I’m donating my 20’s to Salvation Army.
Literally, this means I am getting rid of pretty much anything smaller than a size 6, because I’m never going to fit into that size 2 skirt again. Seriously, never. When I left the all-you-can-eat dining hall of college behind, my weight spiraled down for years. But that, my friend, has come to and end. (When I casually asked if I should be worried about gaining some weight, my doctor, a stocky and unflappable sort, said “Well, the thing is, you’re just, well, getting older. I used to be able to eat a loaf of bread at one sitting and look great! Not anymore!”)
More figuratively, it means I’m finally getting over some of the pervasive anxiety and self-doubt that plagued me in my 20’s. See, it wasn’t just the lack of buffet that caused me to hit size 2. I used to do this thing where I would get so nervous about things that I couldn’t eat. Board meetings at my job? No way. Dates? You kidding me? I had a difficult boyfriend for six months when I was 23, and I barely ate a complete meal that entire spring.
Joan Didion wrote “I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us…”
She’s right. Every once in a while, my 23-year-old self sneaks back in and surprises me with some petty anxiety I thought I’d left behind years ago. But, as I have approached and hit 30, she increasingly shows up with snippets of what was so wonderful about being in my early 20’s. I’m beginning to like keeping her around.
It turns out, though, that not even a joyous fit of nostalgia can justify keeping these ugly, tiny capri pants from 1998 hanging in my closet any longer. It’s time to move on.