minimalism in love and life

Slowly learning to let go.

I’ve been trying to get into the same headspace about lovers and things for a while now.

No, I’m not saying the men I’ve loved are objects. But I am saying that I often love my things all too similarly to the way I love certain people in my life. I fall too hard too fast for my crushes – and for clothes. Knick knacks are dangerous too. I fall into relationships with my things and the memories I associate with them.

The difficult but good thing about a man is that when our relationship is over, I can’t keep him around. The easy but bad thing about stuff is that I impulsively buy it, determined that this love affair will be the very last I ever need – no more stuff to buy, I’ve found utter and complete happiness with this new tassel I have no real use for! – and then I never get rid of said tassel, jumpsuit, or superfluous scarf.

SO I am trying to become a minimalist now.

I’ve hesitated to embrace this trend for quite a while. Aside from my obvious object attachment issues, the internet aesthetic shared by many minimalists has also caused me great skepticism. Stark black and white rooms, outfits, Instagrams, etc. I admire their attention to detail and cleanliness… but I love color! I love patterns and trims and knick knacks and big comfy couches with cozy pillows and I LOVE MY THINGS PLEASE DON’T TAKE THEM AWAY!

I also know I will never truly achieve a true capsule wardrobe, despite my morbid fascination with amazing women such as Unfancy and Style Bee. Their lives strike me as simple and intentional and I find that quite beautiful. But I am never going to stop loving excessive holiday decorations and random little plush llamas that have no purpose.

I recently realized, however, that if I want to simplify my life, I don’t also have to eschew my non-monochrome palettes or stop showing my eyes on Instagram (a great tactic though, I’m now obsessed with figuring out what this Carolyn woman looks like). I can still enjoy color and weird washi tape and bandanas and headscarves. But maybe if I got rid of excess things I never use and became a bit more intentional about my purchases, I could breathe a little easier?

I will never be good in a breakup. If you are, you’re either a psychopath or an evil genius. Either way, I envy you. But as much as it pains me to let go of someone or something I love, I’m now trying to practice grace and gratefulness during those times. The sooner I start letting go of things I’m not meant to hold onto, the sooner I can learn more about myself and the other person I was sharing my life with. And one day, hopefully we’ll both get to take these lessons learned into new, exciting relationships - maybe they’ll even be slightly better than those that came before.

So here we go. One lover at a time, sufficient space in between, give each of them my all, think back fondly of our time together, and don’t let my heartbreak tarnish that.

One object at a time, and get rid of at least one well-loved trinket or piece of clothing every time I buy a new one. Let my old things find a new loving home in someone else’s hoard. Donate them to local charities in the hopes that someone actually gets real use and joy out of my forgotten objects.

Learn to accept that sometimes certain people and certain things do not need to travel with me through each phase of life. There is a time and place for everyone and every thing. Let them go before we come to resent each other’s presence.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.