My Closet Through the Eyes of a Runner.

Merry Christmas Eve!!!!!

Today we are discussing a fun topic to some, a dreaded topic to others: clothes.

It may not seem very Christmasy but it sure has a good moral! Help others 🙂

Let’s talk about clothes. Did you think you would hear that from me?

Yes, I like clothes, but this blog typically isn’t your fashion blog and when I do talk about clothes they are typically running leggings, race t-shirts, and which sock I like best, but today, it is different!

We are going to talk about clothes and being a college student.

It seems that every time I come home from school my closet has doubled in size. This is not true, however being away and not having my full closet with me has proven to me how many clothes I have that are not necessary.

Like that t-shirt from my high school prom that in reality I’m never going to wear again, or that favorite top from middle school that if I ever get large again, I will wear, or how about that dress that has been my “if I decide to go clubbing at a classy NYC club” dress that I don’t even bother taking to school because let’s be real, I will never be brave enough to wear that dress.

All these clothes sit idly by in my closet while I am off gallivanting around Australia, New Zealand, or Philadelphia in the clothes I actually wear.

So why do I keep them? Why, every time that I go through my closet, does that pair of shoes I wore in every band concert until I was 16 stay even though I will probably never wear them again?

Or that shirt I was wearing when I received my first kiss at 16? How about that dress that caused me to throw my first 5 course dinner party? They sit, sadly, taking up a hanger and far too much space in my closet.

It is because I am nostalgic. Maybe one day I will want to lace up those knock-off Ked’s that I danced in my first pageant and reenact that dance, or maybe I will want to put on that shirt that led me to the State forensic tournament in and recite my monologue, or even just that top sweater that I always wore in middle school and reminisce.

These past 5 months, I lived out of two suitcases. All the clothes I had packed were multifunctional, well-liked, and well-worn. These clothes taught me a lesson.

That all the little things I hold onto are nothing more than methods to remember. The overflowing t-shirt drawer will help me remember the past for no more than a moment. After the logos have been sifted through and the “remember whens” have been spoken, I will be left standing. Standing among a pile of t-shirts I will never wear again. Among a pile of memories that helped shape me into who I am today.

The clothes I have kept, far past their time are a symbol for where I am in life.

Too afraid to jump into the future because it means leaving the past.

However, as I lugged two, overweight bags back to the US after a semester abroad, the past weighed heavy on my shoulders.

The past is not who I am. The past just helped me get to where I am. The past is not who I am. It is just what helped shape me into me.

The future sits in my closet, in the form of a suit jacket, a shift dress, and a black pair of pumps.

But it also sits in my heart and my dreams. I can make the future whatever I want, regardless of the past.

It is time to let go, because the memories, the memories never fade or rip, unlike my laced blue summer dress that has been worn to the point of no repair. The memories will always be there, all I need is to remember.

This is why, every single time I come home from college, I will bag up at least two trash bags to take to the local Goodwill because someone out there could use these clothes, and getting rid of them only makes more space for the person I will become in the future.

Now for a little tidbit of advice, for all you college gals out there, here is something I recommend albeit it being VERY difficult. Only take two suitcases to school next semester. Leave all the rest of your shoes and clothes at home. Live off of two suitcases of your favorite clothes and think of all the people who don’t even have this many clothes.

Then when you get home from school, think of what you truly need to keep, let go, and give to those in need.

The reality of you having enough room in your not-big-enough-for-a-bed first apartment for all of your clothes is not high anyways, so why not help others?

16 thoughts on “My Closet Through the Eyes of a Runner.

  1. Love this, Melanie. Love your quotes on the past too 🙂 One of my favorite spiritual teachers once said “The past only exists in your mind. Don’t let your thoughts of the past rob you of the joy of your present moment.” Also, one of my favorites “we are here and it is now, beyond that all human knowledge is moonshine.” Anyway, I, too,l have been buying and buying and buying lately.yet I am never satisfied. I feel like I want more clothes (among other things.) but recently I’ve wondered if the only way I will feel “satisfied” is to be RID of my things. Loved this post, All we have of the past is our memory of it, yes 🙂 xoxo

  2. As for clothes, I know that mine has also doubled in size now that I’m working versus the time when I was in college. I didn’t have money or the budget to buy anything I want back then. Today, since I’m in the corporate office, my taste in clothes has also changed. I had to give away those that are largely casual attire to my younger cousins. I’ve learned that it’s okay to let go and it’s better to get rid of those that I don’t anymore use.

  3. It is funny how we hold on to the past with different items of clothing. I definitely have some of those pieces that I would never wear but remind me of so many things! Love the idea of living out of 2 suitcases of favorite clothes!

  4. I do have clothes in my closet from a while ago. I had just recently purged my closet and I am going to have to purge again to make more room. A couple things are sentimental but the rest I don’t even know why I held on. Maybe the hopes of fitting into them after having 3 kids.

  5. we’ve been moving so much the past couple of years that we really try our best to purge. we’ve been doing project 333 for the past year where you pick out 33 pieces of clothing & accessories for 3 months.. and so far that has been really helpful. i think you actually might like it too! 🙂

  6. I’m the complete opposite–when I get in a cleaning mood, I tend to throw things away/ donate them with abandon, only to realize that I just gave away my absolute favorite, softest black t-shirt that I wear at least once a week. Oops. When you combine that tendency with the fact that I am crazy picky about buying new clothes (too tight, too loose, too flowery, etc.), you’ll understand why my wardrobe consists of four pairs of jeans, ten sweaters, and my uniform sweatshirt from high school. I’ll get it together one day, I guess. But on a more serious note, a wonderful, wonderful post!

  7. Now that is a wonderful message – what a way to end the year, right? Oh.. and Merry Christmas – I hope you and your family and friends had such a wonderful time this year. 🙂 I don’t want to think about clothes, lol…. I just wish I could be skinny now, lol

  8. I actually spent this afternoon taking some clothes out of my closet because it is way too full. I can’t decide whether I should give them away or just store them away for later. Thanks for the useful tips, and it’s always good to be grateful for what we have!

  9. I love to purge my closet every few months. I have held onto a few things but I have photos of all my favorite shoes and dresses from popular occasions. I think that is why it’s easy to part with. I remember my high school chucks that I wore to every concert! I threw them away over time, but I have those memories forever.

  10. Beautiful post about your past and personal identity, future potential to look forward to, and the role of clothing as it relates to both. ❤ You have a great, mature perspective (that I didn't learn until I was in my 30s), and I applaud you for it!

    I totally agree with the concept of cycling through clothing, particularly to give them a 'second life' for others. I've given items (clothing and otherwise) to Goodwill, and maybe it was my local drop-off station, but I was utterly horrified at the lack of care with which things were treated (a game and some electronics were literally broken as I watched, by the guy who took things neatly packed from a box, threw parts into a bag, and then shoved them into a corner.. *crack*…!!!!). I truly love and care of my things, and I was heart-broken at the way they were treated. So I've found an alternative place for my gently-used clothing –! It's an online place to take pics of your clothing, set your price, and sell (they keep 20% of the listing price). I feel so much better about putting things there, where I know people who really want my things, can find them, and I can let them go much more easily, knowing they will be well-treated. 🙂

    Anyway, back to your post… great philosphy! Kudos for that, and happy holidays!


  11. Noo! I hate letting go of my stuff, for the very same reason: nostalgia. I think I have about three closet fulls of clothes I don’t even wear. Occasionally I think about going through it and letting go of some things. Recently, I was finally able to fill up a bag and send it to a consignment shop. It wasn’t that much money but I did end up with a ton of closet space. I really like this, great outlook here. I think one of my new year resolutions will definitely have something to do with getting rid of the old and trying not to acquire any new things for a while (at least not too many).

  12. It has been a while since I had been through my things and gotten rid of things. I need to do that before the new year.It always feels good to purge. And the tip about college is great. I always took way to many things

  13. While I am not in college anymore I can tell you that this problem persists long thereafter. I have more shoes than I could ever possibly wear. The struggle is real, even when you try to constantly purge extra stuff.

  14. I have a basket of clothes in the back of my closet, they’re my “when I get skinny again” clothes, they’ve have been there for the last 5+ years, lol.. However shirts, I have lots of shirts either from concerts, 5K, musicians shirts that are signed, shirts from HS, shirts from each year in Marching Band in HS and the few years after that I was helping out. I have them all still even 10 years later. I thought about turning them into like a shirt DIY blanket or even like frame them all.. I haven’t decided yet.

  15. Pingback: My 5 Winter Fashions Through the Eyes of a Runner. | Through the Eyes of a Runner

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