Finishing Unfinished Business

Decluttering. Simplifying. Downsizing.  Whatever resonates most with you.

It can be tough to let go of attachments, especially when they don’t just come in a physical form.

I once had a friend tell me that he gave away EVERYTHING he owned (besides what fit in his backpack) before he traveled the world.

Since I was a child, the only thing I have been 100% sure on is that I wanted traveling to make up the majority of my life.

His story got me thinking about what I actually needed ( in regards to physical possessions) in my life. Around the time I heard this, I was sleeping in a sports bra just so I could hold ChapStick close to me for literally 24 hours a day. It was time for a change.

Before I left for college, I lived in the same house for 12 years. I had lots of time (and space..I didn’t realize that walk-in closets were not a common thing in every bedroom) to accumulate crap.

Throughout the five years I spent at university, I moved at least once a year, totaling eight different residences.

I had a love/hate relationship with moving on a regular basis. I loathed packing up things (some that I didn’t even use once since arriving at that house) just to load them up again. Once I caught onto this pattern, I began to see it as a blessing. It made me realize how much CRAP I gave more meaning than it gave me.

I have a relationship with every single item that I own. Some relationships are healthier and more fulling than others. I have a plant sitting near my bed that brings me peace whenever I see it. Yet, I have books that haven’t been touched since I bought them. I’ll read that soon. I just need to finish this book I started first… 2 years later and I haven’t finished the first book.

I’m tired of having pointless stuff. I’m worn down from racing thoughts and emotional attachments to people and memories.

Are these connected?

I’ve experimented with a diverse amount of psycho-active plants and substances. The states of consciousness I’ve experienced spread out like wings.

However, a recent high I’ve bathed in is from taking a small carload of old crap to Goodwill.

The cycle goes something like this: I feel stressed/antsy about clutter. Then I get a surge of energy and work hard to organize the clutter into four different bags (more like sections of a room): recycle, donate, sell, or trash. I am incredibly focused during this time and will usually work for 3-4 hours straight before I realize how hungry/thirsty I am. After a small break, I relax down a bit then load the stuff into my car. On the way to the donation center, I feel a release. It’s similar to the feeling of “Yes! My paper/assignment is turned in!” On the way home, oh do I feel accomplished!

I am in a lucky situation right now. I just finished school and moved back to my parents’ house to dog-sit for them for 3 weeks. Everything that I own is finally in one spot, rather than spread between two towns in different parts of the state. I came back to everything in my room as well. Meaning, my parents were sick of me spreading my junk around the house.  Mmmm, what a lesson when we can see ourselves clearly in others!

What matters though, is that love/hate relationships for me tend to be a blessing in disguise waiting patiently to be appreciated.

Eliminating the majority of my things is the first step to my life. I won’t be traveling for long if I still have a room at home that needs to be cleaned and emptied out. It is necessary for me to have the feeling of “Ahh…I’m all finished with that mess. Time to move on!”

I’ve been at home now for 3 days. On each of those days, I have been working full-time as a cleaner,  self-cleansing that is. I’ve made daily trips to Goodwill in each of the days so far to drop off a carload of crap. I’ve been speaking more honestly with those I used to be more indirect with. I am also clearing out what’s no longer needed from my body, starting with not putting unnecessary crap in (Farewell chocolate covered pretzels, howdy gourmet taco salads! Okay, this one might take a few tries.)

Sometimes we can’t see the destination right away, or sometimes (if you’re like me) we cannot even see our paths clearly. Even taking a single step might be tough, but it’s the only thing that do in this moment.

I don’t know where I’ll be by 2016 (hopefully somewhere, my frequent flier miles expire in January haha), but for the next 3 weeks I will be eliminating my unfinished business.

Do you have any similar stories or tips?

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