About every 10 years or so I go through a process with the people in my life that I can only compare to sorting through the clothes in my closet. The last time I took on this project was about 3 years ago. when I separated from my ex-husband.
During that particularly stressful period of time, I learned a lot about friendship. Shortly thereafter, I cleaned out the closet of my life and discovered, friends are a lot like clothing.
Some are like your favorite pair of jeans. They just feel right. You can always count on them to make you feel comfortable and you hope you have them forever.
Then there are those items that your really love, but they have a stain on them or a ripped seam. You really want to wear them again, but you have to see if you can get the stain out or repair the tear. If you can’t fix it, you can’t wear it again, but if you can repair it, it will mean even more to you because you know it was worth the effort.
Of course there are some new items of clothing that still have the tags on them. You haven’t worn them yet. You liked them when you first saw them, maybe you tried them on or maybe you bought them without trying them on. It’s time to find out if you like them or not. If they fit and they feel right, maybe they will become one of your favorites. But if they turn out to be a mistake, it’s better to find out now, before you have them around too long. They can take up valuable space in your closet and make it harder to find the ones you really love. Not to mention, giving them away may mean they will find love and appreciation elsewhere.
One of the best parts of cleaning out your closet is that you often find treasures you forgot you had. What a great time to bring these treasures out of the shadows and into the forefront.
The most difficult and yes, the saddest part of the process is admitting that there are things that you used to wear all the time. However, now they just don’t fit anymore. Or, maybe they don’t make you feel good about yourself. Maybe they are like a hand wash sweater, they are too high maintainance for your current lifestyle. Or maybe they are like a pair of pointed toe, high heeled pumps, too uncomfortable and closed in.
I know cleaning out the closet of my life is a process that is difficult and sometimes painful. But I also know the joy and satisfaction that comes from a job well done.