The last few years for me have been really tough. I’ve gone through a lot internally and in my relationships and I realized that I need a change. My beginning into adulthood was pretty rough and it put me starting at a deficit both emotionally, physically and mentally.
I started college with a terrible job, my parent’s divorce, and some really not supportive people, I felt so empty and so alone.
The months started to go by and I started gaining some of my footings in school and I found a new and better job (better, but not great) and my family problems only grew.
Now I have an even better job (still not quite what I want), I graduated college, and a lot of what I started with in college has either resolved or ended. There’s still some debris and a little bit of pain, but in comparison, I’m in a much better state than when I started.
The funny thing is, that once a storm settles in your life you begin to really look at it. No longer are you jumping from point A to point B and only focusing on keeping your head above water. I started realizing that fundamentally, I needed a change. This life that I found after the storm wasn’t really what I wanted either and to truly leave behind a lot of what I went through I would need to start over.
Starting over is scary and it’s intimidating. I looked at my life and let go of things and relationships that were dead and wouldn’t support the growth I needed. My life felt really empty at first and I wasn’t sure if I was making the right decision. I decided to change my perspective on what emptiness actually is. Instead of looking at it like it’s some kind of void within me I now see it as room for new possibilities. What was once not fulfilling but still taking up time and space has now left room for me to fill with positive experiences and people that make my life something I want to live; not just tolerate.
I went through this in a more tangible sense when I started going through all my belongings. I started with a lot of clutter…but as I’m writing this to you I’m sitting on a meditation rug (dog in lap) with my laptop sitting on top of one of those crates you get from Michael’s (spray-painted black, of course).
I started by taking everything out of the room and putting it in the garage. Then I made space look exactly how I wanted. I picked a colour scheme, how I wanted everything to coordinate, some plants, and some candles. I took time to just enjoy this space I created. It was so much more relaxing and functional and I thought it was a good representation of myself and my style. After a few days, I asked myself if I really want to lug all that crap out of the garage and ruin this haven I’d made. The answer was many trips to Goodwill and a bunch of things in the trash. Honestly, though, it’s now space I enjoy infinitely more and it makes me feel so calm.
You can say this was just me redecorating, but I see it as myself getting ready for a new chapter. I found myself going through my belongings and inevitably I ran across things from old relationships: family, friends, that-one-guy-I-dated-and-hated, etc. I got rid of almost all of it. I’m looking for new opportunities to better myself and old reminders and relationships taking up space in my new life is only going to drag me back into my old mindset, and eventually, my old life. I had to realize a need for a change, become ready to change, and then begin letting go.
I think it’s funny that something as simple as going through belongings can reflect what’s happening to us internally without realizing it.
I had been hanging on to things literally and emotionally that was keeping me firmly rooted somewhere I didn’t want to be. I wasn’t this person anymore that had to hang on to every little thing, I am now this person that likes new experiences and is looking for positivity even if it means having less when it comes to things and people.
I’m someone that invests their time trying to become better, by any means necessary. I’ve been to counselling, made a pact, to be honest with myself about who I am, and I put the work in.
This emptiness I know have literally and emotionally isn’t emptiness, but opportunity. Dead things and relationships can only drain you. They don’t have anything left to give you and by staying in that environment you can’t grow. The only thing something dead can do is to drain you. It’s like a black hole you keep throwing love and energy into to; it’s never satiated and it never gives anything back. Instead of investing in those types of things and relationships I can now invest in those people and things that make me feel more alive.
I created a nice space for myself that fosters creativity and makes me want to write and play music again. Before I couldn’t stand to even be in it because it was too loud, too cluttered, and I didn’t have space to just be.
I can have healthier and happier relationships with people I love and that love me because they are now my focus. I don’t have these terrible relationships that drain me and demand my full attention. I have relationships based on love and supporting one another and fostering reaching out to more people. These relationships look like I have so much less, but they feel like I have so much more than I had before.