To the awkward Barbie high heels, I've only ever worn once: goodbye. You never fit quite right. You were the bright spectacles on my feet that I wore to give myself wings the day I defended my dissertation. I hobbled to my defense, your heels clack-clack-clacking in an undignified manner, reminding me that my former career path--a nun given herself over to scholarship, a Hardcore Intellectual--like you, did not fit me right. So goodbye. I will never be that woman, tired and driven and ready to sacrifice everything, including her feet firmly planted on the ground, for a few scraps of old paper and old lives that no one cares to remember. I am an intellectual, yes, but made of heart and blood as well.
To the white dress: goodbye. I don't like white clothes. And I am forced to press all the air out of my lungs to hoist your zipper over my ribcage and even then not without help. All white doesn't suit me. I am a woman of colors, of rich desert browns and turquoises and yellows and greens. So goodbye at my vague attempt to be a Demure Girl. I will not be silenced.
To the shoes I've never worn: goodbye. You were bought on impulse as if to prove I could be anyone I wanted to be now that I was done with school. You were tall, coated in thick black and purple stripes, looking like nothing if not bulbous spiders on my feet. There was a faint dream that you would be worn for Girls Night Out or to clubs or to wherever women my age seemed to go on weekend nights. But the only thing you ever did for me was take up space in my closet for this one simple reason: I will never be the Girls Night Out woman; there will be no loud bars or silly drunkenness, because I am not a girl or fond of crowds or having to miss the early morning hush because I've been out too late. I am of the earth and the sky and the quiet of simple living.
To the fancy jacket lined with sequence and the purple polka dot dress: goodbye too. I cannot wear you without feeling sad. You are the Dashed Hope, the outfit worn to give me grace as I transitioned out of my old life, the outfit I wore in a desperate attempt to distance myself from the gray surrounding me. It only partially worked. You too must go, though it hurts a little. I am always Sad Birthday Girl when I attempt to wear you as if the gray has stuck to your shine and began to absorb into my skin. I cannot hold onto that sadness. So I will give you away with the hopes that it will cleanse you of the burden of my past and you can be reborn into healing garments for someone else.
To the too-tight work pants I stuff myself into: most definitely goodbye. I am not a Straight-laced Anything. I am a teacher, plain and simple. And one who likes bold dresses and A-line skirts. I have learned to breathe in my profession, to honor my nature even as I make my way in the world, so you must go. And to those stiff jeans--yes, goodbye to you too, for much the same reasons. I have no room in my life for conventional restrictions. My limbs are carved from yoga; my body caught up in a fluid daily dance of self-expression. It will not take to the constraints of stiff fabric or conventional thoughts. I am a woman of nature and breath, air, and light.
Goodbye to you all and many others. I unburden my closet from your presence as I unburden myself from these women I never was and never will be. I will think twice about taking on robes and roles that are not my own, of cluttering my life with things I am not meant to have or be.
It is a sweet relief to create more room for the woman that I am.
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