Cleaning Out the Closet

I have surrendered.  The suitcases are getting filled…very slowly. As much as I wanted to put it off, I have more peace in being prepared for the next phase of life than in trying to hold on to this one.  In a sense you could say I’m past the denial stage and on to the acceptance stage. Why does moving on become so much more grievous with age? You would think that after experiencing so many changes we would welcome them.  It’s therapeutic in a way.  Making a decision about what I’m taking and what is staying puts things in perspective.  The sundresses that gave me so much comfort during these hot summer days are getting pushed to the side as I’m reaching for the long-sleeve Oxfords that are going to be getting plenty of wear this fall.  It forces me to prioritize,  summer is for comfort, cool and easy; flip-flops and dresses.  School is for warmth and fashion; tights, pencil skirts and heels.

The suitcases are getting fuller every time I look at them (is “fuller” a word?).  Filled with clothes I forgot I had at that. How clothes get forgotten is beyond me, especially when I consider the size of my closet.  It’s even worse when I consider the size of the closet I have to move into.  How do they expect us to fit 9-months worth of heavy winter coats and clothes into a ridiculously small wardrobe and two drawers? Must be some part of the college experience.  A lesson in gratitude and making due with what you have.  It’s like that first day of freshman year when I came in with four suitcases worth of things I “couldn’t possibly live without” into a small room I was going to be sharing with three other people.  Sophomore year I came with a little more wisdom and a better set of priorities.  Now I’m a junior and I’m going for the minimalist way, what are my basic needs? It’s what I keep asking myself as I throw things into the college pile.

Little by little it’s getting done. Just like this college degree, one step at a time. Just like life.

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Nerd is the New Chic

I have an inner-nerd.  That said, it does not necessarily mean I’m smart, it means I’m one of those sick people who enjoy academic torture.  I guess I am not surprised, it was the way my parents raised me.  I wasn’t given toys as a child; I was given books and puzzles.  I spent some of my summers at camps for “gifted children.”  I watched Jeopardy every night.  I was literally raised to be a nerd.

I’m not ashamed.  I still love to read and watch Jeopardy every chance I get.  I mean I don’t wear coke-bottle glasses and study quantum physics in my free time. I never enjoyed science fiction or Lord of the Rings.  I hated math and science in school.   I guess I’m just not that kind of nerd.  I do love book stores though. I relish in long days, sipping iced-coffee and indulging in literature.  It’s a rewarding experience.  I really don’t understand people who don’t enjoy that.  Who knows? Someday maybe I’ll have a big library in my house with a comfy chair, a cat and a rainy/overcast landscape outside my window.  That is so cliche! I guess it takes a sort of solitude to enjoy that, and not everyone enjoys being alone.

I’m willing to bet that everyone has an inner-nerd. Some thing enjoyable that could be seen by others as geeky or weird. I think it’s time to stop hiding it. Face it, if  nerdy wasn’t cool people wouldn’t buy fashion glasses (I still don’t understand that because I actually wear real glasses HA). We all want to be different, it’s human nature to fight against conforming, we all want to be seen as individuals.  Let’s all just flaunt our weirdness!

The Listology of Autumn

I don’t have favorites.  I think in lists:  “My Top 10  All-Time Favorite Movies”,  “5 Things I Would Bring to a Deserted Island”,  “10 Places I Want to See Before I Die” etc.  Point is,  I list things.  If you read my last post you are aware that I am not quite ready for Summer to end just yet.  So….I decided to psyche myself up by thinking of ten things that I love about fall.

  1. A New Start.  I love starting over:  school, life, job, relationships (you get the idea.) Every new school year we are guaranteed that.  A new beginning. Last year, last semester, the summer, it’s all in the past.  All that matters is the present and the future and what you bring to it.
  2. The Weather.  I know, I know, I always talk about being a California girl and soaking in the perpetual sunshine under a palm tree, BUT there is a world out there with more than one season!  One thing I have learned to enjoy is the feel of Autumn air. It’s cold, crisp and refreshing.  I go on walks around the lake just to breathe it in.
  3. Sweaters! Yes. Random I know, but I have a lot of them.  I don’t ever get to wear them.  It’s never quite cool enough to be a sweater day.  Especially when I’m only home for the summer.  So there they lay, in my closet, waiting to be worn.  I love how versatile they are.  They can be dressed up or dressed down so easily. I am all about easy outfits 🙂
  4. The People. I realize that people came after sweaters.  Well, sometimes sweaters are easier to deal with than people?  I do love people and especially that first week back.  I love everyone.  I get so happy to see familiar faces that I find myself throwing my arms around girls that I claimed “got on my nerves”.  I just want to see everyone, hear what everyone has been up to.  Catch up.
  5. Thunderstorms! If there’s one thing Indiana can do well is bring on a great thunderstorm.  I love it. Whether I’m inside or outside doesn’t matter. The sound of thunder excites me!  It’s my God loves me sign. When I see that bright flash across the sky I don’t really know what else I’m supposed to think of.  My God did this, what can yours do?
  6. Scarves, Layering, accessories. I like the way scarves look. They are easy to throw on when I can’t find a necklace to match.  Problem is I feel ridiculous sporting one in this heat. The practical use of a scarf aside from garnishing an outfit is to keep the neck warm. Here I can assure you I have no problem with that.  I don’t really need to be kept warm at all.  The sun takes care of that very well thank you.
  7. Dressing up again. All summer I’ve thrown my hair back (before I got it cut anyway) and threw on some flip-flops and I was ready to go.  No make-up, no jewelry, nothing.  The natural plain-Jane look flies here. I don’t mind it…it’s just that after a while I feel so bleh.  I miss getting ready because it made me feel like I had somewhere to go. Doing my hair, picking outfits and accessories, I enjoy it, I miss it.
  8. Dark Nails.  Summer is definitely not the time to bring out the EMO polish. For some reason in autumn I can paint my nails black and no one thinks anything of it. No one rushes over to pull my sleeves up in search of cuts or digs through my drawers for dark poetry. Everyone is in darker colors. It’s acceptable 🙂
  9. The Trench Coat!!:) I had wanted one for such a looong time. Khaki, double-breasted, belted and knee-length, and guess what my mother bought me just the other day? I was so excited! It’s so versatile, so timeless. I’m in love. I open my closet door just to look at it sometimes. To make sure it’s still there. I’m kidding of course. Or am I?
  10. The Leaves.  I never knew leaves could take on so many different colors.  It’s the visual symphony of nature. Our last glimpse of beauty before it takes on a snowy blanket for who knows how long. I remember on Sunday mornings looking down the streets in Chicago and seeing how the trees on both sides seemed to naturally frame these tunnels. The leaves falling over cars and the side walk. I don’t know how to explain it, but I loved it. I looked out the window every week of Autumn in search of that glimpse of picturesque suburbia.

Saying Goodbye to Summer

When I was younger, I would never admit it, but I looked forward to those final days of summer.  I couldn’t wait for school to start.  I remember running up and down the aisles of Office Depot in search of the perfect three-ring binder, dozens of mechanical pencils, that one ink pen that would glide across pages with ease and of course notebooks.  Yes, I was that nerdy child that had all the tabs in my binder labeled by hour and the first week of outfits planned in the middle of July.  I miss her.  As the years have gone by I’ve lost touch with her.

September is getting closer everyday and two suitcases lay on my bedroom floor.  Empty.  I just want to savor every last minute of summer:  spending my days poolside with an iced coffee in hand, looking at my feet and seeing flip flops and toe rings and not nylons and heels, and getting in cars with friends and just driving for the sake of driving. Maybe I feel that beginning to pack those suitcases is a type a surrender, an acknowledgment that this freedom isn’t permanent.  That like all good things, it has an end.

When I get like this I have to remind myself that if life were one perpetual lazy summer, we would tire of it and grow bored.  To that I say ” I grew up in Southern California where it is forever summer!” Haha.

On a more serious note, I accept that moving on and letting go is a part of life. We have to enjoy the moments while we have them and make memories while we can. Time stands still for no one. Carpe Diem!

Summer to me: feeling the sand and ocean under my feet:)