Anxiety Boxes

I happen to have too many dresses. It’s a problem I’m not used to having, and could quickly snowball out of control if I let it. This live-in nannying being my first steady, full-time job, I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I have money. And it’s mine. It’s my money to do whatever I want with, whether it’s sensibly save and invest or just blow all of it on repeated trips to Forever 21.

But back on topic, all these dresses of mine have to go somewhere. Dresses being what they are, they have to be hung in a closet or they will resemble a topographic map with contour lines when worn. Fortunately, I have a closet. It’s the most spacious closet I’ve ever almost owned, measuring in at nearly five feet across and three feet deep. It’s practically Narnia in there.

Still, the closet was starting to resemble a hoarder’s bathroom, so while the children were in school today I decided to clean it out and give away a few dresses to make room. In doing so, however, I discovered that it wasn’t the clothes that were taking up most of the space, it was the box sitting squarely in the middle of the floor area.

Pictured: Not actual box

This box was massive, cardboard, and notably empty, because it was the box that I had packed all my worldly possessions into when I moved 2,600 miles from my hometown in Idaho to live in New Jersey. I was understandably nervous while doing this: I was moving directly into my employer’s house, I had very little money, this was my first full time nanny gig, I was moving directly into my employer’s house, I knew no one over here, I was moving directly-

The point being, I was under the impression that I would be immediately fired once they got a second look at me. Oh, I had already flown in for a face-to-face interview over the weekend, sure, but clearly once they got to know me they would realize how utterly unprepared I was to be an adult, much less an adult that’s there to nurture their three to six small not-adults.

So when my box of things arrived in the mail, I unpacked everything, sorted it all out… and kept the box. In the back of my mind, I knew it was only a matter of time before I was fired, and when one is fired and evicted at the same time, one doesn’t want to have to hunt down a new box to hold all their stuff.

The box went into the closet. The box stayed in the closet. And now, going on one full year of nannying, I only just now threw it out. (Yes, yes, I recycled it.)

It feels… well, it feels better having more closet space.

I also received a few packages in the mail today, and most notable among them (at least at present) is the appallingly adorable “Personal Library Kit”, which can be used to brand the books you lend to friends, so that even when they don’t return it they can feel slightly guiltier than usual about it every time they crack the book open.

Included in the kit: 20 self-adhesive pockets, 20 checkout cards, date stamp, stamp pad, and a real life “genuine pencil”.

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