In my previous post where I talked about not having the money to get my hair done (a problem which was solved in less than an hour), I also mentioned walking past the window of one of my favorite local clothing stores and being sad that I couldn’t go in to look at stuff because I’m currently too susceptible to buying things I can’t afford. I was also pitifully excited at the fitting for the commercial job I did on Friday because I got to try on new clothes – even though the clothes were not really things I would have bought even if I had the money to buy them. I am in a strong withdrawal phase from shopping – which means I am constantly yearning for new clothes with a fervor.
It’s a sucky place to be.
But I am behaving myself. I have not gone into any stores in the past few weeks. I have not shopped online. I have forced myself to deal with the emotions that cause me to want things, instead of buying new things to smother the emotions. My feelings of want have not subsided – they are alive and well, and come in uncomfortable surges. To break the pattern where I go buy new stuff to alleviate those surges means forcing myself to sit in whatever emotions are triggering me, and that is painful. But I have not succumbed and bought anything from my usual comfort categories (clothes/shoes/makeup).
My friend Kelly is staying with me right now – Kelley is a wonderful actress from New York that I met during a production of Anna Karenina last season. We became friends, and she is back in Portland right now to do another show at Portland Center Stage. She came to town a little early, and needed a place to stay, and I was happy to host her. We’ve had a fabulous time hanging out together, seeing tons of theatre, and talking till nearly 1:30 a.m. every single night.
Yesterday, Kelley got a care package of clothing from her mother in New York. It included two dresses that weren’t quite the right fit for her, but they were my size, so she offered them to me. They fit me perfectly, and are dresses that I would have walked into a store and picked out for myself, provided I had the budget to do so. I LOVE them. I was literally jumping up and down and clapping my hands like a spastic seal at the sight of them, and Kelley laughed and said, “Take them, they’re yours.”
I am RIDICULOUSLY excited about these two dresses. In addition to being a fun surprise, they are items I will wear a lot. They’ve satisfied the “I want something new” urge at no cost, and since I have gotten rid of a couple items recently, I do have empty hangers waiting for them. They make me think of Kelley and her lovely mom, and every time I wear them I will be filled with good thoughts.
It continues to remind me to be grateful for the people in my life who keep providing bright spots in my darker moments. Their friendship is what brings me true happiness and lagom. Sometimes they are showing me their love and support in the form of something material, and sometimes it’s by making me laugh, listening to me complain, spending time with me, or just saying something kind. It is the spirit of their friendship behind all these gifts that really make me realize how lucky I am.