Time is such a funny thing. I find myself thinking back on this time last year, and what brought me to purging my belongings in the first place. It feels like a lifetime ago, but January 2017 was just one year ago. I think back on the person that I was this time last year, and I don’t think I would recognize myself1.
Sometime last Christmas, or maybe it was just after that, I remember hearing or reading about the book that was changing lives: Marie ‘KonMari’ Kond?‘s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I think it might have been the first book I bought on Audible2. I listened to it and ate up the knowledge it had to impart, and then I went on my own journey. I started looking for the joy in everything I possessed.
After checking a few items, I knew I was in for a long journey.
You see, I come from a family of hoarders. No, we’re not worthy of being on that television show – you know the one – but we definitely keep things ‘just in case’. Plus, I had been working as a freelance Brand Ambassador/Logistics Coordinator/Volunteer Manager/Jane-Of-All-Trades for almost five years by this time last year. Money was tight. I bought things on sale, even when I didn’t need them, because I would eventually need them. I kept samples. Oodles, and oodles of samples. It didn’t matter that I hardly ever used said samples. I kept them just in case.
There were times when money was so tight that I would end up having to use some of the samples or the things that I bought on sale (just in case) – but more often than not, things just took up space in drawers, or pretty boxes3. It was just silly. I would get fed up trying to find something, because there was so much stuff to look through. How on earth did I live like that?
Ignorance. You ignore the things that mildly bother you, because they only bother, mildly. What I failed to realize was that holding on to those things was a symptom of a bigger problem leading to my general unhappiness in life. I didn’t know it at the time, but I really needed to let go of a lot of things. Things from my past – both recent, and distant – and I needed to learn how to let go of things that I may come across in the future that may try to cling on, and keep me down.
So I spent this past year purging. Slowly. Thoughtfully. Painfully. A few nights ago, I bought down four bags of items to donate to the Diabetes Association of Canada; I left them on my front porch for pick-up early the next morning. I still have a lot to get rid of. I’m taking my time, but I am getting there.
Some of these purges this past year, were really easy. Getting my closet down to fifty percent was easy. Getting from fifty to twenty-five was a little more difficult. I’m kind of stuck there now. I don’t think I can go any further, and that’s okay because the things I’m left with are things that bring me joy. The same goes for a lot of the household things I have left myself with. I have some things I need to replace, like my iron4, but that will all come in time.
Once I started focusing on only keeping things around me that sparked joy, it became easier to do that with people too. I’d like to emphasize that it became easier. I still like to be considerate of other people’s feelings; but if they are the kind of person who can’t see the big picture, who can’t see beyond their own ego and take someone else’s feelings into consideration5, it becomes pretty easy to let go of that kind of a person.
Something major changed for me this past year. It was a slow burn. I even wrote about it a little bit here, and there. I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening or what the catalyst was. There was a part of me that thought that maybe it was because of an ex who forced me to give less fucks by treating me like shit, but hindsight shows me that it was all me. All this work that I’ve done this year learning to let go of things that don’t bring me joy, and learning to focus on the joy – the things, and the people who bring me joy – has made me more resilient than I have ever been. And I was resilient before this. I guess I’m made of rubber now. I guess this means I’m ready. i’m just not sure what I’m supposed to be ready for. All I know is I am. Ready.