It’s that time of year! The sun is out, birds are chirping, summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means? Purging the old to make room for the new. It’s Spring Cleaning season, baby. I’d like to think of it as “New Year's Resolutions: Take Two.” Spring is our second chance to tackle those promises we made to ourselves when we counted down to 2021.
However, something is holding me back from taking the fullest leap possible. The residue of 2020 still lingers on me. An old mildew smell, a grease stain I can’t get out.
I am drowning in last year’s “laundry.”
You know what I’m talking about, right? The pile of dirty clothes you leave on your floor for days, culminating into a mountain, bigger and bigger, until it’s too overwhelming to face.
That’s how last Spring felt.
In March of 2020, a hole was planted within me. A helpless, crushing, pit in my stomach. It plowed through my chest, making it hard to breathe or stand up. I covered the pain with binge watches, bottles of wine, and mindless drives with nowhere to go. I needed to feel in motion and whole again. Instead, the laundry piled up, clouding my vision of peace and stability.
Throughout the year, there were glimpses of light and hope for the future. Late night discussions with friends who made me feel alive, dressing up and putting on makeup to go to the living room, and scavenger hunts to spice up a COVID birthday. I grasped any joyful moment so tightly my fist hurt. Depression and hopelessness begged for my attention but I pushed it away, afraid of the pit I’d gotten to know so well.
Holding onto the good and ignoring the evil, doesn’t mean it disappears. The pile grows, slowly but sure enough as time goes on, the pile transforms into an uncontrollable mess. It’s not until you sort, load, and wait, that you’re finally at peace (that is, until another load builds up).
That’s the promise I made to myself this year. Sorting through the mess, no matter how painful, to find my grounding again. Or else you’ll find me at the bottom, crushed by sweaters and jeans. Even though we don’t like to admit it (at least I don’t), every item in our “closet” means something. Whether it’s that ugly sweater your great Aunt gave you, or your favorite ballgown. We can’t hide from them. We have to face each piece; clean them, wear them, love them, until it’s time to let go.
This Spring, I vow to be patient, allowing myself to go through every item of clothing; touching, smelling, crying, laughing, ripping, throwing, embracing. I’ve learned that ignoring the problem doesn’t mean it’s magically solved.
After a year of a growing pile, it’s finally time to do my laundry.