At the age of 25, everything I owned could fit in my Nissan XTERA. Don’t get me wrong, we (Huck and I) were packed to the brim, and not even a mouse could maneuver through my impeccable packing stills. Nevertheless, all my belongings were strategically squeezed into my vehicle, and I was free to go. Anywhere. This sense of independence gave me limitless opportunities. Fluidity. Freedom from fear. Travel. In the past few months, I have found joy in selling many of my belongings, in hope to becoming that much closer to my 25-year old self. Limitless.
I recently canceled my cable and internet, and those friends who know me well are stumped in imagining how I will navigate this new endeavor. I have also slacked quite a bit on new posts and activity on my blog. But such is life, right? When you start to limit your technology, some things have to take a back seat. In this case, it was my blog and the Real Housewives of [insert any city here]. My binge-purging started at the beginning of the summer when I attempted to clean out my office. It was at this time when I realized I still had agendas and even scrap paper from as far back as 2010. Mid-clean, I would ask one of my students, “should I get rid of-,” and before I could even finish, she would shout, “trash it!” This partnership boded well, and I paused multiple times to ask myself, have I become a hoarder of random and unnecessary saving? Regardless of the answer (which, let’s hope, is a, “no,”), I felt professionally lighter and significantly more free from bulk…if either of these things make sense. I would argue, however, we have all become a hoarder of random and unnecessary technology. It’s everywhere. Limitless.
In lieu of the television soul-suck, I started reading again, working out every day, and challenging myself to dig deeper and push harder. This has also inspired me to think deeper and harder, and I am finding myself more and more okay with any opportunity to ditch the cell phone. As a new month commences, a turning point has arrived for many, and my challenge is to revisit this idea of, “getting rid of things,” rings truer than ever. I have a friend right now who has a plan of wearing everything in his closet before repeating an outfit. If he won’t or can’t wear something, he’ll throw it in the Goodwill pile (or as I suggest, a local thrift shop, to be more charitable). This is brilliant. I have two closets full of clothes, many of which are sitting, “to be worn when I _____” (whatever that, “_____,” might be). This purge has also inspired me to be outside more – the less belongings I possess in my apartment, the more I want to be among people and outdoors. I recently came across a Humans of New York post, which quoted a New York local, saying, “If you force yourself to go outside, something wonderful always happens.” Limitless.
So today, go outside. Be with people. Read a book. Commit to living more simple. A sign which reads, “Live Simply,” sits above my desk, just behind me as I conduct 1:1 meetings each day. In some weird hope, this billboard exists as my dream for students to see, have an ‘ah-ha,’ and leave my office changed for good. But the reality of simplicity is that’s it’s actually not all that simple. Take on this challenge. Live simply. Go. Do. Be.