You ever just look around you see yourself surrounded with things? Do you ever ponder and ask yourself what is actually necessary?
When my maternal grandmother passed a little over 4yrs ago it was as if something in me shifted. Life felt different and I seen life through a different lens. This was the first person I had lost that was so closely connected to me and its as if for the first time I contemplated my own mortality. Seeing my mom and her siblings have to sift through the items left behind also gave me a grave sense of reality in regards to the things we hold value in in this life, after all, we don’t carry a thing out of this world with us when we go.
Since then, I find myself purging a lot. I’m no hoarder but I’ve historically had a hard time getting rid of things. As a creative, if it’s broke I can probably fix it. If it isn’t broken, I can probably use it at some point. That’s been my mindset. I’ve also operated from a “broke” mindset, partially conditioned, partially lived experience. As a single parent for several years I would be buy things on sale (in multiples) to make sure I had plenty “just in case” I didn’t have the money when I actually ran out of said item. This mindset is a HARD one to break and leads to an accumulation of excess, and if I’m being honest, an excess of unnecessary things.
As I’m currently going through a purge I came across all my trophies from beauty school, a beautiful physical reminder of the many achievements, successes, and the journey I’ve been able to experience. It gave me joy to reminisce, but ultimately I asked myself and got real with the idea of sentimental value. Some items hold extreme sentimental value to us in this life and make it hard to part ways with, but have you ever asked yourself “if I were to die today, would this hold value for anyone else or would it end up in the trash or a consignment shop?” The reality of that smacking you in the face kinda makes you look at things from a different perspective and the idea of my family having to rummage through my things to sort through what’s relevant and not, ugh it makes me cringe.
While some things bring us joy in the moment the reality is, most of it is unneccessary, there are people who literally live off of much less than many of us could ever imagine. I think in the exploration of these thoughts I’ve uncovered why its hard for me to pay a whole lot for things…I don’t place a lot of value in the things I can’t carry with me or objects that will eventually wear or be disposable. A lot of times the things we accumulate are in some way psychologically connected to the societal value placed on them…in short, a way of showing off, feeling relevant, and keeping up with the Jones’s.
I’m no minimalist, probably never will be, my creative brain could never. BUT I am trying to be more mindful and consciously aware of the THINGS that occupy my space and life. Im slowly releasing the need to be surrounded by stuff just for the sake of having stuff. The dopamine hits different when I’m able to finish off a bottle of something and throw it away, when I’m able to give something away, donate, or toss something that no longer serves me. Life is a constant work in progress and this is something I’ve consciously been aware of that I’m working on.
Did this resonate? Have you ever thought about the things around you? What are you consciously working on right now?