To let go or not?

by Varunika
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According to me letting go is one of the most difficult things in life. It’s painful, arduous and I try to procrastinate the event for as long as possible before I really do. And the days that follow, aren’t very kind as well. Today is one such day.  I woke up to a throbbing headache this morning. Yesterday was a very tiring day for me and I slept past midnight. That said, the morning commenced at the same time as on all other weekdays. There is no respite for mothers!

The headache stayed with me throughout the day like a humble companion. It is only after popping in one Saridon, drinking copious amounts of water and after gulping down two cups of Kadak Chai, did I finally decide to write this.

The question is – What did I let go?

Clothes. A lot of them.

I know. I know. So much hue and cry for parting ways with clothes? Certainly not the most difficult things to say Goodbye to! Right? This is one of my habits that I am not too proud of, let’s just say. I took matters to hand yesterday afternoon. I finished the job late night around 1.30 am!

When I opened my closet, what struck me most was the enormity of the task at hand. When had I hoarded all this? Did I really need so much? Why are there so many pieces of clothing that I have never worn and will most definitely not wear in the next few years?

Staring at my closet I tried to reason it out. Was I shopaholic? Is this not delusional?

I realized that it was the inability to let go that had led to this situation. Here I would like to mention, that every 6 months I do try and clear the clutter in my wardrobe. Despite this semi-annual clearance I have been unwilling to let go, a certain piece of clothing due to the following reasons:
– I don’t like it but it was gifted to me by so and so. What will she think? (I have too many of those!)

  • If I try harder, I might be able to fit into it.
  • This Dupatta is so pretty! I could mix and match with some ethnic wear in future!
  • It’s not torn or anything. Haven’t worn it since so many years. Just let it be for some more time.

And this kind of reasoning goes on and on.

I dug into these reasons a little deeper.

I have suit pieces and sarees, gifted to me by so many relatives and other people, on various occasions, that I have lovingly stored all these years. They aren’t particularly my style but just to keep them happy I did wear them a couple of times. But when you keep doing that to yourself for years in a row, what does happen is this—These pieces of clothing become your style. And because you wore a few, people begin to think that this person likes them. That often results in more of the same kind. God forbid if you are an emotional being like me, then you will most certainly get stuck in this loop.

Then there are clothes that even if we starve ourselves to death, we would not be able to fit into. But we keep them safely with high hopes of flaunting a bikini body, someday. In the last 18 months I have shrunk from XXL to L size (And I have worked very hard for that) but there are still quite a few dresses that I shall never be able to fit into now.

And the clothes that we store in anticipation of future use! Life is so unpredictable and here we are fussing over a piece a cloth. The pandemic was quite an eye opener.

Then there are some clothes that have no particular use in our closet. They are just lying there, eating up space, doing nothing. You haven’t looked at them since quite a few years, but they are there only to add on to your dry-cleaning expenses.

And after analyzing all these points, I did the needful. I pulled out each one of them and neatly packed them in two big bags. One was handed over to my domestic help since she had recently asked me for some pair of clothes for her daughter. The other bag will be sent off to a NGO that was looking out for used clothing material to be recycled. Although it will help someone immensely, this isn’t really about giving and nor does this make me a great person. I am only parting ways with used material. Honestly, it gives me a creepy feeling that I am passing on used clothes however good a condition they may be in.

This is about letting go. This is about creating space for things that we really require. This is about clearing the clutter. This is about understanding that years of keeping things safely has only made us greedier. I should have done this a long time ago. I should not have worn something that I did not want to wear just to keep someone else happy. I should have given that bodycon dress away, the very moment it made me feel lesser an individual. I should have given away clothes from my wedding trousseau, that I no longer require.

And although I have parted ways with some clothes, it really isn’t just that. I have also let go off things that robbed me off my confidence and things that were associated to somebody else’s expectation of me.

Now that I have done what was required. I feel good looking at my closet. It looks cleaner and leaner and I, a lot happier and lighter.

Yes, letting go is tough. But the moment you sense something needs to go, just do it. If you let it stay, one fine day you will be staring at a mountain of problems.

Keep clearing the clutter, not just from your closet but from your mind and heart as well.

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