This past year, I have been going through an intensive and constant “spring cleaning.”
My apartment feels like a consignment shop, with bags of clothing, boxes of books, and odds and ends lining the walls. I have given away furniture, clothing, over 100 books, and made many trips to the post office.
It has always been difficult for me to part with my stuff. I imagine I gain a sense of stability by having it around. No matter where I go, there is familiarity in my things.
But this past year, it has begun to weigh heavily on me. I have spent thousands of dollars in moving expenses. Take my advice, if you are moving to or from Alaska, travel light!
What was difficult in the beginning has become less so. I feel such lightness with each item gone. I sleep better at night after pulling things out of my closets and drawers and piling them on a shelf in my front room that has become the intermediate space.
One American dream is to have it all—house, husband, and the nicest of things.
I have tried the dream, but it was not the right fit for me.
This does not mean that in shedding elements of one dream I magically find another that fits perfectly. In the end, I am not sure that is possible.
I do not desire perfection.
I desire freedom. Freedom from the weight of material things.
I remember sitting on my couch in Alaska and looking up at the high ceiling—panel after panel of beautiful wood. Each panel was unique, with beautiful knots and patterns and shades of color.
It felt surreal, and it was.
I loved my home. It was like a sanctuary. But at the same time, it became a kind of prison. Because I felt so safe inside, especially compared to how I felt with each passing mile as my car brought me closer to work in the mornings, I had little desire to leave. I just wanted to curl up inside of that house and disappear.
It is difficult to explain.
Leaving made everything else possible. It was a statement to my self and the world that I needed a more sustainable life.
This purge I have been conducting for the past year—essentially, since leaving Alaska—has been a statement to my self that I can be free.
I have lived the dream, but it was just one dream.
And life is long.
There will be many more dreams to come.