Two more sleeps and we will be leaving the comforts of home to wander parts of the globe for six months. I couldn’t be more excited!
But first, I have to say goodbye. To a dear friend. Who has been with me through the ups and downs of life. From high school, to college, on to university and the big city. They have followed me everywhere. Well, more technically, I brought them everywhere.
They are… my Mavi jeans.
I purchased these jeans back in high school. I think I was sixteen at the time, and they were the coolest. The hybrid bell-bottom flare, the mild fade, and “just-right” rips. We have been through a lot together.
However, I couldn’t tell you the last time I wore them, or really give you a good reason as to why I hold on to them.
I knew that beyond packing my suitcase for our six month journey, I would also have to pack up the rest of my wardrobe for storage, and in the process do the inevitable closet ‘purge‘. I knew that I would have to face my old friend. Was it time to say goodbye?
I thought about it as I crawled into bed and picked up the book I’ve been reading ‘What I Know For Sure’ by Oprah. Lo and behold, the first story I read hits me like a lightning-bolt.
The story is about how Oprah meets a woman (Marilyn) in a restaurant celebrating her birthday and proceeds to ask “How old is Marilyn?” To Oprah’s surprise, many of the women at the table were shocked that she would ask this question, and Marilyn didn’t want to say. Eventually she succumbed, and told Oprah she was forty-three.
The story goes on to discuss how various women feel about aging, and it was a quote from Beverly Johnson that really struck me. She stated, “Why am I trying to keep this teenage body when I’m not a teenager and everybody knows it? That was an epiphany for me.”
I immediately thought of my Mavi jeans. Why was I holding on to them? Was it attempt to hold on to my youth? Or more, to judge my current body against my teenage one?
As I continued to read, Oprah’s views on aging continued to resonate with me. “I feel sorry for anyone who buys into the myth that you can be what you once were,” and “You’re not the same woman you were a decade ago; if you’re lucky, you’re not the same woman you were last year”.
I’m not the same person I was as a teenager (thank god) and despite still being able to squeeze into the jeans, it didn’t give me any sense of accomplishment or pleasure.
Because I have changed. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Emotionally. I am changed.
Yes, maybe they are just a pair of jeans. Yes, maybe I am drinking the Oprah tea. However, there was something extremely cathartic about putting those jeans in a donation bag.
A reminder that, getting older is a blessing that not all are privy too and holding onto items from your past to try to preserve/recreate a sense of your youth does not give you a sense of joy.
So goodbye Mavi’s. It’s been real. A real awakening.