Six Month Journal: The Archivist vs. The Purger

I’m a hoarder, but it feels so good to purge sometimes.

I am one of those academia-obsessed students who has papers and tests stretching all the way back to sixth grade English class.

I keep extra jeans and T-shirts buried in my drawers in the event that I’ll need them for a paint-throwing contest or uprooting weeds in muddy conditions.

And I even save old perfume bottles and dried up lipsticks for the memories that linger in their evocative scents.

Maybe ‘archivist’ is a better word for my hoarding habits –– I’m merely trying to save, to remember, my entire life … and fit it all into my closet.

But every once in a while, I get the urge to go through all of my clothes, papers, treasures and trinkets and get rid of as much as I can bear to recycle or donate.

Perhaps it’s these possession purges that signal an important transition in my adulthood ascension. I no longer need, want, crave or require certain things in order to live my life. It’s like I’ve relieved another anchor that surrounds my hardened heart, allowing me to let go of all the memories –– painful or magical –– that surround these myriad objects.

It’s the lessons I’ve learned and the emotions I keep that will remain with me forever –– not the material possessions I keep in storage.

And that goes with everything else I do in my life, as well.

I’ve realized this week that there are things I do, people I see, tasks I fulfill that no longer buoy me with joy. Instead, they tear me down, plunge me into a sea of mundane obligation and make me rue the day and what I do.

I don’t want to live my life in constant regret, never getting rid of those elements that leave me restless and unhappy.

I have to let go of all that drowns me and keep all that will make me stronger.

Life isn’t measured in semesters, weeks, or days –– it’s measured in moments that make us feel infinite.

And right now, I feel chained by my self-imposed obligations.

I sometimes scroll longingly through my Pinterest boards, looking at all of the beautiful pictures and places that calm my mind.

It’s that yoga-loving, travel-seeking, Divergent-obsessed girl who made those boards whom I long to be. I yearn to live her life.

It’s not the anxiety-burdened, deadline-laden, forever-reaching person I’ve become that sits inside my soul. But yet that is who I’ve become.

And so, I shall strive over the next several minutes, hours, days, weeks, months –– however long I have to live –– to become that inner Bethany I glimpse when I see those images. It’s her that I want to be, and it’s her vision that I believe in. And her vision brings her peace. She’ll find a way to succeed in this life without the stresses plaguing her now.

I only have to believe in my true self.

Until next month,

BNB xo

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