Since I can remember, I have always loved to purge my clothes. Something odd would inspire me to pull every item of clothing out of my closet and then slowly, put them back, one at a time. Some wouldn’t make the cut. This process sometimes took days to feel finished, moving my clothes from my bed to the floor when it was time to sleep and then back to the bed when I would wake up. Usually when I’m putting my clothes back in the closet I hit a certain spot where I wish that all I had hanging up was all I actually had. A hesitation would overtake me, leaving me to consider throwing the rest of them out. Of course, I loved a lot of the ones that weren’t hanging in the closet at that time so I couldn’t bring myself to part with them. Each time I would trim my closet I would experience that moment and those feelings. The closet seemed so beautiful with so little in it. As I would add more I would start to feel overwhelmed as it became overcrowded. Yet, I still couldn’t part with any of them. There was nothing I could do about it. This also didn’t stop me from buying more clothes and filling all those holes I had just created. Leading me to eventually come to the point where I would clean house, bringing it all onto my bed, prepping the victims for the ultimate hour.
My closet eventually found it’s way to where the clothes that were in it were no longer a collection of clothes I had been hoarding since high school. Over the years I had built a curation of cozy sweaters and perfect blouses that suited who I was now, leaving no room to the clothes of who I was then. I felt I could go to my closet and find something to wear that portrayed the woman I’ve become. This was a big deal for me. For a long time, I felt that I always had nothing to wear. Yet it was because the clothes I had were all bought when I was fifteen, trying to find the balance between a sweater I actually loved and a sweater that would help me fit in. Five years later and my collection of clothes are as much of a contrast of who I was at twenty to who I was at fifteen.
Six years later and I find I have a wardrobe I am proud to say reflects a lot of who I’ve become. However, I also found I didn’t wear a lot of it. This fact was easy to ignore because we had the giant closet to store it in, safely tucking the clothes into the back, kissing them goodnight.
Then we decided to move into a less than 400 square feet apartment. The shit hits the fan. I love that saying, it’s so gross. Anyways, things got real. Suddenly, I had to face all these clothes that I loved but I didn’t wear. Why didn’t I wear them? Why were these so difficult to part with? I picked one up and stared at it, then put it down and did the same with the next one. They had served me well. I had pictures of me wearing these clothes and I looked great. So why hadn’t I worn them in a year?
Then I realized, they were bought as the person I
had wanted to be, not as the person I actually was.
I decided that a lot of the clothes were bought in the same manner as I bought clothes when I was fifteen. I knew that I would fit in if I wore them and therefore saw them as a good investment. I wanted to be this sort of person, this fashionable, well put together kind of person. The only problem was that I actually wasn’t that at all. I’m a hot mess. I wasn’t wearing these pieces because when I would get dressed to go out, I would pick a pretty sweater and some dark jeans and skip over the tight leather pants and the tailored black blazer. The pieces are beautiful but when I wore them I felt fake without my even knowing it. It was why I never reached for them when we would grab drinks with friends. Once I understood why I bought them and what they were to me, it was even more difficult to let them go.
If I were to let them go, I would be letting go the possibility
of ever becoming the kind of woman that throws
on leather pants and a deep white v.
I didn’t want to deal with the thought of embracing who I was. It seems more fun to hope, to reach for something, and way less fun to be content with who you are. These clothes were a subconscious plot to slowly dress myself up and pretend to be this sort of woman. This sort of woman, I admire. She’s brave and full of life. I picture her drinking martinis, having a cute fresh hair cut, false lashes and a really big laugh. She’s wearing black lace up shoes, the leather pants and a deep white v. Her blazer and purse are on a chair. She’s in a bar, telling a story and everyone’s listening. And at the end, she says the punchline and everyone laughs. Much more fun, right?
Instead, and days later might I add, I had to slow down and take some deep breaths. I had already cleaned the house, done the laundry, and crossed everything else off the to do list that I had managed to complete in order to procrastinate this. I closed my eyes and pictured myself sitting in that same bar. No one was around me listening to my stories because I’m really terrible at telling stories and even more terrible at telling jokes. I was sitting at the bar with a book. Yes, true story, I’m the person that brings a book to a bar, gets a drink and reads. Here is this girl, reading a book, sitting cross-legged. She’s got on these shoes, dark skinny jeans, and white comfy sweater. She’s playing with a small pearl on the end of her necklace. Her hair’s down, falling towards the book, curly and a bit crazy. I saw this girl and I smiled. I smiled back at me.
I picked up all the clothes and laid them out. I sat
down and began to sort them into piles.
One for leather pants, one for me.