[First world problems ahead. Proceed with caution.]
My never-ending journey of decluttering made a new turn today. I realised all these years, I’ve accumulated all this stuff due to my unfortunate inability to fall in love with things. What? Inability? Did I not mean overwhelming ability?
The simple truth is I never really knew what I loved. You know those “friendship books” that used to get passed around in school – the ones where you’re supposed to write about yourself, your likes and dislikes and favourite everything’s? Those always used to induce a minor anxiety attack in my poor little mind. An identity crisis – is probably over the top. But I never really had strong feelings about what I liked or didn’t like until much later on in life.
Which brings me to my epiphany; I accumulate things I mildly like, in hopes to find something I absolutely adore and love. It’s true, I kept looking (and buying) wallets, until I found out that I loved black patent leather prints. I have a long and a short in the same pattern, and that’s been the end of my wallet journey. I also collected perfumes until I found one that I truly adored, never spent money on a different scent until the line was discontinued (*sobs*). Same goes with the concealer I’ve been using for years and the comfy pants I’m glad they continued to stock. Once I find what I truly adore, my need to look for new [insert item category] dies.
So fine. Perhaps I need to keep looking for more things I absolutely love. But how is this the cause of my clutter? Again, as with most of my problems, it stems from fear.
Fear of not being able to figure out what I love; fear of getting further away from figuring myself out… I hoard all the things I’ve tried and liked, just so I know which direction I should be heading in. I’m afraid if I throw things out, I’ll forget, and end up wasting time and money.
I also foolishly, irrationally fear the very slight possibility that I may be in love with something I once had. What if I remember something I threw away, and realised I actually loved that oversized furry jumper or that polka dot scarf? Fear of regret. Even though I don’t subscribe to the notion of falling in love slowly – I either love it or I don’t. Always been that way, whether it’s things or people. So this fear has no basis and really has no place in my life.
I also hold on to possessions because it took me so long to figure out what I liked; it’s as if my identity somehow depended on these things. I am much wiser than the little girl who yearned to know what her favourite colour is, but childhood dispositions are difficult to eliminate. Even though I can now proudly say I don’t have a favourite colour, I’m still tempted to try on the latest trending colour each season… Just in case I’ve been wrong all these years, and was just waiting for that colour to show up.
I’ve rid myself of the teenager habit of taking random quizzes to figure out who I am. I am now comfortable with defining myself as fluid; I am not bound by what I’ve said in the past, what I say now, or what I might become in the future.
In fact I am so motivated to grow and change; I aim to be a different person than I was a year ago. If I define myself as liking apples, I’m not afraid to turn around and say – actually, I’m into pears now. People change, and I hope, the changes I notice are always because I am closer to the truth, closer to the real me.
I guess the task now, is to kick the old habit of holding on to things that don’t bring me excitement, fulfilment, or joy. Especially not in response to the fear of not finding a better one. After all, gotta clear out space to allow for new additions. Wish me luck!
P.S. yes, there is a part of me that want to relate this to the boys I keep holding onto in my life….. But let me just make it clear, each time I hold on, I do love them. I don’t pick one up and continue to shop for a new one. It’s just that unfortunately one way or another they stopped fitting me, so I had to let them go. Now if only I can find one that will continue to fit as I grow…….