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Why do I have so much stuff?

We moved over the last few days (still a little ongoing, we've got to go get the surfboards). We are in the process of making-ready, a Women's treatment center and decided to put our house on the market and move over because we are already paying a mortgage on it and really we should have moved a year ago, but oh well. So then we packed and I thought "Oh this will be easy, we are so minimal already. We'll need only a few boxes and it'll be so effortless"...I thought I was a minimalist, but oh no...Granted, I'm trying and we have two kids so my version of minimalism will look different than, perhaps, a single person's minimalism. But as I was trying to organize and clean and find places for things to go in our smaller place, I have been piling up the extras in an extra bedroom. And it's a lot of extra. So far about 5 full banana boxes full (the boxes a case of bananas comes in, they big). And right now, I've just shut the door. Trying to block it all out. This is after we have given away about 10 boxes of stuff just slashing and burning as we loaded up all our stuff. I even gave away my wedding dress that I had in a preservation box. And the feelings associated with it are coming back to haunt me a little. Or at least I'm processing it now that I have time to sit and breathe and it feels a little more sad than I would have hoped. I know there are a lot of emotions tied into our stuff which is why we keep them. A subject that is not easy to pin down or talk about because it's so intertwined with our individual stories. They are old dreams and memories that we are sort of cutting away and we are afraid. Afraid to let go. This idea is not original and not entirely mine. I've been reading Let It Go by Peter Walsh who talks much more in depth about the emotions tied to our stuff and how to in fact "Let it Go." He has a whole system to help us downsize physically and emotionally.

You see I've tried minimalism, saving money, not buying, sitting on my hands, deleting apps, doing inventory, you name it, to try to find peace and solace in my daily life, only to move and find out, I'm still stashing a lot of stuff I don't use or need. Why? Why do I need all these crystals, shoes, shirts, supplements etc. The jury is still out and I know I'm circling the drain on the issues but there is still some feelings of uselessness and loss tied into all of these pursuits of stuff. I know that somewhere in the recesses of my mind I feel like if I purchase this thing, or bring this certain way of living into my life, I will finally feel fulfilled and happy. I will have found "my thing" the thing that sets me apart, and makes me successful. Because a lot of the days, I feel like a failure. I think "what are you even doing with your life? Writing, making videos, food gardening, and parenting are nice, but they aren't REALLY contributing. You should be doing more important things with your are lazy, and useless." And it comes down to the fact that these things that I love, don't make a lot of money (or any). But I feel like I have to do them, they are all I know how to do right now. I could go back to a career that I hated and yes, I'd make substantially more, but I'd hate my life all the time instead of just a few downregulating thoughts throughout each day.

I guess today I'm just a little sad and that's okay. I just moved out of the first house my husband and I bought together, the house my youngest baby was born in and the house that has been my home for the last 4 years. At least for this minimalist, letting go is not easy. I know it is where I want to go and the freedom I want in my life, but the process, the times when you are really in it, up to your knees in your stuff (and it starts to turn and all look like a bunch of trash), that is hard.

My toddler cried for two hours last night before she could go to bed and nothing I did or said helped. She just cried quietly and couldn't stop. I think she was just processing the fact that we are not going to "go back home." We also thought we lost her cat, but found him last night right before bed, so there are a lot of high emotions for all in the household. As I wiped away tear after tear I questioned if what we were doing was right. We are committed to saving as much money as we can and not wasting resources, so intellectually it is the right choice, but I didn't take a lot of time to explain to her ahead of time. And it's not just my world that is a little upside-down right now. When we were moving she thought we were going to give all her toys away because they were in boxes and put in the car. We are constantly giving things away due to the constant influx of things and a toy or two has gone asunder in the name of minimalism. I know I need to sit with her tonight and just talk about all of it. I was a kid once, and I understood a lot more than any adult gave me credit for. Our one year old of course, is fine and just thinks its all just more stuff to check out and get into.

I guess moving and downsizing has brought up more fear than I thought was there about my life choices. Or at least the comparison of my life choices to those who are "successful." I know that this is an arbitrary thought based on inaccurate depictions of life through media and social media and thus not accurate, but the pangs of grief remain. I will move through it and try to credit myself for acknowledging the pain and then trying to turn to gratitude for the blessings I do have in my life. My beautiful family, my intelligence, my freedom, our business which is still going while so many others have not, my health and a warm place to sleep. It is so easy to focus on the negative when the score card is really full of A+ things. As I look out of my window now there is a huge garden full of life in front of me, that I built with the help of some friends and of course The Universe breathing life through all things. I have two happy girls who I'm pretty sure are going to rule the world. I have a partner in life who is extraordinary. He is the epitome of Integrity and I can't believe I got so lucky. Plus he believes in me enough to not question this creative dream I've been plugging away at. He knows calling, and knows it needs to be followed. How badass is that?

The other side of downsizing is exactly what I was looking for. A lightness that feels very free. The ability to pack up and move in a day or two is a step closer to the type of life I want to live. I watch a lot of tiny-house living videos on YouTube and yearn for a life on the road with my kids and husband. I'd love to hop in an RV and go see all the National Parks. Go hiking, and write and film our adventures. It's funny how much I love gardening which involves being in one place for a long time and also the idea of moving around every other week to a new locale. I guess there is a season for it all. But ultimately, freedom is the watchword. I do not want to be so attached to my things that they keep me from doing and seeing all this world offers. I want to give my girls the gift of experience, not the plastic stuff you can find filling the dusty shelves of box stores or landfills. And they will know why we did not follow the straight and narrow. They will know why we said no to all the stuff they see at their friend's houses. They will know that some of these things are just a prison, and until you slash and burn, there is no way out. That on the other side of all the stuff, is the passion and creativity for life that is dying to get outside and connect. They will know that it is okay to feel sad and excited at the same time. They will know because thanks to minimalism, they will talk to their parents who are not buried in their devices, they will have the space to express themselves, and they will be free to ask for what they need.

As I inch slowly toward my dreams I will continue to try to unveil all of the ups and downs along the way. I want to document that quitting your day job to go do whatever-the-hell-you-want is not without it's challenges and rewards, but that ultimately it is vital. I hope that whatever you are doing out there, it is bringing up all the things that have needed to surface for however long and you are able to meet them head on, because at last, you have the space to deal. Live long and prosper. Amen

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