Emotional Minimalism

 loungechair (25a of 27)

Photo by Jorunn Lorenzen

I have downsized, packed, flown 2,800 kilometres and now, after a good six weeks of living out of a suitcase, I have unpacked in a place I can call home.

I faced my fears and the things that had scared me. It scared me to think I would be so far away from my family and all that I had known. It scared me to remove those safety nets. It scared me to isolate myself until I made new friends. And, when I landed in the midst of this new environment the night of my arrival, I had a good old cry.

But I cried for so many things; the sad year had now passed, and I would finally stop being reminded of it when I walked down the street. I cried because I will and already was missing my family and dear friends terribly. I cried out of relief from all the packing, planning and to now finally be here. And, I cried because I was so busy with goodbyes and the packing and planning process that did not allow myself time to really deal with all this change.

I am in my new apartment and, again, a wave of emotion comes over me. I am heavy. I had such a false insight into the weight of the past 12 months on my life.

You have this image in your head of how you are going to get through these big events in your life, and I have always underestimated the full emotional impact they can have.

I knew initially it would be challenging, but I did not expect to feel the weight of it here in my new place. I expected this to be all onwards and upwards, as they say. But, I guess you cannot go up unless you have been down, and you cannot ignore what being down does to you.

I talked about finding yourself a couple of blogs ago, and this is a big part of it. However, in giving yourself this timeout, you need to be prepared for what will bubble to the surface.

I was not expecting or prepared for this. I had seriously underestimated the impact this change would have on me. I did not think the final move from the hotel to the apartment would make me feel this way again, almost as if it added another layer of weight rather than lifting it off. I hoped I would get over things in the first few months after the break-up and decision to move, and scoffed when a friend said it would take years. I guess I will admit now that I can see, in its entirety, it does take time. We can go with the motions day-in and day-out but still have a storm below the surface within ourselves. We discover what we are really dealing with when we remove our distractions.

I have changed my approach to myself in light of all this. I have noticed my usually high-strung self is cutting some slack and allowing me let go of the stress of not being up to speed overnight in the new job or having the perfect apartment set-up in the first week. I will get there, but in a less rushed timeframe. I am letting myself breathe and have fun before all the bags are unpacked because I will get to it, just maybe not today.

I am treating myself as I would a good friend, allowing myself to take a timeout, get around to it and have some fun in between.

I am dealing with my emotions and, like I did with my physical items (as noted in A Minimalist?), I am focusing on what adds value to my life emotionally and working through what does not so I can move on.  In doing so, I understand this process will take time, and it will take a lot longer than I anticipate, and that’s OK–yep–that is OK by me, because it is right for me right now.

1 Comment

  1. […] If you haven’t begun minimalising your life, then start with material possessions, and, of course, the hardest step, emotional minimalism. […]


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