altI have a confession to make. I am a guy who definitely likes to shop.  When I say shop, I don’t mean random trips to Lowe’s to get door hinges and gas grills – manly consumerism such as that does not tickle my fancy.  To me, shopping connects directly to fashion – shirts, pants, ties, sunglasses, shoes, even underwear. If it’s something that goes on my body, it’s worth my investigation.
For most shop-a-holics, the issue with constantly buying clothes is that you don’t have enough days to utilize them efficiently.  I have a worse problem – I buy new clothes and never wear them at all.
Once clothing go from the store to my habitat, they collect dust in the closet and gain permanent folds from the lack of dresser drawer disruption. My occupations require business attire five days a week, yet I have two untouched suits that I purchased two years ago for such daily occasions. Instead of grabbing my newest stuff, I revert back to my “old faithful” clothing, which is increasingly wearing out its cosmic welcome. So, in predictable “Beautiful Letdown” fashion, I’m analyzing myself in order to uproot the issue, and I think I have an answer.
There comes a point in the morning, when I extend my hand into the abyss I call a closet to look at a new garment. Suddenly, my mind starts rolling through a plethora of future scenarios that may involve a shirt. None of the possibilities are good – they always involve catastrophes such as splattered ketchup, sweat stains that will not come out, or stray ink marks from my Bic Velocity pens. So, instead of allowing myself the excitement of wearing this new garment, I revert back to the comfort of what I know.
Thankfully, I don’t treat life the way I treat clothing. Many of us live very “safe” lifestyles, avoiding fear of the unknown.  When an opportunity that involves stretching ourselves beyond our comfort zone presents itself, we start conjuring up premonitions of what will happen if we agree to this journey.  What if I never love again?  What if I never find a better job?  What if get hurt again?  These thoughts are exactly that – thoughts – dream sequences that can paralyze us into a box of boring.
We must break these nightmares, and experience life without made-up repercussions. We should live to the fullest potential and deal with setbacks as they come, not let the setbacks deter us from pushing the limits.
This week I am breaking out my new clothes – all of them – and if a mustard stain hits my new ringer tee, I will be reminded of a time when, due to a decision I made, life handed me a bunch of awfulness, but I licked my wounds and kept on living.  Then, I will immediately spray “Shout“ on my shirt and wash, warm cycle.

Chris “Ace Nova” Fleming is a 20-something residing in the Highlands-Douglass neighborhood – a young professional moonlighting as your neighborhood blogger. Check out or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with feedback.