Letting It All Go to Regain Control
Life can be a wonderful adventure when you focus on the important things and let go of the meaningless.
I've always been the kind of person who collects all types of knick-knacks and trinkets. I was afraid to forget all the memories connected to the collection of objects. I wanted to remember all those pleasant moments and having something visible to hold on to helped me with that. At one point those baubles started to define me. In 2013, I moved to another country and started living on my own for the first time. At the beginning of this new adventure, it was a challenge as I couldn't take all the little moments with me. I felt like I was falling apart. I didn't know who I was without the sentimental things I had on the bookshelves in my hometown.
So I started making new memories, buying new things, more clothes, more shoes, and more jewelry—more of everything. Coming home meant coming back to them, remembering every second of the memory as it faded slowly away even though I had the object to remind me of it.
Finally it got me to a point in my life when I realized all these things had lost any kind of meaning, emphasized by my room, which was filled with so much stuff (much like my mind at the time). It was so messy that I couldn't just sit on my sofa without having to face a colorful shelf, my wardrobe overfilled with clothes that I resented, postcards and photographs on all of the walls, burned candles of passed romantic nights along with dried out roses from previous relationships. Although I didn't have a mirror in my room, I could see my reflection in everything. Home was not the tranquil, peaceful piece of paradise I could look forward to after an exhausting day at university. At that time of my life I was left hurt by boyfriends and close friends. I felt on the edge of taking my life, with severe depression and no desire to live whatsoever.
It all came down to one particular night when I came home from shopping again thinking I was happy. As I stepped inside my room I felt disgusted for one second. Then a quote from Kendrick Lamar’s single “Humble” popped into my mind: “You do not amaze me.” Yes, exactly! I didn't just dislike my life because I was emotionally unstable, but because I was also drowning in everything I owned.
At that time I've heard from some of my friends about the 90/90 Minimalism Rule and decided to give it a try. I ended up donating more than 50% of my things which at the beginning was such a struggle. I guess letting go wasn't so easy after all. After a couple of days and a 12-hour shift at work I came home, sat down on the sofa and saw only the empty desk, my favorite clothes organized by color, my black king-sized bed, and the black IKEA shelf with books.
I can't say that my head cleared instantly as I emptied my room of all the things that had a meaning a long time ago. It was a gradual process. I started to look after myself better, I stopped buying shoes whenever I felt under pressure, and I stopped buying jewelry whenever a guy disappointed me. I started traveling more, expecting less, and in a year my life got me to where I am now: in good health, depression-free, with a great partner, and sitting on my sofa in a minimalist and well-organized room with things that don't define me and my feelings.