I’ve been meaning to clean my 1-bedroom condominium for the longest time, but I can’t seem to let go of the wonders of its mess. Society normalizes tidiness and organization, maintenance of a status quo in which everything is accessible and pleasant to the eye (and I regret to say this given the state of my kitchen sink, nose as well). I understand that I need to get rid of it all, put it back where they belong. Yet, the forces of entropy naturally dictates that my knickknacks won’t stay in their resting places for long; every week is a new random arrangement of belongings, objects that mean something to me as a person.
Aside from the obvious necessity to throw away trash, everything else that remains in my room belongs to me and only me. They are there for a reason. There is a story behind everything that exists in my space, as well as a story behind how they end up where they are. Whenever I clean my living space, whether that be my current condominium, the room I lived in when I was still at home with my parents, or even the cluttered cubicle of my workplace, I always approach the task like a detective. Every instance of clutter evokes an image of how it ended up there, much like those uniquely shot flashbacks in procedural dramas. But since these items belong to me, personally, it’s so hard to put them back where they belong; it’s almost as if I’m losing those stories forever.
I cannot write down every story, nor can I remember every single detail of what happens in my everyday life. It’s a choice that I make as an individual. I presume it’s because of my recent bout of sheer happiness that I’m reluctant to part with my own mess. Being recently engaged, it’s hard to dissociate myself from these temporary mementos of my life. In my current state of desperation to cling on to these pleasant memories, I am compelled to list everything off before I put them away for good (bonus points for doubling as a laundry list of things I need to do in order to put everything back into order):
- A luggage case lumbers about in the main hallway in front of my door. It’s still there from when I returned from my trip to Kansas City, where I proposed to my fiancée. I still haven’t unpacked all of it. I probably should. She would yell at me if I didn’t, and I love her for it.
- An ironing board is sprawled out in front of my television, upside-down. It fell to the floor some time ago, and I still need to fix it. It’s still out here because I had to iron some clothes for my trip. I was in a Skype call with Emily while I ironed. It was one of my last online conversations that I had with her before we officially become engaged.
- My coffee table is littered with books that I haven’t put back. Some of them are about the craft of writing; I’ve been in a slump, and even reading through them doesn’t seem to help with the way I feel about writing. Even with negative emotions, I can’t let them go. They are wholly a part of me just as my positive ones.
- I still haven’t unboxed a number of external hard drives that I bought for myself and my mother for boxing day. I made a deal with her that our christmas presents for each other would be delayed for the purpose of a cheaper deal after the fact. She somehow ended up with too many hard drives. I have them all, and I don’t need them. I’ll always need my mom. I miss her sometimes, even though we work in the same office building. Living alone is difficult, sometimes. It’s my first time, and now I’m going to be living with another person in the future.
- PreCure figures scatter themselves throughout my apartment, a constant reminder that I still love anime. I love anime so much, and even though I’m still going through a weird dissociation from one of my formal social circles, I’m not entirely saying goodbye from the friends I’ve made. I should probably throw away that postage box from a recent package I received from a friend of mine from the twittersphere. They’re real people, and my relationships with them are real. They’ll still be real even if I put my figures away somewhere where they can be properly displayed.
- My sink is a horrid black hole of meals consumed, plates and pots unwashed. I always make dinner with my fiancée over Skype video, and we often have theme dinners together despite our distance. I’ve become an eager chef-in-training. I’m getting better, and I’m inspired by Emily’s love of the culinary arts. I thought I would be inspired to write more because of her and her freely blogging ways, but instead, I want to cook a wonderful meal for her someday. It’ll come, but in the meantime, I’ll stick with these fun experiments with crab cake eggs Benedict.
I don’t consider myself a hoarder of things, but of memories. I desperately cling to the ones I have, and accept with a heavy heart that I won’t be able to hold on to all of them. The important ones will stay with me forever, but the other lovely experiences are worth keeping. They’re a part of who I am, and so is the clutter around which I live. This weekend, I’ll get around to cleaning it all up, and I shall move on with my life. I shall make more memories, and make my mess once again.
And I will take personal delight in cleaning it all up.