Personal Growth through Keeping Life Simple
In the winter of 2008, I decided to embrace simplicity by slimming down my material possessions. Like most adaptations I have made to my adult lifestyle, I did a rapid and complete 180, getting rid of my car, all my furniture, and most of my clothing, all in the span of two weeks. My book collection, however, which consists mainly of poetry books, books on spirituality, travel, biography, and the classics, filled up eight big boxes. The content of those eight boxes became a choir of voices in my head, echoing their refusal to accept, such sudden, lasting abandonment. So, how could I simply surrender them? A close friend of mine offered a rescue, by making room for my boxes of books on the floor of her basement. As a fellow bard, this also entitled her to coveted reading privileges.
By this time you might be questioning my motivation behind making such a drastic, and sudden change in my lifestyle, rather than doing what most experts suggest, which is to take baby steps, to feel your way. Why not venture from the trap of my comfort zone at a graceful, more elegant pace, with greater regard for what ifs around the bend such as, what if your job teaching English to professionals in Chile doesn’t work out? What if you are unhappy living abroad? What if you come back to Colorado sooner than the year you expect to be gone, and then have to buy all new furniture and a new vehicle, asked my mother?
I already knew that I wasn’t going to keep my furniture in storage for a year and shell out a hefty fee. It seemed to me I had much more furniture than I actually needed, in any case. The cash was also an incentive since I was going abroad. It would offer an extra cushion in case work was slow for the first few months, especially since I was arriving in March, the start of the school season in Santiago. Things in Chile, and South America in general, start at a gradual pace, as business professionals come back from the summer holiday and employers begin to enroll them in English classes. Being someone accustomed to often seeing things in black and white, it made little sense for me to stand at the shore, weighing the wind shifts, when I already planned to fly.
I had finally reached the point in my life where I had enough self-confidence and faith in life itself to know that regardless of future events, I would be fine with how it all turns out. How much time do you spend on the fence when it comes to making changes in your life? It is good to make a list of new goals, especially at the start of a new year. You can make your life a lot simpler and begin working toward your goals sooner, when you decide not to over-analyze things. Think through your options, and hit select, knowing that if you are centered within yourself, and in touch with your inner voice, regardless of how things turn out, they always turn out for the best. Surrender society’s ways of judging events and learn to listen to your soul.