Friday, September 9, 2011

"You never know how much shit you have until you have to move it."

That's what people always say, right? And as a person who moves a substantial percentage of her belongings approximately three times a year (oh college life), I thought I'd become quite familiar with how much shit I have. 

But when I was packing yesterday, I decided that I should go through the clothes sitting in my drawers/closet that I hadn't worn in a long time, and I found tops I legitimately hadn't thought about since freshman year, maxi dresses I probably won't ever wear again, shorts that don't fit, sweaters I hate, an old winter coat, tops that I need to stop pretending make a long story short, I filled two trash bags with clothing that can be sent to Goodwill/The Salvation Army. And I'm even having gotten rid of all of that, I'm still bringing a medium-sized suitcase, a small suitcase, two duffel bags, and a garment bag full of clothes with me to school. And on top of all of that, I have a separate (albeit much smaller) 'professional wardrobe' that is staying in a drawer in my dresser at home til interview season rolls around in the Spring.

And [though this should perhaps happen more often] I'm not sure I've ever felt so disgustingly privileged. There was a time in my youth where I thrifted not because thrifting was in, but because my family had to. When exactly did I go from being that girl to a girl who is giving away a sweater from Macy's? Macy's used to be "too rich for my blood." My mom still says that. She also won't own anything white because it'll get too dirty, and I just packed a pair of white pants (No white after Labor Day "rule," you don't OWN ME!) When did I become a person who had the means to revitalize her wardrobe a little bit each year? 

Now don't get me wrong, I love that I can do this. I love that my clothing can continue to reflect my personality as I grow and change and come into my own. But I suppose I'm just realizing right now that my life is full of extraordinary luxuries. Some day the necessities of my life will be less taken care of by the institution(s) in my life and I will have to spend my own money on things like food and keeping a roof over my head. I'm starting the food thing a little this year, even, in preparation. I just, in loving my freedom and ability to wear a different shirt every day for more than a month (probably more than two if I existed in some season-less space where t-shirts, tank tops, and sweaters could be interchanged at will), I also want to recognize how the current circumstances of my life have spoiled me. 

But the most important part about this spoiling, this privilege, is that it demands conscientiousness and responsibility. I just started decluttering my bedroom and will wind up helping somebody take care of some bodies. So the next time you're bored laying around or something, go through your closet/dresser/the mess under your bed and see what is no longer serving you. Let it serve someone else.     

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