Pallet Ingenuity

I’m spending tonight on a little pallet of pillows on the floor, and it is reminding me of that night I had in Japan, where we had all only just moved to Japan, and so, when I spent the night at a friend’s apartment, she had to make me a pallet out of her clothes, since there was nothing else to use for sleeping on the hard, wood-like floor.

We got creative and resourceful, and it was great.

ūüėõ

Post-a-day 2018

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Baby steps, again

I feel frustrated, so I’ll just share my list of goals to accomplish for tomorrow before 2:00-ish PM.

For tomorrow, anyhow, my goal is to hang up as much hanging clothing as is now possible in the closet space I cleared out the other week; then finish filling my dresser with clothes; fill out and send the online requests for recommendations for my grad school app; and then, hopefully, start clearing off space on the table desk, so I can start using it soon.

I have to write two-ish essays for my application.

Post-a-day 2018

Clothing

We went to the Oscar de la Renta exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts today.  Inside the exhibit, a display said that Oscar de la Renta deigned his clothes so that they would inspire women.  I certainly was inspired looking at the outfits alone РI was filled with some kind of hope, delight.  And now, afterward, I want, more than ever, to make my own clothes.  And I want to have a cape on at least one dress.  If he did it, then I definitely am allowed to do it, right?  I want capes and cloaks.

Post-a-day 2017

Cultural Pants with Mom

Have you ever gotten creative with your clothing? ¬†I certainly have. ¬†Tonight was just an average ‘work with what you’ve got’ kind of night with clothes. ¬†For tomorrow, I’d chosen to wear an Indian tunic – I think the actual name might be¬†kurta, but I’m not sure. ¬†However, I don’t have any pants or leggings that really go with the colors of it, and black is totally not an option, because its bright colors are just too happy for black.

So, I asked my mom if she had any leggings or pants I could wear with the top. ¬†At first, she brought me Vietnamese yellow pants, which almost look Indian, but the color combined with the style was just not passable. ¬†The tunic is a sort of reddish pink, with orange and green embroidery and stitching. ¬†Bright yellow, baggy pants just weren’t the look I was going for. ¬†I wanted the focus to be the top, not the bottoms. ¬†I will wear said pants, however, on a different occasion, you can be sure.

After checking greens and purples, all to no avail, my mom brings in a skirt that is the exact color of the green embroidery and stitching of the tunic. ¬†The fabric is different, but the color is darn near exact. ¬†“But it’s a skirt,” I declared and repeated, somewhat laughing. ¬†I tried it on. ¬†My mom said it looked all right, but it totally was not the look I’d wanted. ¬†‘This is what we call “cultural¬†confusion”… ¬†I was going for “cultural¬†fusion.”‘

We both laughed and stared at the perfect match of color and utter clash of styles.

And then I saw it. ¬†“Aha!” ¬†I bent over and grabbed the center of the skirt, both the front and back of it, through my legs. ¬†As I stood up, my mom knew exactly what I was doing.

Five minutes later, we had it. ¬†I eventually had to take it off and turn it inside out to make it all balance properly, but we knew it would work after the second knot I made while still wearing it. ¬†We tied the skirt in a few places in the center to give the illusion of one type of traditional Indian pants (think Indian yoga pants), and it worked marvelously. ¬†No, they don’t look exactly like the real thing, but they do look like what I’d wanted: cultural fusion and fabulous.

I wonder how it will go off tomorrow, in a world of latino heritage. ¬†I look forward to the opportunity to respond to something like, ‘Cool pants!’ with a, ‘Oh, thanks. ¬†I’m not wearing any.’ ¬†Or something silly like that. ¬†We’ll see. ¬†Whatever the case, though, I’ll be in an outfit that I love and that has been created with love from me and my mom. ¬†I think that’s the best part, as usual, of course.

 

P.S. ¬†I’ll see if I can get a photo of it all tomorrow at some point.

P.P.S. ¬†Okay, so it turned out that I wore the yellow pants to bed, because it was so cold, and they were soft and comfortable. ¬†Not what I’d had in mind when I considered wearing them soon, but oh, well… ¬†ūüėõ

Post-a-day 2017

My very own “Pretty Woman” scene

You know the iconic shopping scene in “Pretty Woman”, where Julia Roberts tries on loads of fabulous outfits, and it just plain looks like a photo shoot? ¬†Right, well, if you don’t, I suggest you get on that cultural tidbit, because it’s fabulous. ¬†Anyway, so I remember a Cameron Diaz film having a sort of spoof on the scene, and, though I was somewhat unimpressed by the scene, I noticed a sense of something nigh to jealousy… envy with a little something more. ¬†I want to do what they were doing. ¬†I want to have my own BFF fake photo shoot at the clothing store, trying on amazing outfits, my subconscious cried.

And I’ve always remembered that, though I’ve never remember to¬†do anything about the silent wish I’d had that day. ¬†Tonight, as I was thinking of this one particular store where my family has shopped occasionally for most of my life, – it’s a discount outlet-type high-end clothing etc. store – I recalled a particular jacket that my cousin and I loved. ¬†And then I remembered how we had both put one on in the store, and taken photos together. And then, like a rush of memory, I recalled a whoosh of different pieces we all had tried on together, and the loads of photos we took. ¬†We had done our own “Pretty Woman” clothing store photo shoot, and I hadn’t even noticed. ¬†Why? ¬†Because we were just being ourselves. ¬†We were attempting to recreate something we’d seen elsewhere. ¬†We were just doing our own thing, being silly and fancy with high-end discount clothing etc. and having a wonderful time.

How cool is that?  I had hoped one day to copy the scene in my real life, but knew that it would be always that: a copy.  Instead, I got the real deal, and we had an actual spontaneous in-shop clothing photo shoot together.  Wicked.  I love life.  And family.  Especially family.

Post-a-day 2017

Sexy, not Sex

I think that I am afraid of being sexy, due to the risk of falling under the description of “sexual”. ¬†I believe that there is a time and a place for sexy, and that it is an appropriate way to present oneself in the world… just not¬†myself. ¬†Or do I believe it acceptable? ¬†…Yes, I do. ¬†Sexy, not sexual, is entirely acceptable in my book, given the appropriate time and place. ¬†As a teacher at school, no. ¬†As someone at a dinner event, yes. ¬†Being “hot” is not off limits to me, and yet I believe there is something deep inside of me that is terrified of it. ¬†Of being it, I mean.

Perhaps I merely fear that it would be interpreted as a call for sexual intercourse, therefore not only labelling me as “slutty”, but also attracting unwanted advances by men toward that unintended message. ¬†I want to be sexy, because I¬†can be sexy, not because I want sex. ¬†I want to have the body, because I¬†can have the body, and I find the body entrancingly beautiful. ¬†I don’t want it for some man, but for myself and for myself alone. ¬†However, I do not want to have to hide it, to keep it only to myself and to avoid allowing others to notice. ¬†I want to be able to go into public with it, because it is part of who I am, and I need not be ashamed of it. ¬†Just as I have gone into public in my pajamas or with a towel in my hair, I want to be able to go out dressed in “sexy”: comfortably.

Yet where is that distinction between sexy and sexual for me? ¬†i would say that it is intention, but I do not feel safe in such a distinction. ¬†I do not want to have sex with the people around me, and I do not want them to attempt to or want to have sex with me. ¬†But I am still terrified that I will come across that way. ¬†Really, though, I must be kidding myself a bit here – I fear this regularly, not just when I dress up or want to dress up. ¬†I have this fear present simply in the way I walk or the clothes I wear daily. ¬†I envy the way some women dress, and cannot consider my actually wearing the same outfit… even though it is beautiful on them, and likely would be on me, too. ¬†Why? ¬†Because of this inner terror of coming across as sexual and desiring something specific (i.e. sex) from those around me.

What’s with me? ¬†Is this really all just tied to one incident of things been utterly misunderstood about me? ¬†I’d like to think that the one incident doesn’t have such power, if any, over me still today. ¬†I’m not so sure, though. ¬†I will consider this actively over the coming days and weeks…

Post-a-day 2017

 

As though in response to this post from last night, the world presented me with this article tonight, from a pile of my old papers through which I was sorting.

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Making space in my life

Today, I spent almost an hour going through clothes, organizing, folding, and putting them away into a dresser, etc., as well as going through four boxes of books and organizing them better and putting them onto a bookshelf.  I have two new small sections of floor visible in my room.


That’s a message I just sent to my brother. ¬†Tomorrow onward, I have to spend at least 15 minutes each day, doing cleanup/clean-out in my bedroom and/or bathroom, six days a week. ¬†I am reporting the completed tasks to one of my brothers each day.

This has been one of the most difficult things in my life, moving to a near-minimalist lifestyle.  We have this bit in our DNA, in our blood, that has us sit as though we need hoarding in our lives.  My brothers and I have been intent on freeing ourselves from its grasp.  I am the youngest, and have spent the most time with the family who exudes the gene so obviously, so I am the last to reach my own breaking point РI will live free of this.  Now, I am simply dealing with my own laziness and exhaustion after a full day of work.

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t able to get rid of things. ¬†I had clothing, among other things, that I did not want to wear. ¬†And yet, I could not get rid of it. ¬†Today, I noticed that, if the cashier girl had complemented my bracelet, I would have offered it to her willingly. ¬†And this isn’t just any bracelet – it’s one of the natural stone bracelets that I made. ¬†I¬†love these bracelets. ¬†It is as though I am two different people in these two scenarios. ¬†The difference was what happened one day in my apartment.

I was looking around at my colorful explosion of clothing all over my wall bedroom floor. ¬†I enjoyed the color and the explosion at first, but I’d wanted it to go away after, at most, an hour…, and it hadn’t, and I knew it wouldn’t. ¬†I didn’t even have enough space to store all of the clothes around me, so putting them away just wasn’t an actual option. ¬†After some amount of time, I found myself crying, sobbing, really. ¬†I don’t want this stuff, I cried to myself passionately,¬†so why can’t I get rid of it? ¬†And then the revelation hit me: I would be wasting my mom’s hard-earned money.

My mom was a mom initially, once she started having children. ¬†After she and my dad split up, she had to take on a more full-time work schedule, on top of being a mom. ¬†And she was a massage therapist, so her work was physical labor. ¬†I grew up knowing that the money she earned took a good amount of effort. ¬†It kind of was “hard-earned money”. ¬†And, for me, if I ever were to get rid of something, I felt to my core that I was wasting my mom’s efforts. ¬†And it applied to just about anything I had, whether it had come from her or not. ¬†I just couldn’t get rid of anything, because I subconsciously saw it as a sort of slap to my mom’s face, theoretically, of course. ¬†That very day, when I found myself sobbing on the floor amongst my clothing, and I discovered this simple fact, I was able to begin getting rid of things. ¬†By the end of only a few days, I had two or three huge trash bags of clothing ready for donation. ¬†(My cousin went through them first, just to pull out whatever she would use gladly from it all, because we always do that, anyway, and then she dropped them off at the place by where she lived.)

After that week, my struggle has just been laziness. ¬†I have a couple decades worth of things that have been living at my mom’s house. ¬†I have gone through about 15 years’ worth of boxes and bags so far, and things are really looking up. ¬†I have accumulated less and less these past several years, and so I really only have about 7 years’ worth of things left ¬†to clear out. ¬†I know of, I believe, two boxes in the attic, and an unknown number hiding somewhere in the garage. ¬†Otherwise, I only have two and a half small boxes remaining in my room from childhood. ¬†The rest of the boxes are from my apartment, and I don’t exactly have a need to be unpacking kitchen supplies, nor getting rid of them, when I’ll just need them all again in another couple months. ¬†I do, however, want to verify that I don’t have any excesses in those boxes, though that will wait until I finish getting rid of all of the other stuff, and possibly until I am actually moving, depending on the timeframe.

My plan is to finish things with my bedroom by the 30th of December at 11:00p.m. ¬†Then, I’ll have January and February (and hopefully cool weather) to do whatever needs to be done with the garage and attic. ¬†After that, I can move to helping my mom with whatever I can around the rest of the house. ¬†And then, possibly, grad school begins, and I decide where I will reside.

Anyway, that’s just what’s on my mind right now. ¬†I feel good about what I accomplished tonight, though I know I need to take things slowly, which stresses me. ¬†If I spend too much time on it all, two things will happen. ¬†I will get burnt out quickly, and stop doing things altogether to clean up/out, and I will get too little sleep, and suffer for it. ¬†So, as much as I dislike taking so long on all of this, the task moves from daunting to doable, when I split it to 15 minutes a day, six days a week. ¬†And that means that I can have it all be happening while I’m still working over full=time. ¬†I’m looking for a beautiful and easy transition to January, and that includes a clean, clear, and organized room, with an easy place to work. ¬†So, I’m hopping to it, and I have my brother helping me to stay accountable, in spite of my laziness.

Post-a-day 2017