This blog is rather lurchy and haphazard, but I’ve intentionally kept it that way. It’s just me blurting out my mundane thoughts in a state of confusion, writing to make sense of whatever it is I’m dealing with.
About half a year ago, I threw away a lot of my belongings. At first it stung, especially when it came to discarding memorabilia because it felt like I was throwing away a part of myself. But then I realised that I could cherish the memories without holding on to the physical clutter. Letting go meant that I could live in the moment and create more meaningful memories. When I was done cleaning out my apartment, I started decluttering digitally. Muting notifications, deleting apps, deactivating accounts…
This all started during the first Melbourne lockdown and continued into the second, both of which I found (surprisingly) enjoyable. I know, I know… That’s an unpopular opinion, and I’m grateful that I was lucky enough to be minimally affected by the pandemic. But the quietness and slower pace of life came at just the right time. I was decluttering almost every aspect of my life, and the lockdown was another way that helped me minimize distractions.
Fast forward to today, cases are down and lockdown has lifted.
University break has started and there’s more free time.
I took the leap and made something out of my hobby (hence this website).
On top of that, I’ve met an amazing group of friends and finally feel like I belong.
On paper, life right now is so terrific I should be farting rainbows.
But I’m not.
I’m not exactly sure what it is that I feel, but the first few words that come to mind are: exhausted, lost, and numb. I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t be feeling this way, and that I should be happy because of [insert whatever reason here]. But of course, this only makes things worse because not only am I discounting my own feelings, I’m also fighting emotions with logic, which is always a losing battle.
So that’s how I started 2021 – with my emotional side and logical side seemingly at odds with each other.
Something tells me that I’m just brushing the surface, that I can dig deeper, and that there’s something I need to let go. But this feeling is counteracted by an equally strong urge to hold on, because letting go will be too painful, it will be like throwing away a part of myself.
And that’s when it hit me: I’m back to square one – back to half a year ago, when I thought decluttering my life would give me more clarity and peace. Maybe it has, and that isn’t the issue per se; the problem is that I thought that would be “the end”. I thought I would reach this proverbial summit, strong and ready to tackle the next mountain and go on this forever upward-sloping journey of “self-improvement”.
Talk about day-dreaming.
I once heard that working on yourself is more like peeling an onion, not a mountain climb. When you think you’ve worked through something and you’re ready to go deeper, you peel off one layer, only to find yourself faced with another layer of onion peel that looks exactly like the last. Same lesson, different setting.
Currently, my onion is labelled “letting go”. I’ve peeled off the layer of “letting go externally” in my journey towards a more minimalistic lifestyle. It taught me to let go of my need for external achievement and validation (though that is still an ongoing learning process). Now I need to learn how to peel off the layer of “letting go internally”, and let go of my need to control/explain my feelings and current emotional limbo/conflict.
Though I have a feeling that this limbo might be a subconscious attempt to numb/soothe/suppress something deeper that I don’t want to face. Guess I’ll have to leave that for the next layer of onion peel 🙂