responsibility

It’s not my fault. I swear.

I’m experimenting with my blog and I’m curious about what happens when I choose to “reblog” something. This is a post that really grabbed my heart. Nancy has such a colorful way with words. She is a true kindred companion in my quest for simplicity. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did/do. Cheers!!!!

Room for One

Tell me what you yearn for and I shall tell you who you are. We are what we reach for, the idealized image that drives our wanderings. – James Hillman

Please forgive my deceptive title. This is more about me than a physical room. It’s more about the boxes I try to fit inside. It’s about feeling divided and longing for all of the versions of myself to move forward as one, simplified soul. It’s about overcoming my idea of your idea of my ideal me.

When I write a blog post here in my life’s little word playground, I wonder who will read it. Who will even care about what I write about? Who will connect to my thoughts? I keep trying but I don’t really fit in the boxes I see out there.

I am a mixed bag of categories. I have kids in my life but I’m not technically a mother. I appreciate conservative ideas and modesty but I have a sailor’s vocabulary (sorry Mama, but you know it’s true) and I love the art of belly dance. I grew up in the city and but now I live in the country. When given the chance, I’m really good with people. I’m funny and charismatic but people scare me and I avoid them. I love to travel but I don’t go anywhere.

Feels like I don’t really fit in.

I feel caught between worlds. I read about stay-at-home, homeschooling moms trying to create a happy home and I get it. I also read about people traveling the world with simple gear and a heart to write about their adventures and I get that too. Minimalism. Organizing. Living a full, happy life. I get those too. (notice I did not include how to get incredibly wealthy…I don’t get that one yet…).

The thing is, I’m pretty sure the boxes don’t matter. It’s perfectly fine if I’m a non-mom who has kids and loves to experiment with minimalism and random travel gear for road trips and commutes. But part of me really wants to fit in one of the more traditional boxes and I end up feeling so divided. Par for the course in the conundrum that is me.

On my quest for simplicity, I anticipate many lessons. I can see ahead and the faster I move, the more narrow the road becomes. I can’t drag all of my divided selves along with me. It’s part of my search for minimalism. If I make myself fit in any box, my quest is over. Boxes don’t move. Boxes don’t dance along life’s path.

If there’s only room for one, then I guess I gotta just be me. This strange, inconsistent mix of zeal for a beautiful life and insecurities is all I really have. So I leave behind the boxes and dance…

Thank you for traveling with me this far. I appreciate your company.

In Love with an Idea

The process of preparing for this experiment has already revealed a lot to me. Mostly about myself. A little bit about humans in general.

I have these moments where I’ll take a break from my computer work or phone calls and I imagine my world without all of these things taking up space in my life and in my mind. I think “oh how grand it will be to wake up in my sparsely furnished bedroom, choose a simple outfit from almost-empty closet, and go to work in my uncluttered home office.” Like a character from a fairy tale, I expect someone to whisk away my belongings while I sleep.

I’m very much in love with idea of a minimalist lifestyle…but not so much in love with all the work it takes to get there.

There are people who just “chuck it all” and head out to the woods to embrace the writings of Thoreau. With nothing but a journal and peaceful spirit, they walk away from all their possessions and embrace the simple life. Must be nice.

I think part of taking on the responsibility of a simplified life is accepting the work that must be done to get there.

There are days I would LOVE to take everything I own, put it in a big pile, and set it on fire. But this too, is a romantic notion. A fairy tale. Because I would hate to watch the burning of the poetry book my mother gave me when I graduated from high school. It was hers in college. It is my favorite book and I hope to pass it on to my daughter (or son) someday.It’s one thing to say “let it burn” and another to scrape up the ashes of your grandmother’s music box.

I’ve actually been working very hard to reduce my collection of things. It’s taken years for me to get down to the many things I currently own. What I’m learning is that in the end things don’t matter. But this isn’t the end. And we must decide how we feel about our things. Well…you don’t have to but I do.

That’s what this quest is all about. I’m not quitting. Besides, I’m a sucker for a good story and I want to see how this one ends…