House and Home, Life, Wearable, Year of Making it Happen

finding nicole again

I had a few days off this weekend (thank you, Labor Day) and decided to take advantage of it. I took the time to apply the konmari method to my clothing. I will be writing about the concept, the process, and how it’s working out with my living situation for The Hudsucker next week. Right now, though, seeing as how I am one day out from it I want to talk for a moment about a very personal part of the process.

I had a breast reduction in college. It was a decision that I came to with a lot of thinking and with a lot of fear. I had the surgery scheduled at one point only to change my mind because I was too scared of it. It was the excruciating pain in my back and the misery of never being able to find anything to fit me that finally won out so one summer I had it done before going back to college. The surgery went well. I had a follow up appointment the day after the procedure which also went well and after that appointment my mother and I went to the mall. I needed some button-down shirts to make things easier on me, but I also just wanted to get some things that would fit my body now that I had more size-correct breasts. While we were shopping I found a dress. I loved it the second I saw it; bias cut, no stretch fabric, black and fuschia, elegant. It was clearance, too. My mother hated the dress, but I absolutely had to have it. It would fit me, all of me, and let me wear something that actually showed my neckline without me looking a bit risque. I don’t remember if I bought it myself or if I begged until my mother bought it. The part that counts is that it came home with me that day. It may have been the first pretty thing I bought that actually was stylish (trust me when I say that my college style was horrific–lime green and tangerine suit anyone?)

I wore the dress all through the rest of college. I even work it off to my first real job. But at some point I gained a lot of weight and the dress simply stopped fitting. I couldn’t put it on because it wouldn’t slide over my hips. I packed it away, not quite ready to give it up because I kept promising I’d get back into it. The dress remained packed away over several moves for around a decade. I had almost forgotten about it when I opened a storage bin to get out all of the clothes (because the konmari method makes you go through ALL THE CLOTHES) and it was staring me in the face. I held it in my hand and just felt so sad. I love this dress. Did it spark joy? Absolutely. But it also hadn’t fit the last time I tried it and I decided that, despite the joy, it had to go.

Now, I’m a curious person. I’m also masochistic I guess because even though I had decided to get rid of the dress because it didn’t fit me and never would I had to torment myself by trying it on one final time. So I did.

no filter, still fat, but this is what joy looks like: fitting into my favorite dress again

no filter, still fat, but this is what joy looks like: fitting into my favorite dress again

Nearly a decade after I packed it away because it didn’t fit, my all-time favorite dress slid over my shoulders and then down past my hips. The hem came to rest at my knee like it was supposed to. It wasn’t too tight. My dress fit me. It’s not perfect yet. I have some pounds and some working out to go before the dress will be just right and even more to go before I am at the weight I really want to be, but this weekend my dress fit me and it hasn’t fit me in a very long time. All of those moments of wondering if I had actually lost weight or if anything I was doing was working vanished with a simple and triumphant moment of victory. My dress fit. I’m back to the person I was when I made one of the first big decisions towards being my best self.

And it feels amazing.


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