Shedding Our Shells and Getting Rid of Clothes From a Past Life
I was voted “most changed since grade 9” when I graduated high school. My OAC picture of me in a deep teal mohair sweater, black dress pants and a deep red pixie cut was a stark contrast to the small picture next to it of a young girl in a bright cobalt blue wig with a matching tank top and extra wide blue jeans.
I’ve always played with style.
From my Dad’s old drawstring pants paired with cheap vintage kids tees to sky-high platforms and skin tight jeans, I used style to try on different personas. As I searched for who I was as a teenager, my style evolved with me. That is why I wasn’t surprised when I had to overhaul my wardrobe after having my daughter. I had moved on to a different stage of my life. I wasn’t same person, so it made sense that I didn’t want to wear my previous self’s clothes.
I see this all the time in people’s closets; the uniforms of the people we once were. It is so hard to get rid of those clothes because generally there is nothing actually wrong with them. They don’t have holes in them, they may even still fit; but they don’t feel good. They don’t feel like us anymore. I think that is something that we should actually celebrate.
A friend mentioned doing a reiki session with Lynne Newman (a wonderful Toronto holistic occupational therapist) during her consultation, she talked about feeling uncomfortable and experiencing an energy she couldn’t really place. She explained it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t necessarily feel good either. Lynne listened and simply responded “you are lobstering”. She went on to talk about how lobsters outgrow and shed their shells and while you are shedding that shell and growing a new one you are exposed and it can be uncomfortable. (And yes, Andrea Buckett, I know it is officially called molting, but for some reason I hate that word)
I resonated with this analogy so much.
We all have before and after moments in our lives. Sometimes they are lightning moments that cause us to change overnight and other times their progression is slower and more gradual. Either way, as we shed those former selves, it also makes sense that we shed the clothes that supported that old shell.