This past weekend Iza and I spent painstaking hours stripping our apartment of everything we’ve ever done to make it our own. Moving your stuff and leaving a place you’ve gotten so used to calling ‘home’ is never easy. Getting rid of 95% of your things while preparing to live out of your car is a gut-punch coated in dead puppy tears.
Pulling up your roots is fucking tough.
Between sorting boxes into ‘keep,’ ‘sell’ and ‘dumpster’ piles have been moments of hysterical second-guessing and fear that we are making some horrible mistake. The roller coaster of emotions is real, compounded by the fact that at the other end most of these boxes won’t be opened by us to be organized and placed in our new home. They will be gone forever.
Which is, of course, entirely the point. The discussion that lead to us planning our new lives started with the simple task of minimizing our lives and reducing it to only the things we truly needed – or the things that we got real value out of. The past few days have merely been the extreme culmination of a year of planning, prognosticating, and procrastinating until faced with a hard deadline for closing this particular chapter of our lives. It’s all crashed down on us as we stand here peering over the edge of the cliff with tears in our eyes and doubt in our guts not knowing what’s going to happen when we jump.
But jump we will, because the fear of what lies beneath is trumped by the prospect of infusing our lives with the pure, uninhibited joy of doing whatever the fuck we want. I’m ready for the next step, even if it means letting go of the past 33 years of my life in the process.
Letting go is hard, but perhaps the most important thing for us to learn to do as we focus on what really matters.
. . . . . . .
An hour before this picture was taken, it got real – the emotional mess of moving; keep, sell, donate, & not-sure piles all bleeding into one another.
All I could see were the hours of energy we put into making our apartment the perfect reflection of ourselves. The memories. Was I throwing them away, too? How can I disrespect things that kept me safe and comfortable by just getting rid of them!?
Panic mode: Why the hell are we doing this? I can’t do this. . .
I need this dusty old tray because mom gave it to me & it looks good with all my things, I’ll need it some day. I’m crazy! I’m overwhelmed, anxious, spiraling. What do I do first? Then the tears come & I’m eating deli meat out of the open fridge with my head in the freezer succumbing to the madness I created. Why am I actively fighting the change I am so desperately craving?
We hold on because letting go means trusting the uncertain, being unsettled, uncomfortable. There will always be another another dusty tray, but the reality is that you will realize your things do not define you.
Letting go can feel like surrender, giving up, losing control when it’s actually the key to gaining control.
Uprooting your life is emotional & letting go of things is exhausting.
Our stuff is charged only by the meaning we give it. But most of us have been giving meaning to our stuff our whole lives. It’s a process that takes time. Be kind to yourself. Acknowledge your negative patterns & create new ones. If you can’t, then reflect on how you’re feeling in the full swing of it all. Accept it, digest it, extract meaning from it, then put it behind you so you can move forward.
In these moments, it’s crucial to remember that you are letting go to create time & space to live a more meaningful life.
Right now is hard work. In a week we will have just the essentials & things that spark joy. I won’t remember feeling crazy. I’ll be relieved & won’t be tied to my things. In a month we will still have our memories. A year from now – I’ll be looking back on myself from some towering mountain or some bottomless canyon – and I’ll laugh.