Overanalyzing The Meaning Of My Closet

10 Jun

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So here’s the deal.

Yesterday my grandmother told me she was worried because I haven’t blogged in a while. This is the woman who taught me to love the Egg McMuffin with my whole before-10:30AM soul, who introduced me to soap operas, and who texted me, legitimately, a month ago to say:

Heads up!  Princes Harry is now single and is in Miami this weekend.  You two would be a perfect couple.  Go to Miami now!!!

If this fabulous woman says I’m not blogging enough, well then by golly gosh darn it lickity split holy smokes I’m not blogging enough.

That’s the deal.

I’m in the midst of the undermployment period of my life, a time both fraught with “When am I getting a job? Am I a worthless loser who should pursue full-time rollerblading and peach buying?” and “Oh no, if I get a job I probably can’t go to the beach every day any more, can I?”

I’ve been doing this whole working from home/attending school thing now for going on 2.5 years, and I have to say, it has been the best 2.5 years of my adult life.  Human beings are made for Malibu and nachos and flexible schedules, and I am a human being.

It’s that type of profound writing that the world has been missing the last few weeks.

In this weird time, I’ve found myself cleaning out my closet in a big way. Well, in a “I’m-unemployed-and-casually-approach-it-sometimes” way.

I’m thinking I should complete the task in approximately 24 years.

This is progress, people.

Important: I recently missed a family vacation because I am unloved and no longer living in Utah, and I was informed that on said getaway, my family played Mafia and when it was my mother’s turn to host she said, “OK, people, welcome to the show…”

By golly gosh darn it lickity split holy smokes I can’t escape my genetics.

So this closet clean out, when it happens, has been good for my soul.  I know this is not groundbreaking, and everyone at some point or another realizes how nice it is to have less stuff.  To be less cluttered.  To let things go.  But this particular closet clean out has been more than that realization.

It’s been a realization of who I’ve become.

I’ve heard before that the human brain stops developing at 25.  I haven’t looked this up to confirm it, and I don’t know if it even really matters, but that idea has been on my mind lately.

So has this F. Scott Fitzgerald essay on being 25, which you should read right away.

I turned 25 right here in the great state of California, in the beautiful Malibu nachos time of my life.  And it’s here in California that I’ve become the adult person I am.  My views on spirituality and relationships and what I want out of life…those have all become more and more solid as I’ve been here.

My style too, that has become more and more solid.

As I clean out my closet I notice a lot of what I’m throwing away is from about three years ago, an era where I dated a very stylish, very preppy boy.  It’s funny how distinct those clothes are.  You could walk into my closet and say, “Oh that’s from the Josh era.  And that menswear-inspired bit, well that must be from it too.  And these thick, uncomfortable pants scream ‘I’m trying to impress a boy named Josh.’”

And I’m shedding that self.  That undeveloped, willing-to-change-who-I-am-for-a-boy self.

I’m shedding all the boy selves, actually.  Their actual clothes, which I’ve collected as one does in relationships.  But also the subtle changes my closet took while dating them.

I’m shedding the things that were never truly me but that I tried on for size.  Wedges, for one.  Blazers.  Pants!  Oh pants.  I don’t think I’m going back to you ever.

And I’m finding at the bottom of it, at the bottom of my closet, the girl I’ve become.

Last week Luke and I went on our first shopping trip, an event that really deserves it’s own post, perhaps its own screenplay.  What happens when someone who loves to buy things ends up at the mall with someone who shops so infrequently he believes his foot is FOUR SIZES different than it actually is.

I’m calling the pieceWhen Harry Met Sally.

At one point in this shopping trip I was sitting on a stool against the wall in the Levi’s fitting room hallway, drinking a Pawnee-sized Diet Coke and calling helpful things over the dressing room stall, “You’ve just never put in the actual effort.  Shopping is a process!” when the fitting room attendant found me.

“Miss, can I help you find anything today?”

“Oh no, thank you,” I said calmly, “I don’t wear pants.”

The attendant smiled and ducked out, and before I could say, “Luke, let’s talk about shopping more!” the worker was back with this delightful, oversized jean mumu, exactly what I would have picked out if I could choose anything in the world for myself.

Seriously, there’s this great triangle embroidery thing on the perfect colored neckline.

You should see it.

I tried the mumu on right away, yelling over my stall, “Oh my everything, this is so thick I won’t have to wear a bra!  My life is all coming together!”  Luke replied, in much quieter tones, “Sounds perfect, Jill.  I’m really happy for you.”

And soon we walked away, he with his new pants, me with my new jean mumu.

Later that night, I added that jean number to my closet next to my yellow mumu.  And the maxi dress I never take off.  And my tutu.  All of the things that survived the great closet purge of 2014.

And I recognized myself in them.

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5 Responses to “Overanalyzing The Meaning Of My Closet”

  1. Denise @ The Lovely Bohemian June 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    How much do I love that the mumu’s and tutu’s made the cut. A closet is SO symbolic. I went through the same purge a couple years ago and found clothes from times when I was figuring out my style. I was wearing about 5 different styles all at once. One style for each kind of person I hung out with, one for the guy I was dating, one that I really liked, and one I thought other people would like. It’s amazing how much I’ve evolved in the last few years. Isn’t it such a great feeling to finally know who you are and know what you like? You don’t need to date that preppy, polo-shirt wearing guy…yes, he’s adorable, but it’s not what you’re into. It’s not your style. I’ve found that I’m more selective of the people I let into my life now. I make sure they fit into MY style, instead of the other way around.

    xo Denise

  2. Linnea June 11, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    I love this.

    Wedges have never been me, either.

    Also, I feel like I’ve finally come into my own style – perhaps you’re right and it happened at 25. I should do some self searching and see if that is true. Not that I’m sure I won’t make several other fashion mis-steps in the years to come…

  3. Erin June 12, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    “Pawnee-sized Diet Coke” got me good. I picture you needing two hands to hold it and still having difficulty. Keep this amazing imagery coming!

  4. Kari June 18, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    I just read your post about your love of muumuus on Treasure Tromp and loved it! So funny and accurate. once the weather hits 65 degrees here in Kansas City, I no longer wear pants all summer. They’re way too confining. That jean muumuu sounds awesome!

    • jillianlorraine June 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

      Thank you! And mumus, always and forever.

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