ago the first place I started was with my closet. As a woman with over 200 pairs of shoes, it was the logical first step. I donated over 50 pairs of shoes - soon after collecting a few more anyway, but seriously, those! ->

I riffled through my drawers and closets and shelves and whatnots and donated and threw out bags and bags of old and new rarely worn clothing, sometimes asking myself "What was I thinking?" or introspectively reminiceing about the good times I had wearing those garments. Some that were awesome, but didn't fit, I found good homes for; like a too-big suit I gave to my mom and it snagged her her new job! (Yay momma!) Some were just not who I was anymore. And some, like my 13 year old sweater, riddled with holes, still made the cut. When I was finished, my wardrobe was thinned out, I felt accomplished; lighter, and like I still had plenty of things to wear, none of which made me feel bad about my waistline. 

During this process, I also came to the realization that friends are like wardrobes. My new mantra I told my mother, as she looked at me quizzically. With all the bullshit transpiring in the past year - and even for a girl who really loves analogies - this one seems legit. I went on to explain: They come and go like clothes in a closet and sometimes, when they don’t fit anymore or make you feel bad about your belly, you need them throw them out. You have other clothes in your closet; stores full of hundreds of things that fit better; match with your evolved style. And yet sometimes you have the piece you got at 17 that you knew when you wrapped your body: 'it doesn’t matter how many holes this gets, or how much it falls apart, I’m going to have this forever' - and I still do. A few pieces you just can’t bear to let go of, so you tuck them back in your closet, in a box preserving time and wait for the opportunities, event, and weight-loss/gain to wear them again. And friends, much the same, are a rotation – evolving to fit who you have become; who you are at present; and who you want to be.

I think too often we hold on to people who don’t ‘fit’ anymore, simply because they were once an important staple in our wardrobe of life. People change and grow and move on and it’s harmful, I think, when we refuse to admit that people who we chose at family for a time, are no longer a big part of who we are - or at least not in this moment. For whatever reason we’ve grown apart, circumstances of changed, events have occurred or one person hurt another. It’s okay to let things go or pack them away until you're ready again. It’s healthy to make room for the future.

Recently I realized if I tell someone that they hurt me, they don’t apologize, and I just let it go, then all I’m doing is giving them permission to hurt me again. Sometimes it’s okay to let things – and people – go. In fact, it’s probably a really good exercise: Reminding ourselves what is worth keeping; de-cluttering with reason and purpose; or perhaps just waiting trends and evolution to catch up. And right then, at the toss of the jeans, your life (and heart) feel a whole lot lighter.