Prompt: this week, pick part of the quote below and write an entry inspired by it.
“Wherever there is a poetical action, a religious aspiration, a heroic thought, or a union of the nature within man and the Nature without, there is Zen.” -R. H. Blyth
My choice: a poetical action
Before I switched jobs, I had an impeccable organization to my closet. At the front, work pants, followed by work shirts, followed by work sweaters. In the back, jeans, lounging shirts, and hoodies. It was a system that built a sort of ease into my life. Wake up, pull the first pair of work pants, the first work shirt, and debate whether I would need a work sweater. I’d add freshly-washed clothes to the end of the line so every shirt got its time to shine, every sweater used throughout the course of the year.
For me, the closet was duality: the emergence of my work self separating from the college self I still felt close to. There’s nothing that makes you feel more like a college kid than suddenly not being one. The first steady job after college is a big step.
As the first year went by, the work section of my closet got bigger. I started donating old college hoodies and all the free t-shirts I’d acquired from volunteering. My shoes went from beat up tennies to shined pumps. Part of me resisted, taking the excuse every Friday to wear one of the nerdy t-shirts I had loved in college. For some reason, I saw changing my standard attire as a change in me, that I would no longer be that carefree nerd.
It seems a little silly, in hindsight, but clothes were a bit part of how I defined personality. When you’re on a campus of 40k, it’s hard to carve your niche. Mine started with wildly blue hair freshman year and slowly deescalated to a large collection of t-shirts sporting things like “To be or not to be” written as a regular expression or a diagram showing how the elements of “rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock” were related. Quirky nerd gear was a representation of me: quirky nerd girl.
These days, my closet is a collection of work clothes with a small section dedicated to formal events. My socializing clothes and work clothes look remarkably the same. Part of that is the job I switched to having a more relaxed environment, one where I can wear capris and skirts without having to worry about my leg/ankle tattoos being seen. The clothes have faded as an expression of my personality, instead being a background thought in my morning. The change was gradual, one I didn’t notice until it was done.
I still have all those quirky nerd shirts, though.