Letting Go of What We’ve Outgrown in Our Lives & Careers

Inside: What are you holding onto that doesn’t fit anymore? For me, it was a pair of black high heels that taught me an important lesson about embracing growth and change.


I’ve had these black heels for nearly ten years, and for the past five years they have been tucked away in my closet.

There’s nothing fancy about them. I’m fairly certain they were from Payless and according to international standards, I don’t even know if they qualify as “high” heels.

These shoes were my trusty sidekick for many years though, and I wore them to work regularly before having kids. They went well with my TJMaxx shirts, Express dress pants, and my youthful sense of equilibrium.

Then I had kids, and my heels stayed in the bottom of a drawer at the office and then went into the closet at home. With motherhood, I transitioned my work shoes from heels to some very practical flats that went easily from car, to work, to daycare pickup, to chasing a small child through a parking lot.

But year after year, donation bag after donation bag, I held onto the heels anyway. Just in case.

Just in case I became someone who wore heels again.

Just in case I wanted to revisit my youth.

Just in case I missed the old me and wanted her back.

That didn’t happen.

Heel lady was cool and all, but I’m digging this grounded, practical, and comfortable version of me.

So as I finalized plans for making some big exciting transitions in my career this summer, I realized I could do exactly what I loved to do without these heels on my feet or even in my closet and it was time for them to go.

Before putting the heels into the bag though I noticed something minor that was actually quite profound.

These shoes don’t even fit anymore.

Not in a “they don’t fit my lifestyle” way, they quite literally don’t fit.

With each pregnancy, my feet grew just a bit, and one even grew a whole size. (Yes, just one. Because womanhood is fun.)

So here I was hanging onto a pair of heels that I couldn’t squeeze my now size 11s into even if I tried. If I did I would look like a very unstable Barbie doll if Barbie also wore sweatpants and oversized gray blanket sweaters from Amazon.

As you can imagine, all this got me thinking about holding onto things that don’t fit, and how often we do that without even noticing.

Maybe in the midst of this swirling, whirling world of motherhood, we could all use a reminder to clean out the closets of our minds, hearts, and career paths and double-check to see what still fits. And maybe we need a reminder that it’s okay if something doesn’t fit anymore. More than okay actually.

It fit once, it served us well, and now with time, growth, and change it simply doesn’t.

It’s in the recognizing that we give ourselves the gift of moving on.

You might feel a slight tinge of nostalgia or even a deep feeling of loss as you say goodbye to a piece of you that you’ve outgrown, but that feeling will pass.

And when you look back on that goodbye, I don’t think that you’ll even really miss your high heels.

Remember, after all this time, they didn’t fit you anyway.

Read More on Working Motherhood:

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21 Inspiring Working Mom Quotes to Give You a Boost

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