Every damn new year starts with cheesy-ass instagram posts captioned #newyearnewme and “Out with the Old, In with the New <3” and it gets on my nerves for no good reason.
Not that I posted one of those statuses (I have an alibi — I was home on new years’ eve with my mom and dad catching up on the last season of Black-ish), but I made goals that sound really really corny without more context: I want to get rid of stuff I don’t need anymore and spend more money on myself on stuff I like. A pretty much literal “out with the old, in with the new” resolution. I hate myself so much.
I read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up last spring after reading a really good review of it, and it changed my whole perspective on my stuff. I was just scared for what it would cost me in time and money to get rid of so much stuff that wasn’t bringing me joy.
For pretty much as long as I can remember, I’ve been really attached to my stuff. I have a very distinct memory of me as a little kid — kindergarten maybe? — when my mom asked me and my siblings to pick 3 toys to donate to help declutter the house. I cried and tried to plea bargain but to no avail. Finally, after hours playing with and fawning over my empire of my dolls and toys, crying over having to part with any of them, I emerged from my room with my sacrifice: a puny rubber cow with only 3 legs. That’s all I could bring myself to give away.
Also, too, my body hasn’t grown or changed much since I was about fourteen. I’ve gained or lost a little weight here and there, but by and large, I’ve been five-foot-six and 160 pounds for about ten years at this point. When you’re growing and developing, especially when breasts and hips are a part of your development, it’s easy to get rid of clothes because they don’t fit your body or style anymore. Your tastes and cup/band size change so much so fast in high school, ya know? But at a certain point, you don’t have that excuse anymore. You just accumulate like crazy.
By the same token, though, I’m super reluctant to spend money on myself. I’ve always been a niggardly miser with my money, but only when it comes to myself. I’ve lent friends and siblings upwards of $300 without a second thought, but I waited a year to put new tires on my car. My sister wanted a $200 blanket for Christmas so I made it happen, but I hadn’t splurged on a new pair of shoes for myself in months on end. And there’s just no reason for me to be a martyr anymore.
So this year, I’m getting rid of stuff I don’t use, need, like, or feel no joy as a result of owning and replacing that stuff with good stuff. Quality stuff. Stuff I’ll wear and use and enjoy wearing and using. Stuff that fits who I am two years out of college with a good job and abounding opportunities.
I’m already well on my way. Already in 2018, I’ve spent something like $400 on myself, for shoes and jeans and makeup that all make me look and feel phenomenal as a young professional high-yellow feminist. And I’ve thrown out five full bags of expired makeup, papers from past jobs, socks with holes in them, and half-finished crafts I was ready to cry uncle on. I took four bags of clothes that don’t make me feel like my best self and shoes that rubbed my toes weird to the local second hand store. I’m repealing and replacing, as it were. Quality over quantity.
I’m upgrading me in 2018. I’m not leaning on excuses anymore for why I’m woefully underdressed for events or wearing no makeup ever. I’m getting rid of what’s not me anymore and I’m spending money on a young professional adult — Ms. Sav Thorpe. I’d like to thank Marie Kondo for the book and Beyonce for the soundtrack and myself for finally taking care of me.