Dash of Sass: No One Can Be Forever 21

No One Can Be Forever 21

Quotes of the Day:

One of life’s challenging realizations is that sometimes you outgrow your friends. ~Steve Maraboli

We’re so quick to cut away pieces of ourselves to suit a particular relationship, a job, a circle of friends, incessantly editing who we are until we fit in. ~Charles de Lint

There are certain people who no longer belong in your life no matter how much you want them to. You know who they are. Let them go. ~Robert Tew

The Single Woman Says:

Sometimes in life, we outgrow things and people and places long before we’re ready to.

The other day, I was trying on a super cute blouse in size small (I typically wear a small or medium) at one of my favorite stores, Forever 21. While the shirt slid on with ease, it felt a little tight in the arms. I went to take it off only to discover it was stuck…like, literally wouldn’t budge from my body. My body & the shirt were one. After contorting myself into unnatural positions for a good ten minutes, I started to get a little claustrophobic when the shirt got stuck halfway on and halfway off, making it hard for me to breathe. I was finally left with no choice but to creep out of the dressing room in my pretzel-like state and ask for the sales associate’s assistance. She stood there tapping her chin looking completely confused for a good 2-3 minutes, contemplating what to do. Finally, as a crowd started to gather outside the dressing room door, she bent me over and started pulling and tugging and yanking the shirt off. Unfortunately, it budged just enough to make it even harder for me to breathe. This tug of war went on and on until I was about to burst into tears and finally started screeching for the associate to just cut it off my body and I would pay for it. She stopped tugging, considered this, and said: “Let me go get my manager.” Thus began another several minute wait with me standing there in the middle of the dressing room in a strapless bra and a shirt halfway on and halfway off my body. (And gasping for breath and on the verge of a major anxiety attack due to the inescapable straight jacket-like shirt.) Finally the manager appeared with a hesitant smile on her face like she thought I was about to break out of the shirt, Incredible Hulk-style. She, too, commenced with the yanking and tugging of the evil cage of a shirt as people walked by, staring curiously into my wide open dressing room. Just before I lost consciousness from lack of oxygen, she managed with one final fierce yank to free me from the shirt, but not without leaving my carefully braided hair in a tangled, static electricity-ridden nest that rivaled that of Nick Nolte’s in his infamous mug shot.

All of this to say…it took a fiasco like this one to realize that while I might still love Forever 21, I am no longer Forever 21. And though I might still visit it from time to time, it’s clearly no longer a store that fits my needs. Or my age. Or my style. Because the thing is, no one is “forever” ANYTHING. No matter how much we might want to be. Life doesn’t come with a Pause button and it’s not meant to. We’re not here to stop, to hesitate, to grow stagnant in any one particular season or place or era of life. We’re meant to move, to grow, to change, to evolve. Here are the dangers that come with trying too hard to stay planted in a place where you no longer belong:

1)     It’s painful. Just as my body contortions to try and force a shirt to fit me at Forever 21 hurt my arms and shoulders and ribs and EGO…trying to force a person or an opportunity to fit into your life that doesn’t belong there hurts your heart.

2)     It’s constricting. The ill-fitting Forever 21 shirt constricted my lungs and my ability to breath. Staying in a place where you no longer fit constricts your movement and your ability to grow in the direction your life is calling you.

3)     It’s limiting. Clinging to my “Forever 21” mindset stopped me from fully stepping into my sense of style and embracing all the many age-appropriate boutiques out there with fashions that accentuate who I am NOW, at age 34. Clinging to people and situations and places you’ve outgrown will hold you back from moving into the next phase of your life, a phase filled with new and better people and situations and places.

It can be hard to admit when it’s time to move on. It can be humbling. It can be sad. It can be scary. It can be challenging. But what good thing isn’t? Instead of struggling and wrestling and fighting to make something or someone fit you…how about just surrendering and admitting it’s time for a change?

To become who of more you are meant to be, you are required to surrender who you USED to be. As awkward and uncomfortable as it can feel, outgrowing something or someone is actually healthy. Why? Because it means you’re still GROWING…into something bigger, something better, something more beautiful and colorful and unique. Something more like YOURSELF.

As for me? I might not be “Forever 21,” but I AM “Forever Growing & Changing & Evolving.” And that’s enough for me.


2 Responses to “ Dash of Sass: No One Can Be Forever 21 ”

  1. September 5, 2013

    I loved everything about this post. Sometimes the ones that don’t belong in your life, that you try to cling on to are the very ones that bring you back down to where you started. Unfortunately, I learned that the hard way.


  2. Alisa
    February 14, 2014

    Oh my gosh…. THANK YOU!! I found you by “fluke” in the natural sense but truly Divine Order Spiritually. I needed this. I needed to see it, read it and HEAR it. I’m not afraid of change, its just not always easy to accept that its timing. I am one of those people that NEED to know the plan, how it works and where it is leading before I can just GO with it. I am finally at a place where God is making me see that is not His way. I will just have to TRUST Him. Thanks Again for sharing…

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Something wonderful is on the horizon
Turn Toward the Sun CoverLife doesn’t always look the way we want it to look. In Mandy’s upcoming book, Turn Toward the Sun: Releasing What If and Embracing What Is, you’ll find encouragement to live in the moment, sit with your experiences, and trust God with the unknown.
Preorder from Baker Book House for 40% off and free shipping!*
*US shipping only