Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed

Out of the Closet

September 23rd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Introspection, Preparing for the trip

My closet is in a depressed state these days.  The insoles of my shoes have become so worn down, I’m regularly ripping them out and gellin’ like magellan with those dr. scholl’s inserts.  The hems of my “nice” pants are now tailored with safety pins and my good “work” blouses have been reduced to some $15 long-sleeve cotton t-shirts I got at Gap two years ago.  It’s almost October and I have no boots for this fall season.  This year, unfortunately, there will be none of those I-feel-oh-so-fashionable moments where I stroll runway-style down the streets of San Francisco in my sleek boots, sexy tights and cute skirt/sweater combo.    I have a few purses still hanging on the door, but, instead, I carry around a jenky, dirty, cotton Trader Joe’s grocery bag because it’s so much more practical for holding my breakfasts, lunches, and sailing books I’ve been reading on my commute home.



I rotate through the same 4 pairs of pants every week, although I’m *this close* to tossing out the gray pair because they give me a granny butt and make me feel like a total frump whenever I wear them…so, make that THREE pairs of pants, and a handful of shirts that are still ok enough for a semi-professional environment.  I’ve been wearing my warm maroon fuzzy fleece jacket with everything, at least until the rain starts and I’m forced to get my black wool jacket dry-cleaned (the one I’ve had for, um… 7 years now.)

I wonder if anyone at work notices.  I mean, I don’t really care too much what they think, but does anyone ever look at me and think maybe I need a make-over?  Or wonder what I do with my paycheck if I don’t spend even some of it on new clothes every once in a while?  Has anyone ever caught a glimpse of my safety-pinned pants and wondered why I didn’t just get them hemmed?

We have been getting rid of stuff pretty constantly for the last six months.  Matt went through a phase where he got rid of one thing every day (i.e. put it in the “give-away” bin).  I tend to go in bursts.  I also decided a while back that I was going to get rid of any article of clothing that didn’t make me feel good about myself.  And… there went half my wardrobe in about a week.  So, now, we just have an ever-growing pile of stuff in this strange little wall cut-out in our entryway that doesn’t appear to have any other usefulness…


So, now, I wouldn’t say that *I* am down to the bare minimum (although I think Matt has already slipped below that!), but there’s not a whole lot more that I can get rid of at this point.  We still have fall and winter left and I’ve still got to be presentable to clients five days a week.  There are also just certain luxuries I’m not quite ready to give up – like my drawer-full of pajamas: soft cute nighties, comfy pj pants, lingerie that I never wear…  (Pajamas are, oddly, my one real semi-obsession: I will walk slowly through the aisles, caressing every item, telling myself that I really don’t *need* yet another pair of pj pants, or that cute nightie set or more boyshorts).

Most days, I think I look ok and I’m fine with my total lack of stylish clothing – I can keep it all in perspective.  But then, there are those days when I’m walking around the Financial District, and everywhere I look, there are women with fabulous shoes, and beautiful blouses, and trendy jackets, and pants that are perfectly tailored, and skirts that actually fit them…  And, suddenly, I shrink inside, feeling like I’m 12 years old again – playing at being a grown-up, wearing my mom’s clothes that aren’t right for my age, that don’t fit me the way they should, that don’t match up at all with the image I’m wanting to project.  It’s like there is a sudden disconnect from who I *am* and who I want *to be* and I become instantly lost in all the wrinkles and folds and safety pins.

When this happens, I try to remind myself that *I* am going to sail around the world – I don’t need new clothes, or ANY clothes for that matter, when I’m sailing across the Tropics, on my way to the South Pacific; and those boots that look so lovely and enticing on the shelf now are only going to get stuffed into a bin in dusty Bako for who knows how long, and won’t be nearly as appealing when we return.

It’s a silly thing, I know, to be sad about not having new clothes when we’re preparing for the adventure of a lifetime.  But, I think it’s part of a greater process of letting go, of accepting that the life I’m choosing to lead these days is far different from the one I had imagined myself living.  Right now, I’m sort of keeping one foot in each world – the paint-stained, beat-up sneaker on the boat and the stinky, gellin’ kitten-heel in the cube.

I can’t wait to give it all to Goodwill and leave this city behind.

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  • Define “Crazy”

    […] make even the slightest dent in one’s armor?  But, even then, I would think that years spent getting rid of most of one’s possessions, quitting one’s job, moving onto a boat, and preparing to head out into the big blue sea […]

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