A few weeks ago at work I was faced with an extremely minor decision. An older women came in to workout, with her personal trainer who I know she pays hourly, and she had forgotten her socks. Disappointed and undoubtably dreading the next hour of blistering pain – I reached into my personal bag and saw that I had two pairs of extra (and clean) socks that I clearly wasn’t using. One pair was orange, pink, and white stripped (colours that I would never personally use together) and the other pair was purple and pink poka-dots (which are way more my style). So obviously I reached for the clashing stripped pair – leaving my favourite socks tucked safely away in my bag.
This small gesture left me with one extremely happy gym member, a very satisfying feeling in my chest, and a huge wave of new discovery in my mind.
Almost as soon as I handed over my pair of socks, with no real guarantee that I would ever get them back, I realized that as a person you hold onto your favourite pieces.
At first this thought was completely materialistic. Obviously you don’t lend your favourite piece of clothing to a stranger or even a new friend. You don’t let your sister borrow your favourite neckless (which is why she always has to steal it without you noticing). And you definitely don’t give your favourite pair of socks to a member at the gym where you work.
But then a few days passed and I realized that I was still stuck on the idea of holding onto your favourite pieces – which is when it hit me. The thing that parents and teachers have been trying to teach us for years – the thing that society is trying to take away: The fact that not only do people hold onto their favourite materialistic objects – but they hold onto their favourite pieces of people too – pieces that don’t actually belong to them.
And then I made the cold harsh realization, that I think every adult eventually makes, which is that I’ve spent years clinging onto specific people and specific traits and specific things that don’t belong to me and then I evidently waste my time being miserable when the person walks away.
And then I made the humours and much needed realization that if I want to hold onto favourite pieces that they should actually belong to me.
I don’t look at myself in the mirror the same way that I looked at my favourite pair of socks in my gym bag that day. Instead, I look at people around me and I compare my perfectly crafted individually made body to theirs.
I see a girl who’s hair is longer then mine and I envy her – begging mine to grow faster.
I see a boy with longer eyelashes and mentally cry as I apply more mascara to make mine noticeable.
I see a complete stranger wearing a cute outfit and, in that moment, I am ready to spend every penny of my paycheque on their wardrobe.
But today, I looked down at my poka-dot socks and I made a promise to myself to first acknowledge my favourite things about myself & then hold onto them as tight as I possible can.