The car, couch, house, dishes, books, art, the dog. Okay, not the dog. We have sold everything. Everything. Years of accumulation, of memories, of evidence that I have been a productive adult. Is it freeing? Yes and No. I think it will be. Perhaps once we are on the road, pursuing this crazy dream of a life of nomadic travel, maybe then it will be freeing. At this moment, it is just humbling and terrifying.
We have been lucky – my mother bought my house, easing some of the emotional blow, but it is still difficult, as I see her picking out paint colors and measuring the space for her furniture, I know that it is no longer mine. I will be able to visit but it is no longer my home.
It was my first house, my first major purchase as an adult. This house has seen me through several relationships, my first real job as an attorney, deep talks with friends, hard life lessons, amazing parties, quiet times of growth, sickness and health. Being a homeowner taught me a thing or two about problem-solving, the importance of preventative maintenance for things you care about, the pride of finishing a project and the value of having a space truly your own.
When I bought my house it was located in the “hood” of East Nashville. During the time I have lived in it, East Nashville has morphed into the most sought after neighborhood in the city, featured in many national publications as “the place to live.” I’m glad I got in while it was cheap and watched the neighborhood and my investment grow, but it is hard to leave just when the neighborhood is fulfilling its potential and promise.
As far as my “stuff” – not quite as hard to let go of as the house but still difficult. The yard sale experience was the worst – strangers picking over and negotiating with you over your most prized possessions. Don’t they know I spent months researching and saving to buy that Elvis PEZley?? No, you can’t have it for a dollar! How dare these simpletons not see the coolness of my chickadee egg cups? That’s a plasma tv – why are you looking at it with such disdain?!? I paid 400 dollars for that chair and you want it for $25? Okay, you can have it, for $30…sigh…
Then there are the decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of – wait, keep? Keep where? We are going to be gone for a year or longer. We have a very limited budget. We don’t want to pay for a storage. Will I still want or need these things when we return? Will this pair of jeans still be fashionable? Do I want to rebuy things like dishes and pots and pans? What if our plans fail and we have to come back in a week? Or a month? And we have nothing. No house, no cars, no furniture, no pots, no pans. I could hyperventilate just thinking about it. Being a criminal defense attorney, I tend to be risk-adverse. Every decision becomes a cost-benefit analysis.
Here is where I become grateful for the id in my soul, for the less-responsible, life-seeking, hungry, voice in the back of my heart. Here is where fear fuels courage. Fear of not living. Fear of not taking chances. Fear of regret. Fear that in twenty years the only thing I will have to show for this life are memories of the mundane, the day to day grind, the same bars to spend time in, the same points of view. Am I more afraid of not having “stuff” or of not having lived my life? For me, this is a no-brainer. That little voice says- sell it all!!!! Don’t look back!! Its time to take another step in your personal evolution. Its time to see what is out there. You are designed to feel the electricity of life coursing through your veins and be on fire with passion, purpose, love and experience. You are not meant to sit in front of a television every single night watching Walking Dead re-runs.
I’ve chosen to listen to that voice rather than ignore it. I think it is my own internal GPS. I don’t need stuff to find my purpose, I don’t need a plasma television to move forward. My inner compass is telling me to let go. Of everything. To trust the future to do what the future always does, work itself out.
(And if you happen to be in the market for an Elvis PEZley or red, vinyl vintage bar from the 60’s – I’m your girl.)