Messy life

Okay fine. I'm that girl. Most mornings, I'm incapable of rolling out of bed until 10 minutes before class. I might not be the Webster Dictionary definition of "organized" or "graceful." Sue me.

It's not like people hesitate to remind me of my hot mess, Amanda Bynes status. Before I left for college, my parents insisted on sitting me down in the kitchen for a very serious lesson about how to use a toaster, as they were convinced I was somehow incapable of navigating a basic kitchen appliance (fair—my track record in the kitchen isn't perfect). I'm too reckless when it comes to driving. I've dropped my phone so many times over the past few years, I've become friends with the guys at the tech repair shop back home (shout-out to Antonio, ily). Clutter seems to accumulate magically after I've just cleaned. It's always been this way. I can never, for the life of me, seem to get it together.


I thought the day I came to college would be a clean slate. My high school self pined for the day that a more mature College Casey finally put her life in order and do away with this "messy" business. I saw myself strolling through a leafy campus, pep band drums in the distance serving as the soundtrack to my #thriving. A gaggle of sorority girls with bleached teeth and flower crowns would flock to me immediately, bask in the composure of my perfect new lifestyle, and practically beg me to join their awesome sisterhood. "Fine," I would sigh, "if you insist."

Unfortunately, the way reality unfolds itself dims in comparison to the way we've already pictured in our minds. Not to say I'm not grateful for the friends and experiences college has blessed me with. Here I am now, after entering the big bad college world for a few months now, still feeling like I haven't quite gotten my life together. I still have the same issues I did before. Nothing in life, or the best things rather, are ever so clean-cut.

What do I do with this newfound realization that I will never be cured of my chronic disorganization? Do I shave my head, jump on a plane, and dip to Mexico forever? Do I retire as a lonely hunchback in a bell tower? But I'd somehow miss my flight. And, chances are, I'd find a way to seriously injure myself operating the complex machinery that is a giant church bell.

The truth is, we can't just expect our problems to magically disappear simply because of a change in environment. That was unrealistic of me to expect of myself.

If you're like me, and people sometimes give you weird looks because you wore your shirt inside out in a public area, it's easy to feel small and inadequate on a campus full of "well-adjusted young adults" (I mentally said this phrase in a British accent while writing it, so I think you should read it that way too.) For some reason, we tend to feel as though someone who keeps a daily planner past the month of September is somehow superior to the rest of society.

I mildly hate myself for sounding like a Girl Scout leader by saying this, but if you're a little bit disorganized, you're amazing. Chances are you're spunky, creative, funny, and don't mind laughing at yourself every once in a while. There seems to be a stigma against messy people, whether they be literally or figuratively disorganized in their lives. We often forget that there is something quite beautiful to be found in disorganization. A loose end of curly hair falling out of a bun, a missed train that leads to a quiet morning in a coffee shop, a turkey-hand painting from a five-year-old.

My little sister, Bridie, is the queen of bedroom clutter. I used to get so frustrated with her for leaving her glue sticks, acrylic paints, and other miscellaneous craft materials everywhere in our shared little room. When I came home from college for the first time, she'd hung up her paintings wall-to-wall: a pink Harry Styles, a bouquet of flowers, and an old photograph of her and I eating French fries at the country club hanging above my bed. She'd needed a space to create—a process that is messy and complicated in nature.

If you're a Bridie, you are not a burden. You are free-spirited, and you're awesome!

In my experience, the best people to be around are the ones that don't take themselves too seriously in that light. Messes are cool, and messy people have a lot of honesty and insight to teach the rest of the world. Though it never can hurt to declutter every once in a while.

So, to all the people like me, I love you and I believe in you. I know how hard it can be during those darker moments when you realize your own parents don't believe in your ability to make toast. I think you can make toast, though. With butter.

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