This, too, shall pass.
When I feel like things have been disorganized in my life lately, I knew I have to fix something. I knew I have to start somewhere. Anywhere. I just need to feel that things are and feel right before I can begin again. It always brings me back to that childhood memory of myself sitting in my brother's room, staring at the blinking cursor of the desktop monitor. No matter how I force myself to start doing that paper, I just can't. Why? Because behind me is a visual clutter of my brother's bed. So...even if it wasn't my bed and it wasn't my room, I clean it. I have to. Otherwise, I'll just stare at that monitor for hours and sulk. And be unproductive. And be a dysfunctional little kid.
So yesterday, I cleaned my closet. It has been in a very lamentable state for months now that if I even dare imagine the Pevensie children opening it, they'd be taken to a land far less magical than Narnia, where they will cry and cry and be miserable all their lives (I'm sorry, children).
Anyway, I cannot understand why I have so many clothes. And this epiphany did not come up just because I saw "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" the other night, which, by the way, was a funny, flattering ridicule to women and their heels, purses, bras, boots, and to just being a woman (Cue in Beyonce's 'Who Run the World' song please, thankyouverymuch). I found all types of sad clothes in my closet--clothes that I haven't touched since I bought them a year ago, clothes from two Christmases ago, clothes that were lost under the heavy stash of other clothes that I also barely touch, clothes that I cannot remember why I bought them, and clothes that I have already outgrown.
Apart from clothes, I also keep some of my personal belongings in my long-forgotten closet--most of these trash which I have convinced myself for years ARE NOT trash.
As I was rummaging through heaps of clothes and 'trash' for hours, I had to face a veritable truth: We keep moving forward. And moving forward always entails some form of fearlessness to finally let go of things we have been holding onto for some time.
I battled (mentally) with myself, responding very firmly to every dissenting thought that came up while I make space in my closet little by little--But this top is the cutest! I bought this on sale! This can't be two sizes smaller than me now, I'll find a way. These souvenirs ARE souvenirs. Who gives away Lacoste? I'll grow into it...someday.
After hours and hours and hours of cleaning and answering 'Whatever' to almost every opponent's argument in that cerebral Debate ('Almost' because some items, clothes for instance, managed to appeal and proved their worthiness to be part of my Clothes-To-Alter section, next to my sewing machine), I have more than half of my closet's contents taken out and more breathing space for clothes that I would really wear and things I would really use.
I don't think I have taken everything out though. There are things in there, which I know might continue to sit in there without use for me, and, which years from now, I would begin arguing with myself again about throwing out---the outcome of which I do not know for now.
Bottom line is, things change. Life happens. Letting go of things that you believed was right for you some time but is now only leaving an unhealthy clutter in your mind is a challenge worth facing. I may never know how my life will turn out in the future, but I'd like to believe everything's going to be alright. The struggles we face, and the uneasiness we feel for a moment from all these chaotic life encounters, will disappear all the same.
After I finished with the day's closet work, as I was about to take a bath, I overheard my sister-in-law speaking to her child, my nephew, Miles. Miles is a cute little angel who hates hiccups and cries and cries when it gets too much for him to handle. My sister-in-law was telling him, in her sweet, low voice, "It will pass, son. It will pass" (Mawawala din yan, anak. Mawawala din yan.)
When I heard that, I smiled. Sitting in the toilet listening to that might not be the best context to get profoundly emotional and insightful at that time but it was a peaceful and inspiring moment.
"This, too, shall pass." Miles may be too little to understand it but when he grows up, he'll know just what his mother meant. Growing up, his parents would tell it to him time and again, and he will believe or disbelieve it the best way he can. But he will learn that everything is alright. And that acceptance--letting go and lifting up one's cares and worries and troubles to life's changing seasons--will hurt for a while but not for all time.
We keep moving forward.
So let's hold onto both comforting and miserable places (and closet spaces) we find. Breathe them in. And when they go, let us open our hearts to acceptance, freedom, and gratitude. After all, everything is going to be alright.