Summer Cleaning and Mental Spillover

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Summertime cleaning is here. Euro fashion bloggers are out in Ibiza and Napoli tanning. Unconsciously, the rest of us are wondering how we can get to Ibiza in the first place, someday. I know, it’s about being happy with our own unique blessings and realities. We believe this, but at the same time, we buy frames and décor with photography of foreign locations and monuments; their allure beckoning us day after day. That is what I was thinking about when I was on the floor sorting through bill statements and lawyer magazines their own writers probably don’t read, which were over a year old. It was quite scientific, this sorting through trash, trash-I-wish-to-burn, trash-I-want-to-give-to-the-friendly-pigeons-outside-of-my-window-for-nesting and the to-be-shredded trash.

More thoughts that rushed into my head were: The truth is, those who graduated and are unemployed are facing decisions and some substantial stress. I am a witness. And the rest of us to graduate, once we graduate, we will be busy paying back loans. So, learning to make the most out of our realities and not dreaming of glitter is something we should start doing now.

Some glitter is okay, but not too much glitter. We should constantly remind ourselves to love the moment and place we are in because this time will not come again. All of us soon-to-be-graduating law students who aren’t tied down by a job (slightly distressing), spouse or children, well, we are not trying to get too attached to any place. Mobility is our advantage (if we have any at all).

Ultimately, no matter how things turn out, even if we end up taking unexpected roads and paths we never expected to trek, it will all work together for good. Sometimes, life is extremely unconventional, but that may be what is necessary to take us to what is best for us.

So, while I fill out job applications, dream and prepare for the semester, I decided to fix my space a little bit (hence the trash and paper sorting). Today, I found my flight itinerary of when I moved to New York. It was weird and strangely nostalgic. Growth has certainly proven to equal pain, at times. That process never ends, though–we never make it. We just keep growing (if we choose to, that is). If we don’t grow, I guess we settle like stagnant pond water with clouds of gnats hovering over us (#annoying).

My late-summer cleaning is 70 percent done (beaming with pride). It hasn’t all been cleaning, though. I have been taking advantage of summer freedom. Yesterday, I walked the entire edge of Manhattan below the Village. I walked through Soho, Tribeca, the Financial District (downtown), the South Seaport District, Lower East Side, Little Italy and Chinatown (which lately seem to be becoming one), Nolita, Noho and back into Greenwich.

Can I just say, in Little Italy/ Chinatown, I saw the most interesting advertisement for a cosmetic and dental doctor’s office. It had the doctor posing with the last three or four popes, and one photo with the Dali Lama. Who is this man? How much money does he have to be having private audiences and photo shoots with the popes (or does he have a master photoshopper)? What do religious leaders have to do with dentistry? Sure, it’s comforting to think you have a tolerant dentist but… It was absurd, hilarious, weird, arrogant and definitely entertaining while I waited for the crosswalk to change. While I do take breaks from cleaning, apparently I do not take breaks from thinking.

It was scorching hot. Humid, strong heat. A humid, strong heat I am planning to stay out of today. Despite the recent heat surge, last week it was cooling off into the 60s. This summer has been weird. I am over it.

Today, while cleaning, I heard Jon Stewart say something so hilariously true about having time to yourself when you are usually really busy and working nonstop (interview with Aubrey Plaza):

“I have found that as well, that people always say, ‘You need to relax and take some time’. But I always find that, you know, there’s a very small window between, ‘Wow, it’s so good to be with my thoughts again’ to ‘You failed everyone who ever loved you’; that is a very short window.”

Think, but not too much. It is good to reflect, but keep it positive and never get to the point of hyperventilation. Relax. Summer will soon be dying into autumn. Autumn is a season for new, colorful beginnings (remember the new back-to-school 1999 Lisa Frank folders?).
I will continue cleaning. I need to be ready for this new beginning and all of the changes it will bring with it.

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