Tag Archives: mylestones

threadbare 2: the threadbarest

the big, huge, official closet cleanout has begun. my spare bedroom holds boxes and bags of clothes ready to be donated to working wardrobe. i’m down 45 pounds as of today. all good things, right? so why does it feel so strange?

when i set out last year on this journey to lose weight, i definitely had goals. 10-ish pounds still to go, in fact. but what i hadn’t really accounted for, beyond the danced-around thought of how fun/cool it’d be to fit in smaller size clothes, was what that really meant. i’m not a packrat, and i’m certainly not overly sentimental (at least that i’ll admit to). so at least in theory, i shouldn’t have a problem with letting go of these clothes.

but some of them? some of them were really hard to put in that donate pile. the amazing tweed slacks that i had tailored just for me, and which i probably only fit in four times? gone. all of my cute little blazer-jacket-throw-it-on-over-a-cami-and-call-it-good(s)? gone. the camis themselves, for that matter – ciao! most of my cashmere, my beloved chartreuse things, the items from my love affair with j. crew, all gone.

i’m getting what i wanted – i’m downsizing, literally and figuratively. i get to start fresh, rebuild. but this has been a really interesting, unexpected, introspective experience.

what i hadn’t counted on was looking like a schlub for most of the past year. bumming around in ill-fitting clothes, because i couldn’t go down a size yet, but i didn’t quite fit in the previous one. trepidation over buying replacements, some financial and some knowing (hoping?) that they’d only last a few weeks. a sense of waste, getting rid of some unworn items, and some which were only worn a couple times. but then also a sense of happiness – donating some really nice, good-condition professional clothes to a great organization that helps women look and feel their professional best. and because of that schlubbing around in old or ill-fitting stuff? i better understand the importance of that.

i’m a very lucky, grateful girl. i’m getting what i wanted in more ways than one. and i’m appreciative of it – every pound, every size dropped. but this other, unforeseen side was a real surprise.

the dark side of the closet.


with like colors

catching up on laundry today, and noticed that i have about three loads of dark stuff to one load of light. metaphor for life, much? i think it’s time to whiten and brighten.


the light of the darkness

there are some things in this world that just make you inexplicably happy.

last night, my brother and i went to see one of my all-time favorite bands, the darkness, at the last show of their first US tour in 8 years. actually, this tour and this show should never have happened – the band split up 5 years ago and seemed unlikely to ever reunite. but they did, against all odds, and will be releasing their third album early this summer.

i remember the first time i ever heard of the darkness. it was 2003, and i saw their video for “i believe in a thing called love.” my first thought was “are they fucking kidding?” with justin hawkins’ over-the-top falsetto, the flamboyant costumes and serious 80s throwback sound, the only justification seemed to be that they must be a parody. it became clear very quickly that they were entirely serious, and that they seriously rocked.

“permission to land” was their first album, and i remember discovering each new track with an almost childlike delight.

here’s the thing about the darkness: they make me ridiculously happy. always have. i’d wake up in the morning, throw on the album as i was getting ready for work, and it never failed to put a smile on my face. i’d rock around the room to the amusement of my roomie, and i swear this album was singlehandedly responsible for making me much less of a morning crank and much more of a morning person.

there’s a lot to be said for something that makes a huge amount of joy well up inside you. for whatever reason, the darkness does that for me. they’re fun, they’re campy, they’re positive, their music is massive and personal all at the same time.

i had a hard time reining in my glee as i waited for them to come on stage at the neptune last night. i was hoping hoping hoping that justin would come out in one of his trademark catsuits, cut rakishly open to the navel. i couldn’t wait to hear these guys live.

they exceeded all my expectations. while he didn’t start out with a catsuit (instead, a three-piece denim ensemble, of which he periodically removed pieces), he did two costume changes, which i have never seen at a rock concert. britney spears or some lip-syncing pop act? i’d expect to see costume changes there, but this was just awesomeness as only the darkness could bring. the first change brought him back out in a lemur-striped catsuit job with a codpiece (lol!) and a plumy tail appendage (LOL!). good god. the second change was even better – a white/pink/silver business with cutouts and a feathery spinal stripe down the back. he strutted around the stage like a pink spandexasaurus, scissor kicking and stage leaping to my heart’s delight. pure, unapologetic, unadulterated joy.

and they fucking ROCKED. they sounded so amazing live, it was unreal. the notes that man can hit? the guitar licks? unbeatable. they played a near two-hour set, which included all of the tracks from their first album, many from the second, and some off the upcoming new album. can’t wait to hear that thing in its entirety.

as a bonus, the two openers were rad. crown jewel defense was fun, campy and awesome, and though it’s probably not anything i’d listen to on my ipod, they were fun to behold in live form. then came foxy shazaam, who were a huge surprise of awesomeness. andy and i both loved their set, their energy and their totally hilarious and irreverent frontman. we both plan on looking into their stuff and i’d definitely go see them again.

basically, i feel like i got to cross off a bucket list item – a real mylestone. i think most people will never understand my sheer and deep love of this band, and i’m not sure i fully understand it myself. all i know is that their music has been putting a smile on my face for 9 years, and i hope i never lose that. i hope they keep producing and touring and rocking as only they can. i will be along for the ride, and judging by the crowd’s reaction last night, i’m definitely not alone.


ghosts of christmas past

the other day at work, we were chatting about our favorite christmas songs. although i’m as secular and irreverent as it gets, i love me some christmas music. i have a whole christmas playlist that i add/delete from my ipod on a seasonal basis because it takes up a fair amount of space.

anyway, my favorite christmas song is “have yourself a merry little christmas.” whenever i mention that, the typical response is “oh. that’s kind of a sad song.” and i agree – it is a little melancholy, which is what i really love about it.

the holidays aren’t just fun and games and presents and glitter. i think there’s a lot of emotion wrapped up there too, and some of it is sad. i can’t be alone in this – otherwise, how would we have these wistful and wishful christmas songs?

i think a lot about what christmas was like growing up. my brother and i were very lucky kids. we always had wonderful christmases. our parents did things like the family-christmas-tree-getting excursion (very griswald, i know!). we’d head up to arlington for a day of hay rides, cider, and choosing our very own tree to chop down (we usually chose a douglas fir). we did an annual day at a food bank where we helped assemble christmas food baskets for people in need. my parents helped us put out the eggnog and cookies every christmas eve, and never laughed at my insisting we include carrots and apples for the reindeer. snug and freshly pajama’d, we’d read “’twas the night before christmas” before bed, and we’d wake to a bunch of presents under the tree. stockings first, then breakfast, then prezzies.

i think a lot about christmases spent with my first serious boyfriend and his family. they always welcomed me over to share in their christmas eve festivities. i remember little things like how they always opened all their presents on christmas eve (which i found equal parts horrifying and hilarious), and then on christmas day they’d open all their stocking presents which were always stuffed inside of paper grocery bags instead of actual stockings. then they’d go to a movie (horror of horrors!) and have turkey, having done a honeybaked ham on thanksgiving (so backward! so adorable!). despite our differences, i loved being a part of their festivities and being exposed to something so different from what i did with my family. i bought his parents beautiful ornaments every year. sometimes i wonder if they still use them.

for me, the holiday sadness comes with having most of that magic and sparkle and ritual left in the past. it’s nothing anybody does intentionally – it’s just growing up. i do my own tree now, very different from my mom’s – it’s more dr. seuss than classic christmas. i put up stockings for vindaloo and me, and because i am completely that crazy dog lady, i only fill her stocking after she’s already gone to bed. i’m delighted by how she heads immediately for it in the morning, sniffing out whatever new toys and goodies hide inside.

slowly but surely, i’m creating my own christmas rituals. they’ll never be what they were when i was a child, but they have meaning all the same.

the sadness is part of it for me. listening to “have yourself a merry little christmas” and reflecting on christmases past, looking at my tree or wrapping presents for my nephews and nieces…it’s one of those moments where happiness and sadness meet in the middle. if i hadn’t been such a lucky child, if we hadn’t had such loving parents and solid christmas traditions of our own, i might not feel the sadness at all. but really, without the sadness, how do you truly know how to measure your happiness?


mylestones

it’s dawning on me more and more these days that i really am on the road less traveled. getting older, it’s really no shock. you hit that age where you’re attending three or four weddings a year. a year or two later, the weddings may have slowed down, but the couples whose weddings you attended start welcoming their first kid. and another year or two after that, many of those families are welcoming their second or more.

i hate to have to refer to sex and the city, but i always reflect on that episode wherein carrie’s shoes are stolen at a remove-your-shoes baby shower, and her friend guilts her over replacing them because of how ridiculous an expense they are. she reflects on how much time, energy and money she’s spent on her friends and the celebrations of their milestones.

but if you never get engaged, you never have an engagement party full of presents and well wishes. if you never get married, you never have that one day where you’re the center of it all at a huge party with a gift registry and everyone celebrating you. if you never have kids, you never have friends and family surrounding you, showering you with gifts and love and attention.

it’s not about the time, energy or money. i love my friends and my family and i am honored to celebrate them and their lives. it’s just that if you don’t follow the typical path, you don’t celebrate the typical milestones. you go along, kind of uncelebrated.

i’ve decided i’m not cool with that. i’m not going to go register for a single pair of manolo blahniks or anything. but i am creating mylestones –my milestones– where i will stop comparing myself and my life and my choices to everyone else’s self and life and choices. i will celebrate these things that are meaningful to me and really take the time to honor them. some of them won’t be unique, and others will share them, and that’s ok – they can still be mylestones.

some of them? they’ve already come and gone.
falling in love for the first time
getting into a great university
traveling to the galapagos islands, a dream of mine since i was 9
graduating college
getting my first job and apartment
moving
moving again
moving another time
picking up the pieces and starting over
getting my first big promotion
traveling to europe
getting a puppy – my dream girl who i love more than anything, who i waited for and who must’ve been waiting for me

future mylestones? who knows – they might include:
graduate school
more world travels
starting a business
making good investments
hitting my goal weight
finishing my novel
hell, starting my novel
buying a house

maybe someday i will even add one or two of those traditional milestones. if i don’t, i’m ok with that. i’m not saying i need celebrations and gift registries and all of those traditional things. but what i do need is to spend more time reflecting on and acknowledging the achievements i have made. i would also like to be better about reflecting on the mylestones of my friends, those who are in a more similar space to me and may not be receiving those traditional acknowledgments and celebrations either.

sometimes it’s hard to feel so different – it can feel very lonely and sometimes downright wrong, even if you willingly choose your choices.

even if no one else considers my mylestones to be milestones, i aim to be better about recognizing them and making them more than just another passing moment on this road less traveled.


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