I am reorganizing my life by starting to reorganize my closet. The last two weekends saw me going through my things, sorting by size, and getting rid of the bigger items. I ended up with a huge pile of slacks– in the bigger size I kissed goodbye a few months ago — some barely used, and some still with tags. I set them aside to give away. Even now as I think about it, there’s a little voice saying maybe I can just have them repaired. I am almost sure I wouldn’t want to solve the problem by simply wearing a belt, because I’ve moved away from looking “frumpy”. While that would make the pants wearable, I wouldn’t be too happy with the look. Decision made — off they will go to my “to give away” bin — in the balikbayan box heading home to Manila sometime in the next couple of weeks.
I already gave away a quarter of my closet during my last trip home. I even managed to hand out some pocketbooks I had sworn never to part with. Yet in simplifying my life the last few months, I have learned to detach my emotions from things that I know I will never use again. Instead of throwing them away, though, I think of others who might find a good use for them.
I bought new sweater hangers to take care of my fall and winter wear during these sweater-weather months. I am getting rid of the suits that may fit me now in my new size but which are definitely no longer fashionable to wear. I have a few old reliables which were tailored in the classic cut, so those, I will keep. My cardigans are now folded neatly to make the design visible and easier to pick through when pairing with my outfit of the day.
I have some memorabilia stashed away in the higher shelves of my closet which will need some thinking about. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but reminiscing these days does not always bring me down the giddy happy moments of the past. Some of those moments are now wrapped in not-so-happy and even heart-rending discoveries and realizations better left untouched. And I need space for other things that I need to make room for.
We always think of decluttering in the physical sense, but decluttering our mind and our heart are just as important. How often do we find ourselves clinging to old memories or emotions which contradict what we have or not have now in the present? I used to be guilty of that. But when you go through an emotional upheaval that turns your world upside down, you find yourself picking up the pieces again. It is then that you get the chance to sort through the things that haunt you unnecessarily. In sorting through all that emotional rubble, you find yourself defining the things worth hanging on to for the lessons they have taught you. There are memories and feelings that you anchor yourself on to stay focused on the positive. You see the world in a different light once the dust settles.
It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t overnight. But it can be done.
I was once at that point that I clung for dear life to what I thought I had– churning out evil plans and being constantly deluged with angry and hateful thoughts. And then the realization hit me that I didn’t have what I thought was mine. That no matter how I clung to what I thought could be mine again, it just wasn’t happening. So I let go. First, loosening the grip, then before I knew it, my hand had let go. Had I known that doing that would also find me letting go of the anger and the pain — or releasing most if not all of it — I would have done it sooner. But it wasn’t easy, and it still takes some effort to stay on track, but I’m in a better place.
So I’ve started getting rid of the useless pieces that hold some form of once happy memory, but which no longer give me that warm and fuzzy feeling when I look at it now. Just as I look at a piece of clothing and ask myself if it is part of the “happier me look”, I look at the thoughts and worries that keep bumping around the walls of my mind and heart, and ask myself if this is really something I can actually work on or am I worrying myself to oblivion without even any power over how that thing goes.
It’s all about letting go. Whether it’s that favorite t-shirt you wore when your bra size was two cups smaller — and which won’t accommodate your voluptuous beauty now.. Or just trying to shut out the negative even when the temptation to let anger and hate in again is so strong. You make room in your closet for the things that matter and are relevant and make you look good — those are the pieces you keep. The same should hold true for your mind and heart and your life in general. I know, easier said than done. But like most things, it gets better with some practice and focus. You just need to want to let go. You need to tell yourself that shirt has to go because it’s occupying precious space in your closet.
Let go of the people who bring you down. Stop going back to what used to be and focus on the now and tomorrow.
These days, I focus on the “happy”. I look at my little guy and I know I’m set. I think of dessert and that’s a happy thought I can smile about all day. I think of a happy song and smile. I am getting there a day at a time.