I have this pair of skinny jeans that I can’t bear to part with, but I’m thinking it’s just about time. And it would also seem that perhaps I am not quite as skinny as I used to be. I LOOOVE these jeans. These jeans have been good to me. When I first got them, they were perfect in every way; the length, the wash of the denim, the perfect spot they sat at my waist. And they were Good Butt jeans too–every girl has a pair. They become kind of irreplaceable. Women of the world, back me up! There are days you actually feel a little panicky over your best jeans and worry about what you’ll wear if something happens to them. Because obviously, there will never be another pair THIS good. Well I’m there. I’m at the crisis point with these jeans. I’ve worn the heck out of them and they are now ragged and patched in certain places and a little too tight–and yet that hasn’t stopped me from wearing them. But it should. Because no matter how much I loved them a few years ago–no matter how good they looked back then– they don’t quite look or fit the same way any more. And I own a zillion other pairs of jeans. So why do I keep wearing the ones that are no longer flattering? Last week they were so tight that when I was leaving the house, I actually thought about throwing another pair of jeans in the car in case they were to rip open while I was out. For the love– GIRLS BE CRAZY! Why not just wear a pair that fits better in the first place?
Because. Because we hate change. Because we love the familiar and habitual things in our lives even when they no longer serve us well. Even when they’re no longer entirely comfortable or flattering. Even when other people are wondering if we checked the mirror before we left the house. (Which I did–only about 57,000 times. And yeah. I still wore the jeans.) And these things are hard to let go of. If we were only talking about skinny jeans that might be okay. But it’s not quite as simple or benign when it comes to bad habits, self-limiting beliefs, toxic relationships, or other self-destructive behaviors. We get used to what we know and we like it, even when it obviously no longer fits.
That day last week was the last time I wore those jeans. I was leaving a restaurant after lunch and promised myself this was it. I literally unbuttoned them on the way home so I could breathe easier. I felt like a busted can of biscuits. (What a loser…I know. But you’ve all done it, so stop being judgy) And here’s the thing- I had made this vow before. But sure enough I would wash the jeans and put them right back in the drawer. And inevitably, when it was time to get dressed, there they were. Right there in front of me. So I kept choosing them. I would like to tell you at this point that I have now thrown them out. But I haven’t just yet. I can’t bring myself to do it. I have this fear that one day I’ll really need them and want them and nothing else will be right. But to my credit, I DID shove them in the back of my closet. They’re no longer right in front of me as a daily option. And so when I open the drawer, I automatically make a better choice. That looks better. That feels better. And I’m quite sure one day soon I’ll ditch them for good and laugh about it- wondering why I held on to them for so long. Because as my mother would so tactfully say, “They’re just not your best.” And if there’s anything I’m after these days, it’s being my best.