When did I become a neat freak? If you know me then you know that I’m not the neatest person in the world, but I am not dirtiest either. I think that people have this idea that because you have a lot of clutter on your desk or in your room that this makes you a pig. Well over the last year, I have learned so much about myself and dealing with other people’s habits that I am amazing myself with how I react.
I know at some point my parents had to wonder if all the prodding and nagging about cleaning really sunk in. Cleaning is not my strong suit. In fact, like most men, the only time I really clean is when I am looking for something. I think that I have had the privilege to grow up in a fairly clean environment. While I would get yelled for not cleaning something or not picking up my room, I can safely say that I never truly knew what dirty was…until I went to college.
Staying in a residence hall was such an eye opening experience because this was the first time I’ve seen people’s bad habits. I would be generally disgusted by how other men left the bathroom that I vowed never to live in a residence hall again. Living with friends can be a hardship too because you never realize how clean or dirty someone is until you live with them. I’ve had my share of roommates that can tip the scales in either way and it has always left me with the same reaction when I end up living with a dirty person: Its time to move.
My encounter with my last roommates left me jaded on the whole experience. There is only so much cleaning I’m willing to do if I’m not the one making the mess. However, when I was living in such a big house, like the one I had been living in for 9 years, I can find ways to ignore and hide. I can just stay in my room instead of in the common areas. My room was big enough for me to chill in for a few days if I needed to, but now things have changed as I’m in a new living situation.
Living in a apartment is not all that bad when you consider the drop in price and the drop in responsibility. There are certain worries that I just do not have any more. However, I’ve had to do a serious process of consolidation that had forced me to look at my life from such a different perspective. It is not easy to look at old things and decide to simply throw them away. This process also made me feel like I was a hoarder (my 10+ boxes of comic books do NOT count). The good thing is, I do not believe I’m a hoarder, I just have a lot of shit. I must have donated more than 10 bags of clothes.
Now that I am in my new residence, I am still finding ways to do more with less. My room is very small and I am not complaining, I just think that I can’t be too comfortable anymore. But, something sort of surprised me. I know that woman think that most guys can be nasty, which is true to a certain extent, but I found myself needing to clean everything. The first night I stayed over I just had to clean the bathroom…my way. This meant me taking a trip to the 99 cent store to get cleaning supplies, a bucket, rubber gloves, and a shower liner. All I needed was a small bottle of Mistolin and I would have been set.
I scrubbed that bathroom until I felt better and comfortable. When I was finally done taking a shower, I just thought to myself…How did I become this way? It is like I just became every Latina in my life that needed to clean something. I guess I just needed to set the tone.
I’m not going to live in filth anymore. Maybe that is yet another reason why I am struggling to get out of here. Perhaps I have not cleansed all the things from my life.