I spent my Saturday night alone in my bedroom, organizing my distastrous cosmetics collection. I’m the messiest person you’ve ever met, no amount of self (or parental, hi Dad!) discipline has been able to shake that. Now, I tidy up out of absolute necessity, as the sheer volume of “stuff” I have makes it easy to turn my bedroom from barracks to bedlam in 5 minutes flat. I’ve never been one for moderation, this aspect of my persona makes me highly suceptible to things such as disordered eating, or compulsive consumerism. In the past, I used ostentatious clothing in an attempt to fill an emotional void. I tried to control where attention was drawn, subconsciously believing that it would mask personality flaws & physical defects. I still feed that behavior in less obstructive manners, specifically with the aid of cosmetics, but I’ve grown to a place of passable self-esteem & have shifted priorities. Probably the most laughable, and ironic, of all my unnecessary collections is the drawer full of swimwear. Why does a person with dormant body dysmorphia act so counter-intuitively in owning items that provoke public immodesty? Well, because I like to have fun, even at the expense of my anxiety. But on a deeper level, your guess is as good as mine. I have all these “possessions”, which are admittedly wasteful & frivolous, collected from breakdown after breakdown. I’ve since found myself with a new mentality, one of more character & compassion, while the relics of my anguish remain in my bedroom, exhausting my storage options.
This weekend, while avoiding social obligations, I looked around at all of my stuff, luxuries rather than necessities. I feel ashamed that I’ve ever been ungrateful for even a moment- how I could have ever fashioned myself so tortured? Reflecting on depressions past, I have to come to terms with realizing that not even the most coveted of material posessions has had any ability to truly enlighten me and they certainly have never acted as cataysts to emotional growth. In fact, all of this “stuff”, all of these pretty or special “things”, have only served as hindrances to facing reality & were used to mask the pitfalls which I ultimately had to face anyway to change. I fell, and am still falling, right into the ploy of society & the media, which tells me that my natural state of existence, be it physical or emotional, is in dire need of a more flattering veil. I’m sad that a multi-billion dollar mindset has been established by exploiting fantasy and the second X chromosome. Materialism, vanity, and the vicious cycle they have played on my bank account & search for happiness has created a version of myself more likened to Narcissus than Athena, which is intrinsically more unflattering than any bad hair day. I wish I could say I am ready to do away with all of these things I don’t need, but I do inherently enjoy them and continue to use them situationally to ease my lingering neurosis. Yeah, sometimes I still spend upwards of an hour planning a makeup color scheme before an anticipated outing, believing that feeling confident about my lip color will lead me to feel confident in a social situation. Just as a year ago, I would have never imagined a reality where I wore jorts in public, I hope for a day when my love of expressed style will be purely for recreation, rather than to distort my realities. I’m obviously unsure of how distant in the future that day is, but I’m displeased to admit it isn’t likely to be today.