Do I Really Have to Get Rid of My ‘Stuff’ to Be Happy?

I’ve been traveling more than usual lately and I’ve realized that I drool with envy at those put-together women at the airport that glide through customs in their beach hats. You know, the ones in neutral capris pants and not a whisper more than a small purse and a matching chic carry on suitcase?

But alas, it’s not for me.

I clunk into the airport with a larger than average bag in relation to the size of my trip. I pay the extra fees, I wait the extra time to check my bags in and then wait at baggage claim again to pick them up on the other side.

When I’m packing, I feel like I simply won’t enjoy my trip if I leave anything behind. I can’t imagine how lonesome and ill at ease I’ll feel. I don’t mean forget things, as we all do. I mean, I want to feel like home wherever I am. I want to be me, even though I’m far away. I’m the woman who takes more books than clothes and always always slippers.

But what do I really need? Can I make it on this trip without all this “stuff”?

I’m not interested in that book about getting rid of all your stuff and becoming a breatharian. But as I get older, I feel like I’m evaluating more closely what I bring into my life, my space, my bag, man.

My bag holds lots of stuff to do like reading, writing, drawing and nice pjs for getting a good night’s sleep. My bag is heavy – rich and deep. Not cluttered, just full.

If I look at adulthood as a journey, I wonder if I’m bringing the right stuff too. How do I make it full, rich and deep? I pray to know the difference between a full life and one that’s cluttered with things I don’t love or need. Or worse, “stuff” that holds me back.

There seems to be  another category of stuff we keep around us that is loaded with fear.

I wonder, what am I always “carrying” ….

Just in case something bad happens

Just in case I get bored

Just in case I’m not enough.

Alone, am I enough? …Oooh. Now we’re getting somewhere.

What are the lies I keep telling to keep me safe? What are the buffers and “ah wells” I hold onto that stop me from getting to close to sadness? What are the thoughts I just won’t think?

As a first step I’m starting to de-clutter my travel bag list, not so much in the Marie Kondo way but in the, “I can just be enough on this trip” way. And if I forget something or get bored, it’s on me. It’s on me to just be okay with it and find a way to feel at home wherever I am, without anything but me. I’m sure I’ll find a way to live without it. Which means, of course, I didn’t really need it at all.

Down to one small bag. One small suitcase and the thoughts I choose.

That’s all I need, really.

Just me against the world – or with the world? On this journey, this adventure.

I am enough ( and so are you ).

__________________

What would you take with you if you were packing a bag to leave forever? Whose picture? Which books? Which thoughts, friends and memories?

Which of those things are you taking because you think you’re supposed to? (Decide and then take them out. How do you feel?)

It’s not just about the possession  – think of it as paring down, becoming choosier – defining you and what you’re about just a little bit more.

The concentrated, bald and naked essence is all we want here, people. (Scary almost chicken-like image aside). It’s all you really need anyway.

Don’t forget to come grab more at ashewoodward.com

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