A Farewell to Armoires

I’ve been obsessed with minimalism for the past year or so and now that I finally, FINALLY have my own place (apartment tour, coming soon) I’ve been tearing through my belongings like a child on Christmas morning.

That’s a lie. I’m actually very organized and methodical.

I’ve turned into the polar opposite of that person who just can’t get enough. I just can’t get rid of enough! But one element always stops me in my tracks: sentimentality. One minute I’m KondoMari-ing the sh*t out of my closet and the next I stumble across a t-shirt I wore once and acknowledged it just doesn’t work for me but I just can’t let it go because that one time I did wear it I met someone really cool and if I get rid of it then, obviously, that memory will also disappear.

I’m fairly rational and I know this way of thinking is illogical and could very well lead to a feature on Hoarders, so I’ve come up with a solution. Rather than take photos of the items in question, (honestly, what would I do with a photo of a pair of leggings?) I wrote them obituaries of sorts, before sending them off to find new, loving homes.

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Dearest dancing-cartoon-cat leggings,

I stumbled upon you while killing time at Aeon Mall in Phnom Penh. I had just watched the Minions movie by myself and was feeling a little emotionally vulnerable until you came along. I just had to have you, and your glorious tutu-clad kitty illustrations. Yes, you barely stretched over my thighs despite being size XXL, but I never felt cooler than when I paired you with my knock-off Docs and knit grandma-shawl. I may never be able to say, “I’ll be the girl wearing cartoon-cat leggings,” again, but I’d rather remember our fond times together than my fears of you splitting across my bicycling-enhanced backside. Farewell.

Sweet, sweet gray, off-the-shoulder top,

I know in reality you are merely a cheap, off-season H&M shirt but I found you at Lucky Mall and you became somewhat of a security blanket to me. If I ever felt overly-exposed on a bartending shift, I’d just throw you over my dress. You added comfort to literally every outfit and featured prominently in my first illustrations. I’m honestly having a really hard time letting you go, but our dalliances have grown few and far between because the holes in your shoulder make me nostalgic and you tend to stretch out rather quickly. And you really weren’t meant to be an off-the-shoulder top. I have a narrow upper-body and you are two sizes too big. As I’m writing this I’m realizing you have a lot more cons than pros so I probably shouldn’t be having such a hard time letting you go. Au revoir.

My darling Google/IO t-shirt,

You didn’t really belong to me so by holding on to you I’ve been subconsciously holding on to an ex. You understand why I have to let you go, right? Even though I feel really cool and tech-y when I wear you I didn’t actually go to that conference, so I also tend to feel a tad fraudulent. I just can’t have that type of negatively in my life. Ta.

Beautiful, flowy green dress from Bali,

Let’s be honest, you do not properly cover my bum. While this may have helped with tips back at the bar, in my day-to-day life it’s a bit inappropriate and leaves me feeling exposed. I’m an anxious person and don’t want to add to that anxiety by wearing you. Also, you somehow developed a hole in what little fabric did cover my backside and I’m too lazy to mend it. It seems like yesterday that I snatched you up in Ubud. We had some marvelous times during that week in Bali before you shrunk. I’ll never forget how you enhanced my photos in front of the terraced rice fields. We do have quite a few pictures together. I’ll cherish them the way I cherished you. Go with love.

 

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Dating with Depression: The Unwanted Third Wheel

The following is a piece I wrote for The Mighty, a website that features stories from people overcoming mental illnesses, disabilities, and chronic illnesses. I wanted to highlight what it is like trying to date while keeping your ever-present anxiety and depression in check. You can check out the article here, or read it below.

Hi there,

If you’re reading this, it means I like you. We’ve probably been on a few dates during which I questioned you about your hopes and dreams and your views on cats. You patiently listened to my awkward ramblings and may have even found it adorable. I enjoy spending time with you and would like to continue getting to know you, so I think it’s necessary to disclose I come as a package deal. Anxiety and Depression like to tag along from time to time.

Anxiety likes to stop me mid-story to proclaim I’m being weird and no one really cares about the books I find inspiring or that time I jumped out of a plane. She’ll point out that I’m not interesting on my own and tells me I should order another cocktail, even if I think I’ve had enough. Sometimes Anxiety waits for me to get home then grills me about our date. She likes to hear the play-by-play, making me explain the details. All the while she becomes certain I messed everything up and describes what I should have done instead. Anxiety insists on seeing all of your text messages and makes me rewrite my responses so as not to scare you away by seeming overly eager. She positively can’t understand why you wanted to see me again.

Depression is a bit quieter. He doesn’t particularly like following me around and instead begs me to blow off our plans. Depression doesn’t see the point. He thinks I’m just going to let you down eventually so why lead you on? He can be pretty convincing. His favorite tactic — bringing up all of my failed relationships to prove that I’m really no good at this. Sometimes he will drag himself out of the house but he’s never on time. He’ll show up late, usually while the party is in full swing and just linger in the corner letting his presence dampen the mood. No matter what you suggest, Depression won’t want to do it. He likes to whisper in my ear, telling me you haven’t contacted me today because you think I’m boring.

Sometimes Anxiety and Depression work together. While Depression insists you aren’t interested in me Anxiety rattles of all the worst-case-scenarios. No matter how many possibilities Anxiety makes me consider, Depression always chimes in with the same response, “Why even bother?” Anxiety will wake me up with a bucket of ice water, screaming I’m wasting my life away while Depression sits on my chest, refusing to let me up.

I’m telling you this because even though they are a part of my life they don’t define who I am. I’ve gotten better at standing up for myself and they know they aren’t welcome. But they are persistent. I know, deep down that I’m the same, fun-loving girl who showed up on our first date but occasionally they do get under my skin. I won’t let them scare you away, I’ve gotten pretty good at showing them who’s boss. But still, they do like to show up now and then.

I have the best time at airports…

Last weekend I went to Gatlinburg, TN for a mini-vacation with my family. As my luck would have it, all of my family members were “randomly” selected for TSA Pre-Check for both flights. Everyone except for me…

When we arrived at the airport for our return flight the security officer waved my family through the pre-check line before turning to me, in the plebes’ line.

“I see your family left you,” he stated after noticing my last name matched the three people he just checked through. “You can sue them for that, ya know.”

Then he noticed my super cool, newly purchased shirt: a tank top covered in cats riding pizza slices. He sighed and handed back my ID. “Just take your cats and go.”

Thanks, man.