I packed a sweatshirt, socks and a pair of chonies and within minutes we were on the road. A year ago, preparing for a two-day trip would have taken me hours. Now my needs are much simpler. My pants are clean (enough) to last two more days. I’m wearing my high-top vans, good for any weather. A nude bra takes zero planning ahead. Post earrings. Colorful scarf. Medium-weight sweater. All of this is already on my body, so I just pack essentials. On this trip, there’s not even a need for pajamas. I stopped wearing makeup two years ago, and the toiletries bag is already packed with our travel toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant and Ibuprofen. I even keep my hair cut short so I don’t have to spend time fussing with it. On the way out the door I grab my knitting bag. Hey, I might be a minimalist but we all have hobbies.
That’s a very long introduction to saying what I need to say: I’m proud of myself. Instead of planning to wake up early and shower, pick out clothes and pack the car, I snuggled in bed with Michael. I fed the cat and grabbed some healthy snacks for the road. By 8 am we were driving through the drizzly grey morning on an impromptu trip to Austin for vintage store shopping and good coffee.
I realize that for the first time in my life, I am wholly present. Not thinking about tomorrow or regretting three years ago. Not stressing about looking fat or worrying about how other people might react to my decisions. I never anticipated the sense of empowerment that would develop as a side effect of learning to trust myself, not doubting every decision or overthinking every possible outcome of a choice. This empowerment has a name – confidence. It was buried underneath years of buying clothes I didn’t need, it’s loss so gradual that I never felt it fade. And now, after donating over 20 bags of stuff from my closet, there it was.
Hi there. So nice to see you again.