There are a lot of things that we don’t realise we don’t need until we give them away or we don’t have them anymore. A heck of a lot.
I feel I have so much more now especially time, headspace, feelings, and experiences; after I cleaned up, sold off and gave away more than 95% of the stuff I bought, accumulated and owned more than half a year ago. I referred to it then as shedding, but now it feels like it was a cleansing too.
I feel lighter, happier, I worry and stress a whole lot less, and quantity trumps quantity by default in everything - including people. Especially people. I realised I use less than a third of what I brought with me and I wear only half the clothes. It’s not minimalism - it’s essentialism. I still have 6 pairs of cheap sunglasses with me - they’re essential. 😎
It’s like all the space filled with clutter, drama and stuff before is now being filled instead with new thoughts, new feelings, new experiences and a quiet sense of freedom. Filled with life, rather than things. Filled with a sense a wonder and adventure, rather than the latest thing or gadget to make being sedentary feel more comfortable and routine more bearable. My heart flutters in unexpected moments, as if whispering to me “Well, just look at that. Isn’t that absolutely beautiful? Isn’t this moment absolutely beautiful?” and I nod my head and break into a silly grin and smile. I must look mad in those moments.
I know I’m very fortunate. But I also know it could have easily gone the other way too - I was already on an established and safe trajectory. I was given a window to take a hard fork, and I slammed on the brakes, turned the wheel hard and drifted into the unknown. I’m so glad I did.
Thank you for making that decision, younger James. If it wasn’t for you doing what you did, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Sunday evening in a French Cafe by the river, watching the day turn slowly into night with bird song and soft music in the cool, evening air in a different time and a different place.
I am where I am and who I am because you made that call, younger James. Now I’m going to do my best to make future James proud too. Let’s continue until the journey ends, when it ends, shall we?
Chiang Mai, Thailand.