It’s about time!
In the past few weeks, I’ve ditched a whole pile ‘o stuff I’ve been hanging on to — for 20 years.
Books I never opened netted me $70 from a used book store. I’m planning to open up an Etsy site to sell antique and vintage items, many of which I’ve collected and want to get rid of.
I love the word that museums use — de-accessioning — for the necessary process of pruning and, if you’re able to, upgrading the quality of what you own. So much more elegant than “dumping stuff.”
I moved to New York 22 years ago, filled with ambition and hope and excitement about finally coming to the place my mother was born, the center of my industry — journalism and publishing — certain there was a place for me here. It’s been a sobering experience, and success proved much tougher to achieve than I could possibly have imagined. Three recessions didn’t help!
And, having been single, self-employed and penurious for six years after my divorce, (before meeting my now-husband, who moved in with me), I clung to the things I owned, not at all sure when, or if, I would ever be able to replace them. As Jose compassionately noted, I was in survival mode. Letting go of my things, no matter how old or worn out, I admit with embarrassment, isn’t easy.
But 20 years is a really long time to cling to a look or style or set of beliefs that worked for me (if they really did), in 1992, the year I got married to my first husband (who was out the door two years later.)
I’ve been blond for 20 years. Now I’m a redhead; new headshot soon to come.
In our one-bedroom apartment, we’ve ditched two deep, heavy armchairs, a folding screen, a corner unit holding media equipment. I’ve re-painted a low bookcase a pale yellow (from deep olive green) and bought a new tiny glass-base lamp from West Elm to add a bit of gleam.
I want more air and light in here. Ages ago, in a fit of DIY design, I had a piece of glass cut, beveled and frosted to use as a console table. I never put it together, but now it’s time.
It takes confidence in the future, and optimism about what will happen there, to let go of the old, making physical and psychic room for the new.
What changes are you planning to make in your home or life for 2012?