I am currently emptying my house before moving out (hopefully). You know how it goes, the bigger the space the more clutter. I have a big house and 3 annexes to rid of toys, tools, bikes, books and all the stuff a family of 4 can amass.
That ‘throw it all’ process started in a really painful way. For the first week I couldn’t decide what to let go of, what to keep. Yet deep inside of me, I wanted to ditch everything and move on. So I hated myself for feeling those contradictory feelings. This is f*cking good therapy.
Then I tried the Marie Kondō shit: hold the stuff, bring it to your heart and see if it sparkles joy. It actually did bring me comfort every single time I tried it. But my personal take in life is that comfort is bad. What I needed there was not a small step outside my comfort zone, I needed a base jump way out of my comfort zone.
So I tried something else, something I do a lot at work: ask myself the right questions to understand my own reluctance. What is this object really about? Is it purely useful? indispensable? or does it have an emotional attachment? if so, of what kind? and the question that solves it all: what do I fear about letting that thing go? Once again it all comes down to fear.
Through that process I came to realize that
- I am not attached to things, I am attached to what these things mean and remind me of: life experiences. So, if it’s not the thing itself but what it means, what it means is forever engraved in me and I can carry it everywhere, reach out to it anytime. Getting rid of the thing will not make the experience disappear.
- I shouldn’t be lead by the fear of losing those moments nor the fear of not living other good moments. Even if I already *knew* it, it’s good to *experience* it: clearing space makes room for new good stuff to happen.
So how to let go? (usual hint: the only way to do it is… to do it)
- Start with the obvious, the things you really don’t want. Throw and then don’t stop, keep the streak going, keep the pace, throw something every day. Even throw stuff you really cared about and you’ll realize you can live without.
- Give, do not sell. Selling is a hassle. Setting a price to a thing that is valuable for you is hard. Giving is a joy. Giving is good. Wish the receivers the same luck & happiness you had with the object.
- Move the f*ck on. Trust the future, trust yourself, look forward: you can overcome every loss.
- Cultivate faith (not in a religious way), or hope, call it what you want, trust your resilience. You need to travel as light as possible to make something great out of the remaining time you have here.
I am supposed to move before the end of the year, during a second lock-down, in a region where people don’t move in winter and where there are very few real estate opportunities right now. Yet somehow it will have to happen.
2020 has been a leap of faith all the way through. Some things I hoped would have happen have not, I dealt with it and moved on, clearing space for new experiences. Was it nice to live? no. Did I have choice? no. But did it and am fine. Well mostly.