I had a truly lovely birthday this year — I was lavished with gifts by family and friends. In addition to receiving some very thoughtful presents, I decided I would also give some things away. My 38th birthday seemed the perfect opportunity to release a few things that are no longer serving me, because clearly, I am not getting any younger.
Please join me in saying Sayonara, Hasta la Vista, BYE FELICIA, to the following:
I need these more than I ever have, but I simply can’t any more. Yes, they smooth and slim, but they also constrict and cause cramps. I get a stomach ache every time I wear them and without fail, halfway through date night, I become convinced I am getting the flu or food poisoning, and my husband will ever so gently ask, “ Are you wearing Spanx?” to which I reply wide eyed, “YES - YES, I am!” Every, Single. Time. They must be cutting circulation off to my brain because I never seem to remember that I am wearing them until four minutes into acute pain. Spanx, thank you for your years of service, you’ve gotten me through many a wedding and special event, but it will take a red carpet with the eyes of the world watching before I every shimmy my way into a pair of you again.
UNDERWIRE + PUSH UP BRAS
Same idea here. Yes, they create the illusion that I am a bit bustier, and a whole lot perkier than I actually am, but I guess I’m not interested in maintaining the illusion anymore. The real me is pretty flat chested and sees no point in squirming and shifting all day in order to fill out a t-shirt better. It’s all cotton and padless now which I’ll admit feels strange, much like a baby bird ready to fly from the nest - disoriented, awkward, but hopeful to see the world in a new way. I’ll get the hang of it.
Disclaimer: apologizing without reason. I get bumped and pushed in the subway and I blurt out a heartfelt “Sorry” to a person who is already 10 paces ahead. When I can’t fulfill a request or am about to disappoint someone, I just start vomiting sorries out when a simple, "No," or “I’m not able to do that” would do. When I hurt the people I love, I will say sorry and I will mean it. If I am careless in my actions or words, I will own up to it and apologize. But I won’t diminish the power of forgiveness in action by overusing and carelessly tossing around apologies. I’m sorry, I just won’t. (Old habits die hard)
This one starts tomorrow bc tonight is the RHONY and I just need to triple check that I am really ready to disengage. This show and the entire Real Housewives franchise has enabled my not so occasional need to check out, be shallow, covet, while at the same time feeling self-righteous and holier than thou. ( well, them.) I am starting to feel a little disturbed by my fascination with rich women who are not very nice to each other, and aren’t doing anything particularly interesting. I used to fantasize about creating a show called "The ACTUAL housewives of New York” starring yours truly, of course. Then I realized people don’t want to watch middle class people in the city cram three kids into a bedroom and take the subway, so I took up blogging instead.
Regardless, it isn’t adding to my life. It is most definitely taking away. I turn it down or off when the kids walk in the room, not because it’s so inappropriate (though it really is), but because I am so ashamed. I see their judgey little eyes looking at me the same way I look at Ramona when she says she’s “single and ready to mingle.” CRINGE-A-PALOOZA.
ASKING FOR PERMISSION
This is a big one. I have yet to make any great strides here because I really like pleasing people but it has been not only to my own personal detriment, but to the detriment of my relationships as well. I’ve been to Rwanda twice, but the first time I went, I wrote my parents a two page letter “explaining” why I was going. I was 34 years old, married with three kids and paying for this trip myself. I didn’t explicitly ask them for permission to go, but in a long winded way, full of sub text way, was justifying my reasons and hoping ( read: desperately needing) their blessing. They of course sent me with love and prayers, apparently not feeling the need to grant permission in the way that I felt compelled to request it.
At the risk of sounding like a Real housewife of fill in the blank, I need to start OWNING it. *insert white girl snaps here.*
Looking at these four things together, I can see the common thread. They are all about lying. All of them are dishonest and insincere, but used as subtle forms of manipulation. That is really gross! I want to exude more confidence than that, not to mention, be more gracious in speaking truth in love to those around me.
Tonight I shall burn my bras and Spanx while watching my last episode and I won’t apologize for ANY OF IT. ( is that ok?)