It’s amazing when I set out to downsize to only those items I could fit in my car, how it became crystal clear (by necessity) what really mattered to me and what didn’t.

As I went through every cupboard, shelf and drawer, so many of the things stored there were really just fragments of old me, parts of an identity that wasn’t mine anymore. I evaluated the items and recalled experiences and emotions linked to them: A gift from a friend. Something I bought while going through a hard time. Or through a good time. Something I looked at every day. Or an item tucked away for a rainy day project.

They all had intentions behind them. They all in some way supported some view of myself, some identity I’d created without even realizing it. And as I put each item into the pile to sell, or the pile to donate, I let go of that bit of identity attached to it.

It wasn’t so much that the identity was absolutely tied to each item, rather I got to choose which parts of the identity were part of the old me, a past self that no longer fit the now me. I got to choose which parts of the identity I would continue forward with. This time it was a conscious choice.

I went from a two bedroom apartment down to a small one-bedroom last winter. Now I was reducing down to only what would fit in my car. Knowing the pile of what came along for the ride would have to stay small enough for a Prius, I had to get really clear on what I most wanted with.

Beyond the basics of clothes and toiletries, the items that made the final list included a fraction of my library (about 3 boxes), my guitar and ukulele, art supplies (paints and brushes, sewing machines, paper and pencils, and some yarn), and my favorite board games. Boiled down, I see this as knowledge, creativity and community.

That’s what I love.

That’s what I want.

And ultimately, that is who I am choosing to be today.

What do you love? What do you want? Who are you choosing to be today as expressed by what you surround yourself with?


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