Growing up, I had a loving family. However, our home was filled with … a lot of things. It contained a lot of fearful money talk, junk drawers that wouldn’t shut, and general unrest from the appearance of too much stuff. Because of this, our house was never a restful place for me, but rather made me feel anxious. This feeling didn't leave me when I grew up, and when I hit adulthood, I realized I wasn’t celebrating my new freedom like everyone else was. In many ways I was afraid, even though I knew I had an entire life in front of me, waiting to be lived.
I remember asking myself, Why am I so afraid to begin? I then made a simple choice to start living in the now, so I didn’t stress so much about the future. After making this decision, I had time to see what was going on around me. And to my disbelief, I found … stuff. I had clothes from my middle school years, shoes with price tags still on them, and messy drawers filled to the brim. The environment I had curated for myself looked just like it did when I grew up, still producing the anxiety I had felt when I was young. I knew I had to make a change.
Then I discovered minimalism. I found out that there are hundreds of people like me who want to take their life into their own hands and have no idea how to begin. Through minimalism, I found that while I wasn’t happy with what I had, I was too afraid to let it go. I saw how easy it was to project our deep, buried anxieties onto physical things. Instead of trying to conquer my fears, I simply never gave up any stuff. In that subconscious decision to hang on, I had prevented myself from ever having anything worth holding on to. The life I had led was gripped on to everything I’d ever owned, rather than being cherished through anything I’d ever experienced.
None of us had perfect childhoods, and we won’t get anywhere by being controlled by them. As adults, it is up to us to be good managers of our time, our health, and our mental well-being. Whether we like it or not, that translates into our life. When I decided to let go, I discovered how little I actually needed to feel safe. Worth is where you put it, and if it is in 32 pairs of socks, that is where it will be. Only we get to make choices every day for our life, and we are given new opportunities to live how we want. From letting go and living with less, I was able to find a deep assurance within myself that translated into a joyful, and excited pursuit of life.
I rested my fears from childhood by making myself rich with fewer wants.
I replaced the messy junk drawers with a few empty ones, in symbolism of the peace I have, now unattached to the things within them.
I rejoice in the state of excitement I have to intentionally make room for a life I enjoy.
I encourage you to find the strength in letting go and not be afraid of the first step. It may be the beginning of a fulfilling life of your own.