the hexcess project

I had a moment last week where I almost caved.

I was perusing the new holiday gift sets on Temptalia (which is just what it says on the tin! Temptalia! Another temptation I don’t need!) and noted that Stila was offering a set with their Liquid Metal eyeshadows–that is, the not-exciting neutrals, not the perpetually out-of-stock mermaid duochromes I’d been lusting after all summer. Well, let me just check if they finally did restock.

By gum, they had! Okay, I told myself, just get one. You don’t need all three, especially at $24 a pop. But while I was trying to decide between Sea Siren and Into the Blue, the intense guilt of knowing I was going to stack yet another unneeded purchase onto another bloated credit card with high interest sat in my gut like that unfortunate sausage biscuit from Jack in the Box that same morning (which I had only bought because I had a coupon, and not because I was really craving it).

Was it going to make me more of an urban mermaid than I already was, with my iridescent blue-green sequined Juicy backpack and rapidly fading turquoise streaks? NO. Was it going to magically transform my daily look? No, especially given how frequently I can’t be bothered to do eye makeup at all, and most of the time my “look” entails smearing one or two shades of Colourpop Super Shock over my lids–when I have multiple mid-range palettes that I don’t even touch. It was going to get shoved in my ten-drawer “crafting” organizer from Michaels along with every other cosmetic I’d impulse bought over the last few years.

You know, there are other Disney Princesses to emulate who don’t have obsessive hoarding tendencies.

It wasn’t just cosmetics, either. My closet is crammed with clothes I haven’t touched, too-small T-shirts I told myself I’d wear once I finally banished the Buddha belly, sweatshirts and jackets that never get any play in a city where “cold” means 65 degrees Fahrenheit, cute socks that’ll only look like they got chewed by the dog once they go on my feet. That’s just in the drawers and hangers. The shelves are crammed with what I can only be described as useless crap, or as my late great-grandmother of dubious Eastern European heritage would say inexplicably in Yid, “tchotchkes.” Glass candleholders from Daiso, textbooks from women’s studies classes three years ago, repurposed NOT boxes from Ikea stuffed with old Danish cookie tins with smaller paper jewelry boxes inside them. Matryoshkas of crap.

I read Marie Kondo’s book, or I tried to. The ADHD thing means a lot of skipping around, half paying attention and deciding you’ve gotten the gist of things. When I thought the “thank your items” bit was a little too far-out even for wacky old crystal-charging me, I tried Unf*ck Your Habitat. That was a little more up my alley, but it didn’t really address my bigger problems. Like why I continued to ensconce myself in crap that I couldn’t afford because of some misguided sense of control it gave me, while my day-to-day life felt it was being dictated by everyone else around me. Or why this same feeling drove me to binge eat, usually pure carby/fatty garbage like plain Lay’s chips with sour cream Hidden Valley Ranch dip (my ultimate food Kryptonite), only for me to feel terrible and huge afterward, especially when I got on the scale again and saw the numbers were creeping back up. I’m almost forty pounds heavier than I was when I went to boot camp, which means I’m only twenty-five pounds less than I was at my heaviest in 2007, when I had the quarter-life-crisis breakdown that led me to Atkins, the gym and the Navy in the first place.

I gotta get my life back.

And so begins the project. Operation Hex Sheds Her Excess Baggage. That means all of it: the hoarding, the secret shopping and impulse buying, the sloppiness in housekeeping, the laziness and lack of pride in my own appearance, the binge eating, the physical weakness and mental roadblocks keeping me from passing even a basic derby skills test, the crippled confidence that prevents me from getting back into not only sharing my art with the world but making it at all in the first place. It all needs to go. And it should have formally started a long damn time ago. Like, a year ago, when I first bought this domain name. But better late than never.

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