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Life Purging Kept Me From Losing My Mind

Life & Travel

It was approximately 12:20am Wednesday morning when I kicked that damned blanket on the floor and sprung from my bed. In this moment, I realized that I was doing it again. I was momento hoarding.


I'm a sentimental woman, and that's not something I'm ashamed to say.

I made an effort to save all of my old stuffed animals and still have the framed letter that my parents wrote me during my freshman year in college. I'm a sucker for things that hold emotional value, okay? Sue me.

But this wasn't just any blanket. This was the blanket that my ex and I had slept under for two and a half years, a few months of which were spent on my aunt's living room on an air mattress. This blanket was a true ride or die, and even after we broke up, I made excuses as to why I should keep this second-hand, tattered quilt.

I like this blanket because it's not too hot. It's perfect because it's easy to fold: it even dries quickly after going through the washing machine. In retrospect, all bullshit reasons as to why I should keep my ex-boyfriend's grandmother's worn down comforter.

I realized I truly had a problem when a year after I had moved into my first apartment alone, not only had I kept a folder of his old artwork (just in case he wanted it at some point), I also had several pairs of his underwear tucked away in my dresser.

I found myself lost in a sea of emotions just walking into my place. I looked around and realized that the items that had so comfortably ordained my home, all were the belongings of my ex that he refused to accept back.

When a potential suitor came over, I would casually mention that the size 10 Jordans in the corner belonged to a man I hadn't spoken to in months, and assure him that he had nothing to worry about. And when my family asked me why I held on to that dingy ass quilt that poorly adorned my full-sized bed (and in no way matched my room decor), my answers always felt insufficient.

When I packed up my things to leave Louisiana and move to Denver in pursuit of my dreams, I left that apartment with only the things that I could fit in my car. This put me in a bit of a conundrum, because guys, I had a lot of shit.

I heard once that everything that's in your house should make you happy. If you look at something in your home and it doesn't bring you joy, you should get rid of it.

I used this theory, shed about 90% of my dead weight, and got on the road for a 17-hour car ride. When I reached a halfway point in Oklahoma to rest, the window of my car was broken into and I was robbed of most of the things I tried so hard to fit into my car.

They took my computer. They took my degree. They took the last of my ex's underwear that I tried so desperately to hold on to. But they left me something. This dingy ass blanket that now lays on the floor on the side of my bed.

I had been robbed of so many things I cared about, and one of the only things they left me with was this blanket. A blanket that I've slept with for nearly two years since my relationship ended.

Throughout my journey to redemption, I've discovered a valuable lesson: Items hold energy.

Despite my effort to rid myself of every spirit that came along with my ex, I failed to realize that I was still sleeping with him every night.

Even though I seemingly "decluttered" my life when I left Baton Rouge to come to Colorado, I was still holding on to unwanted energy in the name of sentimental value.

I realized that this need to hold on to things that didn't grow me had carried over into my relationships. It was my nature to hold on to people simply because they held sentimental value and it was affecting my energy. Just like this blanket I refused to let go of, I held on to relationships that did not feed me mentally or spiritually because, at one time, they were special to me.

Life purging is the act of eliminating any and everything in your life that may be stifling your growth.

Momento hoarding is a guilty pleasure of mine that now stands to hinder me from moving forward and letting go of what once was. There are people and blankets that will always hold a special place in my heart, but it doesn't mean I need to hold on to them, and it certainly doesn't mean I need to sleep with them every night.

I encourage you to evaluate the items and the relationships that you surround yourself with. Are they around because they hold sentimental value, or are you like me, momento hoarding your life away? The answer to that question can change your life.

Featured image by Shutterstock

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