For some time now, my closet has been contracting. It probably seems like I'm shopping a whole heckofalot for someone who 1) just quit her full-time job and 2) isn't even currently working her part-time job. But as much as things have been flowing in, more has been flowing out - sometimes painfully, but more and more easily all-in-all.
It's easy for me to let go of items that came to me for $1, on a snap decision at the swap meet. But when I've invested time in product research, energy in item/outfit/capsule consideration, and a decent chunk of change? Pain! I want to hold onto the items I chose, because I don't want to admit I was wrong, or that I've changed, or that I miscalculated. I hate feeling like I've thrown money into a black hole, and I hate looking back at how pleased I was with an initial purchase and feeling a fool.
But here's where Angie's happiness factor comes in: keeping and using items I no longer feel are right doesn't make me any happier - and in fact, I now see it makes me feel even worse. I keep things to preserve my pride, yet it doesn't make me feel proud. It's punishment, stewing in an uncomfortable shoe, itchy sweater, sweaty jacket, or lifestlye-obsolete constricting pencil skirt. Just what am I trying to prove? And what good will proving it do? As someone who is generally results-focused in her bookkeeping, it's interesting that I hadn't asked myself these questions before.
I've decided to resell these three recently-acquired coats, *plus* two more rain jackets that I don't even have photos of (yes, it's been that long since I've worn them!) and have already resold a pair of Fryes bought just this summer - because, to get right down to it, it's made me UNHAPPY to wear them. I'm just done with that.
Instead of looking at it as losing X% of the original purchase prices, which could be depressing, I'm looking at it as using their trade-in value to upgrade to something better. The one pair of Fryes yielded two pairs of super-comfy Rockports, and I'm never out and about, showing off a fun outfit, thinking that I want to go home because my feet hurt. I want the same for my coats... and jeans and hats and dresses and all.
I'm not sure where this paradigm shift came from. Maybe it was the career change. Maybe it was my recent scare. Maybe the simple fact is that I'm more aware of my clothes and their strengths and weaknesses... now that I feel like I'm actually living in them. And maybe *that* makes letting go feel worth it.