It's a phenomenon that many people experience, this inexplicable emotional connection to inanimate objects. Some call it sentimental value, while others might label it as irrational attachment. Whichever way you perceive it, there is no denying the power these objects hold over our hearts and minds.
For me, it was always the clothes that held the strongest grip on my emotions. Each piece represented a chapter in my life, a memory I could touch and feel. The faded favorite slim blue jeans I wore every week, the tattered tank top that reminded me of a carefree summer, or the worn-out sweater that had seen better days. They were all threads in the tapestry of my life, intertwined with the fabric of my memories.
But as time passed and my closet grew more cluttered, I realized that holding onto every single item was becoming an overwhelming task. The symphony of chaos that played whenever I opened my closet doors had become a burden, a constant reminder of the emotional weight I carried.
My room was a certified natural disaster, I literally removed every piece of clothing from my closet and placed it on my bed. The cats took cover as if they knew something I did not. Overwhelmed, yes, but my determination and reason for finally letting go was far greater. I embarked on the journey of decluttering. There was no turning back now!
Each item I picked up deserved its own reflection, its own consideration. I poured a glass of wine, tried on clothes, you know, just to make sure I wasn't being hasty with the whole entire process. The question I was faced with. Was it truly serving a purpose in my life, or was it merely an echo of sentimentality? It was a slow and arduous process, as I sifted through the sea of fabric and memories, both good and bad. I had a master plan. Items that needed to be thrown away, items that were in great condition and should be donated or items that should be burned, never to be seen again.
There were moments when I hesitated, my fingers gripping into a perfectly new dress with tags attached, or a pair of shoes that looked as if I had survived some type of battle, yet remained my favorite go-to pair. But I knew that sentimental value did not reside in the physical object itself, it resided within me. Memories were not confined to the material, but rather lived and breathed in my heart and mind. The first piece of clothing I put into the garbage bag was scary. I felt as if I was making a mistake. Letting go of things that had brought me so much joy and some things that reminded me of an amazingly stupid and horrible memory. The more I emptied, the better I felt. I literally exhaled, had more wine and continued on this path of freedom.
So, piece by piece, I bid farewell to the items that no longer served a purpose. I laughed as I remembered moments and I thanked them for their role in my journey and released them, allowing new chapters and new memories to take their place. With each empty hanger and cleared shelf, a sense of liberation washed over me, replacing the weight of attachment with a newfound lightness.
So, I continue to let go, embracing the beauty of purpose. And as I do, it feels good to remove what isn't needed and what no longer serves me. I mean if you are curious, of course I have replaced a few items. After all, a girl has to be fashionable! That's another journey for another day. To be continued...
AJ is a creative writer and storyteller writing from her home in Indiana.
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman