STRIPPING: Naked at Last

I’m not quite sure how appropriate that title is…not necessarily because it refers to nudity, but moreso because I don’t “feel” as different as I thought I would after wrapping up my stripping career. Yes, that’s right. Tonight, when the clock strikes twelve, I, Jenni Carlson, will no longer be a Stripper. {click here for the full story}.

Am I supposed to “feel” different? After one year of not buying anything new, constantly battling the desires to purchase even just one shirt with a shiny *new* tag on it, how is one supposed to “feel”? Shrug. Out of all people, I guess I should know.

I know how I felt 6 months ago. Terrible. I wanted to quit, I wanted to look cuter than my limited wardrobe allowed, I wanted to go to Target for a new plastic paperwork organizer, instead of standing at my sink washing out the grimy one I found at a thrift store. I didn’t want to be a stripper anymore. And I almost gave up.

A few months later after re-gaining some purpose in my venture, I was blessed to recieve a FREE couch and chair from someone I hardly knew. And while they are great, the patterns and stains were not going to be attractive to the potential roommates I was to interview. Setting out for the thrift stores, I prayed, Lord I hate to sound vain, but um, any chance you could provide me with matching couch/chair covers? Searching high and low at two stores, I was tired. I had a headache. And I saw Target in the distance. I’m giving up, I thought. I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care. Taking a deep breath, I decided to go home and try to sleep it off. Right before my turn, I passed one last thrift store, sighing as I pulled in. There on the rack was a matching, stain-free, un-faded, did I mention MATCHING? couch/chair slipcovers in a color that perfectly matched my living room. I almost cried…but instead I probably just shouted “BOOYA”, running up to the checkout line.

Moments like that were not rare this year. I look around my home and know that what I have FAR EXCEEDS my needs. I also know that I have lived many years of my life not really knowing the difference between needs and wants. I know that because this year I recieved generosity from others, it has on occasion inspired me to do the same.

Funny how 10 months ago I was tempted to start a savings account where I could basically “binge-buy” new things after my year was up. Funny how 5 months ago I started a list of “new” things that I wanted to purchase when August 8th rolled around. Funny that after one year, I have no desire to binge-buy and the lengthy list is buried under piles of much more important things…and how in 365 days I have lost so much of my internal urgency for things that once felt very important.

Will I buy new things in the future? Heck yes I will. {There is one line that I don’t cross…and that is underwear}. Am I looking forward to a new pair of jeans? I would be lying if I said that my one raggedy pair was all I ever needed in life. Will I be going on a shopping spree tomorrow? Sorry to dissapoint, but I don’t feel any sprees in my future…yet I do feel that this next year will be a truer test of evaluating needs and wants. I do feel that now that the “rules” are gone, I will have choices to make..HARD choices to make.

As I said before, after a year I don’t “feel” any different. My parents and I were talking today about a speaker we heard who said that “Obedience trumps Passion” – basically saying that our society puts so much emphasis on feelings and following our passions. While passion and feelings are good, great and wonderful, often in life we must just OBEY, regardless of what we “feel”.

This is my hope and my prayer as I nervously head into uncharted waters. After completing a year of not buying anything new that was spurred on by passionate feelings in August 2008, I now nervously walk ahead in obedience. It is now my choice what I do in the aisles of Target, the mall, and REI…so friends, with a healthy mixture of fear and hope, I now leave this stripping business.

NOW STOP LOOKING AT ME! I’M NAKED!!!

5 comments On STRIPPING: Naked at Last

  • I think this was a great lesson. And it's one you'll take with you forever!

  • I can totally see how you don't feel a whole lot different now than you thought….if you could go from this date last year to this date today in one moment, THEN you would notice the difference

    the thing you have also proven this year is that perserverence REALLY does change things….we get so use to wanting heart changes and all sorts of other changes in two minutes that we forget about allowing it to take a whole year!!

    I am sooo proud of you!

  • booyah!
    cheers to you!

  • Good job, Jenni! You have a lot of guts. I have great respect for you and this exercise in discipline and self-control. At the very least… it made a lot of us think.

  • I have been wondering!!!! You're naked!! I wondered how you would feel.

    Seriously cheers to you for making it!

    And was the stained couch chips? I thought it was in good shape! too bad.

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