Anxiety runs through my veins and my shoulders tense up as I take in the disaster that is my home. Clutter litters every surface and it feels like I’m moving pile to pile achieving nothing. There is no dent in this mountain. I briefly consider torching it all but that wouldn’t solve the problem. The clutter is a manifestation of the real issue in my brain: I’m unfulfilled and lonely and lazy. I’m skilled at hiding behind things to make it look like I’m accomplished but I can barely keep up with the things I’ve accumulated in my life. Instead of bringing me joy, I feel buried under the weight.
I tackle cleaning the litter box and it hits me that I’ve spent my life believing it was meant to be easy. I never put any thought into the fact that creating an “easy” life is work. I relished in the languid days of waking up and taking a walk or some other exercise, getting some work done, eating, then being able to read a book or do whatever else I wanted to do. I wanted my hours to be mine to waste away. And it never hit me that that’s all I was doing—wasting away the hours.
Now I’m fixing up the house and the overwhelm of the burdens I’ve created hits me and for a moment I feel no way out. I see I’ve been holding onto useless junk as a memento of moments I wanted to relive over and over again for fear I may never experience it again. And it hits me again that I’ve been doing it wrong. I’ve been holding onto trash for fear I would forget when I had the memory available to me all the time. There comes a point where the mind needs to clear—and so does the space—otherwise there is no room for anything new. That is when you stagnate.
I experienced a lot of loss at a young age so I spent a lifetime trying to create security with the illusion that things never go away if you take care of them. All it did was keep me stuck. Life isn’t meant to be the same. We are meant to experience the highs and lows as a means of creating value to the days we live. It took me a really long time to even consider that life isn’t meant to be easy. Easy is nice but it isn’t real. We aren’t meant to bury ourselves in things of days passed. I spent a lot of time trying to recreate the memory and the feeling of my childhood because, for me, it was an easier time. In spite of the losses, I was well cared for.
I wanted to relive that over and over again and to create those experiences for my child as well. In order to get that, I need to accept that it is work to make an easy life. There is no room for laziness in going after the things you want. And that isn’t a bad thing. It’s far easier and more productive creating a life you want than it is to try and relive the past. With that being said, I’m committing to letting go of the things that no longer build the life I’m working for. I still want those moments of languidness but I can accept the work that’s involved. I can also accept that it’s time for new memories and it’s time to let go.
The first step was recognizing that I no longer want to feel this way and the second step is admitting the cause: my own insecurities and fears holding onto crap is NOT healthy. So the last step is letting go. It’s eliminating the distractions and honing in on what I really need. I needed to learn to honor my experiences and I had to learn to accept my experiences for what they were, not what I wanted them to be. I can love what happened and I can learn from what happened, but I can no longer hold onto what happened. So, with ultimate bravery, I grab the garbage bags and tackle the first pile.