In Pursuit of Less

I mentioned a couple of books in my last post that have really influenced my work towards recovery. One is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which I’m sure you’ve probably either heard about or know someone attempting to integrate the KonMari method into their lives. Let me tell you first hand, this shit is rigorous. I first heard about the book from a neighbour at a party in December, and since then it has continued to crop up in my internet perusal. Finally, I had some time on my hands and a desperate need to occupy my brain in a pursuit other than depression’s propaganda and I purchased the book for my e-reader (yes. I have caved. Don’t judge me). Here’s the thing that I love about the KonMari method: it really forces you to be introspective and to practice mindfulness, both in discarding items and in future purchases. Yes, it sounds ridiculous to gather all of your pants and hold each of them and ask yourself if they “spark joy.” Yes, your significant other will look at you like you’ve actually finally gone off the deep end. Yes, your friends and family will get sick of you talking about all this joy sparking and probably hope that all those sparks form a giant dumpster fire into which you and this book will fall. BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point is, the KonMari method asks you to really closely examine your possessions and also yourself. Maybe those jeans have seen better days and they were absolutely your favourite pants in high school. But are you still the same person you were 10 years ago? I’m not, and so I donated those jeans to someone who needs them more than I do. I am learning to accept that I don’t need to cling to material possessions as a reminder of who I have been in in order to retain my identity. Those parts of who I was are still with me, they’ve shaped who I am now-I think that’s pretty incredible. Growing and changing and taking on new styles and ideas is a part of participating in life, and shedding all the excess weight of what I’ve been carrying with me has felt in-fucking-credible.

After I read about Tidying Up, I realized that what I was really in pursuit of is a lot like minimalism. The universe saw fit to guide me to The More of Less by Joshua Becker, and that was my next read. I had to cruise through a whole bunch of Bible stories on the way, but hey, that’s his cup of tea. At least he isn’t citing the stories as literal fact. Besides, the examples and guidance he provides in between all that Jesus stuff is actually really helpful. The book helped me to take a step back from what I had been doing and look at why. Do I really need hundreds upon hundreds of books? I’ve read them already, and really I was only keeping them so that I would look smart and well read, as if that’s the only way to prove such a thing. I think I am smart and well read and I hope that is maybe apparent in who I am and how I think and interact with this world. Shelves of books isn’t really going to prove that, it’s not like I can take every keener I went to university with and invite them over and be like “BITCH LOOK AT MY SHELVES. LOOK AT ALL THESE BOOKS THAT I HAVE READ AND INGESTED AND NOW KNOW MORE SHIT BECAUSE OF.” I mean, I could. And a small part of me still fears that one day I’ll run into one of these people and develop a wild inferiority complex because I have honed my book collection to only the books that I really and truly love. Anyways, point is, I have donated boxes upon boxes of books to my local library, I have donated clothes and housewares to various local charities, and I have donated my hair. I have pledged that I will not buy any books for the remainder of 2016, and I will read what I already have on my shelves and make use of the library in town. I will not buy any clothing for 6 months (April 2017 people!). I have what I need, and I am now in pursuit of something a bit more elusive: life.

Already, I have reflected on the summer of 2016 and I’m feeling pretty alright with the progress I’ve made thus far. I registered for a creative writing class this fall, just to test it out. Let’s see if I actually have it in me to make a go as a writer. Life is too short and I’ve already wasted enough time trying to get out of the whole “living” deal. I turn 27 in a few weeks. Bring it.

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