Cleaning Out + Moving On To the Next Chapter

After living in the residence halls for 4.5 years, I finally moved out early this month. Between dorm rooms, I’ve moved 6 times and each time reminds me that I have way too much crap. Mostly, I have too many clothes, but I have too much crap — period.

Surprisingly, my adorable Lincoln Park walk-up has the smallest closet space that I’ve had yet. I quickly learned I had to purge a lot of my clothes, or at least send most of it home to my closet(s) in Jacksonville.

(I may or may not have two full closets in addition to occupying the attic and two other closets throughout the house. I was voted Best Dressed in High School, which also means that I have a shopping addiction, no matter how broke I am. My sisters also love me for this.)

When I was going through my clothes, I kept asking myself, “What do you actually wear?” I wear most of the same clothes each week — mostly workout clothes and when I’m not sweating, I typically wear leggings, maybe some jeans, camis, cardigans, and jackets. Other than my neon workout clothes, I usually stick with neutrals and blacks.

Since I wear the same clothes regularly, why do I still feel the need to hold onto so many clothes I don’t wear? Sure, I should hold onto my slacks and “business clothes” for one day when I have a “real job,” but let’s be real — most marketing positions I have will be business casual and I won’t have to change my wardrobe too much other than maybe ditching the Nikes more than usual.

Why do I still feel the need to keep so many “going out” tops and dresses when I rarely go out anymore? Why do I still feel the need to keep the khakis that I know will never fit my booty properly? Why do I still feel the need to keep so many heels when I seriously avoid heels at all costs? Why do I own so many scarves when I honestly hate the feeling of being suffocated?

Of course, upon reflection, I realized that this resembled my personal and professional life. People say I wear many hats. One person actually told me recently I wear many tiaras! I have many titles and I’m always working on many projects. I’m always doing a lot. I’ve realized this year that I’ve spread myself too thin, and now that my internship is over, I’m looking forward to investing more of myself in fewer projects, and I will hopefully begin working a full-time job soon that will allow me to not work so many part-time jobs on the side. Isn’t that similar to cleaning my closet?

Instead of trying to be everything all at once, I want to focus on my main strengths and passions. I may not be able to focus on all my passions as I would hope, but there are only 24 hours in a day and only so many tiaras that I can wear at one time. My tiara will shine brighter if it’s not being weighed down by a baseball cap, a hood, and a helmet all at once.

I’m so fortunate to have so many passions in life to keep me energized, but it’s time to trim my life of all the Nikes I don’t actually need (do you actually want to know how many I own?). It’s time to get back to the basics. It’s time for my next chapter.

++ Mary K

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