It’s been a week since I left Chicago and I’ve already had so many realizations. Reflecting back on how I lived my life in Chicago vs on the road, I’m realizing more and more how I got so swept up into the day-to-day mundane tasks. What I really wanted was to focus on my writing and my creativity. What ended up happening was I thought of all the things I “should” be doing and I ended up frozen, Facebook scrolling, achieving nothing. There were moments I wanted to just sit back, relax, and read. I ended up reading a page and then getting up and doing mindless tasks around the apartment.
When you’re on the road, there’s no one to really answer to. I’m staying with a friend and of course, I help out around the house. I’ve been helping to cook, do dishes, go grocery shopping during the day, and naturally I do my own laundry. The vibe, though, is completely different. I don’t know exactly what it is except it’s like my soul just keeps saying, “Finally. Finally I have space to breathe. Thank you.”
What I’m also finding to be true is how much I don’t miss my stuff and how much I notice other people’s things and want to get rid of things for them (which probably wouldn’t go over too well). I know why I’ve held onto things for years, but being around other people’s things makes me wonder why they do. What memory is that thing attached to that they’re so afraid of losing if they get rid of the physical item?
Even after dwindling down my entire 2 bedroom apartment to 2 boxes and a cedar chest to store, as well as 3 suitcases, a bin, and some loose stuff that fit into a midsize SUV, I’m realizing how much more I emotionally feel I could get rid of. I still packed things into the car with the “what if” mentality. The thing is, there are very few things that we actually NEED.
Of the things that I brought with me, the amount of things I ACTUALLY use on a daily basis is slim. I use one mug that says “Proceed as if success is inevitable”. I kept other mugs at my parents’ house but do I wake up daily thinking, “Man, I’m really missing that mug!”? Nope. I obviously wear my clothes, but still not as many as I packed. We tend to wear our favorites over and over again and hold onto the other items for “one day” or “just in case” or “when I fit into it again”. Let that shit go and I promise you won’t miss it. I packed a lot of books that I intend to read and then let go of, so that alone will lighten my load along the journey. Some of the bulkiest, heaviest things I brought were my weights, my foam roller, and my yoga mat. I’d love to get rid of them but I actually do use them on a daily basis. It’s not convenient to lug around stackable, heavy AF weights, but I’m grateful I didn’t get rid of them because I actually DO use them. Maybe after I’m done training for the marathon I’ll release the foam roller, but for now it’s definitely coming in handy.
People have mistaken my journey for wanting to live a minimalist lifestyle or wanting to live in a tiny house. I actually don’t have the desire for either. Right now, I’m living a minimalistic lifestyle but I still enjoy having access to more than one who is a minimalist would have in their life. I’m also a huge fan of space. This journey was not about living on as little as possible or cramping myself and my cats into a small space, it was about freedom.
I spend so much less time in my head than I did before. I spend way more time tapping into my soul and what I feel inspired to do next. I feel like for the first time I can really hear what it is I truly want. I feel like I can finally breathe. Even though from the outside looking in, it looks like things are way less “secure”, I feel more secure and taken care of than I have in a really long time. I spend less time with the anxiety grasping my chest and more time believing and trusting anything I desire is possible if I’m willing to take the next step towards it.