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letting go ... what it feels like to leave everything you own

my old place
i've never been one to amass collections of anything.  so far in my life, i've moved ... allot ... allot allot ... over 30 times before moving out after high school allot.  my first apartment things were clothes, a bed, 2 chairs, a kitty, my paintings, & a clunky desktop computer (no desk, mind you).  in the next apartment, very little changed except that i bought a desk & had made a few more paintings.  my places were empty to the point of, upon me opening my front door to accept some late night vegan pizza, people would ask if i was moving out.  this was due to 3 factors:  1. i had no money;  2.  i am quite picky & always hold out for what i want & will not waste what little money i have on settling;  & 3.  every-time i moved (almost once a year), i purged & simplified my belongings.

eventually, i was able to have a fairly well stocked home, a gorgeous steel dining table, a few mid century pieces, my giant easel ... then one morning, my droid buzzed new e-mails & there was a message alerting me that our 5 year goal of moving to thailand to volunteer was shortened to 3 months.  moving our things was NOT an option, & i didn't want my most cherished belongings sitting in some dark storage bin, of no use to anyone.  we had to sell & give everything away.  we spent the next few months on craigslist, ebay, & hauling things to vintage shops.
everything we own & our kitties on the morning of our flight
when you actually begin to sort out, label, & sell every ...  single  ...  thing, you own, you are overwhelmed with HOW MUCH you actually have.  then, once things start to disappear, & shelves empty, you notice something ... your daily life is the same ... you don't miss it.  

think about it.  have you ever gone on vacation & completely enjoyed your life, even wishing you didn't have to go home?  you probably only had a suitcase or two with you, & yet, you managed to function.  
everything on one luggage trolly
now, i'm not telling you to sell everything you own & move to another country.  i'm not saying owning things is bad.  however, being able to let go of everything has taught me how little we all actually need.

source:  national geographic via mymodernmet via wendy casey on pinterest  more on the real up house
during my packing one day, i watched up & couldn't help but identify with the old man when he cut his home free.  he had learned that although he had lovely memories attached to that home full of things, they weren't actually those memories.  in his case, & mine, he had to let it go in order to let something amazing in.