I write this as I think about a chair. A chair, you ask. The chair, I reply definitively. Perhaps this chair was a corner of your bed, a designated space in your room. Spaces where you allow things to pile up, the stack of old clothes, a missing sock, books. For me, it was a chair. This is an ode to it.

It was a sturdy chair onto which, my acquaintances allow laundry to transform into an overbearing pile. Dorms have spaces where laundry finds a home. Unfolded, half dry, clean, all colors, all kinds.

It begins slowly. Pants are once worn to a birthday party where you left out. A dress is worn when you defended your thesis, the nerves that preceded the morning before. A full-sleeved shirt you wore on your interview after college, your first steps into the world outside.  

The process is gradual. The clothes piled up. It soon became harder to find the clothes they needed and wanted to wear. Their shelves began emptying.

Here’s an interesting metaphor I present to you. As with clothes, are our emotions. We pile them onto a chair, one layered over the other. Before we realise, it becomes difficult to find what we’re looking for. It is hard to access your emotions when you have layered them with more. It takes time and patience to feel ‘okay’ because ‘okay’ could be beneath grief, anger, shame, nervousness (or any label you might think of if labeling seems right to you).

Is cleaning difficult? Undoubtedly, yes. As with all change, it is. Would you like to clean? You are allowed to choose. Would you term it ‘cleaning’? You do not have to. Are there ways to access how you feel without having to rid yourself of the layer above? Perhaps, yes. Is it 'bad' to find our chairs or spaces filled? No, your experiences are your own, you are allowed to navigate this at your pace.

As I look around me, I also ask myself:

“Is there something that holds me back from accessing how I feel? Am I ready to work through this? Do I have space and resources to delve into how I am feeling?”