This year, I’m working on letting go.
While I am starting off the year in a rather elaborate way by preparing to study abroad in Costa Rica, I’m making this the year of minimalism, in many respects.
As I went through my drawers and organized my room, I realized something that I have known (but ignored) for a while now: I have too much stuff.
Do I really need the shirt that says “Buddhalicious” across the front or the one that says “Chinchillin’” with a Chinchilla on it (actually, those are bad examples because truthfully, yes, I do need those ones). But the purple pinstriped button-down that fits like a hospital gown? The one I have worn once, and only as a costume? It may have been $3 at my fave thrift store, but at this point it’s just taking up space.
We’ve heard it all before…clutter in your space is clutter in your mind! And it’s so true. I really have felt burdened with all that I’m trying to keep track of. I think that’s a huge reason why I forget literally everything (everything), everywhere. Most of these items are superfluous anyway. I need to work on letting things go. Keeping only the ones that really mean something. The rest can weigh you down, physically and mentally.
I recently came across worksheets, assignments and folders that I held onto from first grade until now. I really don’t need physical proof that these years happened. More stuff is not serving me – the opposite is true in fact. It’s pretty overwhelming.
The truth is, I’m really connected to things. I like to hold onto various items because of the memories I have associated with them. I keep everything. One may call me a pack rat. For example, I like a creative closet of clothes. But I need to realize that without all these things, I am still me.
The other day, my friends and I chopped my hair, a pretty frequent activity for us. I do this often to remind myself that it’s just hair. It’s freeing and I like to ensure I am not overly connected to it at any point in time.
While I’m letting go of trivial trinkets and tests and t-shirts, I’m also working on releasing expectations for myself that I’ve outgrown, letting go of people who haven’t treated me right, and letting go of overanalyzed worries that just waste my energy.
At the end of my yoga class this morning, the instructor said, “we tend to live half of our lives in the past and half in the future. We are missing precious moments, not allowing ourselves to take everything in.” By ridding myself of the junk in my room and the thoughts that are only clogging my brain, I can already feel a sense of relief – in my physical body and in my mind. I am feeling myself become more present. I feel lighter, happier, more free.
I’m finally (almost) finished packing and now that I’ve decluttered, I’ve started to process the adventure that lies ahead (especially now that my flight is changed from San Jose, California to San Jose, Costa Rica…rookie mistake to say the least).
What I’ve heard about Costa Rica is that it is incredibly soulful. There is a large focus on love and peace, and I am really hopeful that I will connect with this lifestyle and culture. A strong role model of mine, Rachel Brathen (popularly known as Yoga Girl) wrote about her euphoric experience in this special place. I haven’t stopped dreaming of Costa Rica since I read her book and I can’t wait to experience it for myself.
I’m taking off in a few days and I’m taking comfort in knowing that all I need is inside of me; it has nothing to do with the external world. I’m especially looking forward to experiencing a new culture in a place that will encourage me to distance myself from materialism and even emotional “baggage.”
The purpose of my journey is for exploration of a new culture, language and environment, so I may be away from the blog for a little bit as I get adjusted (however my Instagram, @mariahboisvert, will still be active). I will be taking Alternative Health classes, Health Psychology classes and a Cultural Photography class in addition to Spanish, so I look forward to sharing my new experiences & insights with you all very shortly. Stay tuned!