Day six of holiday. Still feeling ill. Still dosed up on painkillers. Decided to make the most of my decision to stay at home convalescing by having a good clear out, focussing on my clothes, shoes & accessories. Several hours later, I may still have felt ill, but my soul was certainly lifted. Why is purging one’s wardrobe so cathartic? It feels like stripping away the layers of older selves; getting rid of the mistakes (sartorial & otherwise), abandoning the “who I was”, letting go of the who I wanted to be. All that’s left is who I am now, or at least who I think I am. I feel lighter, freer, unencumbered. In one of my drawers, I found an old bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier perfume. Determined to not forget it was there again, I dumped the outer packaging, leaving the bottle – modelled on a female torso – prominently positioned. I keep opening the drawer and looking at that bottle. It seems to be acting as not simply a reminder of the perfume’s existence, but speaking to how I feel right now: a stripped bare woman standing alone having broken free of all the excess packaging.

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