Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Letting things go

Yesterday, I did something that I had been putting off doing for a very, very, very long time.  Before I tell you just what I let go of, I need to give you some serious back-story on my pathology.

I don't let go of things.  Emotionally, spiritually, or physically.  I hold on to good things and bad things for a very long time.  This has been the case with me for my entire life.  It makes living in a 2 bedroom apartment very cramped when you have this problem.  In fact, we have 2 extra storage closets, plus a garage for storage, just to accommodate some of my excess.  It's embarrassing.  What do two people in their late 20's need with all of this stuff?

I think most of you know by now that I was involved in Mary Kay Cosmetics as an Independent Beauty Consultant for a couple of years.

What you don't know is that my involvement with that organization caused me to make some really bad decisions.  I allowed myself to go into a lot of debt, simply so that I could buy enough product to win the prizes and impress my Sales Director.  I believed the people around me when they told me that by "investing" in all of this product, I was setting myself up for success.  That I could, and would be one of the next sales directors to spring from my unit, earning a good amount of money, all while working from home on my own schedule.

This was the car that I was convinced I was going to earn in no time, the Chevy Equinox Crossover.  I had pictures of this car all over my apartment, keeping my eye on the prize.

You know what though?  As it turned out, Mary Kay wasn't the right path for me.  I had known it for a long time.  I knew that working for myself was really, really hard, and that I wasn't ready for it.  I wasn't able to pay my credit bills for my product with my sales, and so instead I started using my personal money to cover the costs.  What happened after that was a complete landslide into debt.  It's something that I've been very reticent to talk about, even 3 years later.  I am still paying for those poor choices.

And until yesterday, I still had about $3,000 worth of product sitting in a storage closet.  Yes, $3,000.  Conservative estimate, could've been more.  I had been wanting to donate it to a Women's shelter for ages.  And yet, I couldn't let go of it.  I was hoarding it, holding it, assuming that maybe someone would want something, or I could give it as gifts, or something.  I don't quite know.  I do know that every time I saw that stack of product, I felt a deep sense of failure.  It wasn't bad enough to have to look at my bills every month and see how far I'd gotten off track, I also had physical, tangible reminders of my biggest financial mistake.  Yesterday, I let it all go.  I saved a few products I still loved, and took the rest to an organization that helps battered women.  After dropping it off, I texted Ammon to let him know what I had just accomplished.

He asked me how I felt.

I felt terrified.  I still feel terrified as I write this.  Because now I really have to cut my losses and move on.  The physical reminder of failure is gone.  Yes, the financial reminder is still there, and it probably will be for a while.  But I'm one step closer.

I've been hoarding these feelings about this all for a very long time.  I felt ashamed, and I worried that I would be judged harshly for my choices.  I have already been judged for my choices by people.  I have judged myself.   I'm realizing now that the only way to move past these emotions is to admit to them, and to talk about them.  If people want to judge me, that's on them, I guess. 

So now, as someone who doesn't let go of things well, I ask for your advice.  How do you move past failure?  How do you let go of thoughts, emotions, and possessions that are holding you back?


  1. Make mistakes and take the risks while you are young. I know this is hard, I've made some extremely poor decisions myself and I spent the last year living off nothing so I could pay for those bad decisions. But now it's over girl!! You can only go up and learn :)

  2. Kristen I am so proud of you! Seriously. I can't imagine how hard this was for you. But you did a good thing. Holding on to that stuff was just a constant reminder of a different time in your life. You may still be paying for it but I'm sure you've learned from it. That's all that matters. Move on. Don't even give those products another thought. We ALL make decisions that we shouldn't have. That's life. We will continue to make the wrong decision for the rest of our lives. We are human. Hold you head up my friend! You are moving on to bigger and better things! Love you!!

  3. I think this is a huge step in "moving past the failure". I think acknowledging it is part one, then letting it go is the part two.
    Remind yourself that you are human and you will make mistakes, and know that it's okay. Beating yourself up won't get you anywhere... I'm learning that it's aaaaall about being gentle with yourself instead.

    I've made my fair share of mistakes... and I'm learning to just say "Okay. That happened. What's next?"

    Look forward to the future. Get a new prize to post around everywhere. Living in the past will only keep you in the past.

  4. I had two semesters of school right in a row where i failed every class because I just didn't care. But ever since I wake up every morning and am so ashamed of the thousands of dollars I wasted, how far I set myself back in school and how much I hurt my GPA. I am still trying to figure out how to deal with that failure. Like, why didn't I just take a break from school? That would have done so much LESS damage.

    I feel ya girl.
    Failure sucks.

    What sucks more is I have no idea how to get passed it. ha!

  5. I'm so proud of you for doing this! Not that I don't fail at LOTS of things each and every day, but I can relate to something like this on a smaller scale. Buy a pair of pants, end up not liking them/they don't fit right. Let them sit and sit and sit until you can't return them any longer, and you lose the money you spent on them. Let them lay around even longer and keep trying them on, hoping that magically they'll fit the way you want them to, until you finally box them up and donate them. Getting rid of stuff like that is a great thing, because the constant reminder is no longer there to haunt you. Now other people can still enjoy them!

  6. Oh honey, my heart hurts for you. And I totally know how you feel. You move on one day at a time. And you stop talking negatively about it to yourself. It's ok... you are ok. And I'm soooooo proud of you for getting rid of the product and donating it to a lovely cause. It's important to ruminate, at times, on the lessons you've learned. But not to stew, not to let them fester. To share, to acknowledge, to overcome. You'll be fine. And you can totally text me anytime if you want to talk about it. And our semi-regular google hangouts....

  7. No judgement here, girl! We all make mistakes. Every one of us. You just made the biggest step forward you can. It just takes time.

  8. Just found you through the browse. such an interesting post. I have been thinking about getting into direct sales and I think it's very very hard to succeed. I don't think you failed. You will move past it!

  9. I am TERRIFIED of failure. Terrified. I am so terrified of it that if I even THINK I'm going to fail at something I quit. How icky is that? To not even be sure if I'll succeed or fail and instead I turn into a quitter.

    I don't think you failed. I think that you took a risk that didn't pan out, realized it wasn't for you and now you're moving on. I think that staying on that path and not admitting it wasn't for you would have been way worse.

    I applaud you. Here's to moving forward.

  10. I know what you mean. Soemtimes it's hard to start things because you're afraid of failure, but other times it's hard to end them because you're afraid of the failure being real...forever. That is so great that you donated it all. I know the financial aspects will be a reminder, and sometimes it's good to have a reminder, but I hope that you'll be able to feel lifted from the release of that burden. All you can do now is move forward.


    We all make mistakes. Some people's mistakes are financial (heck, I know I've had a few of my own), some are physical, and some are spiritual or emotional. You know what, though?! That's how we learn. I bet that you learned a heck of a lot about yourself with this experience. You know what else? You are awesome for being able to put yourself out there and take that step towards overcoming your fears of failure. Go you.

  12. I'm so very glad that Krysten (Why Girls are Weird) sent me here.

    Listen. We are ALL guilty of having mistakes and baggage in our past. Sometimes it's hard to escape and we carry the reminders with us for several years. Eventually they begin to grab hold of our emotions and they suffocate us. That is, what I think, what was happening with you and your garage with these reminders of your past. The fact that you cleaned out house is absolutely 100% HUGE. You should give yourself a great big pat on the back, because that? Is totally awesome. You're one step closer to walking away from that chapter in your life!

    Best of luck to you, girl.


I love comments! Please let me know how you feel, and make sure I have a way to get back with you, so we can be friends :-)