Welcome to the Monkey House
I ended my last post by saying that there’s more for us every time we choose to make room for it. And, after what I’ve seen happen in the last week, I want to emphasize the choose to make room part of that sentence.
When I got to Seattle, I wasn’t really planning on selling all my stuff. I wasn’t planning to cut ties with the things that I’ve carried with me through every move since college. I had no idea what the future looked like and I certainly didn’t anticipate what my next move would be. That left me feeling a lot like this:
All I knew was that I wanted to feel free - physically, emotionally, financially.
Getting rid of my furniture and most of my stuff kept me from having to rent a place, pay for storage and hire movers. Free.
Breaking my ties to all of those things gave me the physical option to go where I wanted to go, when I wanted to go there. To work wherever the job and the notion moved me. Free.
For a minute this was all a bit overwhelming, but as I took carload after carload to Goodwill, and gave things away, and waited for craigslist people, this thing began to build momentum. The more I chose to break free, the easier it became. The things that I wasn’t ready to give up on Saturday had lost their hold on me by Tuesday, and out the door they went. But, I re-emphasize: it was a choice.
And this was all somewhat terrifying, because I didn’t have a clue where I wanted to go and maybe it would feel better to at least have my stuff while I figured it out? But I kept purging and made it out of Seattle on schedule and with minimal drama.
Friends have asked “what’s next?” and I have no idea. This has never been a comfortable place for me. Not having a plan feels a lot like this:
Science is working for and against me here.
The Primary Law of Cartoon Physics (that's def a proper noun) states that gravity does not work until you look down.
Also: Aristotelian physics argues that a vacuum begs to be filled. The universe does not like a void. And so, when we get rid of something to create space in our lives, there is tension and pressure.
If you’ve ever let go of an open balloon or popped your ears on a plane you understand what I'm talking about.
If you’ve ever gone through a breakup and had that no-one-to-text empty feeling when you just stare at your phone, willing it to do something, then you definitely understand what I'm talking about.
And I’ve certainly made plans to fill that void before - just to make myself feel better in the moment - but now it's important to me to find more than a placeholder. To do that, I have to keep the space open and that can be very uncomfortable because I am literally defying the laws of physics.
So I left Seattle with no plan, and it was hard to dismantle the life that I’d built for myself, to watch it get carried, piece by piece, to other apartments across the city, to Goodwill, to the dumpster. I created a void in my life, and that was by no means easy, but it was very necessary.
It was necessary because I couldn’t take the next step until I was willing to let go of the last one. And though I had no idea what that would be, as soon as Seattle was taken care of things began to fall into place. Opportunities began to present themselves. I said ‘yes’ to some things and ‘no’ to others - maintaining space - and I was able to ask myself what I really wanted before committing to anything.
And this feels amazing. I can go where I want, when I want. Everything I own fits into my truck. I took my life apart so that I can put it back together in a way that feels good for who I am now. This is exactly the kind of freedom I’ve been looking for.
And it is weird and challenging and a bit scary.
Life is full of unknowns right now, but at least it isn’t full of things I know I don’t want or need anymore. At least it’s mine to create as I go. At least the things that are in my life now are there by choice.
And it’s all a choice. Jump. Don't jump. Stay. Go. Keep it. Toss it. Up to you, really.
Just don't look down.