Have you ever imagined coming face to face with your younger self, thus being forced to reckon with what a fucking moron you used to be? This weekend I did just that. No, I didn’t get access to a time machine (my membership is still suspended!) or have a particularly lucid dream — I cleaned out my closet.
Going through one’s old clothes is an almost unparalleled act of bravery, comparable only to going all the way back through your own Facebook photos (which I also did for this post. I’m a hero!). But I’m a strong woman who lives in a small apartment and has too much shit, so this past weekend, I mustered up all my courage, took out my stepladder and remembered what a wannabe skank I was in college (I only dressed the part — I had no followthrough).
Now I’m going to fearlessly share some of my most embarrassing findings with you, dear readers, on one condition: DON’T JUDGE ME OK fine go ahead and judge me, but know I’m judging myself much more harshly.
Can you believe I used to wear SHOES?
With heels! Wedge heels, usually.
What kind of person was I when I wore these? A college student/recent college grad who liked to fuckin’ party, as evidenced below.
Oh my GOD did you keep this shit or what??: I threw all of these things out. Not Brent (hi Brent! I know you’re not reading this!), but like, the shoes.
Can you believe I used to wear DRESSES? With ruffles and shit (not pictured but part of the skirt)?
Look at me now, a middle-aged mother of three (stylistically speaking), trying to pull off a fucking whimsical ass dress with fucking bikes on it. Insane!
Who was I when I wore fucking cutesy dresses? A mid-20s Zooey Deschanel wannabe with bangs that didn’t suit my face!
Oh my GOD did you keep this shit or what??: I threw the first two dresses out because I haven’t worn either or proudly called myself “quirky!” in at least five years. I kept the last one, although I have no idea why because I’m pretty sure I’ve never worn it in public, but I’m a mysterious woman whose motivations are often opaque even to herself.
Can you even believe I used to wear SKIRTS? And like, casually. Like to my friend Rick’s pumpkin carving parties (hi Rick!).
Who was I when I wore SKIRTS? A college student/early-20s wannabe career woman trying way too hard.
I bought this skirt in college because it looked like something Carrie Bradshaw would wear and I was still dumb enough to think I was a Carrie when I’m obviously a Stanley.
Oh my GOD did you keep this shit or what??: I threw both of these skirts out, along with many others that I didn’t photograph because they’re not quite as ridiculous. Oh wait — I just remembered I actually kept the leopard one because I like it for some reason even though I haven’t worn it in at least seven years and probably never will again.
Can you even believe I used to wear SHIRTS? Teeny tiny little shirts, usually from the children’s section, with stuff written on them?
Who was I when I wore fucking SHIRTS? A college student who liked to fuckin’ party, mostly at concerts or aquariums in foreign countries (???).
In fact, I used to like shirts so much that I went through this phase when every time I visited a city, I went to the aquarium and bought a t-shirt. That’s crazy for me to think about because A) it’s bizarre, borderline alarming behavior and B) I now know that aquariums are cruel and don’t go to them anymore WOW I’m such a good person.
You may have noticed that these shirts are not only ridiculous but tight. Like, so tight you can tell I (kind of) have boobs. Now I prefer to wear shirts so loose I could smuggle a whole turkey underneath without anyone realizing it.
CONFESSION: I still wear shirts. In fact, I still wear this, my very best shirt, which I bought on my 21st birthday (crazy considering I’m currently 17!) at an actual Hilary Duff concert I attended while studying abroad in Madrid. Who was I when I went to Hilary Duff concerts in Spain? A fucking idiot who liked to PARTY.
Oh my GOD did you keep this shit or what??: Um…yes. I don’t know why! Throwing out my weird collection of children’s aquarium t-shirts would feel like throwing out a part of myself — a dumb part that belongs in the trash, but a piece of me nonetheless. Also HELLO that Hilary Duff shirt is literally my best article of clothing!
If you don’t believe I used to be the kind of person who’d go to a Hilary Duff concert on her 21st birthday (you have no reason not to believe me), here’s some evidence:
I WAS THERE.
After the concert, my friends and I went to Penelope Cruz’s nightclub, or rather a nightclub that used Penelope Cruz’s flawless visage for economic gain. I think we had fun?
SO DID YOU LIKE, LEARN ANYTHING?
Yes! I learned that I used to try a lot harder than I do now that I wear jeans, t-shirts and white sneakers almost exclusively, although maybe that’s a different kind of effort, focused on defining myself as the kind of person who doesn’t define herself with clothing. I learned that it took me time to figure out who I wanted to be (also my hair. It took me a long time to figure out my hair) and that I’m now pretty comfortable just being myself, which includes being (relatively) comfortable with my former selves, bad fashion choices and all.
I also learned that these clothes have absolutely no value now, and I learned that lesson the hard way: by getting all of them (plus two more entire bags of clothing) rejected by a Buffalo Exchange buyer who was wearing cat ears.
Most importantly, I learned that I was a fucking idiot and, I’m proud to say, am still a fucking idiot today. And I still like to fuckin’ party! Like once a year. While wearing sneakers. And a turtleneck.