When I moved into this apartment over a year and a half ago, I brought much of my old life with me. Boxes and bins, bags, books, furniture, and with them, plenty of leftover negative emotion. Luckily, I also brought hope, and the first sparks of happiness. But as I’ve gone on making my nest here, I’ve come to realize that moving forward is harder when you’re holding on to too much of the past, be that physically or emotionally.
About a year ago, I started getting rid of things. I sold things that could be sold on Ebay or Amazon, and put other bits and pieces out on the curb for passersby. Periodically, I’d look through my possessions and reassess how they made me feel. If I held a positive emotional attachment to an item, like the stuffed rabbit my grandfather gave me before he died, or the wooden cactus that reminds me of my dad, I’d keep it. If it affected me negatively, like presents from an ex, or clothes that reminded me of how much weight I’d gained, I found a way to get rid of them. Very slowly, my apartment began to feel lighter, less jumbled.
It’s crazy how much stuff one 400 square foot space can hold, because I’m STILL cleaning. Right now I have another ten items on Ebay, a list of products up on Amazon, and a big box of other stuff that needs to get listed tonight on Ebay and Craigslist. That, after putting at least a box of random things out on the curb every single week.
However, I think I’m getting somewhat close to the end. It’s time to go through my closet one more time to eliminate any pieces that don’t fit. I’ve ordered all new underthings (all in black, to eliminate time wasted each morning making such a silly decision as what color underwear to wear today). I bought a new size of my favorite jacket, the one that stopped fitting my shoulders when I started weightlifting. No use in holding on. I’m going to cull my shoe collection to 1/2 of its current size, since I only ever wear my sneakers, TOMS and Tevas anyway. I’m also going to sell my Arabian Nights book collection, and consolidate my jewelry boxes.
Once my belongings are pared down, I’ll revise my work station and get started with the big bad plan for my new year – building a new career identity. While I still have my job as online marketing director for my New Orleans ad agency, I’m also going back to school in a few days for a certificate in Copyediting. On top of that, I’m going to start making my origami & jewelry-making business, one piece at a time. By 2017, I plan to be a hell of a lot closer to the me I see when I close my eyes at night.
It is said that, “Fine words butter no parsnips.” Work is required. I am worth it. I will not wait any longer for the world to make space for me. I’ll just make my own, thanks.