Over the last few months (maybe even few years) I have felt increasingly pushed and pulled between wanting to get rid of 'everything' and live a very minimalist life, but at the same time wanting to hold on to all the 'creations' and memories of my childhood and my school years, holding onto all my art and craft materials, all the bags and boxes of recipe ingredients and food photography equipment lining my kitchen shelves, and of course all my books!
I find huge comfort and creativity in these things, but in equal measure, I find it all overwhelming and suffocating...
Knowing there are stacks and boxes in the loft and under my bed needing sorting through 'at some point' creates a low level of anxiety that never quite leaves me, a subtle heaviness that holds me back. I have observed this for some time.
I want to travel and live a more transient nomadic life, not for ever but for a while, and all these 'things' are stopping me. I am letting them stop me. Why is that?
I feel incredibly emotional at the thought of just letting it all go, but at the same time a huge sense of liberation. Tears prick my eyes as I write this (unexpectedly)
Maybe that's called starting over?
Do I need to start over?
I recall almost ten years ago now, one weekend totally out of the blue my ex-boyfriend at the time stripped his life almost completely bare to prove to himself he could do it. To prove to himself what was essential. To get curious about what made him truly happy.
He packed everything he owned into boxes in the garage and challenged himself to live from the contents of a single holdall for a week, which became two weeks then one month. He slept on a roll up camping mat on the floor net to the bed for that time period also.
Once the month was done, he slowly added things carefully and consciously back into his life and got rid of the rest, the majority.
I remember thinking he was absolutely crazy at the time. But now I look back and smile with a shift in perspective, a new level of understanding. Extreme maybe, but only now do I begin to understand.
I wonder how to find the balance in letting go. How do I begin to negotiate this task?
Marie Kondo would ask "does it bring me joy?" Yet, so often I find it is not that clear cut. Many of these things do indeed bring me great joy, I'm just not sure that is the question I need to ask…
I have always formed strong attachments to things and struggle to let go often long after they have served me... relationships, clothes, habits... it drains my energy and holds me in the past. On the flip side, memories can be so beautiful, but even in their beauty can hold you back and stop you looking forwards.
I am a creator and my whole life revolves around creativity and using my mind, my hands and all of my senses to interact with and reinterpret the world around me.
The thought of not having access to the diverse physical expression of my art and creativity, not having all my crafting resources to hand to dip into at any given moment quite frankly terrifies me, it pushes me to the very edge of my comfort zone. I'm scared that I will be lost in my head forever with no way to physically create. Even as I write that I know that this is not true.
But maybe this is what I most need to embrace and explore.
Reinterpreting my creative expression through the eyes of a living a minimalist life.
I am curious as to where that might lead...