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Leave it all behind

leave it all behind

Should I apply for that job? Should I start a new hobby? Should I make new plans? Should I change my life?

Endless questions run around my head, spinning in an infinity loop, tiring and exhausting and relentless. There’s always a new quote to take on board, a new person to compare myself to, a new career to aspire to, a new product, even a new minimalist.

I see people who are ‘more minimalist’ than me, and I want to declutter more. I see people slimmer than me and I want to exercise differently. I hear a new band and I feel I should know all of their back catalogue, just in case someone asks. I hear people with differing opinions and my INFP self wants to agree with them just for an easy life, even if I entirely disagree. I can’t stand any form of conflict. I talk to someone with different musical tastes and I feel I should learn more about different genres, immediately. In the midst of all of this constant pressure, I just feel, well, that I’m kinda losing me.

Pulled in so many different directions, it’s time to just stop, take stock and remember to simplify. By taking on too many interests all at once, I run the risk of losing myself in these circling thoughts and ‘shoulds’ of this 21st century life.

All these thoughts just aren’t useful. The only purpose they’re serving is to confuse my mind and dilute my sense of self. It’s time to leave it all behind. Clear out the junk and donate it to the metaphorical charity shop, just as I would with physical clutter.

And so I choose a couple of areas to focus on and I choose to trust my instincts. A personal journey. A re-awakening of self. I know I focus too much on image and slowly, I’m working to let it go. I want to go through my life as my self, not as a diluted shadow, governed by the whims, impressions and ideas of others. And so.

I focus on the old ways, nature, wild places, trees and rocks and waves. Plants as food and exploration as exercise. Deep thoughts and eclectic humour. Self-love over self-hate. Peace over noise. Music. Words.Walking. Creating.

Everything else is clutter, but clutter of a different kind. And I must remember that. When faced with whirling thoughts and self doubt, I take comfort in the fact that I can rid myself of the excess just as I would a cluttered kitchen drawer. Leave it all behind and keep only what’s necessary.

And the journey of figuring out just what is necessary continues.

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3 thoughts on “Leave it all behind

  1. The hardest hurdle that I ever had to overcome was the deep-seated belief that what I was, wasn’t enough. Some things from your childhood stay with you into adulthood and they are not always warm, fuzzy, nice things. To LEARN that I truly was enough wasn’t the hurdle. It was truly BELIEVING that I really was enough that was the hurdle. Life is so much better when you’re not trying to be everyone else’s version of you!

  2. I’m an INFJ and I so hear you! It’s only on the last year and a half, after my nervous system totally freaked out (my son had been very sick when he was 2-4 and my flight or fight was on all the time and no matter what I did it wouldn’t turn off, except it felt normal after a while so insider realise how bad it was until my body completely rebelled with an epic panic a track during a concert…cos I’m a drama queen like that!) that I just don’t have the energy to try and please everyone, or fit in, or avoid conflict. That excess that was hiding behind ‘ people pleasing’, that in turn I was hiding behind, just doesn’t have a place in my life anymore. What you see is what you get. It only took me 36 years and a major health crisis to figure it out ?

    1. Wow, I somehow missed your reply. I hope your son suffered no lingering ill effects. It’s horribly stressful when you’re child is ill. My healthy, thirty one year old son had some health problems from the time he was born. Everyone thought it was colic. I kept insisting that it was something else but his doctor could find nothing. He almost died at eighteen months from a rare intestinal disorder. Emergency surgery…… I’m still not sure I’ve recovered from it even though he did!

      I was about your age when my body lobbed a warning shot across my bow, so to speak. It’s scary to hear your doctor tell you that if you keep allowing the toxic people in your life to stay in your life then you will have a dramatically foreshortened one. Minor heart attack while driving. Pulled into the parking lot of the mall. I can remember thinking “I hate the mall……and I’m going to die in the damned mall parking lot. Crap.” At least a concert would have been more fun, lol!

      Anyway, my doctor told me that 36 years of my life laid on the altar of family was enough. If, despite my best efforts, nothing had improved in that timeframe then the odds were that they never would. She gave me permission to “divorce”
      my family. I think I needed….. permission?…..validation? I needed to hear that I wasn’t a monster for not having the will or the want or the energy to deal with them anymore. My husband and children echoed what my doctor said. So, I “divorced” my family. One of the hardest and best things I ever did. Had I not done it then I most likely wouldn’t be typing this, wouldn’t have seen my children grow up nor have the chance to grow old with my husband. I spent too many years of my life avoiding conflict, trying to conform to other people’s expectations, trying to fit in, trying to be accepted. I have a tribe now…… it’s a small tribe of very special people who like me just the way I am……what more could I ask for? Sounds like you finally have a tribe too. Ain’t it grand?

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