It’s Getting Real

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This whole process is starting to become real. You’re opening up your closets more and more and I love that you are sharing your genuine authentic selves with me. It’s not lost on me that, to many of you, I am a total stranger! Thank you for being so brave. I can already see how we are beginning the process of purging our minds as we “walk” through our closets. Also, you’re probably getting some good laughs out of this, too. I hope so!

Just to catch you up, I posted the second set of Closet Questions not long ago. Here’s what they were:

1)WHAT IS SOMETHING IN YOUR CLOSET- BESIDES CLOTHES- THAT YOU DON’T WANT ANYONE TO SEE AND MIGHT NEED TO PURGE? WHY?

2) IF YOU HAD TO EVACUATE YOUR HOME QUICKLY, WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WOULD RETRIEVE FROM YOUR CLOSET? WHY?

I have to say, I learned quite a bit through your responses. Remember the “fun” bag that was mentioned in Week One? Well, I’ve learned what’s inside of it and, no, I won’t be sharing as not everything needs to public knowledge. That information is now tucked away in the lockable safe of my mind. LOL. I do have to let that “Anonymous” respondent know that she is not alone. A few more ladies came clean about their own hidden “fun” during their closet confessional time. When you’ve been married 33 years and you are a therapist, you understand FUN is important! Just a note of caution, I was quite “investigative” (a nice way of saying snoopy) as a child, so I encourage all parents to keep your “fun” hidden or locked away. Either that, or be ready to provide a very creative explanation.

Through your responses, I learned that many of us hold on to things that- at one time- represented our greatest joy, but later became reminders of our greatest heartaches and disappointments. For example, we keep the wedding dresses of the marriages that failed and the keepsakes of the loved ones who are no longer with us. The chapter I am currently writing for the book addresses this phenomenon, giving suggestions for prying our fingers from the pain while letting the good things we experienced remain.

Some of us keep our most treasured possessions in our closets (and I am not talking about our shoes, Imelda!). It causes me to wonder…

Why are these treasures not on display?
Are we fearful that our cherished items would not be esteemed by others? Should that even matter?
Do our treasures have a time limit before they expire and are traded out for the keepsakes of new memories?
Is it too painful to speak of the memories that go along with the items we keep in our closets?
Do our cherished items feel safer in the closet, even though they are often out of sight?

Beyond treasures, many of you confessed to storing shopping bags and receipts in your closets. This made me think of my husband. I am married to a hunter! He recently received an “elk tag,” which means he can hunt elk later this year, and he is already boasting about how he will provide food for the family for the entire winter. Of course, this makes me giggle and is more than a slight exaggeration. But, the whole family is part of the planning for the Great Hunt. I love watching my husband, my son-in-law and all involved discuss, plan and dream about what they are going to do during this hunt which is five months- YES, FIVE MONTHS- away. They map out their area, talk to guides, discuss provisions, plan sleeping arrangements and, most importantly, where and how they will mount the antlers, should they be worthy enough.

I tell you all of this because I realized, after reading your responses, that we women are so similar. The shopping bags and receipts we keep are souvenirs of our versions of the Great Hunt. We planned around that sale. We worked out all the details for the expedition. We enlisted the partnership of a dear friend or family member. We earned the trophy of the perfect dress for that event or the right shoes for that party. Maybe we don’t mount our antlers, but it’s not unlike us to wear our bounties with pride. Or, some of us may even keep our antlers hidden for fear of ridicule and not looking good enough. That’s definitely something to wonder about!

The next Closet Questions are waiting for your answers now! And, I can’t wait to see more real answers about real closets from some incredibly authentic and wonderfully real women.

Thank you for getting real with me.

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