“Let go of the old in order to make room for the new.”
You might’ve heard of this phrase before in regards to cleaning, but I think it should be applied to every aspect of our lives.
After almost 6 weeks of living in Spain, I’m finally able to unpack all of my things without wondering when I’ll have to pack them again.
While I laid out my toothbrush, my comb, my towel, and all the little things that make a place home, I started to think about how I want to spend the rest of my time here in Spain.
Because I didn’t just come here to play.
The Wonders of Solitude
Even though my first two months in Spain were at times a bit difficult and lonely, I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.
The solitude helped heal my over-active mind and my insomnia. It gave me peace, clarity, and new motivation to keep going after my dreams.
But also, it helped me clarify what’s important to me and what isn’t anymore.
Because I believe, sometimes, the harder part in chasing dreams is not knowing what to go after but what to let go of.
Letting go takes introspection, time, maturity, and courage.
Personally, I’ve always enjoyed shedding old ideas and beliefs. It’s one of the reason why I love to travel so much.
Every time I travel, I’m forced to think about what I want to take with me and what I want to leave behind. And this includes things, people, and ideas.
For when you travel a lot, it becomes very apparent who is genuinely happy for you and who is still willing to invest time in you even though you’re thousands of miles away.
Your luggage becomes a metaphor for your life.
And packing becomes a metaphor for de-cluttering your life.
Even though I’ve only been in Spain for two months, I already feel like I’ve grown a lot.
My Spanish is no longer a staccato of words. I can string together full sentences now or at least, make people laugh trying.
My mind feels calmer.
My body feels stronger.
I eat better.
I sleep better.
And I just feel more confident as a whole.
But it took time for me to feel this way.
When I first moved here, I was very hard on myself.
I imagined writing several times a day but all of that went into shambles when I didn’t have internet.
I tried to do what I can by going to the library, the bar, the cafe but the library closes and there’s only so much coffee and wine you can drink.
And day after day, I grew more and more impatient and frustrated with the situation.
But for some reason, the other day, as I was complaining about my internet again, I caught myself and decided to go do yoga instead because I knew there was nothing I could do about it.
Afterward, I felt great because for once I didn’t think about my complaints, frustrations, or expectations. And it inspired me to write this list:
Things to Let Go of in Order to Grow
1. Social Media
A few months ago, I deactivated Facebook and let me tell you, it’s done wonders for my psyche. I no longer feel the need to scroll through profiles, statuses, or even funny memes mindlessly anymore.
I still use Instagram and other social media tools to connect with others but the intention behind it is completely different. I feel in control of social media instead of the other way around.
Are you as tired of excuses as I am? Even though I’ve been telling myself to get back into yoga for MONTHS, it wasn’t until last week that I actually did it. Why? What changed?
I ran out of excuses.
After moving to Spain, all my old excuses of “my home is too noisy” or “I have no time” were no longer valid. It was just me and my mat so I climbed on and did my first 20 minutes of yoga in months. The first few minutes SUCKED but afterward, I felt wonderful.
I don’t think we can ever get rid of self-doubt completely. But what helps in my moments of doubt is that I give myself options.
For instance, if I’m feeling discouraged about my writing, I’ll tell myself I have to do something else instead.
I’ll go read someone else’s work that I admire or I’ll go clean. Whatever it is, it usually helps me feel more productive and often, I’ll be inspired to try again when I’m done. Resting counts too if that’s really what you need.
4. The Need to Appeal
When I first started blogging and writing more seriously, I listened to many”professional” bloggers about how to monetize my site, how to gain followers, and etc. While I did learn some useful things, I also felt like I was becoming a cookie cutter blogger. I don’t want to be that anymore.
My blog isn’t a billboard.
My Instagram isn’t a billboard.
I’m not a billboard.
I’m striving for authenticity here, not perfection. So screw the rules. My blog is messy and full of mistakes because I’m messy and full of mistakes.
5. Old Labels
I’m no longer vegan. Yes, after 2.5 years of being vegan (and a proud one at that) I’m letting this title go. I still eat mostly plant-based but I know that means nothing in the vegan community. So be it. I don’t need a title to prove anything.
6. Ungenuine Friendships
People who only show up when they need something.
People who pretend to be interested but aren’t.
People who need to go figure out their own sh*t first.
People who don’t show up at all.
People dancing around with their words.
People who don’t do what they say.
Goodbye, adiós, ciao, agur.
When was the last time you sat down and de-cluttered your life?