100 Dresses

23 of March

Hi, I’m Maia and I’m a holdon-aholic.

Hold On-Aholic (phrasal verb of hold): 1. One who continues to keep things in their possession that are no longer required and are unnecessary to an extreme extent.

For many months, my mind was stuck in a perpetual, cynical fog that hovered like dust particles above every stray thought I had, waiting patiently to settle on it with some derogatory nit-picking. I found it to be an effort to smile, or even move my lips, and I often worried that I’d become some bitter senior citizen with broken hopes and a warped, ugly outlook on the world. Then I’d disbelievingly assure myself that that person was most certainly not Maia Jackson. But by this time I’d have dwelt too long on the subject and my cynical dust would settle with some nasty comment like: oh c’mon, you think you’re going to be successful? I’ll be waiting for you when you come crying back to me and I’ll just say I told you that you wouldn’t amount to anything.

After an innumerable amount of days feeling very depressed, Mum gave me an invaluable piece of advice: Let It Go. I’m beating myself up on the inside and holding onto regrets and people who cannot be in my life any longer, when I should be moving past that and building up scar tissue. I was just sitting on the sidewalk with a broken arm all that time, never bothering to get up and walk to a place where I could recover. Yet however sweet and helpful Mum’s letting go advice was, it wasn’t exempt from my cynical rendition:

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Yesterday, a fluttery exodus from the claws of my inner packrat took place. Feeling lighter with every article of clothing that I let go, a hundred sheaves of faux satin, cotton, and 10% nylon daintily twirled in eddies of an early spring breeze. As I flung dresses, handfuls of shirts, tiny jean shorts, and neatly folded pants onto my bed from rollicking hangers, I began to feel better. This was not how I imagined letting my clothes go would, well, go; in fact, I never even imagined I’d let them go in the first place. I was getting rid of my dirty laundry, in my closet, and in my life. I thought about all the parties I’d gone to in the last seven months, the fights I’d had with my parents, and all the days and weeks and months I’d spent feeling drugged up and lost. What was it all for? What was I running towards? Getting rid of my clothes, I now felt like this:

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What I learned is that in the end, it isn’t about the freedoms you’ve received, popularity, or the adoration of a boy that really matters. Because honestly, through all my misadventures, all that those things brought me in the end was confusion, shattered relationships, and most of all: unhappiness. Letting go of people, memories, and disillusions of some utopia in my mind I could reach “if only I had more freedom” was the hardest part of that journey, and honestly, I’m still working on it. Starting with my “100 dresses”, I’m running towards the day that Wonderwall by Oasis can no longer send me into fits of agony; that a simple camera can’t trigger hot-blooded memories. But it’s when I’m running around with my siblings down the streets of Playa, laughing with my parents, or listening to music while drawing something just right, that I can take my head out of the fog and say: this is my life.

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