It May Be Uncomfortable At First, But Its Always Worth It In The End.

Photo by  Cezanne Ali  on  Unsplash

Photo by Cezanne Ali on Unsplash

I hope that 2018 is off to a great start for each and every one of you. Ultimately, this post is something that I think is quite fittingly appropriate for the new year.

Now I'm sure, based on the title, you have a preconceived notion about what this post will be about to a certain extent. I wanna tell you about my mama first:

My mother is retired. She wakes up when she feels like it, usually after 9a, but sometimes it's after 11a. Many times she complains of not having anywhere to go, but when she gets the opportunity to go somewhere, she complains about not feeling like going or not wanting to "be there too long" because she has to hurry back home to slip back into her onesie of course! (OMG I just realized I'm becoming my mother ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜‚- but I digress) However, this woman literally has not one, not two, not even three...but FOUR closets full of clothes. ๐Ÿ˜ I would be willing to bet all my millions that she has not worn 90% of the clothes in her wardrobe since she retired.  Of the remaining 10%, I doubt she ever wore, nor will EVER wear, 5% of the things in her wardrobe. But yet, there they sit. These clothes are held onto for dear life with the thought that some [unforeseen] day, she will decide to wear them. Hey mama, "Let that shit go!!!"

Don't get it twisted. I too have acquired far too many *insert ANY material possession* that I did not use nor wear.  The difference between me and most is that I learned, a long time ago, the beauty of purging.

*Channeling my inner Golden Girl, Sophia Petrillo* Picture it. New Orleans. August 29, 2005. A hurricane named Katrina sweeps through the city. My home (that I had just moved into on June 1, 2005) had 6 ft of water in it, that sat for over a month. Fortunately, my family, friends and I were safe and sound (as we had evacuated days prior and/or relocated to evacuation centers) but, needless to say, not much was salvageable. When I evacuated, I brought minimal things because I, as so many evacuees, thought I wouldn't be gone long and that I would return to my home in the condition that I left it. No one imagined that Hurricane Katrina would have the devastating effects that it did. I learned a valuable lesson in that devestation: I don't need material things to be happy.
Just before that summer of 2005, I had spent the summer of 2004 doing a study abroad in San Ramon, Costa Rica. We had no air conditioning, no cable tv, no programming in English on the channels that we did have in my home-stay, no internet *i feel a sense of shock run down my spine as I type that* and we had to walk or catch public or group chartered transportation to anywhere we wanted to go. It was actually the first time in my life that I had so few "amenities" and yet, it was and still is one of the happiest and most peaceful times in my life.

Fast forward to January 2017.  I own a condo in Chicago that is fully furnished with all the amenities my heart desires, while simultaneously living and working in Dallas, TX - where I have a fully furnished and amenity filled apartment. I went from being homeless with NOTHING in 2005, to having TWO homes in 2017. Everything I lost in Hurricane Katrina...I've acquired it again 20 times over since then!!! But here is the major key...I've purged a couple times voluntarily since then.
In 2006, not long after Katrina, a moved to Baltimore, MD for a work opportunity. I had my FEMA money in hand and not a single piece of furniture to my name. Very little clothing either. So what do I do? Bought a whole 1 bd apartment worth of furniture. One year after moving to Baltimore, my contract at my job was not renewed. I would move back to my hometown of New Orleans, in with my mother. My mom has 4 closets full of clothes remember? So you know she didn't have room for me AND my house full of furniture!!! (Her clothes weren't lost in Katrina๐Ÿ˜…) So what did I do then? I literally GAVE all of my furniture away.

I've done that several times since. Sometimes based on circumstances, and sometimes based on a whim.

At least every season, I purge my clothes. I go through what i no longer have an interest in wearing, stuff I never should have been wearing and the stuff that hasn't seen the light of day since I bought it. It's all GOT TO GO! I bring them to resale shops first to try to get some coins for my unwanted items - NOTE: sometimes it literally is only COINS I'm getting for my items, no where near what I paid for them, but hey! A few coins are of better use to me than a piece of clothing taking up space that I know will never be put to use! Whatever isn't taken by the resale shop, I bring to a donation center and get my tax write-off form. Selling and donating clothes has become a lifestyle and an addiction. It feels so good to get rid of stuff!!

As I write this post, I am in the process of another major purge. I just sold my Chicago condo (within only three days of being on the market might I add) , I'm getting rid of all of my furniture, and I'm moving back to my hometown of New Orleans to live with my mama! (That's really why I have a gripe with her 4 closets full of clothes- I need some of that space now woman!๐Ÿ˜…) I'm pursuing my own business full time and seeing what else the universe has in store for me.

This life has taught me that in order to get, you have to be able to let go. Sometimes that looks like giving up everything you once wanted or thought you needed, to get what you only dreamed was possible. Far too often we cling so tightly to things (and people) that no longer serve a purpose in our lives. Letting go of what IS, is necessary to make room for what could be...or making room for that nicer, newer, better fitting, more suited for you *fill in the blank*.  Having things doesn't make me happy. Having things or people around that don't meet my needs actually makes me sad and feel weighed down. I only desire to have what I need, what is purposeful, and what God wants for me. Trust the universe and know that your needs will always be met, no matter what or how little you appear to have.



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Loni SwainComment