Underneath It All

I spent New Year’s eve and New Year’s day cleaning out my closet, all the shelves and baskets, and the drawers of my dresser.

I decided that I wasn’t going to give space or hold on to anything that didn’t feel good, fit well, bring a smile to my face or serve a real purpose.

I emptied out every single drawer and only put back things that I knew I would wear.

Then I came to the one drawer that held my underwear.

I paused. I smiled. I pondered.

Then I picked up each one.

If the lace was snagged or frayed, I tossed it in the trash. If the color was faded,out it went. If it was one of those that was never quite comfortable, I wadded it up and threw it out. If it no longer made me feel beautiful, that was enough reason to let it go.

All this for underwear….but,as I was going through it, the realization hit me hard that it’s really symbolic of my life.

Underneath my faded blue jeans and cowboy boots, I’ve always worn the prettiest lace panties.

When things got tough and I couldn’t afford much, I would still splurge on lace panties.

It was a little thing that made me feel as if everything would work out, sooner or later.

Pretty lace panties are like a well-kept secret. Very few people see my panties, and those that do, hardly even notice them.

I’m pretty sure that most people don’t give it a second thought probably assuming that I would be wearing Fruit of the Loom basic cotton drawers, or going commando.

Maybe panties aren’t all that important to most people.

But I know myself good and well and beautiful panties make all the difference to me.

The soft fabric and intricate lace against my skin is a barrier between the rougher demin and me. It reminds me that things are not always what they seem to be and that sometimes good things take time to be revealed.

Just like planting a flower seed in the garden.

I am usually the only one that knows where I plant the seeds, and I’m the only one that notices the tiny shoots as they begin to bloom….but I plant them because it makes my soul dance in my body…waiting with anticipation for the beauty that is to come.

Only after the flowers are in full bloom does anyone else ever notice….and that’s just fine by me.

As I folded up the few pairs that I had decided to keep,most of them purchased just weeks ago, I thought of something else.

Panties are like relationships. I’ve let some relationships stay on..even though they no longer fit well, or made me feel good. I’ve held on to them “just in case” or out of obligation.

I have a few pairs that are really beautiful to look at and put on and really uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time.

These panties always make me think of a particular friendship I’ve had for many years. We’re known each other a long, long time and there was a time when we fit together well but now we just don’t and after a little while, after we run out of small talk, of skimming the surface of our lives, it gets uncomfortable and we are both ready to call the visit short.

I’ve held on to her and to those panties for all the wrong reasons. “Just in case.”

What a shame. What wasted space.

I had some underwear in the drawer that was perfectly good for the purpose it was made for, but every time I saw them, I would push them to the back. I never reached for them, but they were there “just in case.”

“Just in case”

What in the tarnation was I thinking?

That I wouldn’t have any other panties..or anyone else in my life?

That I had to hold on to something that didn’t feel right ,just in case I needed it someday?

I call “bullshit” on that way of thinking, that way of living.

There’s no more “just in case” underwear in my drawers and no more “just in case” people in my life.

Just as I went through my closet and my drawers, holding on to treasured items and letting go of worn out, unwanted things, I’ve searched my heart and chosen what relationships belonged in my life, in the closet and drawers of my body and soul.

Some relationships are like my beautiful,lace panties. Few people know of my deep friendships, few notice the closeness I share with my kindred spirits but I couldn’t live without them just like I can’t live without beautiful lace panties.

Sometimes what is seen, isn’t what’s most important and what isn’t seen, is what is essential.

After going through everything, I barely had enough pretty under things for a week, so I took a trip to the store and hand picked 15 new pairs, choosing some because I knew they would be invisible underneath my white shorts come spring,choosing others because they would work well with my leggings that I wear to the gym, still others because they would go perfectly with certain bras, and some just because they made me smile.

Handpicked.

Just like the people I share my life with.

I don’t buy packaged panties. None of those “Buy 5,get one free” wrapped in plastic things for me.

I feel the same way about people. I have tried to understand why some people think that every relationship has to be a “package deal,” that being friends with one person, means you have to include everyone else in all that y’all do.

Nope.

Sometimes you just click with one person and,try as you might, just can’t get beyond polite conversations with another.

Some people are meant to be acquaintances, that you see casually and that serve a purpose, maybe for professional and personal reasons. They are the ” basic” panties in life, so to speak.

But then there’s the deeper relationships..the ones that are intricate and lovingly put together, that fit so well and feel so good against your skin, that not only serve a purpose but fulfill many other things too.

These are the ones that are beautiful, that are comfortable, that fit like a second skin and they are the ones I reach for to put on all the time.

Like the book I picked up while shopping for all my new pretty panties, I will dance first and think later, handpick what goes next to my skin and offer no explaination for what I wear or who I’m with..because underneath it all, what really matters is how I feel.

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