(Originally posted on September 2, 2013 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)
2013 has definitely been a year of firsts for me.
Some were emotionally powerful (first lesbian wedding). Some were random and sort of weird (first time in a port-o-potty). Some were just awesome (first road trip with friends, first step into the Pacific Ocean, first smartphone). Some pushed me to the absolute limits of who I knew myself to be (first lesbian stagette).
Next month will introduce another: I’m about to move into my very first studio apartment.
I’ve lived by myself several times over the last ten years, but always in one-bedroom apartments. The place I am moving into is a no-bedroom; about 600 square feet total. It will definitely be the smallest place I’ve ever lived.
When I started the preliminary sorting process in anticipation of this move, I was struck by how much crap I owned that I had no use for anymore. I’ve moved enough times in the past ten years that I’ve developed a burning desire to make the process as short and sweet as possible. I was unwilling to pack a single box more than was absolutely necessary.
So began the cull.
I surprised myself with the sheer volume of stuff I was able to part with. Boxes and boxes of crap had been quietly taking up space in my life without offering any benefit to me. I piled it all into a friend’s pickup truck and watched her drive it away to charity. Rather than a sense of loss, I felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction.
I still have another month left to live here in Big Sis’s discount basement suite. Now that nearly half of my possessions are gone, I have all kinds of space. It’s crazy. I look around, I see oodles of floor space and obscenely wide walking berths, and I feel calm.
This is how I want my life to be. Open. Inviting. Free of nonsense.
In deciding which possessions to let go of, I had to take a moment with each one. I would pick it up, appraise it, and decide whether to keep it or let it go. This was a long process, but therapeutic. Once all the decisions were made, I lugged box after box upstairs and out the door. With each one, it felt like a little more weight was being lifted from my life. The heavier the box, the better I felt.
We all carry around a lot of unnecessary junk with us, whether it’s past relationship baggage, family expectations we never managed to live up to, or high school wounds that never quite healed. We’re chained to notions we have about ourselves from years ago that are no longer accurate. We’re bogged down by all the things we think we should or shouldn’t be.
I am absolutely guilty of this. I make a daily effort to be positive, and confident, and at peace with myself. I remind myself regularly that I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. As a result, I feel pretty decent most days. But all it takes is one slow song at a Womonspace Dance to unravel all of that. Everyone couples up and I sit in my chair and remember my place in all of this. Alone.
(Wow, that got dark fast.)
I suppose I will always hold onto some insecurities and negative thoughts. I think it’s only human. Identifying them makes them a little easier to accept; a little lighter to carry. If I can take the time and energy to examine them, one by one, I may find myself able to get rid of what I don’t need.
I am mostly content with my life. I have the basics. I have a safe place to live and food to eat. I have a steady job. I have free time to do the things I enjoy. Above all else, I have amazing people that I love ridiculously hard.
My picture of perfection is pretty simple. I’m almost there. I’m only missing one key element.
I just need to clear enough nonsense out of my life to make room for her.
Want to keep Butch Please (mostly) ad-free? Leave a tip for our hard-working writers.