This is a part of the To Love Many Things series, to read about the origins click here.
Tonight I burned my closet to the ground. Okay, not literally, but tonight I removed, folded and bagged the majority of my wardrobe. Clothes that have seen me through so many phases of my life. Clothes that have defined me, shaped me, spoken for me. Clothes that have given me an identity. Tonight I put them in a bag, placed them by the door, and put them to rest.
I’d like to think that tonight I spoke up. Tonight I allowed the present, truest, most authentic version of myself to speak. Clothes aren’t just fabric. They’re not just thread and buttons. Clothes are defining features. They speak volumes about who we are in that moment of time. Rave girl. Strictly business. Sunshine all the time. Clothes allow us to express ourselves without even speaking. Just like my dimples are a signature trademark of who I am, my clothes
tell told the world who I am as a person.
But now, post closet edit, I’m left with a few tops, some leggings, a couple dresses, and a ball of confusion. Without that skirt, I’m not fun. Without that dress, I’m not cute. Without those shorts, I’m not small. Without those clothes I’m naked. Standing there in the middle of my room hoping to God my door isn’t open and my roommates aren’t home. Without them I’m forced to face the world on my own, in my purest, most vulnerable self. Without those clothes, I’m…nothing?
But wait, that can’t be true. I’m still standing here, cold, naked, searching for something to wear. I’m still breathing, living, dressing to go do something. Even if that something is just moving to my couch to marathon 30 Rock for the 12th time, I’m still a person doing a thing.
I’m still a human. I’m still a human with thoughts and feelings and opinions. I’m still a living, breathing soul trying to burst through that door and into the world. Trying to express those thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Trying to find clothes to wear, a shield to protect, a person to be. I’m a human, literally just out here trying to function.
I might not have clothes to wear, but I still want to face the world. I might not have clothes to wear, but I still want to have a voice. I might not have clothes to wear, but I still have love to give, people who care, things I want to do. No mom, I’m not joining a nudist colony, I’ll eventually find clothes, but right now, in this moment I’m learning to wear the skin I’m in.