sustainable, bro.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Since arriving home from Boston, summer has settled into it's uneventful, laid-back, "no-need-to-wear-my-contacts-today," traditional style.

I've taken this downtime to organize my life (both literally and figuratively), and enjoy some down-time before life puts the pedal to the floor and I go from 0 to 60 in three days - otherwise known as the first weekend of Staff Orientation at Calvin Crest.

Typical days in my current home in Dinuba look like this.

Wake up. Coffee with Dad. Discuss the stock market, the front page of the sports section of the Fresno Bee, and whatever Kathy Lee and Hoda are talking about on the Today Show. Decide to change, or stay in my sleepwear all day. Do computer work - including but not limited to: photo editing, blogging, online housekeeping, responding to various emails and messages. Scrounge around the kitchen for lunch. Make great use of our microwave, nearby Taco Bell and endless supply of top ramen. Afternoons vary between naps, cleaning, television, various (and pretty rare) outings, small projects, etc. Evenings have included sunset runs to the sounds of Bon Iver, movie nights (or marathons of NCIS, House, and Law & Order SVU), more CNBC with Dad, and usually some sort of home-cooked meal. I watch the food network with my Dad almost every night - most of the time including me eating some sort of fabulous dessert my mother has made. Not a bad day if you ask me.

I like this lifestyle. Well, I like it now. I know it's going to get old, fast, so I'm trying to soak it up these two weeks before I leave.

Today I decided to not be lazy, and instead clean out my closest and dresser, pack away a huge donation bag of clothes to our local homeless shelter, and feel good about myself, while simultaneously satisfying the constant hunger for organization in my life.

Part of me hates this job, which I try to do every couple years, once my collection of free t shirts begins to overflow my second dresser drawer (that's a good go-to sign that I need to go through my clothes). Throw in organizing my constantly full and cluttered closest and it's not my cup of tea - shout out to Rachel Hatcher, are you drinking a cup of tea right now? I have come to realize my mom has resorted to using my closet as storage space while I'm away...otherwise I can't find an explanation for all of the little doggy outfits and random chew toys that our family dog, Margo owns. Regardless, I have a ton of crap in there too, so it's my responsibility to get it organized and neat.

Rummaging through all of my wardrobe that I never wear anymore is such a long process. Now - I'm not here to complain about how much I hate doing this (although I am doing a little bit of that), because there actually is a good ending to this story. So keep reading.

I love going through my old t shirts. If you knew me in high school, you knew that on any given day, in any given year (9th-12th), regardless of weather, I would show up to school in a pair of jeans and a t shirt. Screw fashion. Screw expectations and spending more than 15 minutes getting ready in the morning. If I had to be at school by 7am, you better bet that I am not going to waste precious sleeping time making sure I looked perfect. Jeans and a t shirt fit the bill perfectly. But - that fashion choice left me with an overabundance of t shirts I've collected over the years. And then going to Westmont and getting more free t shirts everywhere I went, only added to the madness.

When I sort out my shirts, I do it like this.

  • must keep
  • want to keep, but not wear
  • want to keep, but really don't need, or want to wear
  • don't need
"Must keep" shirts end back up in the cycle of my daily clothes. Granted, I don't wear jeans and t shirts everyday (Westmonsters can attest to that), I tend to lean back into my high school fashion mindset when I work at camp. And I'm surrounded by dirt 24/7. "Want to keep, but not wear" shirts are also known as souvenir shirts. They are the ones I don't wear anymore, but I don't want to give away because they mean something to me. My senior ASB shirt. My senior spring show shirt. My first Boston shirt from Jared. And so on - these are shirts I keep in my closet, something as a reminder of the good times. "Want to keep, but really don't need, or want to wear" shirts are the ones that just came short of the souvenir shirts. We'll come back to those. And don't need - are the ones that I actually don't need, wear, or have any inclination of keeping anymore. So if any one you want old faded Calvin Crest shirts or a navy blue "RUN FOREST RUN" shirt, get to Dinuba's Open Gate before someone else snags these beauties. 

Now the shirts that just fell short of the souvenir shirts are the ones that taught me something today. You see, I like these shirts. They are decent shirts, and I didn't want to just throw them away. I had seven of them, laying on my bed, and I didn't know what to do with them. Most of them are pretty ugly on their own, so I wasn't going to keep them to wear them again. I needed something new.

So I did what any decent person would do.
I grabbed a pair of scissors and turned each of them into a bro tank.

Problem yok.

Why did this teach me something? It taught me that 1) the sustainability lesson from Dedetepe still rings true in my head and 2) you can make something worthwhile out of something not so great all the time. In this case, it was awfully small scale - old t-shirts into fairly good looking tank tops, but it has been done on the larger scale before. A garden out of an old dirt plot.  A faulty iPod into a stellar watch. and with a little bit of intentional effort, a solid friendship out of a broken relationship. 

I was on a huge positivity kick this past semester. I got fed up with negative people early, and decided to be the opposite force for the remainder of the trip. So I become a superhero of positively, looking on the bright side of this, reminding people the good parts of that, keeping spirits high and encouragement even higher. But today, I realized that positivity isn't much unless you put it into action. Do something concrete with that positivity, and give yourself a reminder to continue thinking on the bright side.

So every time I rock this bro tank (which today is complimented by a pair of running shorts, sunglasses, and one sick china bun) I'll be reminded the importance of positivity.

Or be reminded of how great I look.

Respectfully submitted,