I always try to take on advice when it’s offered, and I asked for it, if I haven’t asked then I’ll probably just be aggravated by it. A couple of weeks ago I received some advice from someone who doesn’t know how wonderful they are. They said “just try” it’s so simple but so powerful. I think everyone would take it to mean different things. For me “just try” means test the waters, it means I don’t have to commit to an idea or plan, but it might not be awful. It means stop the bullshit, it means what if you fly and what if you trust your wings.
So, with those words written on a post- it and put on the cupboard I decided to try. My living space wasn’t working for me. I have struggled not to keep everything. Pointless paperwork dating back to 2011, clothes I’ve never worn or have worn out and things, just bits of things. The flat doesn’t have storage, the clutter was causing sub-conscious stress, like it was touching me. I need to feel in control of my environment but the anxiety of going through my old lives was too much and I’ve avoided it for too many years. I borrowed a shredder and started with the paperwork, ignoring the intrusive thoughts that someone might go through the bins and piece back together letters from the job centre and to do lists from five years ago. Eventually, bag by bag the flat felt lighter and I took a sense of achievement from this seemingly small task. Of course, I cried, churning over old memories isn’t easy, but it was cathartic. I’ve laid those ghosts to rest. I carried on sorting through our things. Sorting stuff to be donated to charity and stuff for the tip. I’m lucky to have my parents, they took the bags away for me, so I didn’t have to put myself through the emotional stress of saying good bye to half used note books and hoodies. Baby clothes are by far the hardest to give away. I’ve kept some because they are connected to so many happy memories and it’s easy to forget how small my Goose was.
I’m still in the process of deep cleaning the flat and organising the rest of our stuff. But I’m hopeful that if I just try when I feel able to, I’ll keep steady progress in the present and I’ll keep glancing to the future, so I know where I’m going.