Like most Christmas lovers out there, the Hallmark channel becomes a favorite during the season. Sure, the plots are predictable and 100% of the couples find love in the end, but they so innocently represent the goodness of Christmas it’s hard to look away.
The more I watch them, the more I think I realize why I’m single. It’s not because I’m unwilling to compromise my high and important standards, oh no. Hallmark Christmas movies have shown me that it’s because I’ve never ended up in a Christmas-obsessed town two weeks before December 25.
So this is my plan to find love.
Next year, or maybe this one depending on how long it takes to find the right kind of town, I’m going to mysteriously wind up in a small town with a lot of heart. You know, the kind of place where everyone knows each other and everyone frequents the same restaurant/inn/bakery/cafe.
I don’t have to plan much after this because I will undoubtedly run into an unbelievably attractive man within five minutes of entering the town. He might be the handy man at my hotel or maybe the person I need to do business with (not that business, not yet).
Initially we probably won’t like each other, because either he’s a grump or I’m a grump. I haven’t quite worked out my character yet. Either way, one of us will help guide the other one into experiencing the magic of Christmas.
There will undoubtedly be a tree-lighting we attend where we’ll engage in some light bantering and maybe we don’t hate each other as much as we thought.
The next time we see each other, we’ll have a romantic moment and almost kiss, only to be interrupted by a parent or small child and instead of being adults and admitting we have feelings for each other and following through on the kiss, we’ll awkwardly separate.
At this point, we may actually decide to go on a date. Unfortunately, it will go one of three ways:
One of us gets tied up and can’t make it, proving the other’s point that we’re unreliable
Our date will be interrupted by someone causing trouble and it will go awry
I will get called back to Buffalo and decide going back to my life is the right choice instead of looking for love
No matter what happens, we will be pulled apart and then they’ll be a montage of how sad we are apart yet too proud to admit our feelings. Insert unimportant side characters who try to advise us to follow our hearts or something.
The good news is on Christmas and/or New Years (depending on the length of my trip), we’ll dramatically show up at the same party and realize we’ve been foolish and it’s time to just be together.
And we will live happily ever after (not in that small town though, he will move back with me obviously).
My future husband is just waiting in a small town with nothing do all year until Christmas happens. I’m sure of it. Soon I’ll go and have the change of heart I need to finally let love in and open my heart and remember love makes the world go round.
It’s foolproof. There’s no way 5,576,483,839 Hallmark Christmas movies could get it wrong.
I imagine I’m not alone in my daily routine of standing in front of my closet, staring at my clothes, and deciding I have absolutely nothing to wear. I mean obviously there are items I could put on my body, but it feels so limited.
There are the items that just barely fit, so do I want to put them on and be uncomfortable all day? What happens if I get a little bloaty? Then I look at the items I deem as “reserved” for some magical perfect occasions, aka I will never wear because I’m too afraid it’s not the right time. Finally, I see the same five pieces I wear on the reg and decide to go with one of them.
Seriously, for three weeks in a row I wore the exact same outfit to work on Thursday. I called it my Thursday outfit. Even worse, it was a navy fleece pullover and black dress pants because I was too lazy to find something that matched.
As much as I love my routines, this one is tired and I hate it. Every day I go through it and I never do anything to change. For most of my life, I thought this feeling would go away if I had the mythical “enough” looking back at me from the closet, but I’ve learned it’s not about quanitity.
You see, I’ve always loved shopping and new clothes. I mean, who doesn’t? Every new item is a chance to express yourself and show the world who you want to be. There are few feelings better than finding the perfect dress or shirt or pair of shoes. When you have the right outfit, it can feel like you’re one step closer to being the person you’ve dreamed of since you were little.
At least, that’s how it feels for me. Only I didn’t have the money for this material search for self-actualization, so I charged everything. It didn’t matter that I was worsening my financial situation if, for a moment, I felt complete.
The sad part is I ran up my debt for pieces of clothing I was too afraid to wear and “waste” them on a non-important day. Clothing that eventually I would just donate before replacing with new items that in the store felt like something I couldn’t live without.
I look back at photos and see jackets, dresses, shirts, and more and wonder what happened to those items? Why did I get rid of them? I honestly don’t have an answer for myself. Maybe it was just to make room for new things, or maybe because I never wore them, I thought I never would There are even times I’ve donated clothing that still had a tag.
This is a problem.
Despite vows to get better and be better with my money, it wasn’t until the end of 2017 I knew I couldn’t continue like this. My credit cards bills had spiraled and I could barely make the minimum payments. At the rate I was going, it would take years and years and years and years before I could pay everything off. I couldn’t run from my debt anymore.
My way out was a consolidation loan which I wouldn’t recommend for everyone, but in my case it gave me a lower monthly payment than paying the cards individually and even with the interest from the loan, I’ll get everything paid off faster. But when you suddenly have empty credit cards, it can be so easy and tempting to fill them up again.
I knew the loan wasn’t enough. I had to make a real change – only buy things I need. This meant when I was having a bad day I just couldn’t go get something new at the mall. Wanting something wasn’t enough to actually buy it. Basically, I learned to tell myself “no.”
After a year, this became my norm. It’s amazing how a decade of habits can disappear with a year of self-control. By the time 2019 rolled around, I never seriously considered buying new clothes or just going shopping. What was supposed to be a year of living wiser turned into a lifestyle. It doesn’t mean I don’t still want things, just that I’ve learned to curb that.
More than just not shopping, this journey has been about being content, something I’m not good at. I’ve had to stop looking for new things I needed to somehow round out this vision I thought would lead to wholeness. It meant settling for pillow cases that don’t match and wall art that isn’t trendy and shoes that aren’t the latest in style.
It meant realizing clothes, as much as I love them, could never make me truly happy or whole. Sadly this enlightenment didn’t take away the “I have nothing to wear syndrome.”
Perhaps I just assumed that forever I would stand in front of my closet thinking that, or maybe I would lose weight and have money and be able to build the perfect wardrobe (note: these aren’t the keys to happiness, Chelsea). It never occurred to me to fix my current situation because I’m a goober.
It took a friend doing a 30-day closet challenge to realize hey, I can do something. It started when I saw her #ootd (outfit of the day posts) and thought that’s an interesting thing, but then her story clarified the why and I realized with a resounding YES this is what I needed.
Basically, it’s all about this journey I’ve been on: being content and grateful. Instead of thinking I have nothing to wear and allowing my mind to think more is what I need, I can force myself to use my closet to its full potential.
Thirty days. Thirty different outfits.
Honestly, I love the idea because it meant I would plan all my outfits a month in advance (!!!!). For an obsessive planner like myself, this was a dream. I started by inventorying my clothes to have a working list and then sat down to make my plan. IT TOOK HOURS.
The biggest issue I faced wasn’t worrying about the weather or repeating – it was not wanting to schedule an outfit for a “wasted” day.
Can I just have a minute to talk about what a bogus thought process that is? I’m giving more value to days where I’ll be more visible. This is a much larger issue in my brain because I don’t give my best to days I view as unimportant. AND I’m placing all my value on wearing the perfect outfit and thinking I need them for the right occasions. Every day is a freaking miracle and I love looking my best! Why do I treat days differently? Whatever back to the point of this.
This November, I’ve decided to have no wasted days. Every day is going to matter because every day has an outfit that I’ve carefully selected. I technically started this the end of October and so far I’m obsessed. It’s so nice to wake up and just know what I’m going to wear.
Granted, I’m just getting started and so far I haven’t woken up wishing to burn down everything in my life and just run away. So we’ll see how those days go. Either way, I’m excited to actually wear my wardrobe and not trap myself in the same comfortable items.
Obvs I’m going to share and keep everyone updated. Just what you wanted, I know.