Plummer Cobb is a writer and communications consultant based in Arlington, Texas.

Letting Go

It’s an old t-shirt. Not so old as to be unwearable, and although old t-shirts can be the best things ever when they’re soft and comfortable like this one, it doesn’t really fit him all that well any more. He’s lost weight since he bought it, and now that he’s wearing more fitted clothes, it seems a bit too big on him and is out of sync with the way he wears his clothes now. Not enough that people might say, “Man, that shirt really doesn’t look good on him” but enough that it isn’t terribly flattering, and although he might be willing to wear it to the store, or to sleep in, or when hanging around the house on the weekends, he doesn’t believe it looks good on him.

Like some of his other old clothes, however, he sometimes wears it anyway because he finds himself feeling hey, I have this old t-shirt, I should still wear it so that I don’t wear out any of my good clothes, which he knows is a stupid feeling to have since he has plenty of good clothes that look better on him and are of better quality than the clothes he used to buy (back before he lost the weight and didn’t have a solid enough income to actually buy better clothes). And his newer clothes actually feel as good on him as — or better than — any of his older clothes (like the t-shirt in question). Still, he wears the older clothes, not because he likes to, but because he feels he needs to wear them to justify their space in his closet, even if he can’t explain why he’s keeping them in the first place. They’re just there, and even their mere existence has a certain momentum.

He tosses the old t-shirt into the plastic bag he plans to take to the donation bin, and a tiny, almost imperceptible weight lifts off of him. It isn’t much, but if you can’t let go of the little things, how can you ever expect to let go of the bigger things?

Author’s Note: I used to struggle to get rid of stuff and let things go. I’m getting better at it.

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