Does it spark joy?

There's something about a new year that bubbles up the desire for a clean slate. While Brooklyn apartments don't offer a lot of extra space for holding onto unnecessary items, the accumulation of stuff still happens. I'm pretty strict about tossing items when they have holes or have gotten worn out and donating things if I haven't worn them in a full calendar year. But this week I put some items into a bag for donation that don't fall into either of those categories. 

I'm coming to the conclusion that I will never return to my old gym - it's too painful. And this week I got rid of all of my old t-shirts and tank tops that are associated with both the gym and Wodapalooza. It didn't clear up a crazy amount of space or anything - it was maybe 6 or 7 tanks and tees. But the emotional relief of no longer seeing them every day has been huge. 

I also finally parted ways with my white jeans. I'm not sure if I've worn them within the past year but I had previously exempted them from that rule as they were kind of expensive and not very old. I got them from Madewell in the winter of 2018 for a trip to Costa Rica. That isn't what makes them significant. They are significant because they are a size 23. If you're not familiar with women's denim sizing, a 23 is miniscule. I remember working retail in college and chuckling when I folded the 23s, thinking that we needed a rogue twelve year old to come shop on the Corner at UVA in order to sell through that cubby. These 23s are no different - when I hold them up they look like they were made for a long-legged infant. 

I bought those jeans during the height of my most recent eating disorder relapse. People were tip-toeing around the issue - my husband made comments like calling me "Flat Stanley" (remember him from elementary school?), my nutrition coach wanted me to agree to eating in a surplus for a while, the owner of my old CrossFit gym pulled me into his office just repeating, "increase your caloric intake". But I had blinders on, loved the way I looked, and was terrified of losing it. Even when I bought the jeans, I thought that 23 was probably a step too far, but I pushed that thought back and leaned into having a non-existent butt and thighs. 

Long story short, when my husband went looking for female connection elsewhere that year, he gave my obsession with thinness as the number one reason. He felt emotionally neglected and de-prioritized, which is fair. I didn't care about date nights, lazy days, a shared pitcher of margaritas - so many of the things that make us us. I cared about my body fat percentage above all else. While I can't say that I care about my aesthetics less, I have been shaken out of the fog of glamorizing the skin-and-bones look. It's something I manage everyday. 

The jeans button now but they shouldn't. White jeans in particular are not at their best when "painted on". I tried them on before Sandals and packed them, knowing I probably wouldn't wear them (and if I did I definitely would have to figure out a way to not sit down) but was secretly thrilled they even made it up over my much-more muscular legs and bum (on a separate note, my husband is not-so-secretly thrilled that I no longer resemble a small male paper doll). I didn't wear them and when I was tossing the tanks into the donation bag this week, I realized I needed to let the jeans go too. They do not fit and will never fit as long as I stay on track and prioritize my physical, mental, and emotional health. I'm not meant to be a 23. So away they go. 

Hopefully a very deserving twelve year old cherishes them. Have a great week and toss/donate anything in your closet that's holding you back. No clothing baggage in 2021.