Wednesday, April 11, 2012

in between dreams

So I've finally gotten around to organizing my stuff. Ever since I moved back to Manila in January, most of my things have been stored in four balikbayan boxes, and I've only had a shelf-full of clothes and toiletries, and a scattering of books on my desk. But I've finally gotten to the point where I've gone to the mall and bought storage boxes and hooks and trays and spent most of yesterday afternoon clearing out my closet and the small bedside cabinet and dresser.

And the thing is, I've realized, that we live with so much CLUTTER in our lives. Like, when I unloaded the box that contained my girly things from Singapore (jewelry, bottles of lotion and perfume, etc.) I realized that most of the things I ended up bringing home were things I didn't really need anymore. I gave away most of my costume jewelry to my younger sister because it suits her now more than me, and I also organized my electronics - the tangle of spare wires and adaptors and plugs and whatnot was just giving me a headache. In the end, I managed to distill everything rather well, and now all my things have their own trays or containers or zipped-up bags.

And my closet! While I was away, it was used by my mom whenever she was in Manila, or by my siblings. So half of the things hanging on the rod are actually things like suits and jackets that aren't mine. I shoved everything back, organized the things of mine that are still on hangers, like dresses and collared shirts and cardigans, and then re-folded my shirts and skirts and house clothes, and bought plastic storage boxes for my girly supplies (I have a tendency to stock up on products I like), and little compartments for socks and underwear and small stuffed toys. Oh, and also I installed hooks - large, heavy-duty ones for my bags and small ones for my necklaces. So now it looks a little something like this:

My shirts and tops, skirts, and house clothes; underwear and other girly sundry.

My dresses, covers, and other clothes that need to be suspended in the air; a small tray for regularly used toiletries; bags hung on the side of the closet.

My small collection of necklaces (even though I rarely wear them).

It feels a bit weird, even though I know that I *do* live in this house, and it's been my home for as long as I can remember, but there's something about uprooting yourself and then returning to the place where you grew up. And I don't mean that in a bad way; I just mean that it's weird to have to reconfigure your life again to suit who you are now. I don't mind, not really, but it's just an odd feeling, having to wedge yourself back into the space that a previous you occupied, and having to stretch and mold that space around you so that it fits comfortably around you once more.

I suppose it also helps that for someone who lived abroad for five years, I don't have a lot of things. I left a lot of things behind: a lot of furniture, all of my kitchen things, my heart and my younger self. It's not quite just leaving with the clothes on my back, but it's closer than one would like to think. That's the nature of things, I guess, when one is required to sweep up the remnants of a life into bags and boxes in less than two hours. Still, I'm glad that what I took were the things that were important to me.

And in the end, while I'm pleased that my books (oh I can lose anything but the books!) and my clothes and stuff got back to Manila unscathed (thanks LBC!) what was most important were things that I can remember, and things that I want to forget. And I want to forget A LOT of things, and so here I am: casting each memory on a piece of paper and sending in windwards, letting the air currents and sea currents of forgetfulness to carry it away.

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