If you’re anything like me, you have a wardrobe full of clothes (some of which you haven’t seen, let alone worn, for months. OK, years.) And there are utensils lurking in your kitchen cupboards that you’ve never used. It’s not the ‘how’, it’s the ‘why’? What does it do? What does it make easier/quicker/more professional? Where did it come from?
It took me 12 years to realise the weight of all this paraphernalia. Stuff I thought I couldn’t do without. Mountains of it, filling a sizeable 3-bedroom house. Poor house. It wasn’t the house’s fault that I got so stuck there. The house was supposed to be the beginning – of a marriage, a family and a future. Instead the poor old place became a symbol of a dream cut short. Where life couldn’t be lived, because it would mean finally letting go. That’s an awful lot of ‘stuff’ to keep in a space, no matter how many square feet you’ve got.
Moving out was a wrench. It began with the realisation that the practical, financial burden of the place was keeping me trapped in a job that was making me miserable. Something needed to change.
I say ‘moving out was a wrench’. The funny thing is, though, that it wasn’t. Not really. The realisation hit me one day. That ‘stuff’ had to go, including the house. I had to make room for a life.
So I did. It took the average amount of time to actually do it – about 8 months from decision to move. Clearing out – getting rid of all those things that were weighing me down. It was amazing, even before The Day of The Move, how clearing out stuff from the loft made me feel happier. Lighter and less oppressed. I thought I’d cry when I closed the front door behind me for the last time. But I didn’t.
I’d like to claim that this was because I felt nothing but excitement for my new future. Actually, I knew I’d be back the following day to collect a cat who had decided she didn’t fancy moving today, thank you very much, and scarpered over the fence.
The move was made. The cat was retrieved. There are things I’ve kept, of course. Things of value – sentimental or monetary. Things of use, or of (to me) exceptional beauty. But virtually nothing that is neither. And I live in a space which is about the present and the future, not the past.
Letting go of the burdens of the past has opened up so many possibilities for the future. It has freed me to set out on a new journey – starting my own business doing something I love, and to be more creative in the way that I approach life. And an emptier wardrobe creates space for more shopping. I call that a win.
It would be lovely to hear from anyone else who’s found a way of letting go of the things that have stopped them exploring. Maybe we could send each other occasional postcards from life.