I downsized my life when I moved from Atlanta to New York.
At one point, in the cleaning and packing (that took three months) I gave away TEN bags of clothes, as well as five boxes of books. I won’t say I was a hoarder, because I’m not, I will throw away something I don’t need in a minute. But, these clothes…these books. I kept them, because I thought I needed them. I worked in a conservative environment, so I needed all those suits; even though I never wore them because I didn’t like the way they fit or looked on me. I kept the books because I am an avid reader and having a lot of books around my house made me feel smart and look smart to others (or so I thought.)
I was prompted to downsize prior to the move after falling in love with Tiny House Hunters. I was so fascinated by these people, sometimes whole families, who were going to move into a few hundred square feet. I was living in 2,000 square feet and still wanted more. Not to mention, my house was a mess and when there is chaos in your outer world, it is a reflection of your inner world. So, I decided to clean up.
I started giving the books away first. If it wasn’t related to the African American Experience or Hip-Hop, honestly, it could go. I wasn’t likely to read most of my novels over and I had a bunch of books on other subjects as well. If it wasn’t something that I was eventually going to use as a resource to write a book, or was very dear to my development; it was trash.
I started donating the clothes. I started with what was too big. I had recently lost a significant amount of weight, about 60 pounds, and being formerly fat it was hard for me to accept that was no longer me. I didn’t need these too big clothes, and I never would again. I then went to what was too small, because while I was losing weight, I probably wouldn’t be going that far down. Trash.
Throwing and giving away material possessions that once meant a lot to me helped me focus a lot more on the things that were important to me. My health, my friends, my passion. My God. My family. It’s why even now, after I downsized my life by greater than half, I am still giving stuff away. I wouldn’t be mad if I could fit everything that was “essential” to my life in one large suitcase, a medium-sized box, and a purse.
Instead of focusing so intently on material things, lately I’ve been very focused on what is the content of my character, of my heart, of my soul. I spend more time in a state of awareness. I listen better, I’m quieter, I write more, my relationships are better, even the weight is still coming off.
I read an affirmation from one of my favorite sites, Daily Word, that “Letting go of what no longer serves us simplifies our lives.” When you simplify your life joy is found in the simple things, the little things and it’s a wonderful feeling. I promise.
Happy Birthday to my cousin, Beverly.