When I’d first purged my closet weeks ago, I’d plucked out about a dozen formal dresses and outfits that I’d worn to various fancy events including weddings, holiday parties, baby showers, engagement parties and birthday parties. These dresses were often only worn once because *gasp* it would have been the end of the world to be seen by the same party goers wearing the same outfit twice.
How things have changed.
Now, I own two fancy dresses. Both black. Both formal. Both fit well. Both comfortable. I wear them any chance I get without any regard for whether fellow party goers have seen me in them. They fit well and I feel good and that’s all that matters. I love the fit and feel of both of them and so, I should have fancy parties covered for quite a few years moving forward.
With that in mind – I rehomed a few dresses this week. In some cases, the ladies who picked them up were also offered a matching pair of shoes –if the shoe fit of course. I figured that since the holidays are approaching and people have fancy places to go, it would be a perfect time to donate these items to women who would actually use them.
It’s really quite appalling – the amount of stuff I’ve managed to collect that is. That off-white vintage number belonged to my mother. She gifted it to me when it no longer fit hoping that I’d get around to wearing it. It never fit correctly (I’m bigger on the bottom than the top) so it sat in my closet collecting dust for years. I’m glad that someone will show it the love it deserves by wearing it because it really is quite beautiful.
The question I have though, is, why are people (me included) compelled to keep things? Why on earth would I hold on to this dress knowing that it didn’t fit correctly? Like the 74 items of clothing that I rehomed last week, why would I give those items closet space when they were not even useful or functional items in my life?
I’m getting better at letting go of things but one thing has never changed – my need to understand and analyze my own behavior and relationship with my stuff. When handing over one of the dresses yesterday a woman asked me why on earth I’d be giving it away and my only answer was “I don’t have use for it anymore”.
Technically, I still will eventually, one day in the future be invited somewhere and could have use for it – I just don’t have the desire to keep/store it anymore because I truly don’t need it both physically and otherwise.
This whole “keeping stuff” idea is hard to really understand. I mean partly, there is sentimental attachment to the object in some shape or form since I can tell you stories about the event I wore each item to. Then again, the memories of these events are eternal while the dresses are not. That right there is the dilemma.
Do memories, experiences and moments somehow remain more “real” if there is a tangible item/object left in our lives to represent and remind us of it?