The OCD writer in me is distressed that May 2014 is the only month that I did not write a blog post in my three years of blogging. Most disappointing. Well maybe it’s time to get back on the blogging and creative writing wagon. My Journalism course is coming to an end and there is once again a big question mark over my future. But I’m feeling ok. My wise Godmother often quotes the Quakers, ‘The way will open.’ And I have a feeling there is deep truth in that.
This year has allowed me to change my direction in life, perhaps take some control although it doesn’t really feel like it! I’m turning 25 this week, big quarter of a century. I really hadn’t been happy. Lots of big things have shifted in last two or three months and now there are some green shoots that are putting a smile on my face.
One of the changes is losing some weight. I have been having a go at Slimming World since the beginning of the New Year and to date I have lost just over two stone. I have to say I had to change a lot and if my Mammy didn’t make the slimming world chips and good low fat food for me most days I would be lost! Still spoiled in a house full of children. My Dad has been enjoying having the healthy dinners too.
I’m feeling a bit more confident and people have finally started to notice, ha. This weekend my sister went away with her boyfriend and as I had some space I decided to have a clear out of some clothes. It might be counting my chickens but some of them are too big now, and I think they could find a new home through charity shops.
As I folded and pulled dresses and tops from the chock-a-block wardrobe I share with my sister I couldn’t help think about all the memories, all the places I’ve been and people I’ve crossed paths with while wearing these clothes.
My memory is something else that has been worrying me. My parents used to tease me and call me ‘memory woman’ when I was little as I remembered everything. Now it worries me the things I forget. I think that might be why I can’t choose a favourite book, but then again maybe I’m still searching. There is so much to read, why limit yourself?
But here I saw a nice brown dress from Next that did as Christmas clothes when I hadn’t remembered to buy something new. My friend L from Edinburgh and I saw a girl at a Suede concert in Belfast wearing the same dress, posing with no coat or anything. We shivered and tutted behind her in our layers in the ‘Norn Iron’ August!
This black dress with red roses I was never comfortable in. I had a night out after my friend Claire got married, her dog Shelby who has sadly passed away licked my false tanned legs at pre-drinks in her first martial home before we went to the Gweedore bar for some dancing.
A burgundy patterned ‘staple’ top that saw me through many days at the newspaper office before becoming a bit baggy and having a run-in with a too-hot iron.
Fun, dotty not-quite-denim trousers that saw many walks and sunny days, but were always too big so now at falling down status. Last worn on my first family outing in years to Ards Forest Park where I went on the tire swing with Ellen who’s seven and was delighted.
Vests and casual tops that served me well on ordinary, not remembered days that fill my life and make me who I am.
Outfits that have had beer spilled on them and tears dripped onto them.
Clothes are worn close, they protect and they say something about you. They’ve been tucked and squeezed into backpacks and wheely suitcases for university, and city breaks. They have probably identified me when I have gotten separated from friends. To someone I might have been the girl with the green dress and the smile.
Some items of clothing are worn in rotation, as much as I could this year with no uniform and a small class of people who might have noticed if you always wear the same thing on Wednesdays. It’s weird that they could be so much part of your life and then they rip or tear or get too small or someone says something nasty and they get discarded or passed on.
I did come across uniform pieces from my job in the opticians which I had for six years. It’s finally time to let it go, face the very uncertain future, but what to do with these emblazoned trousers and tunics? If they fall into the wrong hands we could have an imposter on the loose! Lots of laughs and lots of stress occurred while I wore these. I made some fast friends. I hurriedly changed into yoga gear or going-out clothes in the loo, cramming the uniform into a bag.
I’m not a material girl at all. I don’t own any designer stuff. Perhaps I’m judged for my mostly cheap and cheerful wardrobe. I just hope the two or three black bags of lovingly folded fresh and clean clothes go to good homes, and people do some good living while wearing them close to their hearts.
If I become employed I will slowly replace them with slightly slinkier threads that put a sparkle in my eye and help me feel up for taking on this strange and wonderful thing called life.