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When I was a child at any one time I had a maximum of 5 pairs of shoes; a pair of oxfords or saddle shoes, a pair of sneakers, Mary Janes for dressy occasions, sandals in the summer, and rubber boots for rain. That was my entire collection of footwear. I didn't have very much in the way of clothes either, which I never considered much of a tragedy since I cared very little one way or the other. By the time I was a teenager, that all changed, of course, and my wardrobe expanded when I got a job and could buy my own clothes. I had a lot more shoes, that's for sure, although less than many other girls I knew.
As a young working woman I spent a lot more time thinking about my wardrobe and a lot more money acquiring it. As I look back on it I must conclude that what I wore and walked around in must have occupied a position of considerable importance in my existence, although I can't actually recall feeling that way at the time. It's funny insidiously the material and superficial can come to dominate our lives without us realizing it. We accept the necessity of the unnecessary with such terrible ease and fall into line with what society subconsciously demands of us with an alarming lack of resistance. We concern ourselves so thoroughly with how we appear to others that it becomes the yard stick with which we measure our worth. How fragile and afraid we can be.
Because I have remained more or less the same size for most of my life and have been attracted to classic and relatively timeless designs in fashion, I have ended up accumulating quite a bit of clothing over the years that has never gone seriously out of style. Some of it that became dated has oddly come full circle back into fashion again as these things do. I didn't truly realize how much entirely unnecessary clothing I possessed until recently when I decided that my life required a serious purging.
I have always been something of a steady purger since I hate clutter and despise hoarding and have moved a lot. For some reason, however, my wardrobe has tended to escape my general ruthlessness over the years. I'm not proud of this fact, but there you are.
They say that a leopard can't change its spots and you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I am living proof that this is not true. Despite being older than dirt, I have made some radical changes to myself and my lifestyle in recent years that sometimes astound even me. Things are different now than they were and they are different because I am different. My current version of life has been altered. A great many things that used to seem important to me no longer do and many things that I used to think had value in my life have come to seem utterly without value. In fact, I sometimes have trouble figuring out why they ever had any value to me in the first place. That being said, I embraced the purging of my wardrobe with a ruthless enthusiasm hitherto unknown.
Most of what I possessed in the way of clothing went, regardless of whether it still fit or was still fashionable. Clothes I hadn't worn in years – business suits, blouses, jackets, sweaters, skirts, cocktail dresses, evening gowns, shorts and shirts – everything and without prejudice went into bags bound for resale shops and charities. I was a virtual tsunami of wardrobe destruction. I was particularly ruthless with the shoes, giving them no quarter and showing no mercy. As I went through my clothing I was amused how silly some of it was. Uncomfortable undergarments, absurd outer garments, silly, frilly things I slept uncomfortably in on occasion. I had clothes that were too tight, clothes that were impractical to the point of idiocy, and clothes that I didn't even remember and made no sense whatsoever then or now.
Most of my footwear disappeared, either into garbage bags or someone else's life. Some of it was worn, some of it was too youthful for someone of my fulsome years, some of it was just plain ridiculous. My days of toddling around on extreme high heels are over, not because I can't, but because it strikes me as the height of stupidity and kind of comical. I still have good legs but they are going to have to be good legs in less suicidal shoes.
I have taken care of myself and I can still look pretty snappy when dressed to impress, but the truth of the matter is that although I am still careful to be neat, clean, and well put together, I couldn't care less whether I impress anyone or not. I have no interest in suffering discomfort in order to make a statement and the only person who's opinion is of any interest to me these days is my own.
I kept 2 pairs of dress shoes, one black and one brown for those occasions where they might be necessary, 2 pairs of sandals, my sneakers, my hiking boots, snow boots, a pair of dress boots, and my beloved slippers. Oh, and I went online and bought a pair of saddle shoes. I am content. The tsunami has passed and my life is a a bigger, cleaner, and less cluttered place.
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