Against all instincts

Every inch of my body is struggling against this choice, ready to leap at the chance to cancel it all. Every ounce of my being is panicking at the stress, the overwhelming nature of not only all the steps that need to be taken in order to go, the very heart of what I’m about to do.

All I want is to say  “Forget it” and curl up in my bed in my apartment with my stuff and pretend this never happened. For something to come up and say “oops, guess I can’t go after all!”

I am a risk-averse person.

I don’t often like change. I don’t like stress. I don’t like complicated steps and stages. I don’t like getting rid of things.

I am doing all of these things.

In the past week, I have gotten rid of:

  • A shirt that I wore just a few days ago
  • A pile of tshirts and tank tops
  • Several plaid flannel shirts
  • Folders and folders of documents
  • Cups and dishes
  • My bread machine
  • My George Forman with WAFFLE PLATES

And loads and loads of other things that I love.

I hate this.

I literally got rid of a shirt I had JUST WORN because it didn’t fit into either category of “bring to Paris” or “store because I’ll definitely want this in 1/2/5 years.”

Everything I own has to fit into one of those 2 buckets. Either it’s good enough to come to Paris, or it’s valuable/sentimental/something enough to be worth adding to the growing stack of things going in storage.

As a bit of a hoarder, it’s nice to have an excuse to get rid of things that otherwise I would find an excuse to keep. Things I don’t really wear, except when I realize I haven’t in a long time, or when I try to make it work (but know that it just doesn’t). Things that I keep because I feel like I should.

My sister has always been an ABANDON ALL THINGS type. I’ve sat in her bedroom and watched her throw away things that I’ve given her as gifts. (Those things were rescued and came to live with me… until now. Now I finally threw them out).

My friend M is an EXTREME PURGE kind of person, who periodically goes through her things and dumps massive amounts to have a (fairly) minimal closet. (She still has lots of boots though – you can’t escape the boots!) I envy her ability to streamline, to detach from things and move on.

I’ve always tried to be these people. I do my own closet purges and wind up with bags upon bags of items to donate – which is nice – and yet somehow there’s still more. I swear my closet is under some sort of Mary Poppins carpet bag spell – when does it end?

This time, I really had to go for it, and had to make some difficult decisions. Will I maybe miss one of those items while I’m in Paris? Probably, but it won’t be critical and – let’s face it – I’ll be in Paris. I think I can find a suitable replacement…

It’s painful and stressful and sad. It’s freeing and satisfying and okay. It’s going to be okay.

Two years from now will I really go looking for that tank top or those pants? Doubtful. The waffle iron, though….


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