This evening I came to a crossroads. I was at Old Navy trying to use up a coupon set to expire today. The intersection between me and me was in the changing room.
I will try to explain:
The summer stuff is on clearance, so I decided to try on some $5 shorts to preemptively save some money and beat the rush for next summer. (Or maybe I decided to try them on as a plea to the weather for it to stay warm a lot longer than September usually allows around here. )
Anyway, I was standing there. Having tried on the shorts and seeing that they fit me, the debate began. The “What now!?” debate. Should I buy them?
I’m always much more relieved when things actually don’t fit so I don’t have to go through the list of scenarios that might arise if I do buy something vs. if I don’t buy something. I walk tall out of the changing room because I’ve escaped (or won?) the battle once again. But not tonight.
Tonight started up the “Will I regret this later?” thing. The “What’s the return policy?” thing and the “Can I justify this purchase to my husband?” thing. ( There are these questions among others….I’m the person occupying a changing room concerningly motionless for at least 30 minutes, lost in debate, before facing the world again.)
So, shortly before closing tonight at an Old Navy store in Midwest USA it dawned on me…the acceptance between me and me. The understanding is this: I have no idea what size I will be by next summer, and more importantly than even that… I have no idea who I will BE by next summer.
I stood there looking at these shorts…shorts that I would wear today. I looked at my hair…the color, style, length so suburbanish. I looked at my body…a body that’s begged to be covered in far more tattoos. I looked inside me…changing. But changing into what…into WHO?!
I was standing there in the changing room actually changing before my eyes!
I realized my need to live and be present in the moment, and maybe it’s something that I’m acquiring now that won’t change about me later. Maybe it’s the beginning of becoming who I am…who I am meant to be!
My size has changed in the last quarter of a year so that a lot of my clothes don’t fit me anymore. I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt sort of girl, but now that I’m faced with needing to pick a few things up I’m finding myself drawn to wanting a more definitive style. A style that says…”This is ME.” Recognizable. One with personality.
And I’ve thought, “Wow, this would be a lot easier if I knew who I was.” I could go into a store and know what to look for. I would know my style and go right to it. I could streamline things and do a way less psychotic seeming mix and match. Then I think about being 32 and still figuring out this stage most teenagers are in. I think about being the mother of a teenager myself, now, and I get really freaked out about the state I’m in.
I’m 32 going on 13!
(My teenage daughter is 14. She’s already ahead of me.)
So…I didn’t buy the shorts tonight. It’s only the beginning of Fall. Winter is still to come and next summer is a long way off. (Anyway, didn’t I write a post a while back about my irritation about the 2013 calendars being for sale already?) I said, “Nice knowing ya,” and gave them back to the woman putting away clothing people had tried on that didn’t fit…
Sometimes things fit and you’re not sure if you want them to fit…in a life way.
Sometimes you get to choose what you’re going to wear like you get to chose who to be.
I’m in a state of evaluating and making decisions.
The cool thing about this life is that, at least to some degree, it can be changed. It’s an evolving creation. A malleable gift.
It feels like this process of finding myself is a gift that got inadvertently pushed under the Christmas tree skirt only to be discovered once the festivities have passed. I feel like I am unwrapping (and being unwrapped) and shaping (and being shaped) all at the same time. And some kid (me), after thinking she was forgotten and left-out, is finding the experience of life redeemed.
I know this song is about other things, but now it keeps popping in my head now…