To be honest I am not getting that much out of getting dressed up in different clothes. The real reward after Compartmentalise is the feeling when I get home from a big day or wet and cold from the beach, I have a hot shower and put cosy clothes on. I feel comfort more than before, the looseness of the clothes against my skin, the fluffiness of my new slippers under my feet. This gives me a peace that empty surfaces did but in a different sense. I feel in control enough now, I feel happy it has all ended but glad for what I now know. I will clear my surfaces when I need space in my mind and I will bring it all back when I feel able to cope with it again.
It’s been one month and ten days since Compartmentalise ended and I am still adapting.
For the first couple of weeks I only wore clothes similar to those that I wore for the year of Compartmentalise; cream linen pants, white shirt, off white cardigan and boots.
I used to love pattern but now find it difficult and tend not to wear much. I still only wear one set of pyjamas and only have five pairs of underwear. Some days I run out and tell myself to buy more but I think the slight deprivation is addictive.
I went opp-shopping with a friend last week and thought I was employing great restraint, really questioning everything I bought but each time we went to the counter she would be buying one thing and I would be buying three. Another friend said I was buying a lot of late, I was offended as in comparison to what I used to have it is so little. Also I am replacing things I don’t have and think I need. Every few days I go to my wardrobe and pick a few items to remove, I want to have less but never to the extent of how I lived for the last year. I counted my clothes and feel ashamed of some items I have too many of. I now have…
– Pants x 11 (too many)
– Shorts x 2
– Skirts x 1
– Dresses x 6
– Jumpsuit x 1
– Tops x 12
– Jumpers x 4
– Underwear x 5
– Socks x 7 (+ 2stockings)
– Bras x 4
– Shoes x 11 (to be honest I only wear 4 of these, a cull is in order)
– Silk scarves x 4
– Bags x 3
– Belts x 5
– Hats x 4
– Jackets x 6 (inc. trench, rain jacket and winter)
– Cardigans / light jackets for going out x 10 (can’t justify, maybe for work?)
– Vests x 2
– Dressing gowns x 2 (one summer , one winter)
– Jewellery (not many but also some sentimental)
Leading up to the end of Compartmentalise I always said I only wanted 5 of each thing in my wardrobe, I seem to have an issue with shoes, pants , light jackets and tops, I hope for less but some are sentimental.
I am really enjoying being surrounded by objects. I have become so aware of what surrounds me, my objects, my friends objects, objects in spaces. I have such respect for the object and lay my eyes on them with thought, each with a story.
On Friday night I dressed up to go out. I felt I had over dressed and extremely feminine, my husband said to me ‘gosh I’m not used to you looking like a woman!’ The were a few costume changes and even when I was out I still was conscious about how I had dressed. Mostly I never thought of how I looked for the past year as it was not possible to contemplate my outfits and think that perhaps I could have looked better. I am wasting time already.
Now when I go to bed I only choose to wear one set of pyjamas, I couldn’t find my pyjama top on Saturday night and James said to wear one of his tops and I was off my head searching and saying no to any other options and he had to stop me and say that I was allowed to wear a different top but for some reason I only wanted to wear this one particular one.
I have been online searching for similar items to those I had for the year of Compartmentalise that I have now stored for documentation. I can’t explain why I want the same items, perhaps it’s habit, after a year of following the one set of rules it’s hard to break out.
It has been a surreal day edging back into normality as Compartmentalise came to the end last night. I spent the hours leading up to the end buying some things I wanted to wear as soon as this project ended, I had my hair cut to symbolise the beginning of a new path.
I packed away all that I used for Comapartmentalise into a box.
I cleansed by doing hair removal, showering, brushing my teeth and going to the toilet, the same way I began Compartmentalise a year before, then I put the new clothes on.
The clothes I chose to put on first were a pair of thermal leggings, a long sleeve top, grey underwear (I couldn’t stand seeing black underwear for a while), a navy newish bra (I stopped breastfeeding during Comaprtmentalise so my bras were very baggy), new socks, my old clogs and a big dressing gown. My dream outfit since the winter in Compartmentalise.
My son looked at my face then down at the new clothes then back up at my face and ran away. He was 5months old when I began Compartmentalise and has only seen me in a few outfits, no pattern, nothing new.
I went to bed hot with the clothes I had put on but didn’t think to change into something cooler being used to enduring being hot and cold and having no other options. I crawled out of bed a put in a t-shirt on, the freedom of choice.
Today I kept thinking I had to note what I was wearing on my list as I have been doing so for the past three months, the relief of doing as I please without checking in.
I have been looking at my crockery all day, having extra cups of tea.
I have filled my wardrobe but not too much. It took three costume changes to be happy with what I was wearing today. I’m going out tonight and have been fretting about what to wear all day. The simplicity of Compartmentalise has been lost already but I hope to gain it again once I have sorted out exactly what I want to have and not have.
Thursday 7th August 6pm is fast approaching. I have decided to invite friends and family to my home at 5pm to witness the final hour and what immediately follows. I plan to spend the afternoon and evening preparing for the ending of my year long performance. When I commenced this performance I did the following things in order before culling my possessions…
- go to the toilet
- brush my teeth
On Thursday I plan to do these things in reverse. In the afternoon I will epilate, once guests have arrived I will pack my old clothes, towel and other personal items into a container, I will take my clothes off and put them into the container, nothing will be washed, it will remain as it was on the day Compartmentalise ended and kept as documentation of the year long performance. I will then shower, brush my teeth and go to the toilet. Then I will put on the exact outfit that I have been dreaming of.
On Sunday I began to collect the few items I want to wear the moment Compartmentalise ends. As it will be night time and I will be at home, the outfit will be fitting for this. I will bring my other possessions (that I have not sold or given away) back into my home. I will continue to write about Compartmentalise after the performance ends for a period until I feel there is nothing left to say.
Five days to go. I started washing clothes that have been stored away, I’m not sure if that’s cheating. Tonight I took the clean clothes off the hanging rack and went to put them back away in a bag but first I put one of the jumpers on and looked at myself in the mirror from every angle. I sat on the couch in comfort thinking that all I needed was cosy socks, I started to go upstairs to make a cup of tea but the guilt was too much, I took the jumper off.
There have been changes to Compartmentalise along the way like moving in with Anne made the kitchen thing difficult as she has many things so I limited the crockery we all use to four of each item when I use them and use my specific things as much as possible from these four options. Also a few plants have entered my home since the beginning, the calm that they create is inline with the intention of the performance. Books also but only a few this year. I think that’s all my confessions.
I have a show opening two days before Compartmentalise ends which has made conflict in the count down. I’m dreading my exhibition opening (I would rather not be at my own openings) on Tuesday but can’t wait for Compartmentalise to end on Thursday.
Both my dad and mother-in-law have passed down pants onto me in the last week and I have put them into a bag that can be opened after Compartmentalise. As things sit there I realise I don’t really want them, I want for little but I want for the best of everything now, I have to love it for it to have a place.
The less time I have the harder it is. It’s winter and I went to bed naked the other night as James and Vincenzo were sleeping with my pyjamas buried underneath them, I woke with a flu.
I shower twice a day now to feel clean yet I hardly wash my clothes, I stopped wearing my studio pants as they are covered in holes and as thin as a web. I wore my nice black pants in the studio and they got paint on them but I really don’t care. It’s like I am holding my breath and running as fast as possible.
On the evening Compartmentalise ends I will pack the clothes I have had for the year away and start a fresh, I will be glad for this. The other day I was at Vinnie’s opp-shop getting materials for my artwork and whilst there searched for a warm jacket for my friend Anne who I live with. I ended up finding one for myself, it was amazing. I thought that as I won’t have a jacket as it will be packed away as apart of the documentation of the performance I would buy it and have them hold it until the day after Compartmentalise ends. They did this for me. My new jacket sits in a plastic bag in a Vinnie’s volunteers work locker.