On Friday, I popped out of bed and went straight to work purging my apartment. I’m not sure what came over me; I neglected my typical morning routine and feverishly began sorting. When I moved from Chicago to San Diego last January, I reduced my belongings by 75%. Initially, it was hard to get rid of all the PDF articles and books I had held on to since academia and those “favorite” clothes I hadn’t worn in a year, but once it was all said and done, I felt liberated and free.
It took approximately three hours to complete my project on Friday; and again, I felt like I had more with less. I found my favorite earrings I thought were long gone, I discovered $9 dollars, and most importantly, I made space for the things I really cared about and wanted to see. Over my sink, there is now room for the small painting of the township I volunteered in outside of Cape Town, the wooden giraffe I bartered for in Nairobi, the globe I bought at the Louvre, two small mosaic plates from Parc Guell, and the gemstones my cousin Margaux gave to me for my 27th birthday. All of those trinkets are more than memories; they are source of inspiration for future travel and global thinking.
As always, at first, it was challenging to let go, but now that the clothes are on their way to charity and I can easily find the things I need, I feel so much more at home and at peace.
That night, I went to Cafe Gratitude with friends. After dinner, we walked Christina to her car and in the trunk there so happened to be the exact size side table I wanted for my apartment and she gifted it to me! It was such a powerful manifestation of the practice of aparigraha. As I release the things that no longer serve me, I make space for new things that I need; I must let go to receive.