It is currently 7 am, and it seems that the coffee that I drank at 11pm is still swirling about in my system. Working off the fuel from my coffee, I finally cleaned out my closet, my room, my sanctuary, my life.
With each article of clothing that I disposed of, was a careful decision made to let go a part of my past that was no longer present.
Like those black fishnet studded tops from Hot Topic— when I realized that I was old enough to make my own decisions and to be whoever I wanted to be. At that time, I got to pick out my own non-comforming clothes…which I had perceived to be an empowering act, even if it happened to be the likes of every other punk-ass teenager. What a significant act of rebellion… I had thought.
That black see-through skirt that I bought on a whim from the clearance section of Urban Outfitters— when I was in high school and was facing new developing feelings that were characteristic of adolescence.
The sparkly counterfeit Louis Vuitton belt that I bought in my first year of college—when I had a job and wanted to show it off to the world through the prestige of wearing a luxury-brand item,… despite its deceit.
Various pastel-pink items that I had obsessively purchased as a way to desperately grasp onto any bit of femininity left within me— when I encountered my first gay experience. I was losing sight of who I was while I was transitioning my perception of myself as another heterosexual feminine female, to a gay female who was confused by all these redefinitions of gender and sexuality in the new queer world that I was suddenly initiated into. Like my first wave of “rebellion” (when I chose to wear all black), pink was my new form of rebellion. My way of reclaiming my femininity and making sense of my new identity.
Tonight I emptied out my closet, despite how ridiculously laborious it would be to put it all back. I was facing more than 20 years of memories that I made, and passing phases that I had experienced with. The room ended up being filled beyond its maximum capacity. There were so many clothes that the only glimpse of the floor was a small glint of light that reflected possibly from a piece of garbage-bound glitter or dust.
There were too many clothes, many that I had barely wore, much less liked. Why did I keep all these clothes? Forget my room, my closet was filling beyond its capacity as well. Every time I opened the closet door, it would spill out clothes that I would later have to forcibly shove back in with my body weight. But this was no surprise tonight. I was aware of the mess, of the memories that my closet store, of all the clothes from my past that I knew I would never wear again. But I never had the strength or energy to face it. I was always too busy, too tired, or simply not in the mood.
…And by “busy”, “tired”, and “not in the mood”, I meant procrastinating on my homework, on my job-search, on the craziness in my closet, by leisurely and mindlessly following pointless sitcoms on Netflix (i.e. How I Met Your Mother).
After dealing with recurring bouts of insecurity that resulted from an unstable perception of my present direction and future vision of my life, I forced myself to deal with the physical and not-so-physical remnants of my past that had been cluttering my present. I spontaneously unleashed the mess brimming from behind the doors… finally uncovering those skeletons in my closet.
But they cannot remain skeletons. My closet is not a coffin for the dead. It is a living storage space that was constantly molding in the direction of the person I desire to be. Thus it was time to turn the skeletons into ashes or resurrect them back into my life.
Which would remain a specter of my past, and which a relentlessly persisting character of my present?