Spring time for those caught in the academic grind is probably the most exhausting time of the year.

The novelty of learning has worn off, replaced by the monotony of repeating class timetables, looming deadlines, and washes of fatigue.I no longer quite remember what I came to university to achieve, instead what I know is how many papers stand in between me and the end of the semester.

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Working back to back jobs for almost 2 whole years, stacking jobs on top of each other and also finishing up my Masters has definitely tested the ends of my capacity. I chose to shape my professional choices into this kind of life, but there are days where I feel the tiredness seeping all the way into the littlest parts of me.

Some days I work toward the singular goal of a cup of tea and my music at midday, or a bubble tea in the evening and a couch potato session with an episode of something not in English. Simple things I use to hold on to and keep myself afloat in graduate school fatigue.

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I often blog about my clothing choices: how they hold me together, equip me for what I need to accomplish that day, or even say something about me to myself.

Choosing what to wear is a daily ritual I use to think about my day, to imagine the person i am throughout the coming time-space and what she will need, want and feel.

Choosing what to wear is me exercising the ability to take care of myself even when I feel I have no effort or energy left to spare on me.

This makes my standing in front of my wardrobe very important.

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Strength is a pretty expansive word, with multiple signifiers and manifestations. Sometimes my OOTDs are battle suits and assertive statements, sometimes taking time to photograph what I wear is writing myself love letters, or giving myself a hug.
Strength means some days a soft floral print, some days a pair of jeans ripped in multiple places, sometimes heels and other days slippers. It can mean a ring on every finger or nothing except a watch.

The other side of strength for me is the clothing I take off my body when I award myself a hot shower – clothing that did for me what I might not otherwise have been able to do. Clothing now dirtied, now wrinkled, now stripped of function.

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The other side of strength is that these pieces will come back again, will show up on my body in some other combination, some other way, on some other day for some other purpose.

The other side of strength for me in this season is faithfulness and for some reason, today that faithfulness feels like the wardrobe of clothes I stand in front of daily, full of speaking potential on a day not yet spoken.

 

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

2 replies on “OOTD: The Other Side Of Strength

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