my goal this summer was to start at one end of the house and clean every single inch to the other end, until i had completely decluttered this house. i could visualize it and everything. i expected to finish it by the end of june, having the rest of my break to lounge around in a clean house, like how it was the first few years i lived here, without a care in the world. however, as the last week of june pulls up, i’m sadly not even 1/5 of the way done! i’m still stuck in my room, and my goals of clutter-free areas live on in my head.
i realized that what is taking me so long (besides the fact that i tell myself, “i need a break!” and then never ever return to the task for the rest of the day) is that each object has a story. and as i pick up each thing and decide whether to chuck or keep, i can’t help thinking about the story behind the object, which leads me off to daydream land. i wish i could be as unfeeling as some people are (particularly my brother-in-law) who don’t have any feelings of sentimentality towards anything. they just go through and see stuff and chuck it straight into the trash–never mind your child made it for you, never mind it was from an ex-love, never mind that it means something to someone, that it’s important, that it has value. it’s gone. it’s kinda sad, but i am realizing that’s how i have to be in order to reach my goal.
i am currently going through my closet. i have made 3 piles–one to keep, one to donate, and one to trash because it’s too tattered or stained to donate. so far, i am about 2/3 of the way through my closet, and my donate and keep piles are about the same height. however, it is hard for me to turn something over to the donate pile. i mean, all of those in the donate pile are clothes i could never wear again–either i can’t fit them, or they are maternity, or they just don’t fit my lifestyle any more. i don’t know why it’s hard to put them in the pile since i know someone else could make better use of them. but as i hold each item of clothing, i finger it and remember…
…this was the maternity top i was wearing when i returned to school after the summer break, and although i was showing a little by the time summer started, by the time we came back to school, i was pretty huge. i just remember the shocked looks of my grade level, as i hadn’t told them before summer break that i was expecting, since i had had several disappointment before. how was i to know that this one would ‘take’? so i didn’t say anything except to my best friend, who knew since i was 2 months along, but kept my secret, and my boss, whom i only just informed on the last day before break. i didn’t get to tell anyone else, because when it was safe to do so (meaning the baby had a chance of surviving, even if it was early) we were already on break. well, we did have a workshop that summer where my whole grade level was there, but we didn’t get to sit together because dummy me never got the message that there was a change in the location of the workshop. i went to the original place and waited and waited and waited, until finally calling and asking what happened. it turns out the workshop was at another school, about 20 miles away! eeesh! and what’s worse, is that i got lost trying to find the school. so by the time i got to the workshop, it was 10 (it started at 8:30), and in my embarrassment, i just took the first empty seat i could find, which happened to be with another school. but the thing was, all the people at that school could easily tell i was pregnant (even chastising me for having a due date that is not favorable for those in my profession 🙄 — hey, we *tried* but obviously there was a different plan for us). so i thought that my co-workers would’ve easily seen it, too. especially since at lunch, i went over to sit with them. but, apparently, they didn’t notice, because i just remember their faces when i showed up on that first day back, with my big belly. 😦 they were shocked and a little bit hurt that i hadn’t told them. i felt so bad.
…this was the dress i was wearing on my first date with a good friend. we were pretty good friends, and then he had to return home (he was only here for college). but while back home he said he couldn’t stop thinking about me and was missing me bad. we had written to each other often, both email (daily) and snail mail (weekly), and even sending recorded letters on cassette tapes–remember those?? i loved getting letters from him–he knew how to write in a way that melted my heart, and he wrote often. who doesn’t like getting mail? i loved it and had to admit i was falling for him, as he professed his feelings for me. so when we–well, i (i needed much more convincing on the topic, after being burned before)–finally agreed to take the next step forward, he hopped on a plane and came back. and i remember him coming off the plane, looking around for me, and when he spotted me, he had the biggest smile–he ran over and picked me up and hugged me so tightly. but then it got totally awkward! we were friends before, and we didn’t know how to all of a sudden make the transition to more-than-friends. i remember us just kinda standing there awkwardly until finally he reached out his hand, and i hesitatingly took it, and then we started off, as now boyfriend and girlfriend. we went out to dinner that night, our first “date” as boyfriend and girlfriend, which was *so* awkward. but, yes, i was wearing that dress. i could never wear it now–it’s too young for me, quite short and fitted–but i had a *hard* time putting that dress in the donate pile. sigh.
…the outfit i wore on one of my interviews. gosh, that interview was torture. i had been on quite a number of interviews before, but i remember this one because after he shook my hand and i sat down, all he said was “you have 30 minutes. tell me about yourself.” what??? do you know how hard it is to talk about myself for even five minutes–i have to talk for *thirty*? i had my answers all prepped for “why do you want to work here?” and “what would make you a good candidate for this job?” but instead, it was just–“tell me about yourself. i’m not going to say a word for 30 minutes–it’s your time to talk.” MAN OH MAN. that totally threw me off. i hemmed and hawed and stumbled over words as i tried to organize thoughts in my head. it was horrible. or, so i thought. i somehow managed to charm him enough, i guess. ha! but i remember that outfit because i felt kinda sassy almost, wearing it, and i guess it helped me exude a confidence that had impressed him, for some odd reason. 😛
…the dress i wore for one of our concerts. i will never fit into that again! but i remembered all the practices we would go through, doing the same songs over and over and over–gosh, the dedication i had back then! wow! the only thing that gets my dedication like that now is my cafe on facebook. i remember the nervousness before and the relief after the performance. i remember the cheering and supportive audience, and the congratulatory hugs. i remember the vaseline on my teeth and the lāʻī pinned near my heart. so many memories.
and this is how i was! with every piece of clothing! oh! remember this? and oh my gosh, i still have this? and on and on and on. i found dresses from the various performances i did, my letterman sweater from high school, cute little floral dresses i wore a lot when i was in college, eeyore and pooh tops that are so faded from heavy use, a few…ahem…lacy little numbers i wore strictly for my boyfriends, my first practice skirt for hula, the various designs of shirts over the years for my workplace, outfits of all different sizes and shapes and colors that reflect my life throughout the sixteen and a half years i’ve lived here. i have a heap of memories that i feel like i’m giving away, but i can’t realistically hold on to these material things. they’ll just have to stay up in my brain, to be pulled out on a day when someone walks by with a piece of clothing that looks oddly familiar…hmm.
all right. enough wasting time–back to my sorting.