To the girl who feels like she’s in a TJMaxx dressing room

A little too niche? Maybe. I weighed my options of what exactly I wanted to title this week’s post, and I genuinely could not think of a more perfect title. There is obviously a story behind this title, and I have a feeling that as weird as those words are to read, it will probably resonate with you.

I thought about titling today’s post “to the girl who is adjusting” because that is the season of life I am in. A season of slight uncomfortableness, feeling like there is more to my life than what I know at the moment while trying to be content with aspects of daily life. This season has brought me back to a place I have known my whole life but starting over in a new and unknown way of an adult life. Finishing college before all my friends and making the countless weekend drives to feel like I am still a part of it. A season of having really great days filled with sunshine, life, and joy and then experiencing days where I want to lay around, watching tv, and not interacting with a single human being. A season of adjustment, a season of newness, a season of dependency on Christ, and a season of finding where my path is leading.

I experienced my TJMaxx analogy in real time when I was doing a social media fast. For the past 30 days, I have been doing a prompt driven, discipleship journey, which included solos, fasts, and getting off social media. Although I didn’t want to, I thought I would be able to spend all my extra time creating content so that I could churn out tons when I was done. But that was actually the complete opposite of what actually happened. When I began my social media fast, I began filling my time with people who meant the most to me and spending less than 2 hours a day on my phone (which includes Spotify). I didn’t feel a need to have my phone on me all the time, so I didn’t document as much as I do when I’m constantly making content. 

However, one day during these 30 days, I went to TJMaxx looking for some new workout clothes and some cute new spring outfits. As I went rack by rack stacking outfits on my arm I was hopeful as I headed to the dressing room. I began to try the outfits on some fitting like a glove and others falling off or barely zipping. I tried on this beautiful lavender dress that I was hoping would fit, but as I began to zip it I quickly realized it was much too big. I stood there, staring at myself in the mirror seeing if there was a way to get the dress to fit better. I took a picture to see how it looked even though it was too big. In that instant of looking in the mirror with a dress that wouldn’t even stay on my shoulders, tears began to swell in my eyes. 

And no, it wasn’t because the dress didn’t fit perfectly, it was just tons of little moments that had snowballed and turned into this instant of breaking down in a TJMaxx dressing room.

In this season of adjusting, I have been torn between wanting to really plant roots and wanting to uproot everything I know. Some days I can completely enjoy the moments I am in, while others I wish for the life I knew only a few months ago. So, this moment in the dressing room wasn’t sadness that I couldn’t get the cute lavender dress because it wasn’t my size. Instead, it was the confusion of who I am now that I am back. Back in a place I have known my whole life, back to a sense of comfortability after a season of spontaneous uncomfortableness. Back to a routine, back to a location I have always been in but feeling so unsure of what my next step is.

Nothing was wrong with the dress, it was that I felt like in that instant everything in my life was falling apart as the straps fell off my shoulders. Adjusting to a new season of life isn’t easy, and there definitely isn’t a rule book on how to do it. Some of my friends are still in school, some dropped out, some are married, some have never had a boyfriend, some are already on their second or third job, some are taking a gap year, some are travelling, some are following in their parents’ footsteps. Moral of the story? Just because your journey isn’t the exact one you thought you would be taking doesn’t mean it isn’t the one meant for you.

So, to the girl who feels like she’s in a TJMaxx dressing room, go ahead and wallow for a minute. Wallow in the unsureness, the weirdness, the sadness, the anger, whatever you are feeling. But, after you have accepted and validated your feelings, get up, wipe those tears off your face, and find something good about the spot your in. There is always light in the darkness, there is always joy in the mourning, there is always something good in every day. Open the door, leave the dressing room, and look towards the light, adjusting is all about adapting and appreciating where you are.