The Urge to Purge

I just got rid of a lot of stuff. I mean a LOT. It could be due to the fact that I’m moving into a smaller space with limited storage. Or maybe because it’s spring. Or maybe I’m at that age where I’m tired of being surrounded by useless trinkets. And I think the largest reason that I’ve purged a large portion of my belongings is that I’m truly ready to let go of the past and be light. 

The thing about holding onto the past is that it gets heavy. Literally. 

I kept all my old school books and binders with endless notes from my high school and university days. Why? I suppose I felt like these books said something about me. I was a good student, usually top of the class. It was a huge part of my identity. Who was I if I wasn’t “the good student”? I was afraid to get rid of all these books because it could mean I’d be erasing a hard-earned badge of honor. All that time spent carefully penning notes, sleepless nights writing essays and studying for tests…for what? For my efforts to be stored away in a box in my closet, to be lugged around from home to home, never to be looked at?? To be honest, a large part of my motivation came from laziness. Those boxes are damn heavy! 

Tossing my school books was hard for me, I’ll admit. But once I did it, I felt light. And weird thing is, I didn’t feel any less intelligent, or any less accomplished. If anything I felt smarter because I wasn’t going to have to pack up and move 100lbs of paper again. 

I also got rid of over half my closet. My new home doesn’t have a lot of closet space, so largely this purge was practical, too. And as I tossed unworn items into a bag bound for goodwill, I noticed how good it felt. The jeans that don’t fit. That shirt that always hung a little weird on me. My “goal dress”. That cute albeit itchy sweater. The silk hippy pants my ex bought me. Toss. Toss. Toss. Some clothes have a bad mojo attached to them, but I kept them anyways because I figured one day I would have the perfect occasion and I would regret not having them. And there they hung, for months and months and months. And so I decided to only kept the ones that make me feel awesome. The ones that regularly make the rounds from my body to the laundry and back. No longer will I be choked by my scarves or corseted by my dresses. I got rid of underwear that ride and pants that grope me without asking. I dumped my “goal” clothes because they don’t love me unconditionally. I decided it’s time to make my closet work for me instead of the other way around. I suppose my clothes were a sort of identity marker too; they say something about me, or about who I want to be. By wearing clothes that I like and feel comfortable in only, I guess that means I might be getting closer to being truly comfortable in the skin underneath them. So that’s a win. 

Lastly, I deleted the old text messages from my ex. We broke up almost a year ago and for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to erase them. I kept every single iMessage from the very first awkward text where he asked me out to the last ones where we barely spoke one word answers to each other. Again, I suppose keeping these meant that somehow I could preserve the love we had, which was a huge part of my identity for three years. I pour my heart and soul into relationships, and deleting him from my phone meant losing all that love I gave. And that’s not how it is at all. He taught me so much and I will continue to cherish those lessons and memories forever. And…I’m ready to move on. With love, with compassion, and with way more room on my phone to take pictures of my feet in the sand, like this: 

After The Great Purge of 2016, when I see something I want to buy, I really think about it. I pause and make sure I really need it, or really really really want it…not by impulse but out of true passion (let’s face it, I really only NEED maybe 3 pairs of shoes – tops – but there’s something about a set of sexy heels that can really make a girl’s day). I notice when I’m holding onto something because of fear, and then I promptly switch back to thoughts of abundance. My new mantra could be something like, “I am enough, silk hippy pants or not”. And if I keep something sentimental, I really pay attention to how it makes me feel: am I afraid to lose something if I don’t keep this symbol? Or can I be grateful for something in the present and know that my heart is like a hard drive that never runs out of space, where love resides eternally?

What do you want to purge from your life? What are you ready to make space for? What’s heavy that you could let go of? 

For more thoughts and tips on our compulsion to hoard, check out this lovely article: 

Fear Is Why We Have Too Much Stuff

Keeping it short and sweet today…now go put your feet in the sand. 😉