The Freedom of De-cluttering My Life

May 4, 2016
The Freedom of De-cluttering My Life

If you’d met me back in 2012, you would declare there had been some kind of mistake, because there is no way the girl I was back then is the woman I am now.

Tired, worn out, and shut off. That’s who I was. I had a house full of “things and stuff” a husband and three bedrooms, a business and a second job… All to support this lifestyle my parents, the media, religion and peers said I “wanted” or “needed” in life.

One day I realized all it was doing was weighing me down. So I walked away.

I got up, as if some trance I had been in for years had suddenly released me. I didn’t blink, I didn’t mourn the loss of “stuff.” I was elated. I took my suitcase with some of my clothes and computer and I left behind everything I’d worked towards and thought I had wanted, all the years of early mornings and late shifts, working over time for the designer dollars.

Vagabond, gypsy, nomad: all terms for wanderers. I didn’t associate myself with these names, but I quickly realized that I didn’t belong stuck in one place. I was a citizen of the world.

In a perfect world I’d tell you I figured it out then and there. But I’m taking baby steps. We all take personal journeys. The reason I share mine is this. On that day in 2012, and for the rest of the year, I realized that stuff didn’t bring me joy. Stuff didn’t make things better. I didn’t feel worse without it.

I felt BETTER. And then I heard what I’d known all along, in the back of my head. A voice whispered: “explore”.

Vagabond, gypsy, nomad: all terms for wanderers. I didn’t associate myself with these names, but I quickly realized that I didn’t belong stuck in one place. I was a citizen of the world. The country I was born and raised in, through no fault of my own, denies me my rights. My parents’ house, no matter how loving, isn’t my home.

I wander, not for lack of direction or because I am missing something, but because something deep inside me yearns to see mountains, and swim in rivers… To travel on roads with no signs and be an explorer.

But then I started to grow roots again, falling into the trap of collecting things. I lived in a tiny cabana on stilts over the ocean for a season. I was forcing myself to settle, and again, life told me no. A hurricane ripped my home to shreds while I was visiting friends in Canada. I returned to a shredded house.

Salt and sand were through all my “things and stuff.” I worked tirelessly to salvage and clean it, and find a new home to settle some more. I didn’t listen to the whispers to keep moving.

But it can’t stay still… it’s a restless soul I have.

I eventually sold it all, packed a few small boxes in storage, took one suitcase and got a one-way ticket to the end of the earth. I’ve been here for six months. I’ve got a van and the open road. The Wifi is weak, but I intend to share my adventures, just to remember that life is more important then “things and stuff.”

About Julia Markham

Bermuda born freelancer, working in design and marketing.
Passions include: Travel, Gluten free living, animal rights advocacy and being a complete beach bum.

One thought on “The Freedom of De-cluttering My Life

  1. dogzzarecool
    May 6, 2016
    Reply

    Often my best times are when I am out on the road again all by myself listening to satellite radio and just driving to the next stop. I love road trips. I did one two years ago for 2 months and drove out to Yellowstone from Boston and just explored Montana and Wyoming. So much fun.

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